Note: For the sake of simplicity — and because, hello, you’ve got kids in the car! — Mamamelia.com will count anything outside of Camden and Nassau counties as a day trip.
What: Waterpark, go karts, laser tag, golf, arcade and more.
Where: 1944 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, (also location at 4825 Blanding Blvd., Jacksonville, that does not have a waterpark)
Call: 904-246-4386 (Jax Beach) or 904-771-2803 (Jax)
Alhambra Theatre and Dining
What: One of the nation’s last remaining dinner theaters — and the oldest — Alhambra features Broadway shows. Children must be 5 years or older.
Where: 12000 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville
Baja Buggyz Dune Buggy Adventure Park
What: A dirt track for kids and adults to drive dune buggies. Speed is monitored to ensure safety.
Where: 10622 103rd St., Jacksonville
Call: 904-318-7398 (Be sure to call to find out when “open riding times” are)
Black Raven Adventures Pirate Ship
What: Black Raven calls its ship a floating performance stage for pirate shows. Kid-friendly, featuring games, songs, face painting, magic, and storytelling along with the ride.
Where: 111 Avenida Menedez St., St. Augustine
What: An indoor skateboarding park and shop. Offers one-on-one lessons. Helmet and board rentals available. Waivers required.
Where: 11350 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville
Castillo de San Marcos
What: This large fort over 300 years old is brought to life by costumed interpreters. Occasionally feature cannon firing events.
Where: 1 South Castillo Drive, St. Augustine
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc. Read Review
What: Sanctuary for endangered or threatened cat species. Animals taken in at Catty Shack live there the rest of their lives. Open to the public on select days and nights.
Where: 1860 Starratt Road, Jacksonville, FL
Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum
What: Step back in time in the middle of St. Augustine’s St. George Street as costumed interpreters recreate the historic Spanish Colonial community that once made up St. Augustine.
Where: 53 St. George St, St. Augustine
Chuck E. Cheese’s
What: Rides, arcade games, play areas and food.
Where: 9820 Atlantic Blvd. and 6065 Youngerman Circle, both in Jacksonville
Call: 904-724-8988 or 904-778-0537
Cummer Museum of Art
What: Art museum in downtown Jacksonville with thousands of years’ worth of art pieces and formal gardens outside. Also a hands-on classroom feature.
Where: 829 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville
Hands On Children’s Museum Read Review
What: Numerous exhibits to let kids ages 1 to 12 play grown-up, including a store, a post office, a fire truck and others. Also a ball pit, climbing tubes, train and play areas.
Where: 8580 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville
Jacksonville Fire Museum
What: Historic 1902 firehouse displaying firefighting memorabilia including a working 1926 fire engine. Free to visit, but you must call ahead to schedule a tour.
Where: 1406 Gator Bowl Blvd. Jacksonville
Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex
What: North Florida’s only indoor ice facility, with an NHL-sized ice rink. Also has indoor turf, basketball and volleyball courts, and multipurpose courts.
Where: 3605 Philips Highway, Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Read Review Here
What: The only walking safari in NE Florida has 1,800 animals and 1,000 varieties of plants. Has a playground, splash park, maze, and a train that winds through the exhibits. Lots of special programs for kids.
Where: 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville
Kingsley Plantation Read Review Here
What: Historic site from the early 1800s with the remains of about two dozen slave cabins and a plantation owner’s home.
Where: 13165 Mount Pleasant Rd., Jacksonville
What: Watch dolphins swim, play and interact with their trainers while learning all about them. Also interactive options including swimming with or feeding the dolphins.
Where: 9600 Oceanshore Blvd., St. Augustine (quite far south – almost to Daytona)
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
What: Art museum that includes the ArtExplorium, 16 interactive stations geared to help kids connect basic visual art principles with the MOCA collection. Free admission to families 12-4 p.m. Sundays.
Where: 333 North Laura St., Jacksonville
MOSH (The Museum of Science and History) Read Review
What: Museum focused on bringing science and history to life in a kid-friendly way: live animals, planetarium, skeletons, aquariums, artifacts and more.
Where: 1025 Museum Circle, Jacksonville
Ollie Koala’s Backyard
What: Food, entertainment, arcade-style games, small rides, and jungle gym for children ages 2-12.
Where: 11700 San Jose Blvd., Suite 9A, Jacksonville
Website: http://www.olliekoalas.com (Check site for coupons and deals)
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
What: The very first Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, housed in an old mansion, has hundreds of bizarre artifacts like shrunken human heads and the world’s largest operational erector set Ferris Wheel.
Where: 19 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine
Sally Corporation Animatronics Factory Tours
What: “Robot” factory specializing in dark rides and animatronics offers free tours Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kids must be 7 or older.
Where: 745 West Forsyth St., Jacksonville
St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park Read Review Here
What: A zoo featuring alligators and crocodiles (including 1250-lb. Maximo) as well as other species. A new feature allows visitors to ages 10 and up to take on an obstacle course featuring ziplines above the park.
Where: 999 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine
Talbot Island State Parks
What: Just south of Nassau County, Big Talbot Island State Park and Little Talbot Island State Park offer miles of undeveloped beaches, hiking trails, picnic and fishing facilities and tours. There is an admission fee.
Where: 12157 Hecksher Dr. (also part of A1A), Jacksonville
Websites: www.floridastateparks.org/bigtalbotisland and http://www.floridastateparks.org/littletalbotisland