in Jacksonville, FL

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Did you know that there are approximately 850 million visits to museums every year in America? They contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy each year. If you think about how marvelous museums are, these numbers make sense. Museums can transport you to old worlds, future worlds, worlds you never thought you could be a part of.

If you’re looking to add some of those unknown worlds to your day, check out our list of museums in the area. They are all within driving distance and offer a variety of topics that will enchant every member of the family.
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

(904) 356-6857

829 Riverside Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32204   Directions


Enjoy the preserved beauty of a stately home that has now been transformed into the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. The original collection of the former residents has expanded from 60 pieces to more than 5,500 European and American works of art dating from 2100 BC to the present.

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opened in 1961 on the grounds of the former residence of Arthur and Ninah Cummer. The museum started with a small collection of just sixty pieces. Almost 50 years after opening, the museum now houses over 5,500 European and American works of art dating from 2100 BC to the 21st century.

The museum and gardens are visited by more than 95,000 guests annually and is registered as a National Historic Place. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is home to Art Connections, a nationally known learning center that educates 50,000 students each year and offers hands-on art experiences for museum visitors.

Hands On Children's Museum
Hands On Children's Museum

(904) 642-2688

8580 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32216   Directions


Touching the displays is a requirement at the Hands On Children's Museum, which resembles a castle on the outside, and a scientific-discovery fun house on the inside! More than 15 major exhibits and attractions like "Little Vets," "Kids Mini Bank," and "Winn Dixie Lil' Grocery" will keep the kids enthralled for hours.

The Hands On Children's Museum opened its doors in 2000 and has quickly become a popular attraction for families. The museum offers 15 major exhibits and has welcomed over 275,000 people into its castle walls. Yes, the museum's building is in the shape of a castle!

The 6,500-square-foot museum is home to interactive exhibits like "Little Vets," "Kids Mini Bank," and "Winn Dixie Lil' Grocery." "Little Vets" allows kids to dress up like a veterinarian and nurse animals back to health. Play with stethoscopes and microscopes at this exhibit and don't forget to take a peek at the baby animals in the incubator!

Act as a bank teller, open a bank account and learn how money is made at the "Kids Mini Bank."

At the "Winn Dixie Lil' Grocery," children can act as a cashier or a customer. Shop around for groceries and pay at the life-like checkout. The exhibit boasts a "real" cash register and conveyor belt.

Other exhibits include "You're the Star Stage," "S.S. Spinghetti," "Puppet Stage" and "50's Cafe."

Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

(904) 356-2992

101 W 1st St
Jacksonville, FL 32206   Directions


Did you know one philanthropist has amassed thousands of historical manuscripts, and has them on display throughout nine museums in the U.S.? Seeing is believing at the Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, where you'll find the original draft of the "Bill of Rights," the original manuscripts of "The Wedding March" and Einstein's "Theory of Relativity," among many others.

The Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is located in the Springfield area of downtown. The building, formerly the First Church of Christ, was built in 1921 in neoclassical design. The museum preserves original manuscripts and documents from fields of literature, science, religion, history and art.

The Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is one of nine Karpeles museums in the United States. This particular branch of the museum boasts an antique book library with some books dating from the 1800s.

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum family has some of the greatest historical documents in its possession: the original draft of the "Bill of Rights," the original manuscript of "The Wedding March," Einstein's "Theory of Relativity," Roget's "Thesaurus," and Webster's "Dictionary."

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

(904) 268-0784

11964 Mandarin Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32223   Directions


The St. Johns River basin defines the Jacksonville area, and is teaming with history and culture. Learn more about its beginnings at the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society. The museum and historical park includes a typical Mandarin homestead, including a restored farmhouse, barn and sawmill.

The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is all about the preservation of the cultural heritage of the lower St. Johns River basin. Its collection includes documents, objects and oral histories that relate to the history of Mandarin within Florida.

While visiting the museum, make sure you stroll through the Mandarin Store and Post Office. Once the central part of Mandarin since 1911 is now part of its history.

The Walter Jones Historical Park offers a representation of the typical Mandarin homestead during the 1800s. The farmhouse, barn and sawmill have all been restored.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Garden features crops the Mandarin community grew so long ago. Harriet Beecher Stowe described these crops in her book, "Palmetto Leaves."

Museum Of Science And History Jacksonville
Museum Of Science And History Jacksonville

(904) 396-6674

1025 Museum Cir
Jacksonville, FL 32207   Directions


Get ready to MOSH at the Museum Of Science And History Jacksonville. The super-charged, hands-on museum includes exhibits and attractions like "The Body Within," where visitors enter an over-sized model of the human body and explore what's inside. More fun around every corner is guaranteed at MOSH.

Located on the Southbank Riverwalk, The Museum of Science and History is the most visited museum in Jacksonville. The MOSH is home to exhibits and hands-on activities with primary focus on educating and entertaining children.

At the MOSH, visitors can take a walk through "The Body Within." Guests step into a huge replica of the human mouth, stroll through the digestive tract and well, the exit is all too obvious. Explore "Water Worlds" in the museum's permanent aquarium exhibit. Take a journey through Jacksonville's history and learn how the city came to be at the "Currents of Time" exhibit. These are but a few of the museum's permanent exhibits.

The MOSH is also home to the Alexander Brest Planetarium. The planetarium has a 60-foot-diameter dome projection screen and a projector capable of producing 8,900 stars. An estimated 60,000 people see the show every year.

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

(904) 366-6911

333 N Laura St
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions


One of the most amazing collections of contemporary art is housed in the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. The six-story, 60,000-square-foot attraction is located in downtown Jacksonville and is the cornerstone of the area's revitalization project.

Expand your knowledge of contemporary art by visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. One of the Southeast's largest contemporary art institutions, the museum houses over 800 art pieces dating from the 1960's to present day works. The first of its kind in the Jacksonville area, the Museum of Contemporary Art has been devoted to the visual arts since opening in 1924.

The MOCA is a cultural resource of the University of North Florida. The six-story, 60,000 square foot museum is located in Hemming Plaza in downtown Jacksonville. Serving as a cornerstone of Jacksonville's multi-billion dollar downtown revitalization plan, the museum's exhibitions, educational programs, tours, lectures, films and publications bring new members and visitors in everyday.

Learn about the art of our time through the innovative exhibitions featuring pieces from international, national and regional artists like Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, James Rosenquist, Ed Paschke and other masters of the contemporary arts. MOCA Jacksonville's changing exhibitions feature artwork in all forms: painting, sculpture and video, just to name a few. While visiting, don't forget to hang out with the kids in the ArtExplorum Loft and enjoy a meal at Cafe Nola.

Ritz Theatre
Ritz Theatre

(904) 807-2010

9825 Gate Pkwy N
Jacksonville, FL 32246   Directions


The African American experience in film, art, music and more takes center stage at the Ritz Theatre, a premier cultural institution in downtown Jacksonville. Popular events include the Black History Film Series, the Ritz Youth Oratorical Competition, and Amateur Night at the Ritz.

Ritz Theatre & Lavilla Museum sprung from the ashes of the former Ritz Theater movie house, which was located in Jacksonville's historic African American community of La Villa.

Both of the structures are important in Jacksonville's history of arts and the African-American population. The Ritz Theatre is considered to be the premiere cultural institution in Jacksonville showcasing art, music, drama, poetry and African American history.

Performances include individual artists and touring productions. Events like the Black History Film Series, the Ritz Youth Oratorical Competition, and Amateur Night at the Ritz are all popular productions that draw residents and visitors alike.

The Ritz Museum features a permanent exhibit that honors local African American leaders throughout the development of Jacksonville and the contributions of African-Americans in Northeast Florida. Visiting exhibits have included the enormously popular "For Women and Men of Color: The Art of Relationships," Jacksonville's longest running annual exhibit featuring new works by African American artists.

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