Your Guide to a Kid Friendly Day Trip to Jacksonville
Just a short drive from Amelia Island, Jacksonville has tons to offer families that are looking for a fun day trip with kids. As locals there’s so much we love about Jacksonville, but here are a few of our favorite activities so you can plan a day trip to Jacksonville with the family.
St. Johns River Ferry – Depending on which way you’ll be heading into Jacksonville, we highly recommend you arrive via the St. Johns River Ferry. Although the ride on this vehicle and passenger ferry might be short, it packs big wow factor for kids. It’s less than $10 to transport your car across the river and can cut your driving time down tremendously depending on traffic.
Mini Bar Donuts – Start your day with mini donuts that pack big flavor. The Mini Bar Donuts + Coffee is the perfect spot to kick off your day trip to Jacksonville. This local favorite offers a wide variety of flavors and the mini size is perfect for little hands. There’s plenty of coffee choices for the adults so you’ll leave fueled up and ready to see the rest of what Jax has to offer.
This happens to be one of my MUST stop at spots in Jacksonville – if your looking for a place where kids can stretch their imagination and own their love of donuts then you are in the right place. I’ve not met a minibar donut I didn’t like.
Night Feeding at Catty Shack – If you happen to be visiting Jacksonville on a Friday or Saturday then you must stay for the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary night feeding. Purchase your tickets ahead of time online to avoid missing out. This VIP experience starts at 6pm and includes self-guided tour, free drink and free t-shirt. You’ll learn fascinating and fun facts about the animals and watch the big cats devour 600 pounds of beef and chicken, bone and all.
Anything animal is a good day for kids – this is a special experience for all ages but I love to see the wide eyes and the oohs and aahs while watching the big cats be well… Big Cats!
Hanna Park – There’s a reason Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is one of our favorite spots in Jacksonville. It has the beach, bike trails, kayak & canoe rentals, an awesome playground and coming soon, a completely renovated splash pad. There’s a small fee to get in, but it’s worth the price for a morning of fun in the sun.
Dockside Seafood – as you leave the beach area we recommend grabbing lunch at one of our favorite family friendly restaurants in Jacksonville, Dockside Seafood. Kids will love that you can sit outside by the water and parents will enjoy the delicious and fresh seafood options. This is a great casual spot that’s perfect for family dining.
Sweet Pete’s – If your kids like candy, and whose don’t, your next stop during your day trip to Jacksonville should be Sweet Pete’s Candy. Do you remember watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and dreaming of that golden ticket? I know I would daydream about winning that ticket and getting to surround myself with all the sweets in the world… Guess what? Sweet Pete’s is Jacksonville’s answer to the Chocolate Factory! Plan ahead and book a My Bar My Way
Store Tour for just $5 per person. This short, but informative tour will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the history of Jacksonville’s favorite candy shop. Our favorite part, included with the tour is a personalized candy bar, customize with your favorite candy extras.
Murals – Did you know Jacksonville has a great outdoor art scene? Home to hundreds of murals, downtown is the perfect spot to take in some local street art. You can use the Hidden Jacksonville mural map to plan out your visit, or take your kids on a mural scavenger hunt through the city. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, visit Corkscrew Park where you can see the city’s newest outdoor art installation, a painted Riverwalk along the Intracoastal.
The Bearded Pig BBQ – The ultimate kid-friendly dinner spot, The Bearded Pig has two locations to choose from. The newest location is in Jacksonville Beach, and the original restaurant in San Marco. Both offer great barbeque and an outdoor (kid friendly) space. It’s the perfect family friendly restaurant for a Jacksonville dinner.
About Jacksonville Beach Moms:
Jacksonville Beach Moms is a local guide to the best of Jacksonville for families. We love everything North Florida has to offer and we’re dedicated to sharing the best attractions, restaurants, venues and events for parents and care-givers.