Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
South of Downtown along the St. Johns River in the Mandarin area is the Walter Jones Historical Park and the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. The museum is a cultural gem and one very special exhibit is of an 1864 shipwreck called the Maple Leaf. The exhibit is worthy of its own blog, however, I will just say the local wreck has the most spectacular repository of Civil War artifacts. The museum hosts free lectures the third Thursday of the month (904-268-0784). On November 20th, political cartoonist Ed Gamble will be the guest speaker.
A few other sites to visit with no admission fees are: Kingsley Plantation, Ribault Monument and the Jacksonville Fire Museum exhibit located inside of MOSH.
The Jacksonville Historical Society also has their Gingerbread Extravaganza, every December, it's a site to see! For admission, they just ask for a small donation.