An Educational Escape to JXN
With field trips, in-person learning, and the community of the classroom beyond reach for some, how can we renew that love for learning? Where can we go to instill an appreciation for science, history, and art?
Jackson is more than just the state capital of Mississippi. It’s a hub of deep Southern history and cultural appreciation with the potential to inspire adults and children alike. No matter your child’s interests (music, agriculture, literature, science), there’s a place of celebration and activity in Jackson with the potential to spark their young minds again!
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
Few other places in Jackson have as much potential to teach us as the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This state-of-the-art space features eight distinct galleries guiding visitors from the struggle for freedom through the Jim Crow South and beyond to the present moment.
Interactive exhibits invite visitors of all ages to learn with both body and mind, as the stories of those lost to time come alive again in reenacted readings and letters. From days of bondage to this very day, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum spans centuries of struggle.
Eudora Welty House & Garden
At this most intact literary house in the United States, visitors can celebrate one of the South’s greatest voices. Here, Eudora Welty—a lifelong Jackson resident—wrote, read, gardened, and entertained.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter,” Eudora Welty enjoyed a long, celebrated career while putting her city and her home on America’s map
Today, visitors can take a lettered walk through the author’s home and garden to get a glimpse inside one of the most important Southern writers of the 20th century.
Museum of Mississippi History
Deep time and more recent moments combine at the Museum of Mississippi History. Spanning thousands of years, exhibits include Native American artifacts from 13,000 BC as well as slave shackles and a functioning, automated cotton gin.
The museum is currently hosting a special exhibit titled “Mississippi Distilled: Prohibition, Piety, and Politics,” an immersive exploration of the state’s tumultuous relationship with alcohol from the colonial period to today.
Mississippi Museum of Art
The Mississippi Museum of Art invites guests to stroll numerous masterpieces both inside the pristine galleries and outside in the museum gardens.
Through January 11, 2021, “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas & Their Times,” gets visitors up close and personal (but not too close) with some of the most famous impressionist and post-impressionist works in the world. These 74 works representing both the genius and madness of art world upheaval can be thrillingly informative to both art experts and complete novices.
Outside, among the already popular museum gardens, you’ll discover another temporary exhibition, “Leonardo Drew: City in the Grass.” The massive, interactive sculpture is composed of multiple, hand-weathered materials and measures 100 feet long and 30 feet wide. The rolling and towering sculpture is designed for wear and tear, and visitors are encouraged to gleefully interact with it through February.
Mississippi Children’s Museum
What better way to combat learning fatigue than with the Mississippi Children’s Museum—a 40,000-square-foot learning playground with five distinct galleries of educational and interactive exhibits.
Focusing on literacy, health and nutrition, cultural arts, science and technology, engineering and mathematics, and Mississippi heritage, the galleries engage young learners through touch, movement, and good old-fashioned fun.
Guided events and learning sessions are open to most age groups and focus on fun and memorable ways to make, think, or interact with STEM learning and other disciplines. Visitors can learn about insect pollination, exercise, or joys of reading.
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
Inside, guests can roam the 73,000 square feet of exhibition space as well as a 100,000-gallon aquarium. The museum offers multiple ways to learn about the unique natural heritage of both Mississippi and the greater South.
Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center
Dedicated to the timeless contributions of African Americans, the Smith Robertson Museum uses art, artifacts, photography, and other cultural treasures to demonstrate the crucial impact of Black voices and Black accomplishments in Mississippi and the world.
Situated within walking distance of the Capitol Building in downtown Jackson, visitors can stroll permanent exhibits spanning a detailed history of the predominantly Black Farish Street District to the contributions of Black doctors, scholars, and folk artists.
Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum
Dedicated to the preservation of Mississippi’s farming history, the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum spans over 39 acres of growing, budding, and tilled exhibits.
With 22 permanent exhibits and a Heritage Gallery including half-a-millennium’s worth of local agricultural history, the museum ushers guests from the state’s small-garden beginnings to its national and worldwide status as an agricultural powerhouse and driver of industry.
See also the adjoining National Agriculture Aviation Museum, the Children’s Barn, the Display Gardens, and, next door, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, dedicated to the celebration of the Magnolia State’s incredibly rich history of producing world-class athletes and teams.
Mississippi Music Experience at the Iron Horse Grill
The Iron Horse Grill began life in 1906 as a smokehouse before suffering two fires and abandonment until its inevitable resurrection as a local hotspot.
Now, the Iron Horse Grill features a museum dedicated to Mississippi’s musical heritage (in addition to a new restaurant featuring charcoal fired cooking and live music). See wax statues, antique instruments, and a vast collection of musical memorabilia all while stopping in for a great meal!
International Museum of Muslim Cultures
Islam’s connection with the Civil Rights movement shaped both the leaders and the struggle itself. The International Museum of Muslim Cultures captures the importance of faith in the fight for equality.
Examine 700-year-old literature from Timbuktu and artifacts from Moorish Spain or review the interfaith allegiance for human dignity founded to foster coexistence across aisles and racial divides.
For tweens or teens considering the next step in their education, Jackson is home to numerous historically significant colleges including several HBCUs.
Locations include Jackson State University, Millsaps College, Belhaven University, Tougaloo College, Mississippi College School of Law, University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Hinds Community College Jackson Campus.
Nothing encourages a young mind to “shoot for the stars” quite like an austere walk around an expansive, lively campus.
Never Stop Learning
Education shouldn’t stop for pandemics, holidays, summer breaks, or other world disruptions—even though it sometimes must. In Jackson, the next generation of minds can enjoy a refresher course on whatever interests and inspires them. Give your children and yourself a cognitive leg up with a visit to Jackson’s numerous educational attractions. Come for the learning, stay for absolute enjoyment.
Jackson is committed to safe tourism through local public safety and health initiatives designed to make your stay as comfortable and safe as possible. All museum locations sanitize daily while restaurants and bars offer dine-in and take-out options.
For an ongoing education and an awesome escape from the every day, visit Jackson today.