Fun 4 First Coast Kids Blog

Fun 4 First Coast Kids, the premiere resource of information of places to go and things to do with kids in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Shop Local and Experienced Based Gifts :: The Ultimate Jacksonville Family Guide

We can't believe Thanksgiving has come up so quickly. As in Thanksgiving is NEXT week! So we've put together a list of Small Business Saturday events put on by local small businesses as well as our annual experienced based gifts guide. We hope everyone can support these local businesses and support our local community! Happy shopping everyone!

Give the Gift of Experience, Locally

Jacksonville Zoo, Credit: Wendy Updegraff Photography

Give the gift of EXPERIENCE this Holiday season! Living on the First Coast we are lucky to have so many great attractions, museums, and organizations working for families. This Holiday season why not give a gift of membership, tickets, or donation to support our local small businesses and non profits. The best thing about these gifts are that they last all year long and you can enjoy them as a family! Here are some great places around Jacksonville that offer family memberships, stocking stuffer gifts, or are raising funding or doing toy drives for our local community.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
An individual membership is $50 and family memberships start as low $95 for the whole year. Membership includes free zoo admission for the entire year! (Excludes Special Events and After Hours Happenings), discounted or free admission to over 140 other zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and Canada, discounts on zoo train rides, special members only train and carousel discount cards, discounts in all the zoo gift shops, invitations to members only events and sneak previews, free subscription to their quarterly magazine, Wild, free subscription to their monthly email newsletter, Animals in Your Inbox – News from the Zoo, discounts on educational camps, and members-only stamp cards can be purchased for greater discounts on train and carousel rides. This membership practically pays for itself in under 5 zoo visits! (Membership details here.)

Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
A family membership at The Museum of Science & History is $80 (2 adults and 2 children) while an individual membership is only $35. Membership includes free annual admission to the Museum of Science & History, free admission to members' exhibit previews with special programming, invitation to exclusive members' events, early invitation to MOSH programs such as Bella Luna and LEGO® Competition, 20% Discount at the MOSH Store, 20% off Birthday Parties, 20% off MOSH programs and ticketed events, 50% off admission to the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, and free admission to over 350 ASTC and SERM Reciprocal Membership Museums. (Membership details here.)

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA) offers a family membership for $100. Membership includes free general admission to the Museum, Southeastern Reciprocal Membership to over 100 regional museums, invitations to members-only exhibition preview receptions and special events, free subscription to FORMA magazine, free subscription to Gallery Magazine, free admission to public programs such as films, lectures and members-only events, 10% discount in the Museum Shop, 20% discount on published MOCA facility rental rates, Significant discounts for MOCA special events, discounted rates for children's art camp, opportunity to join Special Interest Groups: The MOCA Guild / The Contemporaries, and two hours complimentary parking in designated city garage. MOCA also offers discounts off memberships for Active & retired military, Artists, Educators, Seniors (55+), UNF Alumni, and Full-time students. (Membership details here.)

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
Purchase a membership to the art museum, or make a special donation to restore their gardens that were flooded during Hurricane Irma. Membership includes free annual admission to the Cummer Museum, exclusive exhibition opening events with live music, one drink ticket, and artist demonstrations, special invitations to programs and events and monthly digital newsletter, discount prices for concerts, lectures, Garden programs, and adult classes, 10% discount at the Cummer Shop & the Cummer Café, free admission to more than 150 Southeast Reciprocal Museums, Membership for two adults and children or grandchildren under 18, reciprocal membership to over 700 institutions through the North American Reciprocal Museums (NARM) Program, reciprocal membership to nearly 300 gardens through the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Program, and discounted adult and children's education classes. (Membership details here.)

Sweet Pete's Candy
Sweet Pete's is getting pretty sweet for Small Business Saturday! Everyone gets a spot of champagne while they shop for a sip and shop during certain hours, you get a $10 gift card for any $50 purchase you make, redeemable for later on, they will have Pete's Pick Tin picks that are filled with saltwater taffee, peanut butter meltaways, and more for two for $20, and if you sign up for their email news list you'll be entered to win an oversized stocking filled with toys and candy! Pick up a Sweet Pete's Candy gift certificate for candy or a candy making class while you're there! Find all the fun, here.

Shop With Woman Owned Local Small Businesses

Color Me Mine Painting Ornaments

Bay & Bee Indoor Play Space
Bay & Bee is a local indoor play space and shop located in the Harbour Village Plaza on Atlantic Blvd and San Pablo Rd. and now on Racetrack Road near US1. Various membership levels include access to play space during open hours, 7 days a week (9am-5pm on weekdays and 9-1 on weekends), open play and all activities during open hours: classes (story time, kids yoga, nature exploration, arts & crafts, music), parenting workshops, play dates, special events, and so much more. They even have a shop with toys, baby carrying items, registry items and more! (Membership details here.)

My Gym Beach Boulevard
My gym has incredible classes for caregiver and child. Owned by a local female entrepreneur, a lifetime membership to this program can help your child/grandchild meet friends, exercise, and develop athletic and gymnastics skills and help mom/dad/caregiver get out and meet other caregivers! Also enjoy themed holiday parties and summer camps!

Pump It Up Jax
Pump It Up is asked for by name each morning in our house! Huge bounce houses, bounce obstacle courses, and inflatable slides are all the rage at this jump arena. They have sensory jumps, early bird jumps, holiday jumps, summer camps and birthday parties. Your kids will "jump" for joy when they see this stocking stuffer! Pump It Up offers a 10 jump pass for $50, valid for 10 entries to Open Jumps. This is a $30 savings that never expires!!!!!

Rebounderz Jax
Rebounderz has two huge areas separated into squares of trampolines-a kid's and adult dream! They have a huge foam pit, bouncing basketball goals, an arcade, archery tag, themed holiday parties, birthday parties, summer camps, and more!

Space Base
This woman owned small business has unique play areas for kids, trampolines, and space themed educational experiences! Get a gift card that your kids will love as you experience jumping fun as a family! More info here.

Color Me Mine Jacksonville
Color Me Mine has pottery painting that make a fun experience for families, and make great gifts! Paint a light up Christmas tree, ornaments, and more before hand for heart felt home made gifts. Support this woman owned small business in the Avenues Mall this holiday season! Info, here.

Jumperz Fun Center
Not owned by a woman, but fun none the less, this jump center in Orange Park is an amazing jump facility! They have almost 10 huge inflatables an arcade, and a Bazooka Ball laser tag type arena. Parents will love the cozy chairs, wifi, and toddler zone that allows you to sit and peruse the internet or work while keeping an eye on your children. Another jump place asked for everyday, your kids will love this stocking stuffer!

Skate Station Funworks
Skating, birthday parties, themed and holiday parties, skating has been fun for many generations and Skate Station gift certificates are a great stocking stuffer supporting a locally owned small business!

We Rock the Spectrum
We Rock the Spectrum is a large play area that is a safe place for children on the autism spectrum to play, and for all Jacksonville families to enjoy! This woman owned small business also hosts behavior therapy sessions, fun events, and space for moms groups to meet. Find more info on a great monthly pass gift, here.

Backcountry Trails of Florida Book Gift
Local mompreneur and owner of Fun4FirstCoastKids.com, Terri Mashour, came out with her first book on September 19, 2017! Explore all the local trails in Jacksonville and state wide in, "Backcountry Trails of Florida: A Guide to Hiking Florida's Water Management Districts." She shares 100 places to hike as well as her adventures with cowboys, ranchers, snakes, and responding to wildfires during almost a decade working in Florida's woods. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include your address, how many copies you'd like, and get 20% off directly from the author, now through December 15, just include code #ShopSmall in your email!

Root 2 Crown Bodywork Massage
The ultimate gift for parents is a massage and relaxation! Contact this woman owned small business to schedule your massage and mention Fun4FirstCoastKids.com to get $10 off! Scheduling info, here.

Wood Play of Jacksonville
Support this local Jacksonville business that provides family fun everyday in your own backyard! Right now they have a special of 40% off their playground equipment with a FREE super spinner add on! Find all the specials here and tell them you saw them on Fun4FirstCoastKids.com!

Support Local Non Profits

Purchase homemade cards from the children living at Sulzbacher Center to support the homeless shelter.

We have a page dedicated to Children's Non-Profits in Jacksonville. Supporting these organizations with a monetary donation in honor of a family is another great holiday gift idea. We've highlighted a few local organizations that you can help:

Sulzbacher Center
Over the holidays the Sulzbacher center offers great opportunities to give back! Thanksgiving Baskets - You can help provide a family or individual in need in our Aftercare program with all the fixings for a special Thanksgiving meal by putting together a Thanksgiving Basket or donating a $25 gift card (grocery store or VISA gift card). Holiday Toy Drive - Believe it or not there are less than 60 days until Christmas! Currently, we have 66 children in the shelter and our goal is for each child to receive three gifts on Christmas morning. Get a head start and sign-up for your office holiday toy drive today! Holiday Wrapping Parties - After all the toys are in, we'll need a few extra hands to get them wrapped and under the tree. Volunteers are needed to help at our wrapping parties taking place December 21st-23rd 6:30-8PM. All we ask is that you please bring scissors, tape, wrapping paper and bows!

We have quite a few YMCA's on the First Coast and a membership would be a great gift for this holiday season! The YMCA offers several family membership options from single-parent family to family plus memberships and the prices vary from branch to branch. They even offer income based rates so that all families on the First Coast can have access to their programs! A YMCA memberships comes with a lot of fun perks including access to their KidsZones and swimming pools, help with your personal health and wellness goals using ActivTrax and FastForward Fitness, and more!!!!! (Membership details here.)

We hope you enjoy the holiday season and the good feeling of shopping local! For all the Thanksgiving and Holiday Events, visit these quick links!

Holiday Events
Santa Sightings
Holiday Lights
A Guide to Seeing the Girvin Holiday Lights

Many of these locally owned small businesses are sponsors of Fun4FirstCoastKids.com, but their sponsorships have not influenced our opinions in this blog.

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