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Family Fun in Jacksonville, Florida

Looking for a fun activity for just an hour or all day long? Family Fun in Jacksonville, Florida can be found in so many parts of the city. Whether you are looking for nature exploration, sports participation or events, entertainment, or educational fun, all of these activities can be found in the various attractions around the city.

Visit Parks for Family Fun in Jacksonville, Florida

Why not take advantage of Florida’s amazing weather by visiting one of the many beautiful parks in Jacksonville? Big Talbot Island State Park ranks high on the list of favorite area places, offering sand dunes, white sand beaches, wildlife, fishing, and bird watching. Similarly equipped, Little Talbot Island State Park offers simple views and seemingly fewer crowds, while Hugenot Memorial Park allows for vehicle parking very near the beach.

Jacksonville’s Metropolitan Park schedules events and festivals throughout the seasons, as well as water taxi options and the Riverwalk nearby. Recently reclaimed by city residents is the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens full of trails for hiking and exploration. Those with canine pals might enjoy a visit to Dog Wood Park with fenced areas and a pond where pooches can cool off with a swim.

family fun in Jacksonville Florida

Museums in Jacksonville

Museums might sound a little boring at first, but there are a variety in the city to please everyone’s tastes. The Museum of Science and History also houses the highly acclaimed planetarium as well as many interactive exhibits, while the Museum of Southern History brings Civil War fans to the height of their glory days. Combine historical art appreciation and education with botanical beauty at The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, or see the Museum of Contemporary Art for more recent works of art.

The Jacksonville Fire Museum is a quick but educational glimpse at fire fighting throughout the years, featuring a fully restored 1902 horse-drawn fire carriage as well as a working fire engine from 1926. Stopping by the Mandarin Museum on the St. John’s River in a ten-acre park provides a peek into homestead life including a restored farmhouse, sawmill, barn, and log cabin with its tours and scheduled events. Younger kids will love the interactive fun of pretend and play at the Hands On Children’s Museum, which is similar to an indoor playground.

Sports Activities Located in Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s Ice and Sportsplex offers North Florida’s only NHL sized ice rink which is open year round. Whether athletic or just entertainment, public ice skating is an activity which is fun for the family. Sports enthusiasts who simply want to view from the stands can head over to EverBank Field to take in a Jaguars football game. Those who favor the greens can take a swing at Bent Creek Golf Course with carefully cared-for greens and a well-stocked Pro Shop.

For water lovers and beyond, Adventure Park’s water slides, miniature golf, go-carts, laser tag, and arcade creates hours of fun for any family. Mandarin Mill Family Golf and Batting Cages also offers a fun putt-putting adventure with the opportunity for taking some time at bat. Big Air is an activity center with eight bounce houses as well as basketball toss, football toss, climbing stations, video games, and more.  If you just need a place to blow off some steam, head over to Old Jacksonville Run for scenic trails.

Jacksonville’s Entertainment Scene

Known for its African American heritage, the Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum houses a 400-seat theatre for shows as well as exhibits of artifacts from the city’s historical black figures. Lattitude 30 offers 50,000 square feet of live entertainment as well as food, and activities such as bowling, pool, arcade games, and dancing. Heading over to the restored Sun Ray Theater offers a glimpse into historical cinema with its charming one-screen setup featuring indie films, classics, and blockbusters–all enjoyed while drinking locally crafted beers, wines, and other beverages. For the more sophisticated at heart, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra creates a serene environment for absorbing the first class, consistently excellent musical talent of this fine orchestra.

No matter what your tastes or preferences, you are sure to find some family fun in Jacksonville, Florida during any season of the year.

References

Image: “Jacksonville Riverwalk Sunset” from Flickr by Krazy Diamnd

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Various Simple Ways to Save Money

Saving money is a necessity and so failing to make any savings today means you are putting yourself in a precarious position of a possible financial mess in future. The foundation of successful money management is the ability to make good savings; but it is unfortunate that when it comes to that, it is often much easier said than done. Although it is possible to save money, many people offer excuses as to why they are unable to do it. There are many simple ways to save money if you are serious about it. You should not let any excuse dictate your actions because this will deter you from making any move to save even a small part of your income. All you need to do is to take a look at the big picture and you will realize that you can always find a way of saving some little money.

Reduce Your Commuting Costs

Ways to Save MoneyOne way to do this is buy a bike. You will not only be able to save on gas alone but also on car maintenance. You will get the additional benefit of exercising on regular basis and keeping yourself healthy. If you find biking inconvenient for you, you can consider other options to reduce your commuting costs such as using mass transit, carpooling or organizing for car sharing. Another way is by turning into a better driver; drive less aggressively by easing off the accelerator and ensure that your car undergoes routine maintenance. This will enhance your car’s performance allowing you to make additional savings.

Simple ways to save money – be a shrewd shopper

Plan to shop for some items you need, like clothes and shoes during the off-season. For instance, if you buy a winter coat on clearance in May rather than December, you will make significant savings. You can also clip a number of coupons, come with your own bag to the grocery store, and request the staff there to match their prices with those of their competitors. Ensure that you do proper research before you make any big purchase.

Multitasking

If you are a lady, you can multitask when you are home. For instance, you can opt to use washcloths instead of costly facial makeup remover pads. You may even improvise cleaning and beauty supplies from some stuff in your cabinets and use them around the house for other purposes wherever possible and use a spare living room table as a nightstand in your bedroom.
Yet another one of the simple ways to save money is to multitask by organizing social outings which include fitness and some free community events, as a way of passing time with your friends as well as entertaining them. This way, you have the benefit of socializing as well as having workouts without necessarily spending much money.

Apply For Scholarships

If you are a college student, or student-to-be, you could consider applying for scholarships to help defer your costs. You don’t have to be the smartest person in your class or even the best athlete. There are literally thousands of scholarships out there that you can apply for. You just have to find them and fulfill the application requirements. Some applications are quite involved and may even require lengthy essays. The much simpler variety are the applications for scholarships without essays.

Whatever you want to save for emergencies, education, retirement or long-term goals, you can integrate what suits you from the above tips. Soon, you will find yourself at ease with an increasing bank balance and enjoy peace with no worries, knowing that you have a good financial foundation. However, you need to be smarter and make more effort to come up with several simple ways to save money. Obviously, spending is more fun than saving money but with time, you will definitely come to appreciate your rising bank account balances.

References

Image: “Guy Riding Bike” from Flickr by Matei D.

Protecting Your Jacksonville Home

While the suburbs of Jacksonville, Florida are not rampant in crime like in other parts of the country, it is still a good idea to protect your home and property. Especially when you also have young children to think about. You don’t have to turn your house into Fort Knox to do this, instead invest in some good home security devices and sleep better at night knowing that your home and family are safe and secure.

Home Security Systems

A home security system is probably the most popular way to protect your home, and the most effective, but it is usually the most expensive. If you are frugal like me you are going to want to shop around for a home security company that is priced in your budget. Remember, you are not only paying for the installation of the home security system but also for the monthly service of having it.

These systems are tied into a central base where a breach is called in to the local police for you. This type of system can add anywhere from $50 to $100 bucks to your monthly budget.

Locks

Seems so simple, but would be burglars hate to have to deal with a bunch of locks. Check that the locks on all of your home’s windows are in good working order even if they are on the second floor. Burglars have been known to use a ladder. Your front door and any other main point of entrance should be dead bolted and have a chain as well for when you do have to open the door for a stranger.

Your most vulnerable spot is at the sliding door that opens to the backyard. Not only does your yard block this point of entry from view, the locks on these doors are normally not very good. Check yours and consider either investing in another lock or another type of door that can be dead bolted.

Pet Protection

Nothing says stay away better than a growling dog. The trouble is you also have to worry about protecting them from harm. One way to do accomplish this while still protecting your property is with wireless dog fences. According to www.k9fencereviews.com, PetSafe PIF 300s give your dog full run of the yard to the limit that you impose. This keeps the entire perimeter of your property guarded from unwanted intruders.

Motion Sensor Lights

Just imagine the look on a would be robbers face when it is suddenly illuminated by a bright light. Motion sensor lights turn on whenever something moves within their radar. Pointed at the vulnerable points of your home, this is a great way to catch a thief red handed.

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Consider the level of protection you need and your budget when looking into securing your Jacksonville home. You want to give your family the maximum protection they deserve at a price that is not going to break your bank. Even if you have to spend a little, the cost of the peace of mind that having a secure home gives is priceless.

Learn More About Fishing in Florida and Catching Fish

If you are planning to go on a vacation, you may want to consider visiting Florida and explore nature at its best. Aside from the usual parks, resorts and attractions available for you to visit, you can as well find time to go on a nature trip with your family or friends and start enjoying your vacation away from the busy city streets.

florida sunset

One of the most exciting activities that you can engage with when you’re on a nature trip is fishing. In Florida, you may find a lot of people wanting to learn how to fish. Knowing that there are a lot of resources available in Florida, it is definitely a great opportunity to learn how to catch fish here. The weather in Florida makes it one of the most preferred habitats of various animals including fish.

There are various locations in this state that will allow you to get access to your first big catch. Fresh water fishing is more likely a popular activity in the lakes of Florida. Either if you are an expert in fishing or not, you will definitely find an opportunity to enhance your fishing skills through engaging in various fishing activities here.

Through fishing you will then find a variety of species available for you to catch. You may find various strategies as well when it comes to catching bigger fish and those challenging ones. The first thing that you may want to consider when it comes to catching fish successfully is the location. Although you may find different locations in terms of fishing hotspots, you will still have to research on the behavior of different fish species to know whether they have migrated to a different spot in the lake or if they have remained on the same location.

If you choose to fish in Florida, you have to keep in mind that it is not only the location that is important but the availability of the fish as well in that area. Fish prefer various breeding areas depending on the temperature of water, the availability of their food as well as the safety of the place where they can hide from potential predators. If you want to catch fish easily, you should as well consider finding the right location.

To make it easier for you, make sure that you are all geared up if you choose to go fishing with your family and friends in Florida. Aside from the usual things and equipment that you can carry on your nature trip, bring a fish finder with you handy. This will help you catch more fish easier without having to waste more time thinking that you will soon be lucky to catch even a small one for dinner.

Save Money: Don’t Buy a Gym Membership

 

Gym MembershipIn my opinion, one of the biggest wastes of money is a gym membership. In an economy which is in a bit of a slump and unemployment which is increasing, signing up for a 1-year contract is a bigger commitment than you might initially think. Having worked at a gym when I was in college, I know all too well the number of people who come into the gym eager to exercise, purchasing a $500 annual gym membership without thinking twice. If these same people ended up coming to the gym for the next year consistently, I wouldn’t have much of a case here but the fact is that the majority of people don’t.

The idea of signing up for a gym is based around the idea that you need a gym membership to get fit. This is obviously not true in most cases as many other more affordable or often times free facilities exist. I love being outdoors and am lucky enough to live in a climate where I can be outside 12-months of the year. I would never give up the running trails of my local neighborhood for a treadmill in a dusty gym. Not in a million years.

One of the best things I ever did when I was about 25 years old and looking to get in better shape was to hire a fitness professional . Not only did they motivate me to get out and exercise but they also taught me a book full of exercises to do at home which I have now being doing for over a decade. Even if you hire a personal trainer for just a few sessions in your lifetime, you will be provided with enough fitness wisdom to last you for a long time to come.

Another reason people sign up for a gym membership is because it provides you with access to equipment. But the fact is that much of the equipment you really need to have a great workout is extremely affordable to have at home and take to the park with you. That way, you don’t have to deal with the crowds at the gym and the waiting for equipment. Plus, you will increase your chances of avoiding the common cold as gyms are essentially cess pools for germs.

So the next time you are considering to buy a gym membership, spend some time looking at other options. Rather than signing up for a 1-year membership, perhaps consider a 1-month membership instead or even just a drop-in. Although you’ll pay more per session, you will likely save money over the course of a year.

Practical Frugal Ideas to Save Money

If you are thinking of saving money for your holiday trip, or you just want to save some extra cash for contingencies, there are various smart ideas that will go a long way in reducing your financial pressure. They will also enhance your self-esteem. You can significantly cut down your costs by taking some small steps and living more prudently. There are many frugal ideas to save money which you can use to help you trim your budget and they include: Continue reading

Learn How to Save Money through Various Ways

We all need to learn how to save money even though it is not as easy as one would imagine. There are some people who have tried many ways to save money without good results. If you want to succeed in this endeavor, you need to adopt the lifestyle of budgeting on your money. It isn’t possible to just sock thousands of dollars away within no time. Therefore, there are some measures you need to take before thinking about making any investments – your retirement plans and other things – beyond your basic living expenses. Continue reading

What to See In Jacksonville, Florida When On Your Holiday

Jacksonville, which is located only 25 miles from the Georgia border, is the capital city of Florida. The St. John’s River winds its course through Jacksonville ending up in the Atlantic Ocean and it is this feature that makes it an ideal fishing and shipping channel besides the leisure it offers. When it comes to what to see in Jacksonville Florida, there is quite a lot to expect. Jacksonville also happens to be Florida’s main transportation, banking and financial center making it the best place to reside or visit. Continue reading

Tips and Tricks to Help You Save Money on Groceries

One of the easy ways to reduce your household expenditure is to save money on groceries. Groceries are not like mortgage or the fixed payments on your car because their costs have the tendency of rising. Just by making some simple changes, you will be able to save on your monthly grocery bill. Save Money on Groceries by buying generic products
Whenever a generic store brand option presents itself, go for it. This is because in most cases both products share the same recipe meaning that the additional money charged is merely for the brand name. Continue reading

Various Outlet Malls in Jacksonville Fl

In the United States, it is common to find local shopping centers in every major city and they are mostly clustered together in a city’s commercial hub. There are several local shopping centers as well as outlet malls in Jacksonville Fl which come in diverse formats. In the recent past, strip malls have sprung up forming rows of stores lining up on the streets of business centres. If you are looking for shoes and clothes, the centers provide a wide range of products from which you can select what suits your preference. In most cases, the clothing stores are located in local business centers and in all kinds of malls. Continue reading

Fun Activities in Jacksonville Florida

Boats are a common sight in Jacksonville and play a crucial role in the livelihood of the city. Jacksonville is reputed for being the largest city in the USA. However, its economy and most of its activities are related to water. The St. Johns River cuts the city into two; the Atlantic which lies on the eastern part of the city acts as a home to the Jacksonville Beaches residents. Boats are important in Jacksonville as they are used as the main means of transport for tourists and the US military. Although the city is famous for its military base and suburban city, both visitors and residents of all ages can find a lot of fun. There are numerous activities in Jacksonville Florida to stir you up. Continue reading