Kid-Friendly fun in the ‘True South’

June 4, 2013 in Education, Entertainment, News, Statewide News, Top Stories

Special To The Mississippi Link

JACKSON – Mississippi is the perfect place to let your children explore and discover all the fun of the True South this spring and summer. It’s also the right location for a memorable and affordable family getaway.

Mississippi has a variety of educational and fun-filled activities and events for children this summer. Log onto VisitMississippi.org for more information.

“With beautiful weather from the hills to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi offers a diverse and fun-filled array of activities for children this spring and summer,” said Malcolm White, director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division. “Being centrally located between Memphis and New Orleans, Birmingham and Baton Rouge, and Atlanta and Dallas makes Mississippi a great choice for an affordable family vacation within easy driving distance of many major cities. Our kid-friendly attractions and events – like interactive museums and food festivals – are easy to access from most parts of the country.”

From outdoor activities to indoor learning experiences, there is so much to see and do across the state. June is the perfect time for families to visit Mississippi.”

Following is a sampling of some of the exciting attractions that you and your children can experience in Mississippi this month and all summer long:

Jackson

The Mississippi Children’s Museum is one of the state’s most popular and interesting destinations for children. With plenty of interactive exhibits and room for children to be children, the museum includes five themes of Mississippi heritage, health and nutrition, literacy, cultural arts, and science and technology. Open every day except for Monday, you can find out full details about this new, unique attraction for children at http://www.mississippichildrensmuseum.com/.

At the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum/National Agricultural Aviation Museum, children will finds authentic, hands-on activities and exhibits to explore. Known as the “Ag Museum” to locals, you can visit any day of the week except Sunday. For more information about how your children can learn more about the agricultural history of rural areas of Mississippi, please visit the Ag Museum’s website at http://www.mdac.state.ms.us/departments/museum/index.html.

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is the perfect place for young explorers who love anything with fins, gills, fur, claws or any creepy crawly creature around. Indoor displays, including all kinds of native Mississippi fish, plus several walking trails and an open-air amphitheater provide a wonderful atmosphere for frequent special events that are held throughout the year. Learn more about how you can provide your children with insight into the great outdoors in Mississippi by going to http://www.msnaturalscience.org/.

For almost 100 years, the Jackson Zoo has been a can’t-miss attraction for locals and visitors alike. With a wide variety of wild animals, reptiles and amphibians, the zoo also features train rides and a carousel. Open every day of the week, you can find out all of the latest information about the Jackson Zoo by visiting their website at http://www.jacksonzoo.org/.

Meridian

The Dentzel Carousel in Meridian. (meridianms.org photo)

The Dentzel Carousel in Meridian is one of the most unique places—not only in the state—but in the entire country. Originally manufactured in 1896 by Gustav Dentzel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this historic carousel features hand-carved animals made of poplar or basswood. The Dentzel Factory only produced two or three carousels each year of production, and the house for the one in Meridian is the only remaining original carousel building built from a Dentzel blueprint. Located since 1909 in its same location Highland Park in Meridian, meticulous carving and painting make this a treasured spot. The carousel is open daily in June and July from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. More details are available at http://www.visitmeridian.com/.

Gulf Coast

Take a ferry eleven miles out to one of the barrier islands off the Mississippi Gulf Coast called Ship Island, and spend some quality family time on an undeveloped and unspoiled beach. While you’re on Ship Island, you can visit Fort Massachusetts that was constructed n 1868. Ferries depart from Gulfport and you can view the entire schedule of when they come and go at http://www.msshipisland.com/.

Infinity® @ NASA Stennis Space Center opened last spring offering “out-of-this-world” fun for the whole family. The $42 million, 72,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is more than a visitor attraction; it is also the region’s first interactive science center. Plan a visit at http://www.visitinfinity.com/.

At the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport features interactive and entertaining exhibitions and programs for children. This is an active place with plenty of opportunities for hands-on experiences so your children will learn by doing, not just watching. You’re your trip there by going to the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center website at http://www.lmdc.org/.

Once you’ve enjoyed the beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, be sure to take the Biloxi Shrimping Trip. It’s a neat way to quickly understand more about the unique habitat of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Hop aboard this 70-minute boat tour that will include taking samples of live shrimp and marine life during your tour so you will see up close what swims the waters just off the Mississippi coastline. See more details about how your children can dive into the details of marine life by going on the Shrimping Trip at www.biloxishrimpingtrip.com.

Laurel

Landrum’s Homestead and Village is a re-creation of an 1800s settlement that includes 60 buildings and displays located on a peaceful, scenic setting. The General Store and Homestead Shoppe includes gifts and souvenirs from days gone by. Landrum’s is a great place for your children to take a break from video games and get a glimpse of how life was in the 1800s which puts a whole new perspective on life. Landrum’s website includes more facts and history of the place, and you visit it at http://www.landrumscountry.com.

Tupelo

The Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo is one of those unexpected places you’ll find in this historic town that is also the birthplace of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. The open-air trolley or the Monster Bison Bus rides you through the park to see everything firsthand. Exotic animals and even a petting zoo are just some of the fun things your children will enjoy while you are here. Discover more information at  http://www.tupelobuffalopark.com/index.html.

Greenwood

The Viking Cooking School in Greenwood is home to one of the most renowned culinary sites in the world—the home of Viking Range Corporation. The Viking Cooking School offers classes practically on a daily basis, and provides a great opportunity for you to share a cooking and learning experience with your children. There is a wide variety of classes and topics featured by the Viking Cooking School and you can find out all of the details of the Greenwood location at http://www.vikingcookingschool.com/.

Start planning your trip to Mississippi in June so your children or grandchildren can explore and learn more about the True South. In addition to the places listed above, the best place to begin is at http://www.VisitMississippi.org, the official tourism website of Mississippi, which provides travel planning and location-specific information about attractions and events.