Taking On Downtown - With Kids!

Lately, there have been lots of innovative ideas put forward regarding Downtown Jacksonville. It seems as though every creative thinker and successful business owner in town has a fabulous idea for making over the under utilized portions of the area.

By Erin Warren

But what about the amazing sights and sounds that are already here? Jacksonville Moms has spent lots of time (And word count!) on just how you can do Downtown Jacksonville up right- with kids!

For example- Did you know that Jacksonville has it's very own Skyway? (And, yeah, go right ahead and call it The Monorail for your Disney-obsessed little ones. We won't judge.) It runs from the Southbank, over the river, and to several stops Downtown. The best part? It's completely F-R-E-E! (Read more about the Skyway schedule, destinations, and other helpful hints at 'Exploring Downtown Jacksonville with Kids- The Skyway and Downtown Library')

If traveling by skyway is fun, then traveling by boat has got to be even better, right? I mean, this is Florida! From Sunday through Thursday, you can tour Downtown by water taxi for only $2. I'm willing to bet that's less than you had to spend on the coffee that got you moving toward Jacksonville's core to begin with. (Coffee that I hope was brewed at Bold Bean, Vagabond, or Brew, all businesses native to Downtown!) There are walking tours, too, of course, like the Top To Bottom Walking Tour or e2ride Bike Tour. Check out Jacksonville Moms Blog's Downtown Jacksonville Staycation post or more ideas and information.

Downtown Jacksonville is also a kid-friendly cultural destination. Museums like The Jacksonville Fire Museum, "Art Connections" at The Cummer, the Museum of Science and History, and the ArtExplorium Loft at the Museum of Contemporary Art all have special exhibits and areas especially for families. There are also dozens of art galleries and weekly/ monthly events, like Jaxson's Night Market, RAM, Art Walk and almost-daily programming in Hemming Park. Even the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra hosts special, kid-centered, concerts. This season alone features "Pixar in Concert" and "Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs And Ham," just to name two. For more info on how to let Downtown Jacksonville culture your kiddos, take a look at JMB's 'Kid-Friendly Activities and Eats: Downtown, San Marco, & Riverside'.

All of this touring, train riding, and artistic talent is sure to make even the most enthusiastic four (Or five, or ten, or fourteen!) year old work up an appetite. Luckily for you, Downtown can fix you right up. Try a local favorite like High Tide Burrito Company or Chamblin's Uptown Cafe and bookstore- or head down Edgewood Ave to Moon River Pizza where the foods not only delicious, but they'll also give your little one dough to play with while they wait for lunch. Better grab a sweet treat afterwards at Peterbrooke Chocolatier or Sweet Pete's, too- because once you get started exploring Downtown Jacksonville you're going to want to stay all day.

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