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Looking for affordable family fun? These free or ten under $10 dollar attractions offer hours of enjoyment for all ages.
Jacksonville’s 21 miles of uncrowded beaches, affordable lodging, and activities for less than $10 makes this “River City by the Sea” an ideal family getaway. Immerse yourself in Jacksonville without breaking the bank with these inexpensive and entertaining activities:
Take in a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and Jacksonville’s expansive shoreline from the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, rocketing nearly a quarter mile into the ocean. Pedestrians, $1; children six and under, free; fishermen, $4.
Begin your discovery of Jacksonville’s African-American heritage with an animatronics story of native sons James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson who composed the Negro national hymn, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” At The Ritz Theatre and Museum, you can stroll along recreated streets depicting the daily lives of African Americans in Jacksonville during recent history. Adults, $6.00; children and seniors, $3.00.
Minutes from Downtown, discover Florida’s ecosystems at Tree Hill Nature Center's interactive, natural experience. Explore 50 acres of trails, a Florida natural history museum, butterfly and hummingbird gardens and live animal displays. Adults, $4; seniors/students/military, $3; children $2.
Every spring, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the double-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins. Games are played at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with tickets starting at $5. In the summer, tackle a new sport – rugby league - with the National Champions, the Jacksonville Axemen. All games are played at UNF’s Hodges Field and tickets are just $5. The Jacksonville Giants & Jacksonville Icemen, an American Basketball Association team and ECHL Hocket team, play in the fall/winter at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tickets start at $8. Or the Arena Bowl Champion Jacksonville Sharks, who play from March-August.
With the largest urban parks system in the country, Jacksonville offers outdoor experiences for every level of adventure. From bird watching on the Great Florida Birding Trail at Huguenot Memorial Park to kayaking the creeks and tributaries winding through the Talbot Island State Parks and hiking the trails of the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. Most parks offer free admission. Some entrance fees required, but are less than $5.
Arts and culture is accessible in Jacksonville. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and the Museum of Science & History (MOSH) all offer daily adult admission for $10 or less and offer special free admission days. Visitors will find exhibits to delight every age.
Stroll along the St. Johns River while taking in views of the Downtown skyline, boats and favorite attractions. On the Southbank be sure to visit to see “Mirrored River: Where Do You See Yourself?” under the Main Street Bridge. Stretching 64 feet in mirror, ceramic tile, glass tile, and pebbles, forming a satellite image of the St. Johns River, it's especially beautiful during sunset. Stop by The Jacksonville Landing for a family-friendly festival, concert or meal. Or continue along the Riverwalk on the Northbank to the Riverside Arts Market, Florida’ largest weekly, free arts festival. The market is held Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from March to December, under the Fuller Warren Bridge and offers fresh produces, local art vendors, live entertainment and more.
Tucked away in the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is Kingsley Plantation – Florida’s oldest, still-standing plantation house. A living history exhibit includes the barn, plantation gardens, plantation house, kitchen and 20 remarkably preserved tabby slave cabins. Admission is free. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve has unveiled a new audio tour entitled, “The Lion’s Storyteller”. The tour will give visitors a chance to hear the entire story of Kingsley Plantation, not just the owners’ perspectives.The audio tour captures their story in an immersive, multi-media experience, drawing on some first-hand accounts, documents from the time, and stories from the historic record.
Visitors can request the audio tour at the visitor center at Kingsley Plantation. After a quick tutorial by park staff, visitors start their immersive journey into the past of this remarkable historic site. Audio described as well as subtitled versions are available for visitors needing assistance. The tour is available at the park during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please allow one hour to fully enjoy the experience.
Relive the days when Jacksonville’s beaches first became a tourist destination with the expansion of the railroad at Beaches Museum & History Park. Walk along a replica boardwalk, while soaking in historical tales, including the story of devastating Hurricane Dora. Other exhibits outside the museum at Pablo Historical Park include the Mayport Railway Depot and a once-working Old #7 Locomotive. Admission is free for all, donations are appreciated.
Take in historical documents at one of only seven national Karpeles Museum located in historic Springfield. And don’t forget the Hands On Children's Museum which promotes hands-on participatory learning for children of all ages. Encouraging discovery through observation, inquiry, creative construction, role-playing, problem-solving and free play. Another unique local museum is The Museum of Southern History dedicated to preserving the History, Ideals and Chivalry of the South.
Browse 50 plus vendor booths with fresh produce, seafood and other local goods at The Jacksonville Farmer’s Market, the oldest famers market in Florida.
Teach your kids some music appreciation when national and world-renowned Jazz musicians perform to big crowds on several stages at the annual, free Jacksonville Jazz Fest, held over Memorial Day weekend.
Peddle along 14.5 miles of tree canopies on the Baldwin Trail. Stop for a picnic or visit Camp Milton to explore a little history.
Go for a hike and explore Jacksonville’s green areas at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. Explore the impressive different gardens throughout the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, it's not just about the animals! Visit during Free Tuesdays at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, one of the most visited museums in the Southeast.