“Providing temporary public open space…one parking spot at a time” 

What could be more fun than enjoying the urban core in amazing parks that highlight the best that Downtown Jacksonville has to offer?

PARK(ing) Day is a global movement that was founded in San Francisco in 2005 in order to “call attention to the need for more urban spaces.” The success of the movement is transparent in the establishment of a nonprofit solely dedicated to “converting [underused areas] into new pedestrian spaces”: Pavements to Parks.

 

Although PARK(ing) Day has since evolved to emphasize different social issues; the movement still continues to create connections between artists, local business owners and community members by temporarily transforming parking spaces into incredible pop-up parks. This year, Downtown Jacksonville is joining the movement by hosting PARK(ing) Day in the urban core.

The event will be held on Friday, September 21 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. All parklets will be located along Laura Street and its surrounding area but are typically located right in front of participating businesses. This includes Anytime Fitness, Bellwether, Daniel James Salon, Hollywood Cuts, Superfood and Brew, Visit Jacksonville, Wolf & Cub, The Brick and Downtown Vision, Inc.

DVI has reached out to multiple local businesses in the city to provide unique PARK(ing) destinations during the lunch rush. Businesses are digging into their creative outlets to provide downtown employees, visitors and residents with parklets to remember. Whether you are looking for a place to relax or have fun during your break, PARK(ing) Day will not disappoint.

The event will also be a great way to show your support for some of Jacksonville’s thriving local businesses. They are excited to engage with guests in a more informal setting, outside of their storefronts.

If you are worried about parking during this event, don’t be! Downtown Vision, Inc. has provided this list and map of available parking spaces in Downtown Jacksonville. This includes more than 44,000 spaces!

So stretch your legs and take advantage of the additional public spaces that our #DTJax businesses have put together!

For more information, visit the PARK(ing) Day Facebook Page here.

Whoa, where did our summer go? Our Duval County students start their first day back at school next week! Parents, we’re sure you’ll miss having the kids around so here are some last minute activities in #DTJax to make the last few days of summer count.

Beat the Heat

Whether it’s a movie, a live show or a museum, these activities will let you and the kids stay out of the Florida heat!

Chamblin’s Uptown
Summer readings are typically located at the front of the store but be prepared to get lost in a sea of books – they have two stories, wall-to-ceiling filled with all the titles you can think of. The bookshop and first floor cafe are open every day. If you’re looking for a specific book, don’t hesitate to
call so they can put it aside for you!

Florida Theatre
During the summertime, the Florida Theatre showcases Summer Movie Classics every Sunday. This weekend, enjoy a showing of Robin Williams’s Mrs. Doubtfire in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the theatre’s website.

 

Museum of Science and History
Spark their curiosity by visiting  one of #DTJax’s museums. The Museum of Science and History is currently offering half-off admission to all its guests before the school year starts. Take advantage of these fleeting summer days to enjoy Jacksonville’s most visited museum!

 

Times Union Center
The Times Union Center for the Performing Arts is Jacksonville’s main hub for live entertainment and other performing arts needs in the city. Toddlers and young children will be excitedto know that Paw Patrol Live! 2018 will be in #DTJax this weekend! The show has four performances lined up on Saturday and Sunday. Get your last minute tickets here.

 

 

Explore the Outdoors

Keep the little ones out of the house the last few days of summer with these fun local favorites!

Riverboat Science and History Tours
After enjoying MOSH’s exhibits, hop on one of their riverboats for a tour of the St. John’s! The museum has partnered up with the St. John’s River Taxi to provide “a ride through history” every Saturday. Boats dock from the Friendship Fountain promptly at 4 p.m. For tickets or more information, visit the museum’s website here.

 

Riverside Arts Market
Celebrate local businesses this Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Riverside Arts Market. The market is located in the Riverside-Avondale district under the Fuller Warren Bridge. RAM has something for the entire family with rotating food trucks, vendor booths, live entertainment and morning yoga. It’s also a hotspot for back to school presents for teachers!

 

 

Get Creative

Creating things with the kiddos is a great way to bond and make the most of your time together before school starts. These family friendly spots are will allow you to collaborate and get creative!

Jax Makerspace
This is the perfect spot for hands-on activities with the kids. The Jacksonville Main Library has dedicated a huge portion of their main floor to promote creativity through music, art, technology and more. The librarians provide a variety of classes free to the public by partnering with local Jacksonville makers. Check out the Jax Makerspace calendar to see what they’re offering this weekend.

 

Sweet Pete’s Candy
Who doesn’t love sweets? Jacksonville’s candy emporium, Sweet Pete’s Candy Co. is offering a special Craft Soda and Candy Pairing until October 15th.Taste six sodas perfectly paired with gourmet chocolates and candies. There are currently seven time slots open this weekend. Make a reservation to guarantee a spot!

 

These are just a few of the last minute summer activities that #DTJax has to offer. Enjoy the summer days and, for the kiddos, have an amazing first day back! Visit our website for a full calendar of activities this weekend.

DVI Intern Experience

By: Alexis TerKonda

Admiring artwork, trying new food trucks, and exploring Downtown Jacksonville sounds like what some may do for an exciting weekend activity. Luckily for me, I have had the opportunity to do this for the past several weeks as an intern for Downtown Vision. Interning at Downtown Vision has provided me with a variety of new experiences, as well as a valuable hands on learning experience that will be beneficial in the future.

I applied for the internship with Downtown Vision primarily to gain experience in the marketing field, as I am a marketing major at the University of North Florida. However, I am also a Jacksonville native that has grown up around the beaches, so Downtown Jacksonville was unfamiliar territory for me that I had an interest in learning more about.

As a marketing intern for Downtown Vision, I have worked on photography, social media, and website projects while also learning more about Downtown Jacksonville. On the first day of my internship I was handed a camera and asked to take photos of some of the murals that can be found around downtown. As a photography and art enthusiast, this was the perfect first-day-on-the-job assignment for me. I spent my morning exploring downtown and becoming familiar with over 10 large scale murals that were painted by artists from all over the world. With the photos I took, I was asked to write a blog post about the art I found. What I enjoyed most about this project was the fact that I was given complete freedom to structure the blog post however I wanted. As a first day intern, it was exciting to be trusted with complete control over a project.

Interning with a non-profit organization that promotes Downtown Jacksonville, I was given the opportunity to take a guided tour of the area to become more familiar with its history. Even though I have lived in Jacksonville almost my entire life, I came back from this tour with a new understanding of Jacksonville and the downtown area’s history. Who knew there was an entire underground tunnel system that connects the downtown banks or that Elvis Presley’s first indoor performance was at the Florida Theatre? I know I had no idea about any of this before taking the tour.

A major part of interning with Downtown Vision is First Wednesday Art Walk. On the first Wednesday of every month, rain or shine, 5,000 individuals spend the evening in downtown supporting local artists, performers, vendors, and food trucks that congregate around Hemming Park. While working the June Art Walk, I had time to visit many of the surrounding venues that participate in the event. Specifically, I got to spend some time in Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop where I found out they have chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick. It is definitely a dessert you don’t want to miss while in Downtown Jacksonville.

Interning with DVI has been a wonderful experience so far. I have loved learning from and collaborating with a team of people that have a shared love for the city I have grown up in. From this internship, I will take away a better understanding for the marketing field along with more confidence in my skills through the responsibility and freedom I was given while at Downtown Vision.

Loving #DTJax More Than I Already Did

By: Reggie Agulto

The urban core became my playground when I became acclimated with the city’s public transportation system at the tender age of 12. In fact, some of my best high school memories are in downtown Jacksonville – taking advantage of the city while I waited for my bus home. Since then, I have always found myself staying close to downtown.

Landing an internship at Downtown Vision the summer before my senior year in college has not only allowed me to indulge in my love for #DTJax but also to enhance my knowledge about the history of our city and broaden my network with amazing individuals that keep the city moving. To get a glimpse of my experience as a DVI intern, here’s my Top Five favorite things from this summer – so far.

  1. Learning Experience

Regardless of my major, I applied for the Marketing and Events Internship to learn more about event planning and marketing. I read the job description and thought: “This is one of my many passions” and said the same in my interview. Little did I know at the time, DVI was going to meet my expectations and more.

I have always been confident in my writing skills but AP format is not within the borders of my comfort zone. I am more honed in the Chicago and MLA style. Let’s just say that my first couple weeks consisted of draft after draft – it was a real humbling experience! Aside from writing, creating graphics is one of my responsibilities. Though I am notorious for designing flyers and social media content for organizations on campus at Jacksonville University, I was not an expert in Photoshop and InDesign – two softwares typically used by marketing companies. Honing my skills with these systems during and outside of my work hours gave me a sense of purpose and self-improvement.

So, if you’re looking for an interactive and enriching internship experience, I suggest looking at DVI!  After all, these summer internships shouldn’t just be another line in your resume – but something you enjoy.

  1. Fantastic People

Just as you should love what you do, it is also preferable that you enjoy the company of the staff members. Though a small office on the corner of Adams & Hogan Street, DVI is staffed with lively individuals who will guide you in your endeavors and make work days seem shorter. I can honestly say that I have yet to dread coming into work, I rather look forward to it actually – which I am certain has a lot to do with the people I am working with. And in addition to the office staff, I have also had the pleasure to meet some of the amazing Downtown Ambassadors who contribute a great deal to a “clean, safe and friendly” Jacksonville.

If you have yet to meet an ambassador, you can spot them around town in their distinctive orange polo shirts ready to assist in any way they can – some of those awesome individuals  include Lydia and Lionel who can be spotted cruising around the city on their segway!

  1. Prepping for Senior Year

As a history major with several department-related minors, writing is pertinent – especially come senior year when I have to conjure up my thesis paper. Being at DVI three days a week, some of my tasks include writing blogs, proofreading proposals and drafting social media posts. Regardless of the countless drafts I have written, I am no doubt grateful for these assignments and my supervisor’s creative criticism. They kept my brain moving and kept me writing which I believe will alleviate any summer blues once I get settled in my writing intensive course in the fall.

  1. New Hideouts

Touring the city with a Downtown Ambassador was one of my first memories as an intern. I learned so much more than I expected to! Thanks to this tour I became familiar with some downtown favorites outside of my scope of imagination – after all, I’m a creature of habit and that translated to the restaurants, coffee shops and museums I visited.

Adding to my list of #DTJax favorites includes J.L. Trent’s, my new seafood go-to, located underneath the BB&T Tower and inside the renovated underground tunnel. If you’re craving some peace and quiet with a view, above Trent’s is a shaded outdoor patio that you can access by stairs – perfect for lunch or for summer reading.

  1. Old Hideouts

“Know your city.” In my four years at JU, I found myself saying this to my peers – quite often.

Many college-aged students write-off the urban core, frequenting the St. Johns Town Center and the beaches instead. But #DTJax offers so many possibilities for all personalities. You’ve read about one of my new favorite spots but here are some classics – places that never get old no matter how often you go.

The fourth floor of the Main Library is a college student’s dream study hub – with row after row of tables, vintage blue lamps and natural lighting on the east wall. If you’re craving an outdoor study space, they have that too! On the second floor, you’ll find a large outdoor patio with rows of trees and a fountain.

Right next door is Chamblin’s Uptown which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this month. I’ve frequented this used bookshop since I was in my tween years! Being only a block or two from DVI, I have found myself there every Tuesday before heading to my internship. You can’t go wrong with a cup of coffee and good read to start the week off!

If you are a local who feels like you already know your way around #DTJax or an out-of-towner looking for a summer internship, don’t hesitate to visit the DVI’s website and see if it’s for you. Get ready to have a great time!

July is National Outdoors Month! To the surprise of many, the Jacksonville’s Urban Core is no stranger to outdoor activities. In fact, looking pass the high-rise buildings and architectural gems, downtown Jacksonville is home to not only businessmen, businesswomen, hipsters and musicians; but also outdoor enthusiasts. Though Jacksonville is known for its vast landmass that accounts for the city’s hiking and bike trails, endless beaches and internal waterways perfect for water sports fanatics; little know about the outdoor activities that downtown has to offer. In appreciation of the city’s limitless possibilities, here’s a short list of year-long outdoor activities you’ll find in #DTJax.

Be a TreeHugger

If you’re looking for something unique and low-cost to do with friends and family, look no further than the Treaty Oak Park. Located on the Southbank of the St. Johns River, the 250 year-old tree is a popular spot for family gatherings, outdoor picnics and relaxation in general. In fact, growing up in Jacksonville, some of our locals no doubt have climbed up the branches at one point in their lives.

For the bravehearts, the “octopus-like” tree provides 145 feet of branches for climbing. And if you climb all the way to the tree’s crown, you’ll find a 25 foot nook – perfect for naps and summer reading. If you’re not up for the climb, no worries. Because of the massive size of the tree, it gives visitors roughly 190 feet of shade – a good spot to get out of the Florida heat!

Biking the Riverwalk

Experience the city on a bike. One of the most popular activities in downtown Jacksonville is biking along the St. Johns River. The Northbank Riverwalk is the perfect cycling route to enjoy both an urban scenery and the cool breeze from the river.

The Northbank is a wonderful 2 mile ride between the Jacksonville Landing and the Riverside Arts Market. You will even ride through the Love Locks Bridge – which not only connects the downtown district with Riverside, but also a known spot for couples to symbolize their ‘unbreakable’ love.

For those looking for a longer ride, plan your route with the DTJax Map. You can’t go wrong with the three bridge loop over the Main Street, Acosta and Fuller Warren Bridges!

Paddling Through #DTJax

For the water sports enthusiasts, urban kayaking is a great alternative to exploring the city. It is a unique way to experience both the urban scenery and one of Jacksonville’s natural beauties. The Jacksonville Kayak Company offers guided tours in Downtown Jacksonville, taking off from the River City Brewing Company Marina.

Imagine this: seeing new angles of the city as you paddle under three of Jacksonville’s 13+ bridges, being swept away by the natural pulse of the River City. Though this recreational activity is not for beginners, if you are up for an adventure do not hesitate to book a tour with Jacksonville Kayak Company.

“Run, Forest, Run!”

Aside from cycling, the most common outdoor workout in the downtown district is running. Covering roughly four square-miles, the urban core is a runner’s world. From the riverwalk to the bridges to the hills, a workout junkie can get their full load of cardio while taking in the urban scenery.

The USA Track & Field website offers an extensive list of running routes within the #DTJax boundary – including the Northbank River 5K. If you’re feeling adventurous and up for a challenge, try the Hart Bridge Loop 12K.

Urban Yoga

Looking to de-stress? In the past couple of years, yoga has played a major role in stress management. Stress and anxiety is alive even in Jacksonville where “It’s Easier Here”; which is why free yoga sessions are offered throughout the week.

Unity Plaza in Brooklyn, dubbed as Jacksonville’s “central park”, along with the Winston Family YMCA offers Tuesday and Thursday yoga sessions year-long. With the built-in waterfront and tiered seating, the Unity Plaza is the ideal central spot for sunset yoga.

Now for the early birds looking for a healthy morning start, go further into Riverside and you’ll find yourself in Corkscrew Park commonly known for the weekly Riverside Arts Market. However, little known fact, before the hustle and bustle of the market traffic hits; Hot Spot Yoga’s Namie Rohack leads morning yoga from 9 – 10 a.m. every Saturday.

These are just some of the outdoor activities in Downtown Jacksonville. Explore the city and discover more possibilities – they are endless! For more activities, visit our directory here.

June is National Rivers Month. Take the time to appreciate and celebrate one of Jacksonville’s natural treasures: the St. Johns River – the longest river in the state of Florida at 314 miles! Since the 1860s, the St. Johns River has contributed to Jacksonville’s tourist industry with the establishment of hotels and countless recreational activities. To celebrate this old “San Juan River” (it’s old Spanish name before British acquisition), check out this list of year-long activities that you can enjoy along the St. Johns in #DTJax.

Bike the Riverwalk

Experience the city on a bike. One of the most popular activities in Downtown Jacksonville is biking along the St. Johns River. The Northbank and Southbank Riverwalks are the perfect cycling routes to enjoy both an urban scenery and the cool breeze from the river.

The Northbank is a wonderful two-mile ride between the Jacksonville Landing and the Riverside Arts Market. You will even ride through the Love Locks Bridge – which not only connects the Urban Core with Riverside, but is also a known spot for couples to symbolize their ‘unbreakable’ love.

For those looking for a longer ride, plan your route with the DTJax Map. You can’t go wrong with the three-bridge loop over the Main Street, Acosta and Fuller Warren Bridges!

Jacksonville Landing

Opened in 1987, the Landing continues to be a local favorite as it goes into its 31st year on June 25. Located right on the river, this shopping complex is known for the various live entertainment and events that it hosts throughout the year. Some crowd favorites include the Florida/Georgia celebrations, the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade, the Summer Fireworks Series, riverfront concerts and cultural pride days like the annual Asian American Heritage Celebration

The Jacksonville Landing has one of the best views of the St. Johns River and is the perfect backdrop to 600+ events every year.

Riverside Arts Market

Support local small businesses in your city! Small Business Saturday is a U.S. holiday that celebrates local businesses once a year. But with the Riverside Arts Market, you can celebrate every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The market is located in the Riverside-Avondale district under the Fuller Warren Bridge – one of the best spots to experience the beauty of the St. Johns River.

Regardless of whether you are a Jacksonville native or just visiting, Jacksonville’s “Best Farmer’s Market” is a must. Each Saturday is a different experience with rotating food trucks, vendor booths, live entertainment and morning yoga. Visit the Riverside Arts Market website to plan a true Jacksonville Saturday!

St. Johns River Taxi
Even some of the locals do not know about this popular downtown transportation! Park your car and cruise along the river. The St. Johns River Taxi has six pick up-drop off docks in downtown Jacksonville – including the Jacksonville Landing, Friendship Fountain, Riverside Arts Market and the Metropolitan Marina. So whether you are staying at the Doubletree on the Southbank or heading to a Jaguars game at the TIAA Bank Field, it is the ideal transportation to get around the urban core.

Aside from providing a transit alternative, the St. Johns River Taxi also offers River Jam Sunset Cruises and partners with the Museum of Science and History for River Quest Boat Tours every Saturday. Check out their website for more information!

Urban Kayaking Adventure

For the water sports enthusiasts, urban kayaking is a great alternative to exploring the city. It is a unique way to experience both the urban scenery and one of Jacksonville’s natural beauties. The Jacksonville Kayak Company offers guided tours in Downtown Jacksonville, taking off from the River City Brewing Company Marina.

Imagine this: seeing new angles of the city as you paddle under three of Jacksonville’s eight bridges, being swept away by the natural pulse of the River City. Though this recreational activity is not for beginners, if you are up for an adventure do not hesitate to book a tour with Jacksonville Kayak Company.

These are just some of the activities to enjoy in the River City – not only for National Rivers Month but every single day. It is easier to appreciate your city when you know your city. So get exploring!

For a detailed list of restaurants, shops and museums to enjoy in #DTJax, visit our directory here.

by: Admin in Featured, Uncategorized No Comments  

Calling all parents! Summer break is just a few weeks away…so it’s never too early to start planning on how to keep the kids active and engaged. To make it easier for our on-the-go parents, here are a few summer programs that Downtown Jacksonville has to offer.

Cathedral Arts Project – Camp Encore

Camp Encore will allow children to grow their creativity through different weekly programs in theatre, visual arts, dance, and music. Each program is led by experienced artists from each department. Programs include ukulele lessons, painting, contemporary dance, and more!

When: June 11 – 29

Where: St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 256 East Church Street

Children ages 6 – 11 encouraged to attend!

Visit the Cathedral Arts Project website for more information.

The Florida Ballet – Summer Programs

The renowned Florida Ballet will be offering various summer workshops for young dancers looking to enhance their ballet skills. Workshops vary depending on age and skill set – from the Young Dancers Workshop for ages 5-10 to Company Experience for advanced dancers age 15+.

When: June 18 – August 11

Where: The Florida Ballet, 300 East State 

Ages 8 and up welcome!

Visit the Florida Ballet website.                                                                                  

Jacksonville Main Library

Join the Main Library in the annual summer reading program and daily summer activities! Children can enjoy the Open Labs for computer use, art workshops, and more.

When: June 1 – August 30

Where: Main Library, 303 North Laura Street

Click here for the library’s activity calendar:

Kids 5-10 and Teens.

Museum of Contemporary Art – Art Camp

MOCA’S Summer Art Camp allows campers to explore their creative side with experienced educators. Campers will hone their artistic abilities by creating unique art pieces, exploring the museum’s galleries, and gaining perspective through art history.

Projects will vary per age group and per week. While younger campers are crafting and learning the basic fundamentals of art, older campers will explore photography, printmaking, and more.

When: June 4 – 29, July 9 – August 3 

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 333 North Laura Street

Open to children ages 4 – 14

For more information or to register, visit their website before spots run out.

Museum of Science and History – Discovery Camp

Join the MOSH Educators for a new adventure every week as they cater to every child’s interest imaginable. Campers can explore the museum’s more common themes: science, history, and astronomy. Additionally, Camp MOSH also offers educationally engaging camps on architecture, marine science, sustainability, and more!

When: June 4 – August 3

Where: Museum of Science and History, 1025 Museum Circle

Children from Kindergarten to 5th Grade

Check out their website for more information on their week-long summer camps.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier – Chocolatier Day Camp

What child does not love sweets! Peterbrooke Chocolatier offers a Chocolatier Day Camp where campers will have the opportunity to learn about the chocolate making process and dip their own homemade treats.

When: Mondays and Fridays, June-August

Where: Downtown Location, 100 West Bay Street

Ages 5 and up welcome!

Don’t live close to Downtown Jacksonville? It’s okay! Camp Peterbrooke is offered at all locations. Reserve a spot and contact (904) 398 – 2489 for pricing details.

Keep the kids moving this summer! For more friendly locations in #DTJax, visit our complete directory here.

 

With major development projects on the horizon and more people coming to live and work in Downtown Jacksonville, it has become a great place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to put down roots. There are so many businesses that are unique to DTJax, some that you may have heard of as well as a few hidden gems. “Found in DTJax” is your guide to the shops, restaurants and venues that you can ONLY find in Downtown Jacksonville.

FORGE 3D Printing Studio

forgeWhen the founders of FORGE first experienced 3D printing on YouTube, they were immediately inspired by the potential of that technology. Having little access to the materials and machines necessary to begin their creations, they traveled 200 miles to Tampa to bring custom manufacturing to Jacksonville. Founded in 2013, FORGE made 3D printing technology accessible in Jacksonville by offering simplified digital manufacturing technologies to inspire innovation locally. This technique is changing the world and is capable of bringing the joy of creation to everyone. FORGE is an attitude sharpened by the challenges and passion that innovation creates.

FORGE does great things in and around the community, such as showcasing their works at events like First Wednesday Art Walk and One Spark, and helping create 3D printed parts for displays in the Florida Museum of Natural History. Here are a few noteworthy things about their work:
3D Design & Scanning3d scanning

For all of your tech needs: FORGE designs modeling for manufacturing, prototyping and creates digital presentation assets for web or video. 3D modeling (the product of design) is the process of developing a representation of any surface of an object in 3D using specialized software. FORGE also specializes in 3D scanning, such as full color 3D printed miniatures of loved ones, pets and special occasions. It brings your images to life! Something you didn’t know you needed, but now you do. You can even book appointments here.

 

3d printing3D Printing – From Mettle to Metal

Since the beginning, FORGE has been using 3D printing to provide on demand, custom manufacturing solutions. They’ve had samples created from every current technology and design around those limitations. They create fast prototypes of your innovations and inventions, and can produce trophies that will become sentimental souvenirs.

 

 

Product Design and Creation product development

Have a project that needs more than printing? They design logos, websites and promotional services and can support your product as it enters the market. Plus, FORGE offers branding and development services, too!

Stop by FORGE 3D today and check out their studio and works! #FORGEyourFuture.