7 Unique Things to Do in Jackson
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Jackson. This community packs some serious family fun. Take advantage of the Museum Corridor’s extensive collection of local museums. Each brings something different to the table and will keep families of any size entertained. There’s also plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. From parks and golf courses to water attractions and visual spectacles, your day will always be filled. Experience Jackson’s Nick Schuller has the inside scoop to help you plan your next trip:
1. Brush Up on Locomotive Knowledge
Start at the Lost Railway Museum to discover life before the automobile. The attraction boasts two authentic rail cars and information about the roles they played in 20th century life. Visitors will also see some forms of transportation that came before and after the railway. View the museum’s rare 1890 Star bicycle, a common travel device before the rail cars. There is also a restored Model T to show its contribution to the railway’s eventual downfall.
2. Learn Military History
If captivating tales of past battles and the soldiers who waged them sounds intriguing, walk down the street to the Michigan Military Heritage Museum. Covering every major conflict the U.S. has taken part in, one visit won’t be enough to take everything in. An extensive collection of authentic uniforms greets you at the door, giving an immediate sense of realism to the exhibit. There is even a life-sized World War I trench that kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring.
3. Tour a State Prison
For a truly unique-to-Jackson experience, visit one of Museum Corridor’s coolest attractions; Cell Block 7. This decommissioned cell block on the grounds of the still active State Prison of Southern Michigan has since been turned into a museum and is an eye-opening experience. Delve into the heart of this authentic cell block and feel truly immersed with life behind bars. You’ll even learn about the exciting escape attempts of past prisoners, including a daring helicopter heist. Visitors will enjoy seeing a penitentiary center without the bindings of an actual court sentence.
4. Snack on Coney Dogs
Built up an appetite? No problem. Jackson is the birthplace of the Coney Dog. While the recipe for the Coney has changed throughout Detroit and the Midwest since 1910, Jackson’s original style survives to this day. Stop by one of the many supporting restaurants scattered around town to get a taste of the local magic. Jackson Coney Island has been satisfying customers for over 100 years, while Virginia Coney was ranked 5th best Coney Dog in the state. Make sure to keep an eye out for all the other nearby Coney Dog options.
5. Wander a Park then a Museum
When it’s time to get outside, Ella W. Sharp Park has everything you need and more. Take advantage of the play areas and relaxing picnic settings by any of the gardens. For the golfers in the family, there is an 18-hole course across the street from the park. The rest of the clan need not travel far, as Ella Sharp Museum offers a fun alternative to a day on the fairway. Upon other exhibits, the museum comes equipped with an 1860’s log cabin, country store and doctor’s office. Kids will enjoy the old-school aesthetic while adults will appreciate the deep history behind each building.
6. Play Outside
If you want to meet in the middle, take some of Jackson’s other outdoor activities for a spin. The Cascades Foot Golf Course’s soccer inspired fairway offers a fun alternative to traditional golf. The entire family will enjoy the friendly competition kicking a ball towards the green provides. Take advantage of one of Jackson’s extensive walking and bike trails for some enjoyable exercise. Falling Waters Trail even offers rental bikes for your convenience.
7. Dive In at a Water Park
Before the sun goes down, make sure you make it to the Splash Pad, a mini-waterpark located inside Sparks Foundation County Park. Kids will have a blast playing in over a dozen water features, from waterfalls to fountains and arches. There is even a giant dump-bucket that will drench the bravest of the bunch. As the sun goes down, head next door to The Cascades, Jackson’s beautiful man-made waterfall. Multi-colored lights will illuminate the falls in a fantastic display of awe-inspiring personality, creating the perfect setting to end your day of fun.
About the Author: Nick Schuller works for Experience Jackson’s public relations team. Visit http://www.experiencejackson.com/ to learn more about everything Jackson has in store for you.