by: admin in Weekly Update No Comments  

The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.

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THINGS TO DOwntown

Arts + Culture
Happy Easter!

by: admin in Sponsorships, Spotlight No Comments  

The following is a Downtown Vision, Inc. guest blog post as part of our sponsor series. To learn how you can become a DVI sponsor and tell your Downtown story, visit our sponsorship webpage.

 

By Tori Kaplan, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSX

Whether it’s grabbing a sandwich from a food truck in Hemming Park, volunteering at Hubbard House, or running along the Riverwalk in a “How Tomorrow Moves” T-shirt, it’s more than likely you’ve seen, know or even are a CSX employee.

CSX’s roots in Jacksonville date back to the construction of the earliest 19th century railroads in Florida. In 1960, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad relocated its headquarters to Downtown Jacksonville in the same building that serves as the headquarters for CSX today – now updated as a contemporary office campus. We’re a railroad operating in the eastern half of the nation and Canada, and our rail cars carry food, apparel, metals, paper, building supplies, automobiles, and many other goods and commodities.

Today, the approximately 2,000 CSX employees who work at our Downtown campus walk from the CSX offices to view the latest performance at the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, try out great restaurants, visit the library, or venture over to Everbank Field to cheer on our Jacksonville Jaguars!

 Caption: A conference room in the newly renovated 550 Water Street building uses windows to capture natural sunlight and minimize the need for additional lighting. The facility was designed with the help of Jacksonville’s Gresham, Smith and Partners.

A conference room in the newly renovated 550 Water Street building uses windows to capture natural sunlight and minimize the need for additional lighting. The facility was designed with the help of Jacksonville’s Gresham, Smith and Partners.

Since we first moved to Jacksonville, we’ve increased our commitment to Downtown Jacksonville through purchasing the 550 Water Street building and investing in upgrades to make both the 500 and 550 buildings Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

by: admin in Itineraries No Comments  

By Matthew Winship, DVI Intern

Part four of our Downtown Itinerary series provides some fun ways to get the whole family acquainted with all Downtown’s amenities. 

Downtown Jacksonville is a happening place for kids! Check out this chronological itinerary, packed with kid-friendly activities available every day Downtown.

MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON

MOSHMouth

Credit: TheMosh.org

Museum of Science and History (MOSH) visit (1025 Museum Circle)

Parking: Museum visitors can park for free in the parking lot across from the museum entrance at the opposite end from River City Brewing Company. Admission is only $6 for children and free for toddlers age two or younger with a $10 cost for accompanying adults. An annual family membership starts at only $80.

About the museum: The popular Museum of Science and History (MOSH) on the Southbank opens 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays at noon. The museum is packed with interactive exhibits just for kids, from the anatomy of a life-size blue whale replica in “Atlantic Tails” to experiencing a talkies movie theater in the “Currents of Time”. Included with admission are amazing MOSH science shows, where fun experiments are demonstrated with audience help! For “Creature Features” kids can interact up close with snakes, birds, turtles and more in the museum’s Naturalist Center.

The Brian Gooding Planetarium screens kid’s favorites daily. Each planetarium show is an additional $5 per person and lasts about 30 minutes. The first Friday of every month also brings Cosmic Concerts. At just $5 a person per show (and just $1 for laser glasses), you can enjoy a collection of laser lights and images. What better way to spend a Friday with your kids, especially with the $5 Friday admission and extended hours (10a.m. – 10:30p.m.)

When you’ve wrapped up your visit at the museum, head out back to the beautiful Friendship Fountain, which leads to the start of the new Southbank Riverwalk. If you stick around Downtown until nighttime, the fountain will glow in multiple colors for its music and lights program everyday from dusk to 11 p.m.

 

Ride a River Taxi to the Northbank

RiverTaxi

Credit: JaxRiverTaxi.com

Just past beautiful Friendship Fountain behind MOSH is the deck for the Jacksonville River Taxi, where you and the kids will get a kick out of riding across the St. Johns River to the Northbank. One-way fares will cost adults a mere $5 and the kids just $4. Rides begin daily at 11 a.m Tuesday through Sunday; closed on Mondays.

If you and the kids are tuckered out from the museum visit, stay on the river taxi and take it for the entire loop around the riverfront area for a fun water ride around Downtown, getting back off where you parked at MOSH. If you’re up for more Downtown fun, disembark at The Jacksonville Landing.

Hopping off the river taxi at The Jacksonville Landing will put you and the kids in the Northbank core of Downtown, ready to explore the stroller and pedestrian-friendly core for lunch.

Kid-friendly lunch Downtown

DVI_dtmap_UD_Blog-01

Click to enlarge

Visit to The Jacksonville Landing (2 Independent Dr.)

Lunch at the Jacksonville Landing is easy. Choose from American GrillFionn MacCool’sChicago PizzaCinco de Mayo and even Hooters – all with kids menus and both indoor and outdoor seating.  Be sure to visit their website for a full listing of stores, dining, events and concerts.

Besides The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown is teeming with great places to grab a bite to eat. For the kids, don’t miss Burrito Gallery (21 E. Adams St.), Chamblin’s Uptown Café (215 N. Laura St.) or Candy Apple Café (400 N. Hogan St.)

Of course, after lunch comes dessert!

Downtown houses a number of places to grab something sweet. Start with Peterbrooke Chocolatier (100 W. Bay St.) , then work your way up to Mocha Misk’i (209 N. Laura St.). Then tour Sweet Pete’s (400 N. Hogan St.) and see where all the magic – erm..chocolate is made.

 

Things to do Downtown

Get educated at The Main Jacksonville Public Library (303 N. Laura St.)

Kids can get in touch with their inner scholar at the Main library, which is located right around the corner from Sweet Pete’s near Hemming Park. The library opens Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. It offers a children’s department packed with books and other activities as well as regularly programmed events. Their kids section is overflowing with awesomeness, right down to the aesthetics. There’s a lounge area that’s created to look like a pond, complete with an alligator couch. The fourth floor map room is also an amazing feature of the library, especially for those future world travelers.

View contemporary art at MOCA Jacksonville (333 N. Laura St.)

Located right next to the Jacksonville Public Library the MOCA Jacksonville is great fun for kids. In addition to multiple floors of contemporary art the fifth floor is dedicated to the Art Explorium and contains 16 different stations for kids to learn about contemporary art. The museum also houses NOLA MOCA. This contemporary restaurant serves seasonal entrees as well as hand crafted grilled cheese, flatbread and pasta. MOCA Jacksonville opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon on Sunday with an admission charge of $8 for adults, $5 for students and free for children age 2 and younger. NOLA MOCA is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, and offers limited dining hours.

Get some fresh air in Hemming Park (303 N. Laura St.)

Hemming Park

Credit: Jacksonville.com

The new and improved Hemming Park is a great place to have fun with the family while taking in the city.

Food trucks are available and the park features live music every weekday from 11a.m. to 2p.m.  The Imagination Playground Kids Station is open daily from 10a.m. to 6p.m. and offers a space for kids to explore and play.  Every Monday there is a chess meetup from 10:30a.m. to 12:30p.m. for newcomers and experts alike.

There are also other weekly and monthly activities. The first Wednesday of every month artists fill up the park for Art Walk from 5p.m. to 9p.m. Every third Thursday is Jaxson’s Night Market; featuring local farmers, local art and crafts, local beer and food trucks. Make sure to check out the events calendar to stay up to date on everything Hemming Park has to offer.

During the week take the free Skyway back to San Marco Station or hop back on the river taxi to return to the Southbank any day of the week.

REMEMBER:

  • Parking meters are free every weekday after 6 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday. Or if you prefer, check out the parking garage and lot options here.
  • The Skyway, free, operates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and during special weekend events. For more information, click here.
  • The Jacksonville River Taxi hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m; closed on Mondays. For a one-way ticket, fares are $5/adult and $4/children ages 3-12. Children younger than age 3 ride free. For more information and special events fare, click here.
  • If you need assistance Downtown, our Downtown Ambassadors are here to help. Look for them in their orange polo shirts and pith helmets or call 904-465-7980.

For more information on Downtown destinations, check out our online directory. Many Downtown destinations also hold various special events throughout the year. Be sure to check our events calendar often, or sign up for our weekly events e-newsletter.

by: Admin in Placemaking No Comments  

If you take City Parks Alliance‘s word for it, parks are power.

“These green spaces provided relief from urban intensity for residents and [bring] people together across social, economic and racial divides,” says the organization’s website. “As cities across the country are attracting millions of residents again, the center of this sweeping urban renaissance are newly revitalized parks.”

To celebrate National Take a Walk in the Park Day – always March 30 – we’re highlighting five of our favorite green spaces Downtown. What’s your favorite urban oasis? Let us know in the comment section below.

Hemming Park

Hemming Park

Hemming Park

The flowers are blooming, and urbanites are beaming in Jacksonville’s oldest park. The park’s GreenMarket kicks off this Friday, and the Friends of Hemming Park team can’t wait for you to check it out.

“Adding to the richness of Downtown Jacksonville is the most exciting piece of the market,” said Keith Marks, outreach and marketing director for Hemming Park. “It’s a unique experience Hemming will provide Downtown Jacksonville – a chance to meet friends, be surrounded by trees, and support local creators are all great reasons to get excited.”

While the GreenMarket will be a weekly mainstay – every Friday 3:30-6:30 p.m. – it only scratches the surface of the amenities and happenings the park offers daily.

“Fresh air, Wi-Fi, live music, free fitness classes, chess and checkers, Imagination Playground, socializing with friends, and being a part of a re-energized Downtown,” Marks said. “Doesn’t get any better than that!”

We recommend: Simply stay on top of park happenings! Dozens of events are hosted each month in Hemming, including DVI’s First Wednesday Art Walk this week. For the latest info, check out our events calendar and visit hemmingpark.org.

by: Admin in Events No Comments  

Easter’s on its way! And if the decorations at Sweet Pete’s are any indication (pictured below), Downtown is already hopping with Easter fun. Events begin this Sunday to celebrate the holiday and run through April 12. From special brunches and egg hunts to plays and church services, Downtown is hopping with Easter happenings the whole family will enjoy.

 


 

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Palm Sunday Procession
St. John’s Cathedral | March 29, 10 a.m.
More information

7f1324f0-7a2d-4851-9062-d28d8db949c8Annual pre-Easter procession along Downtown streets.

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by: Admin in Spotlight No Comments  
Photo credit: Carol Grant / Getty Images

Photo credit: Carol Grant/Getty Images

Downtown’s oldest residents might be half-ton mammals who love to swim and eat their veggies.

According to Dr. Quinton White, executive director of Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute, these hefty herbivores – the Florida manatee – have existed in the St. Johns River, including Downtown, for as long as the river’s existed.

To recognize Manatee Appreciation Day yesterday, we asked Dr. White to share a few tips on how you can spot a manatee Downtown and how you can help protect this endangered specie. He and his colleague, Dr. Gerry Pinto, gave us the scoop:

What time of year is best to spot manatees Downtown?

As the Downtown area was filled and developed, they have become harder to see. We do occasionally see them swimming through Downtown – you have to look sharp, or you’ll miss them.

by: admin in Itineraries No Comments  

By Matthew Winship, DVI Intern

Need a change of scenery in your routine workout? Part three of our Downtown Itinerary series shows you how Downtown offers plenty of options indoors and outdoors to burn a few calories while enjoying Downtown’s scenery.

Run or walk along the Riverwalk

Source: Jacksonville.com

Source: Jacksonville.com

There’s a built-in running track Downtown, and it’s called the Jacksonville Riverwalk. This scenic pedestrian pathway is a great place for short or long-distance running. Plus, chances are you’ll see other fitness friends along the way, especially in the busy late afternoon/early evening time-frame.

Whether you’re looking for a shorter route or testing your endurance on a longer run, Downtown provides great paths to get in that exercise. Check out our #RunDTJax blog for examples of locals’ favorite spots (complete with a map of their path), as well as our list of running routes. Running the bridges is a popular Downtown exercise routine with its beautiful skyline views. With the new and improved Southbank Riverwalk, you’ll enjoy every scenic second of your workout. MapMyRun is also a great source for Downtown run routes – it offers a database of more than a dozen Downtown routes mapped by locals.

 

Lifting weights, classes and more at Downtown gyms

Need a place to pump iron or practice yoga in air-conditioned comfort? Downtown offers six gym locations for your total-workout needs. Give them a call for hourly, daily and monthly pricing, classes and equipment information:

 

Stretches and drills at parks

Need a little green space to comfortably stretch and run drills? Metropolitan Park has plenty of room for you to move around in or sit and stretch on a comfortable lawn. The riverfront park is equipped with restrooms, benches and picnic tables, among other amenities and is open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset unless closed for special events. A Southbank option would be to take your workout to Treaty Oak Park, where there’s plenty of shade from the magnificent Treaty Oak to cool down your stretches and other workouts.

Source: First Coast Magazine

Source: First Coast Magazine

Hemming Park is an open space right in the heart of Downtown where you can work on your balance and flexibility with yoga. Starting in March Yoga 4 Change and Hemming Park will provide free yoga classes.  See the Hemming Park website for more information.

Another hot spot for exercise downtown is Unity Plaza. From yoga to running to dance Unity Plaza has a number of activities that is sure get your heart pumping. Visit their website or their events calendar for more information.

 

 Cycling routes

Source: DowntownJacksonville.org

Source: DowntownJacksonville.org

Cycling over Downtown Jacksonville bridges is a popular activity for city cyclists. North Florida Bicycling Club organizes routes that go all around Jacksonville, such as the Tour de Jax, which goes through the heart of Downtown. For more information on those routes, check out NFBC’s maps pageCityCycle in Riverside also provides great locations for getting to know Jacksonville, including group routes that go over the Acosta. Check the shop’s calendar for up-to-date ride information.

You can also find a list of cycling routes on our website.

REMEMBER:

  • Parking meters are free every weekday after 6 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday. Or if you prefer, check out the parking garage and lot options.
  • The Skyway, now free, operates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and during special weekend events. Visit our page for more information.
  • The Jacksonville River Taxi hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m closed Monday. For a one-way ticket, fares are $5/adult and $4/children ages 3-12. Children younger than age 3 ride free. Check out their website for more information and special events fare.
  • If you need assistance Downtown, our Downtown Ambassadors are here to help. Look for them in their orange polo shirts or call 904-465-7980.

For more information on Downtown destinations, check out our online directory. Many Downtown destinations also hold various special events throughout the year. Be sure to check our events calendar often, or sign up for our weekly events e-newsletter.