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Looking for affordable family fun in Jacksonville? These 13 activities are free or cost less than $10 dollars and promise hours of enjoyment for all ages. Jacksonville’s 22 miles of white-sandy beaches and low-cost family activities and lodging options make this “River City by the Sea” an ideal vacation destination for families. Experience Jacksonville without breaking the bank by partaking in these inexpensive and rewarding activities.
Take in a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and Jacksonville’s expansive shoreline from the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, which juts out nearly a quarter-mile into the ocean.
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.
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.
Each season offers exciting opportunities to catch a game in Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, play at 121 Financial Ballpark, with tickets starting at $5.
2019 National Arena League champion Jacksonville Sharks play at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, with tickets starting at $10.
The Jacksonville Axemen, members of the USA Rugby League, play at Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida, with tickets starting at $10.
The Jacksonville Icemen, ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, play at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, with tickets starting at $10.
Six-time American Basketball Association champions the Jacksonville Giants play at various locations around the city. Visit their website for ticket details.
With the largest urban park system in the nation, Jacksonville offers outdoor experiences for every level of adventure. Here are just a few of the many options:
Most parks offer free admission. Some entrance fees required, but are less than $5.
Arts and culture are also quite accessible in Jacksonville. All the following museums offer daily adult admission for $10 or less and have special free admission days.
Take in historical documents at one of only seven national Karpeles Manuscipt Library Museum located in historic Springfield
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.
Some other fantastic Jacksonville museums include the following:
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.
Or continue along the Riverwalk on the Northbank to the Riverside Arts Market, Florida's 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 intact plantation house. A living history exhibit includes the following:
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 and 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.
Browse 50 plus vendor booths with fresh produce, seafood and other local goods at The Jacksonville Farmer’s Market, the oldest farmer's 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.
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!
Take a self-guided tour at the Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens, one of the most visited museums in the southeast, for $5.