Tree Hill Nature Center is hidden within Jacksonville's urban landscape. Its 50 acres of hardwood forest and wetlands opens a door to the great outdoors, showcasing nature through wildflower gardens, nature trails, and interactive exhibits. Spot longleaf-pine and swamp habitats under the shady green canopies of the nature trails, or head inside the kid?s museum to see exhibits about energy and nature, as well as a variety of animals on display, such as barred owls, pine snakes, and boxing turtles.
A serpentine path winding through a muddy field, the 5-mile course at MuckFest MS is designed to get runners as dirty as possible while also testing their endurance. More than 20 elaborate obstacles—including mud lakes, steel-constructed obstacles, crawls through muck, and rope ladders—further separate contestants from the finish line. Among the more grueling challenges are a two-story wall of connected ropes and a fireman's ladder whereupon competitors must slide down a 20-foot pole or else they turn into a dalmatian. Finishing times are tracked by in-bib chip timing, and both competitive and recreational runners are encouraged to participate. Runners can also band together to form fundraising teams, whose earnings benefit multiple sclerosis research and direct-support services for those living with MS.
At Kona Skate Park, smooth concrete undulates, dips, and banks like a frozen ocean. Skaters navigate those contours armed with helmets and bags of tricks such as kickflips and ollies. After zigging and zagging around cement bowls and valleys, they grab some air on the ramps and half-pipes. Street skating obstacles such as low wooden boxes and steps provide opportunity for slick grinds and rail slides.
The park opened in the late 1970s, and all of its elements, including the verts protruding from the concrete basins, are infused with history. Kona Skate Park was the original meeting place for legends such as Tony Alva and Rodney Mullen, and today it's the site of burgeoning skateboarders. To nurture the talents of those future stars, instructors lead lessons and camps geared toward kids of all skill levels.
Whether they're gliding around a polished roller-skating rink or carefully lining up putts on the Swamp Golf course, kids are never at a loss for fun at Skate Station. The fun center compiles a variety of attractions at one location so families can spend a day playing together. The arcade areas holds air-hockey tables and all sorts of ticket games to rack up high scores on, and kids can bust out pretend parkas and oxygen masks to scale Skate Station's rock-climbing wall.
At Skate Station, kids choose their own day of fun and adventure. Four main attractions fill the fun center, where kids and families spend hours making making memories. Wally's Playground features a two-story, 30-foot soft play area with a plenty of colorful apparatuses to climb, roll through, and swing on. In the Swamp Golf area, kids display their mini-golf skills as they putt their way along the holes in search of a chest of pirates' gold. The fun also turns old-school at the roller rink filled with pop music and colorful lights, as well as in the arcade where kids try their skills at sports- and adventure-themed video games.