Places to Go Out And About (Safely) in and around Jacksonville this Fall
Your family could really use a fun outing, but you're committed to social distancing. You've already walked your neighborhood, and many of your usual destinations are too crowded for comfort. Luckily, there are new and interesting places to explore while staying a safe distance from others. If you can, switch your schedule and do your outings on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds. KidsOutAndAbout offers a few suggestions you may not have considered, and all of them nearby.
Pick Your Own
Fall is harvest time, and everything is better fresh-picked. Skip the grocery store and make an adventure out of picking your own! It's a great way to support local businesses while having fun outside! Then head back into the kitchen for the second half of your new family tradition: Cooking and baking together. Your kids will remember fall with all five senses!
If you've never gotten lost in a corn maze, you're missing out! It's a brainy puzzle to solve, a chance to get active outside, and a wonderful family-bonding activity. Social distancing is easy in a corn maze, and the experience is never the same twice! Along with our big list of local corn mazes, we've even got tips to help you navigate: Bet you never knew the one big secret of finding your way out of a maze!
A garden or arboretum is a special change of pace from your usual walk in nature. You'll find careful design, information about plants and how they grow, and a bit more "formal" atmosphere, but there's usually still plenty of space to explore. Visit again and again to notice the change of seasons, bring along a blanket and a book, or pack a picnic if it's allowed.
Thinking of taking your kids on a hike nearby? It's great exercise, it lets you connect with nature and each other, and best of all, it's free. Put away the phones (except for cool activities like geocaching, looking up new plants, or making a photo collage or map) and head out to the trail! Click the link below for nearby options, and also check out our article of tips and tricks for making the most of the experience and avoiding whining.
Zoos and Nature CentersFauna and flora in our corner of the world
While you're staying away from crowds of people, now's a great time for some animal encounters and the peace we find in the natural world. Your local zoos and nature centers offer just what we all need right now: space. Many have created brand-new programs designed to accommodate safety procedures while still giving visitors the opportunity to interact with meaningful parts of our world with room to breathe.
These days, farms are so much more than a place to buy produce! Outdoor activities, fun farm animals, and tasty treats make your local farms (and farmers markets) wonderful family-friendly destinations as well as places where your kids can be physically active and get up-close and hands-on with local agri-tourism experiences. Have a blast and feel good about supporting your local farmers!