6 Fun Spots to Check Out in Jacksonville
Part three of our Short Drives series features the city of Jacksonville, just a 20-minute drive from Little Rock.
Jacksonville is home to unique historic attractions and including a battlefield landmark and has the claim to the only Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in the central Arkansas area. These outdoor, family-friendly attractions are perfect for a spring break day trip or an afternoon out of town on any ordinary weekend.
Check out what this little city has to offer just a short drive away!
1. Jacksonville’s Shooting Sports Complex
This state-of-the-art public shooting range facility is part of a partnership with the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation. The complex houses space for trap shooting, skeet shooting and archery, with certified coaches nearby to offer tips on each activity. Events are held regularly at the complex, which is located at 2800 Graham Road.
The cost is $6 per person per round for skeet or trap (25-shot rounds) or $5 per person per round for Jacksonville residents. Ammunition and ear and eye protection are sold in the pro shop on site and firearms are available for loan through the facility manager. The facility is open Wednesday-Sunday and adults must accompany any shooters under 18. Head to the Facebook page for more information.
2. Reed’s Bridge Battlefield
Add some educational fun to your day with a visit to Reed’s Bridge Battlefield. The historic site offers a glimpse at what life was like when a famous Civil War battle took place on Jacksonville’s soil. Visit the grounds to take a tour of the battlefield, enjoy a picnic or take pictures of the historic scenery. The site includes Includes an 1860s replica homestead and narrative historical markers highlighting the 1863 Little Rock Campaign Civil War Battle as Union soldiers tried to punch their way south while Rebel troops tried to protect the Capitol.
The battlefield is located at 5001 S. First Street (Arkansas 161). Call (501) 241-1943 or see the listing at Arkansas.com for more information.
3. The Museum of Military History
Complete your history lesson with a visit to the Museum of Military History, located at 100 Veterans Circle. The museum covers all major wars and includes a theater area, interactive displays, memorabilia and a gift shop. Each display will help you better understand how the conflicts affected not only the world, but the local area as well.
Admission to the museum is $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens and military families and $1 for students. Visit JaxMilitaryMuseum.org for more information.
4. Jacksonville Splash Zone Water Park
This location has “summer break fun” written all over it. While it’s a little chilly to jump in an outdoor pool, keep this on your list for when summer boredom hits. The park features two waterslides, three massive pools, a water tunnel, splash pads and plenty of places to let kids of all ages swim and play. For the parents, lounge chairs and Jacuzzi jets are perfect places to relax as your kids cool off in the water.
Season passes go on sale March 1 and there is limited availability. The Splash Zone is located at 201 W. Martin St. and starts its season on May 26. Daily admission is $5. For more information, visit its facility page on the CityofJacksonville.net website.
5. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
This nationwide restaurant chain features a variety of taco options and delicious salsa, cheese dip and guacamole. This is a great family restaurant and the only Fuzzy’s in central Arkansas. Plus, when the weather is warm enough, sit outside on the patio and bring your four-legged friend along to this dog-friendly establishment.
There is a kids menu as well as a breakfast menu to accompany the standard tacos, burritos, nachos and more. The restaurant is located at 140 John Harden Drive and more information is available at FuzzysTacoShop.com.
6. Ron Newport Recycling Education Park
This education park is the only one of its kind in the country and provides a truly unique recycling education experience. What makes this park different is the special emphasis on the arts and the sculptures created from recycled materials.
The park features 11 education stations along with whimsical sculptures that are appealing to the whole family. There are also picnic areas, a walking track, volleyball courts, hopscotch, frisbee golf and more. The park is located at 1300 Marshall Road. For a full brochure, go to CityofJacksonville.net.
Co-author Reedie Ray is a native Arkansan who developed his work ethic from growing up on a farm in northern Pulaski County. He has served on the Jacksonville City Council for 28 years and the Jacksonville Advertising & Promotion Commission for eight years, serving as chairman for five of those years. He is open-minded, creative and always “on the go.”