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Gumbo and gamblers lure plenty of travelers to Biloxi, Mississippi, with good reason. Kids with their families dive into other vacation activities in this Mississippi Gulf Coast signature city,. Read on to learn 9 fun things to do with kids in Biloxi.
Biloxi can stand alone as a coastal Mississippi vacation destination. There are plenty of things to do in Biloxi with kids and without. But slipping over the city line now and then for additional Coastal Mississippi discoveries added additional pizzazz to my Biloxi experience.
I found 11 other coastal communities along 62 miles of white sand shoreline and, of course, a beach boulevard.
9 Cool Things to Do in Biloxi with Kids
If everything sounds fun, look into the Coastal Mississippi Attractions Pass to save some money. Ten locations including some not in this story: the Mardi Gras Museum and Beauvoir, the library of Jefferson Davis. It’s all mobile–no-touch text and email.
Don’t want to drive? Coast Transit Authority buses link many family-friendly places.
Out To Sea in Biloxi
1. Biloxi Shrimping Trip
Ordering shrimp for dinner means more after experiencing the catching.
Shrimp boats look stately to me in their harbor, nets hauled up, masts standing tall. Boarding the Sailfish in Biloxi’s small-craft harbor changed my view.
For 70 minutes at sea, kids and parents watched the net spread behind – after details from the captain how to set it out just so.
The catch was way more than shrimp. Expect squid, stingray, flounder, pufferfish and crabs so blue we knew how they earned their name.
Should be safe to include family members prone to seasickness. These are calm waters between Deer Island and the Biloxi shoreline.
Plan a 1:30 p.m. adventure because that’s the daily sail time.
TravelingMom Tip: Stroll with the kids around the small craft harbor on Biloxi’s waterfront. Then imagine yourselves as the captains of each interesting vessel. Deer Island is in view from the harbor too.
2. Historic Oyster Schooners – Biloxi
Plan a summer vacation in Biloxi and the kids could go to Maritime Museum Sea and Sail Adventure day camps in June and July. Ages six to eight and nine to 12 are the groupings.
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Sail on a 65-foot oyster schooner with two masts—as a charter or six-person minimum walk on. But toddlers need to be at least three years old. The Museum’s late 1800s schooner sails the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico.
TravelingMom Tip: Consider the 1848 cast iron Biloxi lighthouse and Biloxi Visitors Center a combo stop. Morning tours of the lighthouse. The Welcome Center offers big views from the second floor, plus a history exhibit.
All About Discovery
3. Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Funny to tell the kids they’re going to the coast and end up at a river.
Practice the name en route because poetic Mississippi words need to roll easily from their tongue. Cool things to do with the kids in Biloxi involves linguistics too!
Find out here why it matters being a gateway to the largest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. No impeded waters.
Birds and wildlife are a big deal here all year. Temperate climates vs. migratory patterns are part of the southern story.
McCoy’s River and Marsh Tours devotes two hours to pristine river swamps. That’s 74,000 acres of permanently protected bayou teeming with wildlife to be precise.
Seven aquaria focus on the river’s fresh to brackish waters and the different life they sustain.
The fine art gallery is nature-based with national artists as well as regional.
I recommend using the native plants landscaping to talk with the kids about growing only natives in your yard. That’s yet another outdoor activities bonus.
Virtual explorations can set the stage for a real visit, or replace it if your schedule doesn’t match theirs. Hours are Wednesday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and one Saturday a month.
4. Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum
Boats with tall masts fit inside the glass-walled Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. So does a gallery both timely and historic devoted to hurricanes.
Since the seafood industry built Biloxi, engaging with exhibits here sets the stage for all the other city sights.
Prepare the kids ahead of time to think about themselves had they lived here when Lewis Hine photographed children in 1916 working in the shrimp and oyster industries. Hine is hailed for his Ellis Island immigrant photos and child labor images that led to reforms.
Just like Lewis Hine focused on the plight of real people, the Maritime Hurricane Gallery tells the stories of local residents affected mightily by Hurricanes Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005, and how they helped their neighbors.
This is also the place to examine the 1947 storm. And that’s before hurricanes were named!
Not likely to see the big shrimp peeler invented by J. M. Lapeyre anywhere else. He tested his concept on his mom’s 1943 hand-operated wringer washing machine. Maybe talk to the kids about what’s in their home waiting to inspire an invention.
Maritime Museum open Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m. and Sunday non -4:00 p.m.
Born recently is not too young for a welcome in a whimsical 1915 elementary school building turned discovery center in Gulfport, 10 minutes from Biloxi. Babies welcomed.
Not often does my family see age groups “new to four” or “new to 10,” but it’s true at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. Cool things to do with kids takes on new depth with newborns.
Unaccompanied adults are a different matter; they must take a guided tour with staff. To play, bring a kid.
The Lynn Meadows is all about culture and nature with inside rooms and outdoor green spaces themed to Gulf Coast vibes. Might be an old Mississippi hotel or a grocery store. Could be Africa with stuffed lions to hug. Could be treehouses or theater performing space or a weather station.
Always New Experiences
Sensory-friendly options are among the newest additions. Children on the autism spectrum receive special experiences on second Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – noon.
A pre-pandemic new addition are storybook pages posted on poles. Walk, skip, hop or jump on the green reading a new page every so often. More outdoor activities for energetic, and cautious, families.
For those new to 4-year-old visitors: Bear Camp Bayou is the spot. Floor space is soft and protected.
Imagining starts early on a super colossal climbing structure which is the way inside.
A catalyst for curiosity is one way the community describes as the Lynn Meadows. They also say this is a place with a deep, caring heart because it is named for a founder’s daughter who died while a student at Ole Miss.
TravelingMom Tip: Use the Coastal Mississippi Attraction pass with admission to 10 fun places.
NASA runs things here, but expect more than real-deal rockets and spaceships. And more than the real moon rock, Apollo 4 command module and astronaut suits.
This is a place to also learn how exactly does a turtle get across the road. And peer into 200 species of meat-eating plants.
Can’t find animal-eating algae or people-chasing plants just anywhere, but they’re real here.
TravelingMom Tip: Infinity reopens June 3 for Thursday – Sunday visits.
The hurricane prediction lab applies serious science to helping the rest of us understand impending storms whether living in their path or not.
XSPHEREience is the theater’s name. Live presentations likely to be walking in space or how animals adapt or all about electricity. 3-D immersion is the idea.
Play to learn, right? Big Blue Blocks are the spot to tinker with some fundamentals of engineering, knowledge for future astronauts. They’ll most likely be back post-Covid.
Go inside Deep Ocean Explorer and grab a joystick to see how hard it is to repair an oil rig from the bottom of the ocean.
INFINITY is the front door, a welcome center to the NASA Space Center. Bus tours are first-come, first-served.
The Saturn V first-stage booster rests outside, giving perspective for the next time the kids watch a space launch on television.
Strolling the Biome Boardwalk to experience four different habitats is cool with kids. Anybody’s kids know that biome means communities of plants and animals living together in a certain kind of climate?
The spring and summer 45-minute tram tour winds seven miles into this Coastal Mississippi region.
A beachfront aquarium is special enough, but this very new one delves into marsh and gulf coast environments too. Freshwater and saltwater are two overarching descriptions but I’m also keeping my eye on three sails.
Literal sails tower above the aquarium, visible along the coast. Figurative sails symbolize these purposes: education, conservation, community.
The dolphin habitat is outdoors, and so are river otters and an aviary. This is a 5.8 acre campus in Gulfport, 10 minutes from Biloxi.
Every day the Mississippi Aquarium is open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Programs are presented at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. plus in the aviary at 1:30 p.m.
Tune the family ears to watery sounds with the Aquarium playlist on Spotify on the road trip there. African Penguin March or River Otter Hide and Seek or Dolphin Waltz are a way to prepare.
SeaTREK is a ticketed underwater experience for ages 10 and up. Don a helmet and experience near zero gravity on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays.
Biloxi provides the perfect confluence of details to take the kids to an art museum. In some ways, this too involves outdoor activities.
Not a formal building, rather a campus of diverse architecture, some by Frank O. Gehry. Live oak trees, a brick plaza and grassy places to run around. Stunning views of the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, plus Deer Island.
And the artist is George Ohr, known in Biloxi in the early 1900s as the Mad Potter. Good clue the exhibits are intriguing, right? Ohr defied conventions of his time.
The Gehry buildings stretch the imagination, especially since in their midst is the home of an emancipated slave, himself a craftsman, named Pleasant Reed.
Who was O’Keefe? The family with $1 million to share to help make all this possible. Another cool thing to point out to the kids – ways to use wealth.
Like so much of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art portrays enduring human spirit and resilience. This campus too suffered mightily with Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Can’t see where today.
Somehow the world feels different after seeing how Walter Anderson looked at nature.
Imagination and wonder took over my mood in this Ocean Springs museum. Walter’s bicycle is here, and that matters. He rode it beyond the Mississippi Gulf Coast, into New York, Texas, Florida and Tennessee.
He also rode it on remote Horn Island where he lived long stretches in seclusion, seeing the interconnectedness of nature. Now we can show ourselves his visions.
People, landscapes, animals, plants – everything seems to have intrigued him. If your kids love cats, they’ll find Anderson’s favorites in pencil or pen and ink.
Find a Big Field of Vision
Could be anybody’s favorite something shows up in a Walter Anderson piece of art. His field of vision was large, a cool thing with kids to point out.
Any favorite style too: watercolor, oil, drawing, carving, decorative arts, big murals. Or little rooms. Ask where that is when you go, the Little Room. And let the kids use the cell phone because the Quark code tells even more interesting stuff.
Send the children looking for folk tales, myths, and mythologies. One entire room is filled with murals telling the history of Coastal Mississippi. The characters are whimsical and mythical as much as historic, and the colors calming and peaceful.
Jack the Giant Killer, Sinbad the Sailor and Billy Goats Gruff filled six-foot tall woodblocks in his 1949 exhibition in New York. Anderson died in 1965, and Ocean Springs holds on to his visions with festivals as well as the museum and all its special programming.
Where to Stay in Biloxi
Clearly lots of choices to rest your head along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I experienced only one but heard plenty of family fun buzz about another.
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is the darling of casino enthusiasts. I don’t qualify, but found plenty to admire and enjoy.
Go for the green. Expansive flower gardens adorn all the public spaces, well worth admiring, perching nearby and breathing in the freshness.
The sheer volume of dining options (and quantity) is a sight to behold. Even the kids could be fascinated by a behind-the-scenes culinary tour—mostly for the skills needed to feed so many in so many ways.
Margaritaville Resort and Family Entertainment Center overlooks Deer Island. That means the rooftop water park playground has great views. Family entertainment center too.
If the family still needs fun after all the Biloxi and nearby-town experiences, Margaritaville offers an active list.
Rock climbing wall plus a ropes course for tykes. Lazy river. Indoor zipline. Water slides and pools. Arcade. That’s a start.
Oasis Resort at Centennial Plaza is in Gulfport, 10 minutes from Biloxi, the same town to find the Mississippi Aquarium. Oasis has a three-acre water playground, splash pads and a lazy river overlooking the Mississippi Gulf.