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

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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 Art Walk, Spotlight No Comments  

by Zahni Thuzar, DVI Intern

Landis Greenhut

Source: Sarah Henderson

“Space painting” and spray paint art have recently become Internet sensations, showcasing the artistic talents of individuals all over the world. The results of the process leave you in awe, trying to fathom how exactly these artists are able to create their masterpieces. But instead of going online to see these incredible outcomes, you can find one of these spray paint artists right in your backyard.

by: admin in Art Walk, Spotlight No Comments  

by Zahni Thuzar, DVI intern

Lemoree

A six-year vendor of Downtown Jacksonville’s Art WalkLemoree remains a popular hot spot every first Wednesday. Named after her childhood imaginary friend, Meredith Arceneaux’s brand “Lemoree” was at first just a creative, fun way to make gifts for her friends and family. However, after a friend suggested she try selling her creations to the public at Art Walk, Lemoree was an instant success.

Vintage-inspired “fun and fancy” jewelry cover the tables of Arceneaux’s shop, creating a warm and rustic atmosphere to draw in the crowds. From cameos to gemstones, button earrings to hair bows, there’s sure to be something to suit anyone’s taste for any occasion or everyday wear.

Art Walk has provided Lemoree with the opportunity to grow from a hobby to a full-time business. “I’ve also made so many connections, which have enriched my business as well as my personal life,” said Arceneaux.

Over the course of her six years as an Art Walk artist, Arceneaux has seen Art Walk – and Downtown – evolve. “Seeing more people come Downtown and embrace the cultural richness our city possesses is so awesome”, she exclaims. “It makes me more proud of Jacksonville every month.”


 

This month, Art Walk brings a Valentine-filled event. With a beer garden ($4/beer for those of age), a hugging booth, “The Art Walk Cabaret”, and much, much more, there’s something for everyone to do Downtown. There are also many artists and vendors, as well as Lemoree, who feature great gift ideas for your special someone (or show some self-love and treat yourself).

“More than most other markets, Art Walk welcomes a great representation of our diverse community here in Jacksonville,” said Arceneaux. “I feel lucky to be able to participate in Art Walk and look forward to what this year brings.”

So do we! Be sure to check out Meredith’s shop on Wednesday, but for those of you who can’t make it to this Art Walk (boo), you can also check out her stuff on Etsy and Facebook until next month!

 

 

by: Admin in Art Walk No Comments  

What better way to ring in the New Year than attending the very first First Wednesday Art Walk of 2015? This month’s Art Walk theme is “New Year, New Hobby” and will feature dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and many other activities that will help inspire your new hobby.

Here are some other reasons why you should attend Art Walk 5 – 9 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 7:

1. Need another chance to start the New Year fresh?

via memegenerator.net

via memegenerator.net

 From martial arts to quilting to gymnastics and dance, there are plenty of performances, art, vendors and food to choose from.

2. New Year, new coffee shop!

via urbangrindcoffeeco.com

via urbangrindcoffeeco.com

 Check out the grand opening of Urban Grind Coffee Co.’s new location on Bay Street, featuring live music, smoothie samples and new menu items. Be sure to stop by their neighbors, Daniel James Salon, for a beauty tips and yoga demonstrations by Yoga Den.

3. Because you can’t watch all of Friends in one sitting. 

memeguy.com

memeguy.com

 Don’t worry, Friends will still be on Netflix when you get back. Why not hangout with your real friends at The Jacksonville Landing? During Art Walk, The Landing will feature local artists performing on the Coca-Cola Riverfront Stage, and Fionn MacCool’s Irish Restaurant and Pub will host Spade McQuade for Whiskey Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.

4. Why not support local artists doing what they love?

via memegenerator.net

via memegenerator.net

 Don’t forget that all of your favorite Art Walk artists – new and existing – will set up in Hemming Park with all of your favorite pieces of artwork.

5. Put that diet off for another day.

via memgeuy.com

via memgeuy.com

 From Humble Pie, Nomi’s Island Girl, Vagabond Coffee and the Food Truck Village – plus, more than 15 restaurants open for dinner – there will be so much deliciousness to enjoy.

Whatever the reason is, be sure to kick off the new year with a visit to Art Walk’s “New Year, New Hobby.” For more information, visit iloveartwalk.com.

Oct
6th
 

By Amy E. Pittman, DVI Intern

#runDTJax

It’s 7 a.m., and I’m at the top of the Main Street Bridge. My breathing is heavy as I take out my ear buds and lean against the blue railing. My legs are tired from the distance they’ve already carried me, but I know I won’t regret taking a moment to watch the sunlight spilling over into our city to wake it up. Besides the obvious health benefits, the best part of running is exploring, in my opinion. Downtown Jacksonville is a great place to explore through exercise because the terrain is diverse, the sidewalks are safe, and the views from the bridges are perfect.

by: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy No Comments  
JAX2025 Community Survey Results

JAX2025 Community Survey Results

“Creating a city of opportunity means investing in our Downtown. We want Downtown Jacksonville to become a vibrant destination for people to work, live and visit. A great city depends on a great Downtown.”

– Mayor Alvin Brown

DVI applauds Mayor Brown’s commitment to a revitalized Downtown and offers full support for the proposed Downtown investments in Mayor Brown’s 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Budget. The budget is currently in review with City Council and will be approved by the end of September.

 

 

Revitalizing Downtown Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Landing: As part of revitalization plans, the City of Jacksonville will invest $11.8 million in public infrastructure through the CIP to support the first phase of improvements, including a wider plaza along the Northbank Riverwalk, public space and broader access at Hogan Street. Demolition of existing structures is included. The vision for reinvigorating the Jacksonville Landing includes new retail, housing and event space.

The Shipyards: Mayor Brown has made redeveloping the Shipyards a major priority to continue investment in Downtown. To activate environmental remediation efforts, the CIP makes an initial investment of $1.25 million.

Former Duval County Courthouse: To continue efforts to upgrade Downtown, the former county courthouse will be demolished to provide new opportunities for public or private development. The CIP invests $4.2 million.

Metropolitan Park: The capital improvement plan invests $250,000 to begin the design of a new Metropolitan Park that maximizes its role as an entertainment venue.

Downtown Streets: To continue making Downtown the best experience possible, the City will invest $1 million through the CIP to design the transition from unwieldy one-way streets to more user-friendly two-way streets.

Downtown Lighting and Signage: Both Mayor Brown and the DIA have made enhancing the experience of visiting Downtown a priority. Lighting and signage will be improved through an investment of $1.5 million in the CIP.

Northbank Riverwalk: Mayor Brown supports upgrades of $3 million through the CIP to continue maximizing the potential of the pedestrian park along our river.

Downtown Investment Authority: Mayor Brown proposes providing $1.21 million in annual funding for the DIA through the general fund to finance non-capital projects that will spur interest and investment in Downtown.

FC Armada: As previously announced, the City will partner with new North American Soccer League (NASL) team FC Armada to hold its games in the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville for the next three years. Through the general fund, the City will cover up to $700,000 in operational expenses and make a one-time capital investment of $300,000.

Main Library: The general fund budget would restore hours at the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville, while the CIP would invest in public spaces at the Main Library.

Downtown Vision: So that the City can be consistent with other Downtown property owners, Mayor Brown proposed a $152,340 increase in the City’s annual contribution to Downtown Vision.

One Spark: To increase Jacksonville’s role and success in this signature, destination creator festival, Mayor Brown supports doubling the City’s direct investment to $100,000, with a similar amount available through in-kind contributions of City services.

Budget items also with City Council for approval are: $750,000 for the Downtown Investment Authority’s Retail Enhancement Grant Program and $1 million seed funding for the day-to-day management of Hemming Plaza (over 18 months).

Please contact City Council to voice your support for Downtown today.

 

The following is from our Downtown column published monthly in EU Jacksonville.

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 5.33.07 PMIf our homes and workplaces are our first two social environments, a third place is anywhere else we go to socialize. Coined by urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, third places are everyday gathering places that are the anchors of community life. They are easily accessible – often walkable, are welcoming and comfortable with a set of “regulars,” and usually include food or drinks as a key part of the experience. These are the places where we go to make our own entertainment.

Great Downtowns have great third places. Urban living means trading in backyards for a variety of walkable hangouts. From the bar to the bookstore to the park bench, third places are key in attracting urban workers, young professionals and empty nesters to live Downtown.

In the heart of Downtown, redevelopment is underway on the historic Barnett Building. Emerging as an entrepreneurial epicenter, the building will not only be home to One Spark headquarters, KYN and CoWork Jax, but also to 80 apartments geared toward creative young professionals. Residents and workers will be able to take full advantage of key community amenities such as a green roof on the fourth floor patio and a collaborative conference center and lounge on the 18th floor. A block’s walk away sits our city’s oldest park and original third place, Hemming Plaza.

“We see Hemming Plaza as the front yard for everything we’re doing,” said Steve Atkins, Principal SouthEast Group, the developer behind The Barnett. “A revitalized, reprogrammed Hemming Plaza will be a key community asset for our residents and a central park for Downtown.”

In recent years, Hemming Plaza has been an example of how a third place can leave many feeling disconnected by not engaging the community through activities, events and vendors. Great public spaces don’t just happen. Meticulous behind-the-scenes management is the recipe for success. Pending City Council approval, the Downtown Investment Authority has awarded an $800,000 management contract to the Friends of Hemming Park, with a board comprised of DVI’s Terry Lorince, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s Diane Brunet-Garcia, historian and arts agitator Wayne Wood, Bill Prescott and One Spark’s Vince Cavin.

This management contract will ensure that our city’s oldest third space reconnect with the community through daily activation, cleanings and security. A constant slate of programs, like yoga classes, a reading corner and food truck rallies that evolves to adapt to the community’s wants and needs—especially Downtown residents and workers within walking distance—will be the hallmark of a successful Hemming Plaza.

“Although the park declined for a number of years, it is now making a resurgence,” said Wayne Wood. “The recent One Spark festival and the ambitious goals of Friends of Hemming Park are indicative of the community’s commitment to make this park the center of the growing renaissance of Downtown. Hemming Plaza is on the threshold of becoming not just a pleasant place to visit but a major attraction in the heart of our city.”

Whether it’s a green roof in your apartment building or the park down the street, or simply reading in the Main Library’s scenic courtyard, playing trivia on Burrito Gallery’s back patio or walking along the Riverwalk with neighbors or coworkers, places like these are essential to creating a sense of community. It begins with you – get out and discover Downtown’s third places.