By: Jake Gordon, CEO of Downtown Vision

You can find this article in current issue of J Magazine and online at Jacksonville.com

We all know them. Our friends who live at the beach. We get it, it’s beautiful out there. It’s a great part of our city. But why no love for Downtown? Many people who live in Jacksonville are Downtown pessimists. Feet in the sand, looking out at the waves, they say, “I never go there! Downtown doesn’t matter to me!”

They’re wrong. Like it or not, Downtown Jacksonville matters to every single one of them. Even if they never cross the ditch. But don’t smack your beach-side buddies with a frisbee, hit them with these four simple reasons why a better Downtown means a better Jacksonville for all of us!

It’s simple: Downtown is the primary economic engine for our region.

Investing in our “engine” makes it run stronger, creating more jobs and more tax dollars for essential community needs like roads, parks, police and replacing dunes on the beach.

Sure, we know Downtown is the epicenter of Jacksonville’s culture and entertainment. The Jaguars. The Jumbo Shrimp. Concerts. Museums. Festivals. Fireworks. But perhaps more importantly, it’s where business happens. It’s where the skyscraping office towers contain millions of square feet of jobs and commercial activity, investment capital and taxable value.

It’s a proven model

Across the U.S., downtowns remain the greatest generator of tax dollars. And with more money to invest, cities better themselves.

Investing in downtown is rewarded with economic prosperity. In 1996, the city of Minneapolis committed to $2 billion of investment in its downtown. In 2011, it renewed that pledge with another $2 billion. Today, the three square miles of downtown Minneapolis accounts for 36 percent of all property tax revenues in the city. Even more impressive, more than half of all jobs in Minneapolis are now downtown. This story is not unique: Tampa, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Nashville and many others have drastically improved their economic outlook with significant downtown investment.

If we grow our Downtown tax base, the funds raised will be spent in all neighborhoods, all the way to the beach.

The numbers don’t lie

This all works because healthy Downtowns deliver so much value and a much higher return on investment than sprawling suburbs.

Here’s a real-life example: A suburban Walmart in Jacksonville on 20 acres pays roughly $280,000 in taxes. The Wells Fargo Center skyscraper in Downtown on just three acres pays more than $1 million in taxes. In cost per acre, Downtown is almost 25 times more valuable.

Here’s another: Duval County averages $74 million in taxable value for each of its many square miles. But in Downtown, our half-square-mile business improvement district averages $1.9 BILLION in taxable value per square mile, again over 25 times more valuable!

For a city, a dense, healthy commercial urban center is almost impossible to duplicate. Even the most expensive residential homes can’t compare to the tax-generating value of commercial office buildings. In Duval County today, commercial real estate parcels make up only 11 percent of the total parcels, but already account for more than 40 percent of total taxable value.

Our face to the world

Even with the economics tipped heavily in favor of Downtown investment, its most important value might be something more intangible: our civic identity.

More than a profit center, a Downtown embodies the image and character of a city to the rest of the world. A strong downtown indeed helps power a city — not just in tax revenue, but also in civic pride and recruiting talented people. When you think of a city, you usually think of its downtown first. City reputations are made on their skylines.

Downtowns are truly unique in that they are the only neighborhood shared by the entire community. At Downtown Vision, we want everyone to enjoy Downtown. (We even built a website — DowntownJacksonville.com — to help.) So tell your beach-loving friends: Even if they never come to #DTJax for a Jaguars game or MOCA Jacksonville or the Museum of Science and History or the Symphony or the Florida Theatre or the Jacksonville Jazz Fest, Downtown matters!

Jake Gordon has been CEO of Downtown Vision since 2015. He lives in San Marco.

By: Brooke Lasky, Intern

When: Saturday, March 2, 2019
Where: Cowford Chophouse
Time: The 1 Mile starts at 9:30 AM & the 5K starts at 10:00 AM
Registration: Runners can register to participate in the one-mile fun run for $25 and the MOO-VE IT 5K for $35 here.

This Year’s Event

Cowford Chophouse is proud to announce that its third annual MOO-VE IT 5K will be held downtown on March 2 in remembrance of the late Michael Liles, former executive director of the Justice Coalition. The race will benefit the Justice Coalition, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of innocent victims of crime in the five-county area of Northeast Florida.

The course will start and finish in front of Cowford Chophouse. Participants will run by the Jacksonville Landing and then out and back along the Northbank Riverwalk.

There will also be a post-race block party on Bay and Ocean Streets, which will include music, beer and food for race participants. Medals will be given to all participants and top finishers will be recognized at an award ceremony. Each participant will receive a race bag with specialty items from event sponsors.

Training Program

Additionally, race sponsor Winston Family YMCA has partnered with Cowford to conduct both a “Couch to 5K” and “Couch to 15K” training program for 30 individuals total with 15 in each program. Individuals can sign-up to take part in this six-week training program, including three group running opportunities per week at the Winston Y, as well as additional fitness education sessions. Participants can register by emailing Ryan Parker, Winston Y Healthy Living Director, at rparker@fcymca.org. Space is limited, so sign up now!

These local organizations are coming together to raise awareness and funds for the resources that support those who’ve been impacted by violent crime – and encourage the community to get involved!

Recapping Last Year

Featured: Ashley Lynch 2x champion of MOO-VE IT 5K

Last year, the MOO-VE IT 5K benefited the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center in their
work as the Northeast Florida direct service provider for the Open Doors Outreach Network.

Open Doors is a public-private partnership administered by Voices for Florida, which improves care, coordination and outcomes for commercially sexually exploited and trafficked children and young adults up to age 24. All the funds raised assisted the organization in receiving a grant match for this program!

More information here.

By: Brooke Lasky, Intern

The New Year brings the promise of a new beginning and new opportunities. I think we are all guilty of making resolutions that are a bit too optimistic and end up not following through; recycling our list for the following year. However, 2019 will be different!

One resolution you can make and keep this year is to explore Downtown more!

To help keep your resolution, we’ve put together a list of unique spots and activities that you can only find in Downtown.

Here’s to a new year and new experiences in #DTJax!

ARTS & CULTURE 

The 5 & Dime, A Theater Company | 112 Adams St.

Not many people know about The 5 & Dime. 

Nestled into the Urban Core, The 5 & Dime’s commitment to their community is reflected in their mission: telling stories that engage, inspire, entertain, and challenge audiences, nurturing a rich artistic culture in Downtown Jacksonville. Check out their 2019 lineup of shows that will entertain the entire family! Details.

First Wednesday Art Walk | Downtown Jacksonville  

Want something to do every first Wednesday of the month? Well you’re in luck!

The First Wednesday Art Walk is a monthly event produced by Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI) that brings people to the cultural and historical center of the city and showcase Jacksonville’s deep and energetic pool of creative talent.

Open to visual and performing artists, Art Walk is on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 – 9 p.m., rain or shine.

More than 35 Art Walk venues stretch across Downtown Jacksonville’s core and include Hemming Park, galleries, museums, cultural and educational venues, restaurants and bars, Downtown businesses and more! Details.

Friday Musicale | 645 Oak St.

The Friday Musicale is the oldest musical organization in Florida having been founded in 1890! 

Friday Musicale hosts outstanding concerts free of charge to the citizens of Jacksonville, provides educational outreach opportunities to local students, supports the next generation of musicians and music educators through college scholarship awards. When no events are scheduled, the auditorium is available for concerts, recitals, meetings, wedding receptions, parties and other private events on a rental basis.

For more information on upcoming events, visit their website.

Ritz Theatre and Museum | 29 N. Davis St.  

The Ritz Theatre is a historically African-American oriented theatre in the LaVilla neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida. The theater, which seats 426, is used for a variety of music, dance and theatrical productions, as well as movies.

The mission of the Ritz Theatre and Museum is to “research, record, and preserve the material and artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora, and present in an educational or entertaining format the many facets that make up the historical and cultural legacy of this community.”

Make sure to take a tour or catch a show at this iconic spot in #DTJax! Details.

 

Street Art in #DTJax  

If you are looking to have a free activity that involves being active and exploring Jacksonville’s mass collection of art, then start touring Jacksonville’s downtown wall murals!

All of these unique murals are within walking distance of each other, making it accessible for everyone. Most of these murals were created by ArtRepublic and range from all different styles of art, making it perfect for anyone to enjoy.

Need some exercise and want to appreciate art at the same time? Here lies your answer! Details.

CULINARY FARE

Arepa Please | 474 Riverside Ave.

Located in #DTJax’s Brooklyn area, Arepa Please is more than a restaurant; it’s a place that combines different cultures with a South American touch. Every dish is a result of hard work, passion, and the desire to deliver the best of South American flavors through signature dishes like the Arepa. 

Don’t like Arepas? No problem! You can also enjoy some of the best coffee in town powered by Bold Bean Coffee Roaster! Details.

 

 

Gili’s Kitchen| 126 W. Adams St. # 102

There has never been a kosher butcher in #DTJax, until now. Gili’s Kitchen offers fresh premium cuts of meat and fresh foods, makes homemade breads, including; challah, babbka, and sweet desserts. Want it catered? Whether big or small Gili’s Kitchen caters to all!

You can now order online by visiting their website.

MLG at Sweet Pete’s | 400 N. Hogan St.

Make your Sweet Pete’s experience even better by visiting their new in-house restaurant MLG. MLG is located directly inside of Sweet Pete’s making it a perfect stop before you shop!

You can share small plates, sample fresh salads and creative sandwiches, savor local produce, seafood and meats; you name it!

Enjoy cocktails and bites during your next visit to MLG! Details.

 

Tossgreen | 76 S. Laura St. #101

Located on the corner of E. Independent Dr. and S Laura St; Tossgreen is a fast-casual restaurant with an environmental friendly emphasis and healthy, natural foods.

If there is one aspect to our lives that never ceases to delight us, that’s the pleasure of eating. At Tossgreen, they make sure that pleasure never dulls down. Their fresh and scrumptious food ensures you eat good and live good especially, in this New Year! Details.

Vale Food Company | 90 Riverside Ave. #603

 

“Healthy Living: Automated.”

Want something Healthy, Fast, and Delicious? Vale Food Co. is just that! This casual restaurant offers build your own bowls from Açaí Bowls to Avocado Toast & Poke Bowls from their Super Food Station.

They have amazing amenities from selecting a meal plan (Maintain, or Weight Loss) or having these healthy foods hand delivered to you everyday (Sunday – Thursday). Start experiencing the lifestyle difference today! Details.

 

FITNESS

Cycling Routes

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.

North Florida Bicycling Club also organizes routes that go all around Jacksonville, such as the Tour de Jax, which goes all through the heart of Downtown for those looking for a longer ride!

Kayaking

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

 

 

 

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 Marian. So whether you are staying at the Doubletree on the Southbank or heading to the 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!  

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 that offers Tuesday and Thursday yoga sessions yearlong. 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 find yourself in Corkscrew Park. However, little known fact, before the hustle and bustle of the market traffic hits; Hot Spot Yoga’s Namie Rohack leads morning yoga from 9:00-10:00am every Saturday.  

NIGHT LIFE

Breezy Jazz Club | 119 W. Adams St.

Breezy Jazz Club is the premiere jazz club in #DTJax that features the best live jazz music, wine, and dining experience! The smooth sounds of jazz enhance the relaxing atmosphere at Breezy Jazz Club. The richness of the music flows softly inside and out onto the waiting sidewalk, making it a best place to be on a day off.

Make sure to check out a show at this classic club! Details.

De Real Ting Café | 128 W. Adams St.

Open for lunch during the week and dinner on Friday/Saturday nights, this cafe is as much a club as it is a restaurant; with live bands and DJ’s in residence several nights a week.

This Caribbean Café serves all sorts of exciting meals such as jerk or curried chicken, conch fritters and curried goat and oxtail. Not busy on the weekend? Now you know where to go! Details.

 

 

 

The Justice Pub | 315 E. Bay St.

“Justice For All Public House.”

Check out this new law-themed bar and lounge in the heart of Downtown! The Justice Pub has events that range from stand-up comedy, live band performances and more! You can stay up to date with what’s happening with the Justice Pub here.

THE MANHATTAN | 345 E. Bay St.

Want to visit a truly unique sports bar Downtown? The Manhattan Sports Bar & Lounge is an upscale locale that features a speakeasy-like atmosphere. At this classy bar and lounge, they feature modern photography and other elements that give a distinct, New York feel, including the outdoor patio and beer garden.

Put on your most dapper attire and enjoy a night out in #DTJax with delicious food, upscale craft cocktails, and the best in sports entertainment. Details.

 

 

 

The Volstead | 115 W. Adams St.

The Volstead has been designed to embody an authentic 1920s speakeasy bar that serves premium bourbons, scotches and whiskeys in this 1920s-themed setting. Their talented bartenders create tantalizing hand crafted cocktails that will leave you wanting more.

They also hosts events like Swing Dance Sundays and Saved by the 90’s Karaoke! Details.

This New Year is filled with endless possibilities. These are just a few ways to see the variety that Downtown Jacksonville has to offer when it comes to arts, dining, fitness and nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a spontaneous date night or a way to explore a healthy lifestyle, this list will help you see the newest additions to #DTJax.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out our Events Calendar for everything going on in #DTJax as well as our Directory to learn more about all the restaurants, shops and nightlife spots to enjoy. And of course, if you’re coming downtown and don’t know where to park (over 43,000 parking spots), don’t worry! Check out parkdtjax.com for helpful information (‘cause we’ve got your back!).

by: admin in Events, Featured, Riverfront No Comments  

Can you believe that 2019 is right around the corner?!?! Before you make New Year’s Eve plans, be sure to check out all of the events going on in #DTJax! From parties to performances, there’s a celebration for everyone.

Arts and Culture

4th Annual NYE River Bash

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.
Where: Jacksonville Landing

Enjoy a night of libations, delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, dancing and free swag! Plus, get a VIP viewing of the City of Jacksonville fireworks to ring in the New Year. The event is 21 and up. Details.

 

 

Jacksonville Symphony Presents: New Years Eve from Vienna

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.
Where: Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts

The toast of the town! Join Courtney Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony for another unforgettable New Year’s Eve. The evening begins with an elegant Viennese program, followed by the best New Year’s party in town with the Chris Thomas Band and capped by a perfect view of the fireworks on the river at midnight! Details.

 

 

 

 

Kuumba A New Year’s Eve Kwanzaa and African Ball

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.
Where: The Ritz Theatre and Museum

Enjoy a Kwanzaa program including dinner, dancing and cocktails! There will be a Best Dressed African-Inspired Male and Female contest as well as champagne toast at midnight. The event is 21 and up. Details.

 


MOCA New Year’s Eve Party

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.
Where: MOCA Jacksonville

Mark your calendar for downtown’s destination New Year’s Eve bash. The event kicks off with the VIP Catalyst Cocktail Hour and Dinner in the second floor gallery, followed by the Countdown Bash: an indoor/outdoor dance party featuring Mama Blue, DJ Catharsis, live art performances, fabulous eats by NOLA MOCA and an open bar throughout the night. The event is 21 and up. Details.

 

 

 

 

Family Fun

Downtown Dazzle Lights and Music Display

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Jacksonville Children’s Chorus

The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is proud to present its 4th annual downtown holiday celebration by illuminating the outside of its downtown office, located at 225 East Duval Street with festive lights synchronized to recorded songs of the season. Holiday, Christmas and Hanukkah songs will be broadcast on 94.5 FM radio for onlookers to enjoy. Details.

 

 

New Year’s Eve Fireworks presented by the City of Jacksonville

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 12 a.m.
Where: Along the St. Johns River

Say goodbye to 2018 and ring in the New Year at midnight with a spectacular fireworks display over the St. Johns River. Make your way down to the waterfront with friends or family before midnight to snag a great seat for the festivities. Fireworks will begin exactly at midnight. This year fireworks will be launched from a barge on the St. Johns River between the Hyatt and Double Tree hotels and high above the St. Johns River from the Acosta Bridge. These locations are able to be viewed from both the North and South banks in Downtown Jacksonville in addition to viewing from Brooklyn and under the Fuller Warren Bridge where the Riverside Arts Market is held. Details.

 

Live Music and Nightlife

Delfeayo Marsalis: New Years Eve

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.
Where: Breezy Jazz Club

Breezy Jazz Club is bringing you the BEST this New Year’s Eve! Ring in the New Year with Jazz Trombonist, Composer and Record Producer, Delfeayo Marsalis! Tickets are $100 per person and include price of entry for the live concert, dinner form our New Years menu, and Champagne! VIP seats available for $125. After Party from 1 a.m. – 4 a.m. featuring Mama Yo and The Bad Boys of Soul! Details.

 

The Main Squeeze New Years Eve

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.
Where: 1904 Music Hall

After forming in 2010 at Indiana University, The Main Squeeze began selling out clubs to frenzied college students in just a few short months. Their captivating live performances have since earned them a devoted national following and even caught the interest of legendary producer, Randy Jackson, who produced their latest album Mind Your Head. The dynamic 5-piece is currently based in Los Angeles. Details.

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve 2019 Black & Gold Affair

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 5 p.m.
Where: Myth Nightclub

Enjoy a red carpet, photo op, party favors, complimentary champagne and live music at the wildest NYE party in Jacksonville. The event is 21 and up. Details.

 

 

River City Brewing Company: #SouthbankNYE

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.
Where: River City Brewing Company

Dance the night away on the outside bar deck to count down the New Year under a 5ft Disco Ball, THE largest in NE-FL! VIP includes a private bar, wooden dance floor, light food bites and a wrap-around balcony for outstanding firework viewing pleasure! Details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sports, Health and Fitness

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

When: Monday, Dec. 31 | 7:30 p.m.
Where: TIAA Bank Field

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl New Year’s Eve Celebration – with scheduled appearance from Cole Swindell. Concert is playing to the south endzone. Details.

 

 

 

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out our Events Calendar for everything going on in #DTJax as well as our Directory to learn more about all the restaurants, shops, and nightlife spots to enjoy. If you’re coming downtown and don’t know where to park (over 43,000 parking spots), don’t worry! Check out parkdtjax.com for helpful information.

We hope to see you and your family out and about in #DTJax to ring in 2019. Downtown Vision wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday–they’re HUGE shopping holidays after Thanksgiving that offer large discounts and take all of our money (unfortunately)—but few know about Small Business Saturday, which isn’t surprising. To clear up any confusion, let’s break down what Small Business Saturday is and why you should care (and you should!).

A Holiday for the Underdog

Small Business Saturday has been around for eight years (eight years!?) and was born out of a need to represent small, local brick and mortar shops during the largest shopping season of the year.

With successful holidays like Black Friday—which capitalized on corporate shopping opportunities—and Cyber Monday—which focused on e-commerce—there was a gap (literally between Friday and Monday) that small businesses could fill; that’s where American Express saw an opportunity.

In 2010, American Express launched Small Business Saturday with support from Amex and other non-profit organizations. For the last eight years, Small Business Saturday has become a nationwide event and has even become popular overseas. Now, you might be thinking, “this is all great, but why should I care?” Well, here’s why…

Investing in your Community

It’s convenient to purchase items online. We all do it! Amazon and other giants are pioneers on that front; however, this convenience has caused a domino effect in communities around the nation.

We don’t realize that every time we buy something from a corporate business, we take away the opportunity for the owners of local, small businesses to pay their bills and even realize their dreams; Downtown Jacksonville is no different. That’s why Small Business Saturday’s a big deal.

Since Small Business Saturday started,U.S. customers have reported spending
an estimated total of $85 billion, according to American Express. That’s $85 billion in 8 days! If we want to see downtown improve economically, then we have to invest our time, our money and our passion to make it happen.

If we want to shape the culture of our city, we have to support the local shops that define our character and values, which larger corporations simply can’t do. This year, we should all strive to support our local businesses and in turn, we’ll help shape a vibrant and thriving community. Here’s what you need to know to #shopsmall in #DTJax:

The Main Event

The team at DVI is proud to support Small Business Saturday on November 24, 2018 (that’s only a WEEK away!). It’s an all-day event that encompasses all of Downtown, from Brooklyn to the Urban Core. There are 15 participating businesses this year including fan-favorites Chamblin’s UptownHyppo Ice Pops, Riverside Arts Market and Wolf & Cub.

To add a cherry on top, we have an AMAZING giveaway for the ultimate #DTJax fan: a swag bag including a Visit Jacksonville tote, $25 gift card to Mocha Misk’i, $10 voucher for Breezy Jazz Club, tickets to see a show at The Ritz Theatre and Museum and 5  & Dime, A Theatre Company. Do I have your attention now? Here’s how it works:

  1. Start at any of the participating businesses and receive your passport.
  2. Get a stamp from at least SIX of the locations listed below.
  3. Turn in your completed passport with at least SIX stamps at any of the participating venues.
  4. You’re DONE. It’s that simple (I wish everything was…).

The winner of the giveaway will be selected at random and notified on Monday, November 26 via email. Please make sure to provide your contact information because passports with incomplete/missing information will not be considered(sounds harsh but #SorryNotSorry).

Stop by these participating businesses in Downtown Jacksonville to show your love and try your hand at the prize:

  1. Bay Street Bar & Grill | 119 E Bay St.
  2. Bellwether | 100 N Laura St.
  3. Bold City Brewery Downtown | 109 E Bay St.
  4. Breezy Jazz Club | 119 W Adams St.
  5. Burrito Gallery Brooklyn | 100 E Adams St.
  6. Chamblin’s Uptown | 215 N Laura St.
  7. Duval Mercantile | 205 N Laura St.
  8. Hyppo Brooklyn | 90 Riverside Ave. #605
  9. Jacobs Jewelers | 205 N Laura St.
  10. Mocha Misk’i | 209 N Laura St.
  11. Riverside Arts Market | 715 Riverside Ave.
  12. The Carling | 31 Adams St.
  13. Visit Jacksonville | 208 N Laura St.
  14. Wolf & Cub | 205 N Laura St.

If you want more details (‘cause if you made it this far, you MUST be interested), make sure to visit DTJax.com/shopsmall to chart your course and discover all that downtown has to offer.

I don’t think I need to remind you to share your favorite Small Business Saturday moments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #ShopSmall (let’s be honest, you were going to do it anyway).

 

We hope to see you out and about in #DTJax on Saturday, November 24 (probably in your ONE winter coat since it might be below 80 degrees). There’s so much to do and see in our city and it would be a shame if you missed out on this.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out our Events Calendar for everything going on in #DTJax as well as our Directory to learn more about all the restaurants, shops and nightlife spots to enjoy. And of course, if you’re coming downtown and don’t know where to park (over 43,000 parking spots), don’t worry! Check out parkdtjax.com for helpful information (‘cause we’ve got your back!).

“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.