friendship_fountainWe have a few dear friends that live in Jacksonville, Florida so we try to make it over there at least once or twice a year.  Jacksonville is known for being the largest city in Florida, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and its proximity to the beautiful St. Augustine.

We often run to Jacksonville when a hurricane is bearing down on our city of Pensacola!  These four places are great for kids and have the added bonus of being FREE!

Kids Kampus at Metropolitan Park – True to its name, Kids Campus is a park full of activities to keep the kids busy.  There are several playground areas, clean restrooms, and walks to explore.  There is Safe City where kids can ride their bikes.  My son’s favorite part of the visit is the water playground.  During the summer the water playground can get busy with daycare groups and you will have to rotate into the park, but the staff is very professional and makes sure that everyone gets equal time. 

Friendship Fountain – The friendship fountain is a huge fountain with over 60 jet nozzles that put on quite a show.  At night, the fountain is lit up with colorful lights.  The kids will love to run circles around the fountain.  It is located on the Southbank Riverwalk next to the Museum of Science and History (which is not free, but still worth the visit!). 

Jacksonville Fire Museum – After you visit Kids Kampus, head over to the nearby Jacksonville Fire Museum where you can learn about the history of the Jacksonville Fire Department.  There are over 700 artifacts and photographs.

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve – Take a nature hike through this beautiful preserve.  Visit the Fort Caroline Memorial and sit in at the Ranger Program at Kingsley Plantation, one of the oldest standing plantation homes in Florida.