5 Fun Things to Do in Jacksonville, Florida
Learn to Tango (Or Learn Virtually Any Dance)
Jacksonville is home to several top-notch dance studios that can meet the needs of anyone interested in any type of dancing. Whether you're already a seasoned dancer or you've always considered yourself to have two left feet, there are plenty of options.
For social dancing and a really relaxed and fun atmosphere, The Dance Shack on Southside Blvd. is a great choice. They offer free "newbie" classes so you can give a couple of dances a whirl before paying a dime. For the more experienced dancer, the studio offers a variety of class levels ranging from beginner to expert. One of the best aspects of this studio are their in-house dance parties and nights out on the town. There is never a shortage of opportunities to get out and dance! They offer salsa, bachata, merengue, chacha, east and west coast swing, rumba, tango, country and others. They also do private lessons and the possibilities are endless.
Kaluby's is another excellent studio in Jacksonville. They have a couple locations: one on Southside Blvd. and another on Atlantic Blvd. With very talented and experienced instructors, Kaluby's is the place for serious dancers looking to improve their technique. With that being said, you will encounter a much more strict atmosphere here than you would at the Dance Shack. This place is great for really getting down to business with your dancing skills. They offer a wide variety of dances ranging in level from beginner to advanced as well as private lessons.
Pick Up a Sword and Learn to Fence
That's right! Jacksonville has two fencing clubs that can teach anyone over the age of 8 to fence! In fencing, there are three different weapons: foil, epee and sabre. In Jacksonville, you'll find that foil and epee are the most common but even if you're interested in sabre, the Jacksonville Fencing Club (JFC), can teach you. The JFC, located in Riverside, has been open since the 1950s a brings a wealth of fencing enthusiasts. They offer classes for both adults and youth and no experience is needed to get started. Adult classes are offered at night so it's easy to fit a sword fight or two around a work or school schedule. The club boasts many successful fencers and competes in local and national tournaments.
Jacksonville's other fencing club, Fioretto Fencing Academy, is located at the Jacksonville Ice and Sportsplex off of Phillips Highway. Fioretto offers a very affordable $5 introductory class if you're not sure whether or not you're ready to commit to this intensive sport.
Explore Jacksonville's Parks on a Segway
One of the great things about Jacksonville is the balance of city and nature. A fun way to get out and see some of the city's most beautiful protected areas is do it on a Segway. EcoMotion Tours operates daily Segway tours at Fort George Cultural State Park and the Kingsley Plantation. Never ridden a Segway? Not to worry! The guides at EcoMotion can teach just about anyone to ride with confidence in no time at all. The machines are much easier to use than most people think. Riding a Segway through the park is a great way to see wildlife and experience Florida history. The off-road Segways are quiet and have zero emissions so they're perfect in the park setting. Along the trail, you're likely to see gopher tortoises, butterflies and tons of birds. The tours will take you down to the water where crabs, fish and the occasional dolphin can be spotted. For the history buff, this tour offers a great deal of information and is sanctioned by the park service so you're not getting "fake" or embellished histories that are often associated with tours.
See a Show at Players by the Sea
Located in Jacksonville Beach, Players by the Sea offers awesome shows and great dinners. They are known for putting on hilarious musicals that will have you laughing so hard you'll find it difficult to finish your plate! Tickets are very affordable at $28 a piece but they also offer 1/2 price tickets on Thursdays for those with valid student IDs. If you enjoy the shows, there are several membership options available too.
Frolic in the Beautiful Gardens at the Cummer Museum
The Cummer Museum in Riverside has a stunning garden situated right on the St. Johns river. Get lunch at the little cafe inside and bring it out into the gardens and just relax and enjoy the view! During the early spring, the gardens are bursting with flowers. It's readily apparent why so many people choose to make this their wedding spot because it's easily one of the single most beautiful places in Jacksonville.