Being a parent is a non-stop challenge of instruction, guidance and entertainment.
It is hard to constantly come up with things to do. Here are some no-cost and low-cost Weekend activities, not too far away.
There are a plethora of parks in the area and most have picnic tables, pavilions and restrooms. It is as easy as a homemade sandwich and chips to a quick stop at the local fast food joint.
These parks also have grills. With a little more effort you can be grilling burgers, dogs or blackened redfish with crispy capers.
Take a Hike.
In addition to the walking trails at most parks there are a few actual hiking trails in the area. The most prominent locally is the Yockanookany. The “Yock” is a 30+ mile trial that runs north and south, beginning just north of the Overlook on the Natchez Trace paralleling the Trace northward for 30 miles. There are multiple spots to get on and off. This trial is primitive, but well-marked.
Mule Jail Trail. Mule Jail is a mountain biking/hiking trail. It is just south and west of the Spillway. It is a well-defined trail that meanders through the woods that are on your right when traveling east over Spillway Road. It’s an easy hike, quick to get to, but feels like your away from it all. Also, Mule Jail has a great history involving an island being formed from a natural peninsula of the Pearl River during the Civil War to protect the farmer’s live stock. The island was known as “Mule Jail.”
Other great hiking info can be found at Hiking in Mississippi, a great resource!
Mississippi has some amazing rivers, streams and lakes. The Rez has numerous places to launch canoe and kayaks. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore. There are a few local places that will rent canoes or kayaks, or you may purchase one at the big box retailers.
If you don’t go the rental route, this will be more expensive and more of a hassle. You will need to transport your craft and have the required paddles and life jackets.
The metro area has numerous museums and attractions. The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Natural Science Museum, Children’s Museum, Agriculture Museum, and Jackson Zoo are all nearby. These are relatively low-cost activities that can consume a half day or more of fun and learning. These are just a few in the area and there are plenty more throughout the state.
Just for Fun.
There are seemingly endless opportunities to just have fun, neat places to explore. A drive through downtown Jackson to see the sights is always a treat. Really. The Capitol, the Old Capitol, the Mississippi Supreme Court building, Governor’s Mansion, all of the “skyscrapers” in Jackson, and just traveling Capitol Street is a treat. Other localities have quaint “downtowns” with shops and farmer’s markets. Canton’s square is famed.
There are more places to eat in the area than you realize. Local, unique and one-of-a-kind places. There are numerous home-cooking diners, amazing soul food and authentic “foreign” cuisine. Where else can you find a catfish igloo, an old gas station turned-restaurant, an old school turned entertainment destination, and more Mexican places than you can shake a sombrero at?
There are lots of opportunities to have fun, stay on a budget, and make memories that last a lifetime.
Matthew Thompson is a Family and Child Custody Attorney encouraging you to be the best parent you can be.