Friday, June 17, 2011

Find Child-Friendly Fun in the True South This Summer

Now that summer is here, it’s a perfect time to explore new and fun things to do for memorable family fun right here in Mississippi.

There’s no better place than Mississippi for children to broaden their imaginations and enjoy the magic of summer in the True South. From outdoor activities to indoor learning experiences, there is so much to experience across the state, and June is the perfect time for families to visit Mississippi. Right here in Holly Springs there are so many things to keep your family busy this summer.

At Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, families can enjoy hiking any of their beautiful trails or attend art and nature camps throughout the summer; Enjoy some bonding time on the back nine at Kirkwood Golf Course; Have your own Frisbee golf tournament at Wall Doxey State Park; Layout on the sand or maybe do a little fishing out at Chewalla Lake; Or experience the thrill of racing at the Holly Springs Motor Sports Park.

If you plan to venture out for a day or overnight trip, check out some of the many things to do in Mississippi:

Jackson- The new Mississippi Children’s Museum is quickly becoming one of the 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.

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.

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.

Meridian- 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.

Gulfport- 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.
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.

Biloxi- 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.

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.

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.

Greenwood- The Viking Cooking School in Greenwood (also with a location Ridgeland, near Jackson) 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.

For more information on the fun things to do this summer, contact the Holly Springs Tourism and Recreation Bureau by calling 662-252-2515, dropping by our office at 148 East College Avenue or by visiting us online at For information on activities throughout the state, please visit

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