Fun Things to Do in Mississippi

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Mississippi has numerous attractions and fun things to do to help you keep your kids busy.

Free Fun

If your children would enjoy looking at beautiful flowers, head to the USM campus in Hattiesburg to walk through the All-American Rose Garden. The best time to see the blooms is from late spring until mid-summer. The Armed forces Museum at Camp Shelby (http://www.armedforcesmuseum.us/Pages/) is also free, and it houses memorabilia from everything from the Civil War through the Persian Gulf Wars and from all branches of the military. The beaches along the Gulf Coast also provide free entertainment.

Educational Fun

If your kids are the right age for children’s museums, be sure to visit the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center (www.lmdc.org) in Gulfport, which was voted one of America’s top 50 children’s museums. The Mississippi Children’s Museum (www.mississippichildrensmuseum.com) in Jackson is another popular option. Both of these get your kids engaged in learning through play and are appropriate for toddlers through elementary age children. If you have a dinosaur lover in your home, plan a trip to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (www.museum.mdwfp.com), which displays fossils found in the state as well as dioramas depicting the natural life in Mississippi.

Environmental Fun

Mississippi’s swamps and rivers create numerous ecosystems in one state. Nature centers in many communities help children learn about the worlds surrounding them. for instance, the Clinton Community Nature Center (www.clintonnaturecenter.org) in Clinton is a free nature center sitting on 33 wooded acres providing hands-on education about the natural world. It also has groomed trails that encourage kids to explore on their own. For zoos, Mississippi has the Jackson Zoological Park (www.jacksonzoo.org), an accredited zoo featuring animals from around the world.

Seasonal Fun

The mild climate of Mississippi means festivals and events occur year-round. Check with your local community’s website to learn about fairs and festivals near you. In the fall, plan to spend some time at a pumpkin patch, like the Circle Y Equestrian Center in Corinth (662-665-0820), which has a pumpkin patch setup in September and October with pony and hayrides as well as an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies. For Christmas time, the City of Jackson Christmas Parade is not to be missed.

Just for Mom Fun

For the ultimate in pampering for mom, head to Aqua, the Day Spa (www.aquathedayspa.com), located in Jackson along I-55. It is worth the drive even if you have to spend the night to get a massage at this luxury spa. If shopping is more your idea of fun, consider the Premium Outlets at Gulfport (http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet), which will help you save a little money as you shop.

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