Kids Activities in Madison

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More than 200 species swim through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and that's just the facility's aquatic residents. Beyond the aquarium network sprawls an abundance of plant and animal life both indoors and out. A trip through the museum campus reveals Mississippi's diverse ecosystems, as well as their relationship to humans.

  • Size: the 73,000-square-foot complex overlooks 300 acres, including an open-air amphitheater and 2.5 miles of nature trails
  • Eye Catcher: The Swamp, a 1,700-square-foot greenhouse with a 20,000-gallon aquarium for alligators, turtles, and other animals
  • Permanent Mainstay: Stories in Stone, a display showcasing meat-eating dinosaurs, trilobites, and other fossils from Mississippi's distant past
  • Don't Miss: the outdoor Overlook, where visitors can observe every layer of the forest, including the one filled with caramel
  • Special Programs: fish-feeding demonstrations, monthly naturalist lectures, and story time for kids ages 3–5
  • Hands-On Experiments: a Kids Corner and Discovery Room with kid-friendly interactive activities
  • From the Press: Mississippi Magazine calls this the best museum in the state
2148 Riverside Dr.
Jackson,
MS
US

Winner of the 2010 Medal for Museum and Library Service, the beautiful, newly-renovated Mississippi Museum of Art is home to a diverse and rapidly-expanding permanent collection, including American art, British 19th century portraits, Pre-Columbian ceramics, and more. Feast your eyes upon the museum's current exhibitions, including River and Reverie: Paintings of the Mississippi by Rolland Golden, the Mississippi Watercolor Society's Grand National Watercolor Exhibition, and Oraien Catledge: Photographs of Cabbagetown. Refuel your art-engines mid-visit with a hot lunch at The Palette Café by Viking. Using fresh, local ingredients, executive chef Emily Hine Burgess dishes out Southern-style meals influenced by the tastes and patterns of the museum's Mississippi home.

201 E Pascagoula St
Jackson,
MS
US

One of ESPN's ten best baseball museums and one of Jackson's top ten attractions, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum takes visitors through more than 21,000 square feet of exhibits and interactive displays. Travel back to the days of the Gashouse Gang with one of the best collections of Dizzy Dean memorabilia in the world, or leap forward in time at the Participatory Room, which allows fans to measure how fast they throw a baseball, kick a football, and spit a watermelon seed. Visitors can also try their hands at play-by-play broadcasting in the Cingular Wireless Broadcast Experience, and learn about the lives and achievements of such Mississippi sporting luminaries as Walter Payton, James "Cool Papa" Bell, and Archie Manning.

1152 Lakeland Dr
Jackson,
MS
US

Every day of the week, Indian Lanes rumbles with activity as bowlers of all ages rack up points on the facility's 16 lanes. A smoke- and alcohol-free alley, Indian Lanes strives to create a suitable environment for every guest, from children and sports teams to church groups and individuals with special needs. In between frames, the action moves away from the pins and toward the snack bar, where popcorn, nachos, and frozen drinks await, or the arcade, which houses video games, pool tables, and air hockey. For bigger groups, the facility features two large party rooms that open for birthday parties, business ventures, and union meetings for striking pins.

815 E Northside Dr
Clinton,
MS
US

Sprawling across an indoor arena, Pump It Up's giant inflatables beckon kids to slide and bounce during private parties and open play. Technicolor bouncy castles send their inhabitants soaring, obstacle courses foster good-spirited competition, and ceiling-to-floor slides let sock-clad kiddies pretend they're escaping a giant gumball machine. Occasionally, Pump it Up's staff dims the lights and turns up the music to transform their facility into a glow-in-the-dark party catered to tweens and teens.

Pump It Up's staff supervises the arena during parties, giving parents time to relax and play patty cake uninterrupted. They can also help customers design personalized parties inside a private room with options such as pizza, drinks, goodie bags, balloons, and ice cream.

1576 Old Fannin Rd
Brandon,
MS
US

Throughout the week, Fannin Lanes provides classic entertainment opportunities for bowlers of all ages with 24 tenpin runways and a stocked video arcade. The alley is also home to a full sports bar, which serves dishes such as santa ae egg rolls, fried dill pickles, potato skins, and mexican okra. Craft beer flows from the bar's 40 taps so guests can wet their whistles before refereeing games. Leagues are available seasonally and the alley pro shop houses a stockpile of balls that may be custom-drilled.

1145 Old Fannin Rd
Brandon,
MS
US