30 Fun Things to Do in Jackson, MS

Updated 12 min read

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A state capitol building with a domed roof and a statue, flags, and trees in front
Jackson is the state capital of Mississippi and has many landmarks to see

Located in the South of the United States, Jackson is the capital city of Mississippi. Visitors to this unique city can discover lots of attractions to check out. Some of the fun things to do in Jackson, MS, include learning new things at museums, touring the Mississippi State Capitol, and playing a round of golf at Live Oaks Golf Course.

You can additionally find a few things to do just outside of Jackson, such as wandering through the Mississippi Petrified Forest. Keep reading to find out more about all the activities to enjoy in Jackson!

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  • 30 Jackson things to do

30 Fun Things to Do in Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson Things to Do Map

A map of Jackson. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

Jackson, MS, Things to Do

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The exterior of a building with a Museum of Natural Science sign
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science has fascinating exhibits and nature trails

Learn new things at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is the state's largest museum and features numerous science exhibits. Topics covered include ecology, dinosaurs, and other paleontological topics. There are also outdoor nature trails to follow. If visiting with family, young children can enjoy a dinosaur trail that has large-scale 3D dinosaur models along it!

Check out the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

You can find an array of fascinating museums in Jackson, with the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum being one of the most popular. The attraction focuses on the achievements of Mississippi athletes, including those originally from the state and those who have competed within Mississippi.

As you look around, you can also see many artifacts and pieces of memorabilia, including trophies, uniforms, and even Olympic gold medals.

Indulge in sweet treats at Broad Street Bakery

The Broad Street Bakery, also known as Broad Street Baking Company & Cafe, bakes a variety of treats daily. Baked goods on offer include cinnamon rolls, cookies, croissants, and much more. Freshly baked bread can also be purchased, and the cafe serves hot and cold drinks and savory dishes, like sandwiches and salads.

Look around the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center

Going to the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center is one of the best things to do in Jackson, MS, for those that enjoy the arts. The venue has various art exhibits, many featuring works by local artists. You can also see artifacts, photographs, and other items, the majority of which relate to the area's African American communities and history.

A stone state capitol building with columns and a dome illuminated at night
Touring the Old Capitol Museum allows you to learn about state politics in the 1800s

Travel back in time at the Old Capitol Museum

The Old Capitol Museum, also known as the Old Mississippi State Capitol, is a museum covering political history. It's located in the building that was the State Capitol from 1839 to 1903. This building was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

At the museum, you can marvel at the Greek Revival architecture and view a range of exhibits covering the roles of the governor, legislature, and high court. You can also learn more about some of the significant events that occurred in the building when it was the main seat of government for the state.

Tour Cathead Distillery

Cathead Distillery is a well-known Mississippi distillery located in Jackson. The business opened in 2010 and was the state's first legal distillery. Cathead produces vodka, bourbon, gin, and chicory liqueur.

Visitors to the warehouse distillery can take tours, learn about the distilling process, and taste samples. There's also a bar; however, only beer can be served. Despite this, grabbing a beer after your tour and hanging out in the cool warehouse space is a great idea!

Go to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Opened in 2011, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum covers the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Exhibits at the museum include those showcasing the stories of prominent members of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement between 1945 and 1970.

You can also learn more about the history and lives of African Americans in Mississippi over the last few hundred years and see artifacts and photographs relating to significant Civil Rights events.

Visit the Medgar Evers Home Museum

Going to the Medgar Evers Home Museum is one of the best things to do in Jackson, Mississippi if you like visiting historical landmarks and learning more about the Civil Rights Movement. Officially known as the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, the house on this site belonged to prominent Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers and his wife Myrlie.

The house was constructed in 1956, and Evers lived there until his assassination outside the home in 1963. It was since acquired by the National Park Service and became a National Historic Landmark in 2017.

When in the area, you can take a tour of the home, and a guide will provide more information on the Evers family and Medgar Evers' work. Tours do need to be pre-arranged. However, you can also simply view the home from the street and view the exterior informational plaques.

View the exhibits at the Museum of Mississippi History

The Museum of Mississippi History sits next to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and has just as many fascinating exhibits to see. This museum covers the history of the state, dating back 15,000 years.

Topics range from what the area was like millenia ago to significant cultural and historical events over the last few hundred years. As you explore, you'll be able to see an array of artifacts as well, including photographs, pottery, and clothing.

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A Tudor-style house with trees, grass, and an informational plaque in front of it
The Eudora Welty House & Garden features the childhood home of the famous author

Wander around the Eudora Welty House & Garden

Another of the fascinating Jackson, Mississippi, attractions to visit is the Eudora Welty House & Garden. The property was home to author Eudora Welty for around 80 years and was constructed by her parents in 1925.

The house is designed in a Tudor Revival style and is surrounded by stunning gardens filled with beautiful flowers like roses, daylilies, and camellias. Along with strolling through the scenic gardens, you can explore the house and find out more about Eudora Welty's life and work.

Dine at The Iron Horse Grill

The Iron Horse Grill dates back to 1906, when it opened as the Armour smokehouse. The eatery you see today is a remodel of the original grill, which burnt down. Despite the restaurant not being exactly the same as it was over 100 years ago, it remains a popular place to eat with locals and visitors.

Menu items include Southern dishes, like shrimp and grits and fried chicken, as well as craft cocktails. There's also an outdoor patio if you want to dine outside when the weather is nice.

Spend some time at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum

Visitors to the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum will get the chance to learn about the state's agricultural history. At the living history farm, you can look around a replica of a 1920s cotton-economy-era town, which includes various buildings like a general store and barnyard.

You can also learn more about agricultural practices and life on farms in Mississippi in the early 20th century and can see lots of old farming equipment.

Explore the Fondren District

One of the more laid-back things to do in Jackson is wandering around the Fondren District. This bustling area is home to an array of shops, restaurants, bars, and other local businesses. As you walk around, you can stop in shops that interest you before relaxing at a bar or eatery with a delicious meal and drinks.

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A colorful museum and patio with a "Mississippi Children's Museum" sign
Your kids can learn while they play at the Mississippi Children's Museum!

Let your kids play and learn at the Mississippi Children's Museum

If you have young kids, be sure to plan a trip to the Mississippi Children's Museum. This kid-friendly attraction features various hands-on exhibits that help children to learn as they play. Things to do include creating artwork, exploring an outdoor flower garden, and playing in pretend farms, shops, and other businesses.

Attend a concert by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Whether you're a big opera fan or not, seeing the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is a fun and memorable experience. You can watch the orchestra at a range of venues, including open-air performance venues during the summer. If you've been wondering what to do in Jackson, MS, in the evening, seeing the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is an absolute must!

Play a round of golf at Live Oaks Golf Course

You can find a few golf courses around Jackson, with one of the most popular being Live Oaks Golf Course. This 18-hole golf course is challenging enough for experienced golfers to enjoy but also doable for those newer to the sport. After a game, you can relax at the club's Roosevelt Restaurant with a drink and a meal.

Have a meal at Saltine Restaurant

Saltine is a trendy eatery serving contemporary southern dishes, fresh oysters, and delicious drinks. Menu items include Nashville hot oysters, lobster rolls, and Cajun seafood pasta. For dessert, you can indulge in treats like Key lime pie or cinnamon roll cheesecake. Saltine is open for lunch and dinner service and also serves brunch on the weekends.

Look at the stars at Russell C Davis Planetarium

The Russell C Davis Planetarium is one of the largest planetariums in the Southern United States and has a state-of-the-art 4k full-dome digital projection system that allows you to look up at the galaxies. You can also watch fascinating informational films covering astronomy, as well as other scientific topics like ecology and paleontology.

Catch the game at Last Call Sports Grill

Visiting Last Call Sports Grill is one of the popular Jackson, Mississippi, things to do for sports fans. The bar shows a range of games, including NBA, NFL, and MLB games.

As you enjoy the game, you can order wings, nachos, and many other bar snacks. An extensive beer menu is available too, and other drinks like wine, mixed drinks, and specialty shots can also be enjoyed.

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A modern building with a "Mississippi Museum of Art" sign next to a patio and trees
The Mississippi Museum of Art is the state's largest art museum

Admire artworks at the Mississippi Museum of Art

The Mississippi Museum of Art was founded in 1978 and is a must-visit attraction, even for those who aren't art enthusiasts. At the gallery, which is the largest art museum in the state, you can see works by prominent artists like Georgia O'Keefe and Andy Warhol. There are also some works by lesser-known artists, and there's a beautiful art garden to explore with outdoor art installations and water features.

Plan a trip to the International Museum of Muslim Cultures

The International Museum of Muslim Cultures is another of the many museums in Jackson that has to be on your must-visit list! The museum's goal is to educate visitors about Islamic culture and history and to highlight the contributions of Muslim communities around the world.

At the museum, you can view exhibits that will teach you more about Muslim culture, and you can see an array of artifacts, including those dating from hundreds of years ago.

Relax with a coffee at The Bean

The Bean is a laid-back and trendy coffee shop that's the perfect place to relax with a drink. Beverages on offer include hot and iced coffee drinks, frappes, and hot chocolate. If you're not in the mood for a coffee or soft drink, cocktails, wine, and beer are also on offer!

In addition, you can order food, including avocado on toast, granola bowls, and sandwiches. You can enjoy your refreshments inside the stylish coffee shop or outside on a patio.

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A sign that says "LeFleur's Bluff State Park" on the grass with trees behind it
LeFleur's Bluff State Park is a scenic place to hike, bike, and boat

Hang out at LeFleur's Bluff State Park

If the weather is nice, spending the day at LeFleur's Bluff State Park is a must! The recreation area sits next to the Pearl River and features scenic nature trails to hike or bike along. There's also a playground for children, and you can boat on the lake. Those that enjoy spending the night in nature can camp within the park as well.

See a performance at the New Stage Theatre

Performing arts enthusiasts should plan to see a show at the New Stage Theatre. You can watch a range of plays and musicals at the venue, including independent shows and renowned performances, like The Sound of Music. Whether you're a performing arts enthusiast or are simply looking for something memorable to do, seeing a show at New Stage Theatre is sure to please.

Stroll around Mynelle Gardens Arboretum & Botanical Center

Mynelle Gardens Arboretum & Botanical Center is one of the most beautiful Jackson, MS, attractions. The botanical garden features lots of greenery, beautiful flowers and plants, and tranquil ponds. As you stroll around the gardens, you'll also spot many songbirds, plus butterflies, and other wildlife.

One of the fun things to do in Jackson, MS, is visiting the Mississippi State Capitol
Visiting the Mississippi State Capitol is one of many fun things to do in Jackson, MS

Tour the Mississippi State Capitol

The Mississippi State Capitol is the current seat of government for the state. This Mississippi landmark opened in 1903 and was renovated in the late 1970s. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2016.

Visitors to the capitol can tour the building free of charge. On a tour, you'll learn more about the capitol's history and architecture and the government activity that currently takes place in the building.

Treat yourself to a milkshake at Brent's Drugs

Brent's Drugs is one of the unique and much-loved attractions in Jackson, Mississippi, that's a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth. Housed in a former drug store, the retro diner has a 1940s soda fountain and serves various shakes, floats, and sundaes.

Options include a banana, Nutella, and ice cream shake and a decadent hot fudge sundae. If you want something savory, classic diner dishes like burgers, hot dogs, and chicken and waffles are available.

Sip cocktails at The Apothecary at Brent's Drugs

Getting milkshakes and burgers at Brent's Drugs is a great idea during the day, but the fun doesn't have to end in the evening! The diner also has a stylish cocktail bar called The Apothecary that's open from 5 PM until late.

The bar has been named one of the best bars in the South by various publications and serves a range of classic and craft cocktails. You can also get beer or wine, as well as bar snacks like sliders and tacos.

Fun Things to Do Near Jackson, MS

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A wooden sign that says "Mississippi Petrified Forest" surrounded by greenery
You can walk trails and see unique petrified wood at the Mississippi Petrified Forest

Walk through the Mississippi Petrified Forest

If you're willing to travel about 30 to 40 minutes outside of Jackson, checking out the Mississippi Petrified Forest is recommended. The attraction is located in Flora and features trails that take you through a petrified forest filled with petrified wood as well as other trees.

Interestingly, the forest is thought to be over 36 million years old! While at the Mississippi Petrified Forest, you can also visit a museum that teaches you more about the ecology of the surrounding area. It additionally showcases petrified wood from other states and countries.

Bounce around at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Kids and adults alike can have fun when visiting Sky Zone Trampoline Park! The entertainment chain has a location about 20 minutes from Jackson in Ridgeland. Visitors can bounce around on trampolines, play trampoline dodgeball, and tackle an obstacle course, among other activities.

Most attractions are suitable for all ages, and the venue stays open until 10 PM on Friday and Saturday for those looking to visit when it's quieter.

In Conclusion

After reading this article, you should have a good idea of what to do in Jackson, Mississippi. This interesting city features many attractions, from unique museums to the State Capitol Building and fun bars and eateries, like Brent's Drugs. No matter what you like to do, you'll find activities to enjoy in Jackson!

This article was first published on Nov 17, 2022 12:00 UTC.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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