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Like every city in Florida, Jacksonville can get HOT.
Jacksonville Moms Blogger: Erin Price
While we're fortunate enough to be surrounded by miles of gorgeous beaches and beautiful waterways, we're also sometimes saddled with 97 degree summer days and humidity levels high enough to make you wonder how it's even possible to have 76% humidity and it still. not. actually. be. raining. Luckily for us, Jacksonville has plenty of summer solutions for you and your family, whether you're staycationing or here on honeymoon after your June wedding. Here are a few of my favorite ways to have fun while keeping cool, Jacksonville style-
When my nieces are in town visiting from Jensen Beach, they beg to go downtown to Sweet Pete's for candy making classes. Originally located in the Springfield area, Sweet Pete's has recently relocated to a larger location on Hogan Street in the heart of downtown. A location large enough for an amazing restaurant and full bar, no less- so it's really a hot weather win for the whole family. If your smallest family members require active play with their air conditioning (How else are they supposed to fight those naps?), Jacksonville Moms has compiled an amazing list of the best indoor play spots in Jacksonville. Literally dozens of ideas- from MOCA's amazing ArtExplorium Loft to The Edge Rock Gym to something as simple as the soft play areas in local malls. They play, you shop? Done and done. You can read more about these summer-proof spots here, in their post titled 'Best Indoor Play In & Around Jacksonville.'
There's also an Around Town Directory with a section specifically devoted to indoor play spaces, like my toddler's favorite spot, Bay & Bee.
If you want to beat the heat but still enjoy some good old North Florida sunshine, Jacksonville has way more to offer than beautiful beaches and scenic rivers. How about some pool time- or a visit to one of our five splash parks? There's even one at the zoo- which, by the way, also has an amazing new multi-million dollar exhibit called Land of The Tiger that is- you guessed it- air conditioned! If you're looking for a few thrills with chlorine, there are also multiple water parks in the area. (Check out the full list, courtesy of Jacksonville Moms Blog's 'Beat The Heat: A Mom's Guide To Pools, Water Parks, and Places To Splash In Jax.')
If all that water and sunshine leaves them begging for a cool treat, head over to Murray Hill to taste test the Dreamette, a local ice cream parlor that's been dipping cones since the 1940's and was recently chosen as the best ice cream shop in all of Florida. (Make sure you bring cash- the Dreamette is cash only) The Florida Creamery in Avondale and Rita's Italian Ice at the beaches are also good bets.
And don't think there aren't plenty of cool-down options that appeal to grownups, too! Besides having numerous quirky local theaters- of both the theatrical and cinematic variety- Jacksonville is pretty much The Bold New City Of… Beer? Budweiser has been brewing here since 1969 and offers twice daily tours and tastings. There's also the little slice of heaven we like to call The Jax Ale Trail- a listing of no less than EIGHT local craft breweries that want you to stop in and try their latest pint. There's even an Ale Trail passport that you can have stamped along the way to earn cool indie prizes like sets of glasses and t-shirts. (Get the full scoop on all of them at Jacksonville Moms Blog's 'Exploring Jacksonville One Craft Beer At A Time.') Jacksonville Beach is now home to multiple beirgartens, as well!
Here's hoping you have enough hot days to try it all!