Southeast Missouri doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being a super exciting place for kids. I won’t lie, when we moved back here in 2018 from St. Louis, it was a bit of an adjustment not having tons of kid-centered activities minutes away. But, our little corner of Missouri still has lots to offer so if you’ve been looking for things to do in Jackson with kids, I’m here to share about some of our family’s favorite activities!
Okay, I may be biased here, but I truly think a visit Knowlan Family Farm is a summer and fall bucket list activity. Since 2016, we have worked to make this a family destination. We are a you-pick orchard with blueberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, and pears. We have bee hives, cattle, goats, sheep, and three farm dogs to watch over them all. There is a shade-covered playground – The Wild Wood – with wooden playscape, a gravel digging pit, swings, a ninja warrior course, slack lines, and lots of lightly wooded area to explore. As summer arrives, we open the Fun Field which has a pedal kart track, zip lines, and a giant bounce pad. The farm store has super delicious hand-dipped ice cream (IYKYK!), our produce, honey, and beef as well as other local produce and gifts. Our season typically starts in early June with the blueberries and ends in late October with all the fun fall staples: apple, pear, and pumpkin picking, and fresh-pressed cider.
Jackson Park is made up of over 88 acres filled with lots of things to explore! The scenic park contains a 1.5-mile-long recreational trail that boasts lots of shady areas, a pool, several playgrounds, a skate park, tennis courts, a lake for fishing, and Hubble Creek access. My boys love to go on bike rides on the trail, riding bikes at Safety City (more on that below) and they especially enjoy playing in Hubble Creek on warmer days, looking for crawdads to catch and cooling off in the water. They’re also known to put on an impromptu show at the band shelter when it’s empty – those improvised skits are some of my favorite memories. While a local park may not sound like the most exciting thing, Jackson’s offers quite a bit for family entertainment, perfect for a nice afternoon together or a quick pit stop on the way home from school.
I remember visiting Safety City as a kid and LOVING it. I felt *so cool* riding my bike around the miniature city and obeying all the traffic rules. My boys, however, play a little differently – purposefully disobeying all the traffic signs, chasing each other off the road, and gaining as much speed as possible down the slight hill so they can watch me panic. 🤪 Safety city comes complete a two-lane road and lots of road signs – merge, one-way, stop, etc. It’s a great place to give your child a space where they can safely ride their bike, learn about real roadway rules (or how to gleefully ignore them), and imaginary play all at once. It’s really a great spot for the entire family with a pavilion and/or lots of shade for a picnic, easy lake access for fishing or walking the trail, an adjacent playground perfect for littles and a big-kid playground within walking distance.
If you’ve been trying to find something new to do with your family this weekend, check out these things to do in Jackson with kids. While kid-centric getaways or extravagant vacations are wonderful, our kids don’t need them to make wonderful memories. At the end of the day, it’s about togetherness and you can make that happen at any of these spots. ❤️
Are you trying to find another way to make these moments in your child’s life last? Why not book some family photos? I’m a Southeast Missouri photographer who specializes in family pictures. I have three kids myself and know how quickly these years fly by. It’s my job to make sure you can preserve these moments forever! If you’ve been considering booking a session for your family, I’d love to connect! Contact me today to find out more!