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Cool off in one of Jacksonville’s cool museums

Family-friend activities at the Cummer Museum
Family-friend activities at the Cummer Museum
Photo courtesy of Cummer Museum

Need a break from the sand and surf? Escape the brutal Florida heat by stepping into one of Jacksonville’s fun-filled museums, which offer plenty of fun for both adults and children. From historic artifacts to funky contemporary art to hands-on science experiments, Jacksonville’s museums are very family friendly.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The Cummer features a collection of nearly 5,000 works of art and offers nationally recognized education programs. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by Peter Paul Rubens, Winslow Homer, Thomas Moran, Norman Rockwell and Romare Bearden, and features one of the world’s most stunning porcelain collections.

The museum is also known for some pretty amazing temporary installations so if you’re timing is right, you’ll be lucky enough to catch one. The Cummer frequently hosts arts activities for children, including drop-in programs, which are listed on the website.

After you’ve taken in all of the artifacts, take a leisurely stroll through the museum’s historic gardens located along the St. Johns River. The gardens are peaceful and tranquil where children can play among a canopy of mature live oak trees, while adults enjoy the beauty of the garden’s reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures.

829 Riverside Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32204
Phone: 904-356-6857
Admission: Adults: $10; students: $6; children under 5: free. Some Saturdays offer free admission so check the website.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
This museum features works of art from 1960 to the present with over 1,000 works of art including painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography. Artists represented in the collection include Hans Hofmann, Alexander Calder, Alex Katz, Robert Longo, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Paul Jenkins, Jules Olitski, Philip Pearlstein, Jim Dine, James Rosenquist, and Joan Mitchell.

The ArtExplorium Loft features 16 fun and interactive stations where kids can play and work off some energy. Be sure to enjoy a delightful lunch in one of Downtown Jacksonville’s most popular restaurants, Café Nola.

333 North Laura Street
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
Phone: 904-366-6911
Admission: Adults: $8; students: $5; children 2-12: $5. Some evenings offer free admission so be sure to check the website.

Museum of Science & History (MOSH)
MOSH is the perfect educational playground for kids of all ages. The museum features entertaining yet educational exhibits including The Body Within; Atlantic Tails, an exploration of whales, dolphins and manatees; a naturalist’s center with live owls, snakes, turtles, tortoises, and alligators; a historical perspective of Jacksonville; and an interactive area to learn about energy. The museum also includes one of the region’s best planetariums with evening shows and special events.

1025 Museum Circle
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: 904-396-MOSH
Admission: Adults: $10; students: $8, children ages 3-12: $6.

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