Family-Friendly Summertime Activities in Jacksonville

The First Coast region of Florida has a lot to offer those looking to get out and sightsee. From outdoor activities like fishing and boating, to indoor activities like museums and shops, there’s something appealing to everyone. The great thing about living in Florida is that outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. Just because the summer is ending, doesn’t mean your family has missed the opportunity to adventure outdoors.

In this blog, we’re going to explore a few of the many family-friendly activities that the Jacksonville area has to offer.

The Beaches

Florida is special to so many people because of its pristine coastlines. Like the rest of the state, the First Coast area has its fair share of beautiful, white sand beaches. If you’re looking to get out in the sun and relax by the water, there are a couple great places here to do so. Jacksonville has three main beaches: Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach. Nearby are also Ponte Vedra Beach, Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine Beach. Any of these convenient locations would make for a picture-perfect family beach day.


The Museum of Science and History, commonly known as the MOSH, is a real gem. Located downtown on the Southbank, The MOSH is a favorite of both residents and visitors. It features many permanent exhibits as well as specialty exhibits that remain for only a limited amount of time.  If you think this is just for children, think again. The MOSH has something every member of the family will enjoy, like its famed planetarium.

Sweet Pete’s

Downtown Jacksonville is home to a long-standing confectionery called Sweet Pete’s. With its enormous shop that sells chocolates, candies and ice cream, a visit to Sweet Pete’s is sure to brighten everyone’s day. You can also take a tour of the facility and sign up for instructional classes to learn things like candy making.

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is like no other place around. It’s a local nonprofit organization and refuge for wild animals such as lions, tigers, foxes and others. Located on the northside of town, the Catty Shack Ranch offers tours of its grounds, so the public can get a closer look at these majestic animals. A fan favorite is its “night feeding” tour. This gives you the chance to observe these animals during their feeding time, something many people never get the chance to witness.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

The Jacksonville Zoo is a great place to visit during the summer months. It features numerous attractions, some popular ones being Stingray Bay and Butterfly Hollow. There’s also a train available to shuttle you around the zoo and a splash park to cool down on those hot summer afternoons. Behind the scenes and garden tours are also available for those searching for an even more unique experience.

If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family during the summer, don’t think that going out of town is the only option. There are plenty of family-friendly offerings right here on the First Coast. While the beaches, The MOSH, Sweet Pete’s, the Catty Shack Ranch and the Jacksonville Zoo are some of the more notable choices, there are even more options out there waiting to be explored.

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