There’s no shortage of free activities for kids in Jacksonville this summer. Whether you want to get outside and meet other moms at one of the JMB Park Hops, or if you’d rather keep cool in the bowling alley with some free games kids of all ages will love these activities.
JMB Summer Park Hops – Join Jacksonville Moms Blog for their 4th annual summer park hop series. Beginning June 13th, we will explore a new park around Jax every week! Cost: Free
Bowl for Free – Sign up for free bowling and your kids can enjoy 2 free games of bowling per day at specific bowling alleys. You must register ahead of time to get the free games. Cost: Bowling is free, but you have to pay for the shoe rental.
Disney Store Summer Play Days – Starting June 10th and running through August 9th, participating Disney Stores are hosting a Disney Store Summer Play Days Event every day at 3PM! Bring kids age 3 and up to participate and score a cool collectible patch.
Host a Lemonade Stand – Join Alex’s Lemonade Days June 3-11 and the fight against childhood cancer by hosting a lemonade stand or event in your neighborhood. Cost: Varies, you supply the materials and lemonade.
Riverside Arts Market – RAM is open every Saturday from 10am-3pm. There is live music, tasty local treats, and activities for the kids. Cost: Free
JAXPORT Tours – JAXPORT offers scheduled guided tours to school-age students first grade and above, as well as business groups, civic associations, social clubs and individuals. Port tours are free, open to the public, and available by appointment only. Cost: Free
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens – Explore the nature of Jacksonville and take a stroll through the trails of the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. The Arboretum boasts a 120 acres of natural preserve, trails, and a pavilion. Cost: Free
Art Walks – The Jacksonville Area is home to 3 different Art Walks. The Jax Beach Art Walk takes place on the second Tuesday of each month from 5-9pm. The Downtown Art Walk is the first Wednesday of every month from 5-9pm. The North Beaches Art Walk is the third Thursday of every month from 5-9pm. Cost: Free
Check Out the Pier – Both the Jacksonville Beach Pier, as well as the St. Augustine Pier offer spectator passes for just $1 per person. You can hang out and watch the fisherman reel in their catches. Cost: $1 per person for spectating, kids under 6 are free at both locations.
Jaxons Night Market – Jaxsons Night Market occurs the third Thursday of every month in the heart of downtown. There is food, music, arts and lots of fun for the whole family. Cost: Free
Skyway Express – You can take a free ride around Downtown Jacksonville on the Skyway Express. The Skyway runs Monday-Friday from 6am-9pm and on the weekends only during special events. Cost: Free
Chamblin Bookmine – Chamblin’s has been selling new, used and rare books in Jacksonville since 1976. They have the largest warehouse of books I’ve ever seen and an impressive collection of books for the whole family, including kids. The best part about Chamblin’s is that they will give you store credit for your used books. Recently we cleaned out some of our picture books and took them to their location on the west side where I was able to trade them in and get some chapter books for my son. Cost: Depends on what you have to trade and what you’re looking to buy. I received $25 worth of credit and picked out $30 worth of chapter books for my son.
Jacksonville Downtown Library – For most of us who live in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas the Main Library, located in the heart of downtown, is a great opportunity to check out the biggest library in North East Florida. If you haven’t visited the main library then you are really missing out. The children’s section has playful and fun furniture. There is also a courtyard with a fountain that is perfect for a picnic lunch. Cost: Free
Hit the Mall Playground – When it’s just too hot to play outside consider heading to one of our local mall play areas to let the kids burn off some energy. The Avenues Mall and Orange Park Mall both have indoor, play areas where the kids can enjoy some free time. The St. John’s Town Center also has a play area (directly in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods) but it is outdoors and not air-conditioned. Cost: Free
Orange Park Kids’ Fest – The Town of Orange Park hosts their award-winning Kids Fest and promises it will be filled with creative and interactive activities, storytelling, hands-on workshops and educational displays, cultural experiences, arts and crafts, costumed characters, and more. June 9th & 10th. Cost: Admission is free, here will be a mixture of free and minimal charge activities available at the event.
Go Get Some Zoo Poo & Plant a Garden – One of my kids’ favorite summertime activities is planting a garden. Seed packets can be picked up at various stores for just few dollars and you can get free composted zoo poo from the Jacksonville Zoo. Cost: Just a few dollars for seeds.
Sally Corporation – For 30 years, Sally Corporation has hosted thousands of visitors for a free tour of their robot factory. Tours are offered on Tuesday and Thursday, hourly from 9am-1pm. Minimum age is 7. No tours during June-August so call and schedule one for the end of May, as soon as the kids are out of school. Cost: Free
Sweet Pete’s Candy – If you haven’t visited the new Sweet Pete’s downtown location then you don’t know what you’re missing. Sure there are plenty of treats available for purchase, but you can also visit the 2nd floor and watch the candy being made at no charge. If you want to splurge and purchase a treat for the kids I recommend the cotton candy. For each customer they’ll start up the machine and actually spin it right in front of your eyes. Cost: Factory visit is free, cotton candy is $3
Budweiser Tour – This self-guided tour offers visitors of all ages an in-depth look at the story of Anheuser-Busch and guests will witness all it takes to craft a King at the Jacksonville Brewery. Guests who are 21 and older will receive a complimentary sample. Cost: Free
San Sebastian Winery – Complimentary Winery Tours and Tasting are offered every day at the San Sebastian Winery. Discover the art of winemaking and guests 21 and older will enjoy a complimentary wine tasting. Cost: Free
SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Preschool Pass – If you’re planning a trip to Sea World Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa this is a great deal for Florida Residents, all kids 5 and under can get in free with a Pre-School Pass. Cost: Preschoolers are free, but everyone else is regular price.
St. Augustine Distillery – Take a free tour of the distillery and watch as they mix, mash, cook and distill small batch vodka, rum, gin and whiskey in a historically renovated ice manufacturing plant from 1917. Tours are every 30 minute. Cost: Free