If you have been following the #70DayRoadTrip hashtag, then you know that LeFleur’s Bluff right on the edge of Jackson, Mississippi was our first stop. We had a great time there fishing and running around, but when I learned that there were great museums for kids within 5 minutes of the campground, I knew we had to check them out. See what we thought of these fun-filled museums below.
Mississippi Children’s Museum
The Mississippi Children’s Museum is an endless array of fun for all ages. My boys range from 8-13 and they all had a great time. In fact, I had to drag them out the door over three hours later because we had something else we needed to do. Sometimes children’s museums can come across as only for little little children, but that is definitely not the case here. Also, the establishment is extremely clean, with hand sanitizer displayed throughout.
The Children’s Museum is divided into five main exhibits or areas where children are free to explore to their heart’s content. When you enter the museum, you are actually on the second floor, and the first exhibit you will come to is the World at Work exhibit.
World at Work
This exhibit features many different hands on activities to explore various jobs and manual labor type work that others do on a daily basis. From car repair, to farming, and even building with a crane, kids can do it all, complete with safety vests and hard hats. This is an extremely fun area for boys, although girls can have a ton of fun building the house of their dreams too!
Exploring the Mississippi
As you come down to the first floor, this is the first exhibit you will see on your right hand side. It comes complete with a play area, small replicas that recreate much of the state’s history from the capital building to a Choctaw hut. Kids really have the opportunity to soak up the history of the are here.
On your left has you come down to the first floor is the healthy fun area. This features a digestive maze with lots of noises that kids find especially fun, the chance to shop for and scan different fruits and vegetables to see how they help your body, as well as exhibits intended to get you moving. I am not ashamed to say that all of my boys spent the majority of their time at the museum in the kitchen area found here.
Wild About Reading
The Wild About Reading exhibit area, is a great place to unwind and take a break, although they do have an action verb gym for those who want to be more active. The life sized scrabble board, and puppet show area are a big hit here, as is the Reading Between the Lions reading room.
My boys really enjoyed the musical room in the Express Yourself exhibit area. There is a huge jukebox there where kids can choose from a large selection of songs, and a mirror lined room so they can see themselves perform. In addition, there is a stage complete with costumes for kids to dress up in for their big debut. A sound proof room full of instruments allow kids to explore their creative side while saving parent’s eardrums too.
The Mississippi Children’s Museum is open from 9am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, 1pm-6pm on Sundays, and is closed on Mondays. The admission price is $8 per person, with children 1 and under admitted for free.
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
This museum is not as large as the Children’s Museum, but is most definitely worth a visit. It is located literally right next door to the Children’s Museum in LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, and contains exhibits that feature the biological diversity of the state of Mississippi.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is a 73,000 square foot complex full of exhibits and research facilities. It also features a 300 acre landscape with 2.5 miles of nature trails and an open air amphitheater.
The first exhibit you will run into when you enter the museum contains skeletons and remnants of long extinct species whose bones have been found in the area, including the American Lion and Giant Beaver.
Walking further into the museum will give you a glimpse into the species that can be found in the lakes and rivers throughout the state. Perhaps the biggest draw here is the 100,000 gallon aquarium that has over 200 species in it. We came right at feeding time and were able to watch the diver go in and feed all the fish.
Also in this area are hundreds of stuffed species of birds and other mammals that are native to the area. The collection is quite impressive. The boys favorite thing in the entire museum was found here, and was the very much alive two-headed snake. This snake was found by some hikers and donated to the museum when it was just 9 inched long.
Another area of the museum deals with how to treat nature and the environment, and what can be done to help protect it. I also use exhibits like this as a teaching tool for the boys, and love to see them included in museums.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children 3-18, and children 3 and under are free.
If you are planning to camp at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, or are just visiting the area, be sure to stop by and visit these two museums for kids in Jackson, Mississippi. You will be sure to be in for hours of creative and educational fun!