10 Fun Things to Do in Jacksonville for Teens

View from a hotel of the Jacksonville bay

Are you looking for something fun and exciting to do in Jacksonville for teens? From beaches to museums, there’s something for everyone in this sunny Floridian city if you know where to look. As Florida residents, we have visited Jacksonville many times. While there are places you want to avoid, there are some really great activities around Jacksonville for teens as well.   Read on for our list of some of the best things to do in Jacksonville specifically tailored for teens.

See Tigers at Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique and incredible experience that even teenagers will enjoy. This wildlife sanctuary and rescue facility is home to over 100 animals, including tigers, lions, cougars, bobcats, and more.  The sanctuary is a rescue for big cats that have been neglected.  Volunteers care for the cats in a safe environment.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the ranch and observe these majestic animals up close.  All tours are guided and last about 45 minutes.  Catty Shack Ranch offers day and nighttime tours.  Most of the animals are nocturnal, so visiting in the evening allows guests to see the cats awake and active during feeding time.

Families visiting Jacksonville with teens have said that teenagers are in awe of the close up nature of this experience.  The tour is educational and dynamic, and all ages will find this a great experience.

Link: Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Explore the Gardens at the Cummer Museum

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardensis a great destination in Jacksonville for teens.  Located in downtown Jacksonville, this museum offers over 6,000 works of art in a variety of genres and styles. The museum also has an array of gardens, includinga rose garden, an orchid garden, and a tree-lined allée, which make it a great place to explore. Teens will love the museum’s extensive collection of art ranging from Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance pieces.

The Cummer Museum really caters to families with kids.  There is an interactive area for children, with activities and exhibits that even teenagers enjoy.  With its wide range of art, variety of exhibits, and beautiful gardens, the Cummer Museum is a great place to spend a day if visiting Jacksonville with teens.

Link: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

See the Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot Island State Park

Known to many as Boneyard Beach, Big Talbot Island State Park is an outdoor paradise perfect for teens to explore. Located just outside of Jacksonville, the beach here is covered in driftwood, making it an otherworldly place to explore.

Big Talbot Island State Park is the perfect spot in Jacksonville for teens, as they will enjoy climbing the worn roots and branches of the trees littering the beach.  Take photos, dip your toes in the water, and just reflect.  

You won’t regret a trip to Big Talbot Island State Park, and its one of the best outdoor places in Jacksonville for teens to explore.

Link: Big Talbot Island State Park 

Conquer the Escape Game

If your teen is looking for an exciting and thrilling way to spend the day, check out The Escape Game Jacksonville. This interactive escape room game is perfect for teens who are looking for a challenge. Teams of up to six people are locked in a room and have one hour to find clues, solve puzzles, and work together in order to make their escape.

The Escape Game offers a variety of experiences, with five different escape rooms including Gold Rush, Playground, Prison Break, Special Ops, or The Heist.  The game is designed to be fun and challenging for teens. It’s perfect for those who love puzzles and problem solving.

Link: The Escape Game Jacksonville

Learn to Surf at Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville has great beaches, for teens that enjoy a day in the sun.   If your teen is looking for an adrenaline-filled experience, take them to one of the area’s surfing schools and let them try their hand at catching waves.

Surfing is a great activity for teens, as it is physically challenging and requires teamwork. Learning how to surf also teaches teens about ocean safety and respect for nature. Consider a day at the beaches with teens, whether its just to relax and soak in the sun, or to learn a new skill.  

Link: Surfing Lessons Jacksonville

Ice Skate at Community First Igloo

If your teen is a fan of winter activities, they’ll love visiting Community First Igloo. Located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, this ice rink offers a unique experience that teens will love.

Community First Igloo has something for everyone – from beginner skaters to experienced pros. Ice skating is a great way for teens to get out of their comfort zone and have a good time. The rink also offers skate rentals, so all teens need to do is show up and they’re ready to go!

Link: Community First Igloo

Learn Woodworking at Nailed It DIY Studio

If your teen is more of the creative type, they’ll love visiting Nailed It DIY Studio. This woodworking studio offers teens a chance to learn how to make room decor projects from scratch. Teens will learn the basics of woodworking, as well as painting and be able to create personalized pieces that they can take home with them.

Visitors have the option of booking Nailed It DIY studio time or joining in on a class where everyone works on a specific project together.  For the artistic or crafty, this is one of the funnest things to do in Jacksonville for teens.

Link: Nailed It DIY Studio

Buy, Sell, and Trade at Tiger Records

Tiger Records is the place to be for teens who love music! This store offers a unique shopping experience, where teens can buy, sell, and trade vinyl records.

The shop has an amazing selection of new and used records from all genres. Teens can browse the shelves for hidden gems or search through the crates for their favorite artists. The staff at Tiger Records is always friendly and helpful, making it a great spot for music-loving teens.

Link: Tiger Records

See a Waterfall at Bulls Bay Preserve

If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience with your teens, take them to Bulls Bay Preserve. This stunning nature preserve is located on the banks of the St. Johns River and features a small waterfall.

The hike to the waterfall is a relatively easy one mile loop, making it perfect for teens who aren’t experienced hikers. The scenery along the way is beautiful and peaceful, and once you reach the waterfall, you can take in the sight of the cascading waters. It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon!

Link: Bulls Bay Preserve

Get Lost in Chamblin’s Bookmine

If your teen loves books, they’ll absolutely love Chamblin’s Bookmine. This bookstore is one of the best bookstores in Florida is a reader’s paradise, offering an enormous selection of books from all genres. Teens can get lost in the stacks and find something to fit their taste – from fantasy and science fiction novels to classic literature and modern classics.

Just visiting Chamblin’s Bookmine is a worthwhile stop.   It has a relaxed atmosphere,  and visitors spend hours browsing and exploring. It’s a great spot, and definitely one of the best things to do in Jacksonville for teens.

Link: Camblin’s

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