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.
Families explore sundry smile-inducing attractions within Skate Station Funworks' bright interiors. Guests can strive to beat high scores in the arcade, which houses such felicity infusers as air hockey, basketball hoops, and skee-ball to sharpen hand-eye coordination. Visitors skirt over to the roller-skating rink to glide as smoothly as velvet-covered curling stone over the rink's expansive wooden floors beneath effulgent, dancing neon lights. Players ages 10 and younger can head to Wally's Playground to explore the two-story, 30-foot, soft play zone that piques curiosities with a forest, slide, and kitten pit.
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.