The festival is an amazing experience for kids. From the spectacle of giant kid icons afloat in the fountain at Hemming Park, to a myriad of creative activities, One Spark is not only a chance for great fun, but also an opportunity to inspire our youth to become innovators in a world where big ideas can get traction through determination and hard work.
Just a Thought: Ride the Skyway. Kids love trains! The view from the Skyway is fantastic. The train is free, and hopping on it on the Southside of the river (either the San Marco Station or the Riverplace Station) is the best way to avoid downtown traffic. Tip: Get there early. The Skyway can get crowded during One Spark week. Visit jtafla.com for info
1. Hemming Park:
From giant a rubber ducky to a humongous goldfish, you never know what is going to be floating in the fountain at Hemming Park. Bring the kids by to see what is swimming around this year, and catch what’s happening on the main pitch stage.
2. Sweet Pete’s: 400 North Hogan Street
Aside from being an incredible candy shop, Sweet Pete’s is hosting a variety of kid-friendly creators, including a children’s book author, a magician, and a cool ocean-inspired kids’ apparel concept. Giveaways, prizes, and sweets are on the menu here!
3. Jacksonville Public Library: 303 North Laura Street
Watch a ceramicist throw pots live, or just take a break and enjoy a little air conditioning in the amazing kids section of the downtown public library!
4. Chamblin’s UpTown: 215 North Laura Street
Chamblin’s is hosting some great creators, including a painter looking for willing participants in a portrait project. This venue is perfect if you want to duck out of the festival for a minute and let the kids browse one of the biggest children’s book selections in town. Oh, and grab a bite or a popsicle at the café while you are at it!
5. Snyder Memorial: 226 North Laura Street
Duck in here after you check out MagLab to hear some live music and let the kids enjoy some hands-on activities from a Montessori creator!
6. Monroe Street Venue: 87 West Monroe Street
From a creator focused on helping teenage girls embrace their inner tomboy, to free French fry samples, this venue is a great pit stop.
7. MOSH: 11 East Forsyth
The Museum of Science and History is creating a Science Café for you to take a load off and play some games. This STEM driven venue will be a great place for kids to put on their thinking caps, as many of its activities tie into MOSH’s current exhibit, Brain Teasers.
8. The Jacksonville Landing: 2 Independent Drive
From electric bicycle demos at Fionn MacCools to art activities at The Toy Factory, The Landing is a great venue for families to check out. It is also the home of the main Creator Music Stage, and we all know how kids like to boogie!
9. #EdSpark: The Times Union Center at 300 West Water Street
Curated by The Schultz Center, this venue will have lots of space indoors for you and the kiddos to roam around. There will be regular story times, family music, and other interactive activities revolving around education. Saturday is Family Fun Day, so head down to the river for a good time!
10. Riverwalk: 341 South Hogan Street
A walk down the riverfront will be a nice change of pace from the busy streets of downtown. The St. Johns Riverkeeper organization is curating this venue. Aside from a variety of creators passing out healthy food and beverage samples, there is a 9-year-old boy pitching a zoology web series with live animals for kids to engage with! This is a must do!
Break Away: Take a Ride on the River Taxi
Kids love boats, so if you want to take a break from the festival hustle hop on the Jacksonville River Taxi at The Landing and hop over to Friendship Fountain on the Southbank for a picnic! For info on routes and rates visit jaxrivertaxi.com
MagLab: 140 West Monroe Street Across from Hemming Park
When you first get there hit up the First Coast MagLab for a free portrait of you and the family! Photographer Michael LeGrand is setting up a pop up studio where you can get a professional portrait of your family to take home with you. The best portraits will be featured in the May issue of First Coast Magazine, which is going to be built live at One Spark!