Jacksonville offers plenty of opportunities for education and enlightenment at its museums.

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

Walter Jones Historic ParkLocated in Walter Jones Historical Park, the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society features exhibits about the historic village of Mandarin. Visitors can also see artifacts from the Civil War-era steamboat Maple Leaf and items from Harriet Beecher Stowe's cottage, as well as works from local artists including Charlie Brown, Memphis Wood and C. Ford Riley. In the park, visitors can explore the everyday life of Mandarin in the 1800s. The park features an 1875 farmhouse, barn, outbuildings, sawmill, a riverfront boardwalk and picnic pavilions.

The organization also operates the Mandarin Store & Post Office. Now a National Historic Register Landmark, the building served as the commercial hub of the Mandarin community from 1911 until it closed in 1964. The building contains many of the store's original furnishings and documents. Nearby is the Mandarin Community Club. Built in 1872, with funds raised by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the building served as a school and community hall for many years.
 

Walter Jones Historical Park

11964 Mandarin Road
Open daily 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Admission Free

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

Open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission Free
Contact: 268-0784

Mandarin Store & Post Office

12471 Mandarin Road
1st and 3rd Saturday 1 – 3 p.m.
Admission Free

Museum of Science & History (www.themosh.org)

The Museum of Science & History is the most visited museum in Jacksonville. MOSH features interactive, award-winning exhibitions such as the Currents of Time, which explores 12,000 years of Northeast Florida history, and Atlantic Tails, an exhibit that features the mammals that inhabit First Coast waterways. The Museum's latest additions include the state-of-the-art, multimillion-dollar physical science exhibition, the Universe of Science, and the Florida Naturalist's Center, which houses turtles, birds, owls, snakes, baby alligators, and other animals native to the region. MOSH offers daily public science and planetarium programs, camps, workshops, rental space, birthday party packages, and more.

1025 Museum Circle
Phone: 396-MOSH (6674)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Admission: adults, $8; seniors and military, $6.50; children 3-12, $6; children 2 and under, free; members, free.

Cummer Museum of Art (www.cummer.org)

Gardens at the Cummer MusuemThe Cummer is the largest fine arts museum in Northeast Florida, with a permanent collection of more than 5,500 objects. The museum was founded in 1958 when Ninah Holden Cummer, a Jacksonville resident, art collector and civic leader, created an endowment to build a museum on the site of her family's home. The museum opened its doors November 10, 1961, with Ninah Cummer's small collection of 60 pieces.

The Cummer offers world-class art spanning from 2100 B.C. through the 21st century. It is also home to the Wark Meissen Collection, one of three most outstanding collections of porcelain in the world. Art Connections is the museum's nationally recognized education center that enhances the cultural learning of more than 50,000 students annually and provides hands-on art experiences for all museum visitors.

The museum also features more than two acres of English and Italian gardens. The formal gardens, along a picturesque stretch of the St. Johns River, are filled with beautiful sculptures and flowers.

The collection of fine art and antiques are featured in 15 galleries throughout the museum. The collection includes American and European paintings and sculpture from ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, 19th century Impressionist and Modern Art.

Pre-Columbian ceramics and Japanese inro, netsuke, and woodblock prints are also part of the permanent collection.

829 Riverside Ave.
Phone: 356-6857

Hours

Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon – 5 p.m.
FREE Tuesdays, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., sponsored by THE PLAYERS
Closed Mondays and major holidays

Admission

Adults, $10; seniors and military, $6; students, $6; children 5 and under, free. College Students with ID - Free on Tuesday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (www.mocajacksonville.org)

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, formerly Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, is located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville on Hemming Plaza, the city's main square. The newly renovated historic building houses five galleries, including a forty foot high atrium gallery, an auditorium for film and lectures, studio classrooms, and the ArtExplorium Loft family learning center.

The Museum Shop features one of a kind contemporary art and craft along with a selection of unique books on art, architecture, and design. Café Nola @ MOCA offers innovative contemporary cuisine in a relaxed setting.

Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. 5-9 Free*
Thursday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday 10 p.m. - 4 p.m. Free**
*Target Free Wednesday is generously sponsored by Target.
**Bank of America Family Free Day (Adults are admitted free with Children under 18)

Admission

Adults $6 Students, Children, Military, Seniors $4

Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center (www.JacksonvilleMaritimeHeritageCenter.org)

Sail back through time, viewing the history of Jacksonville and the First Coast through the eyes of merchant marines, Navy sailors and fishermen. Artworks and models include a 16-foot rendition of the historic aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. Soon to be unveiled is a five-foot model of the Gulf America tanker, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Ponte Vedra Beach early in World War II. A photographic history of merchant shipping is on display. The museum is also collecting videotaped recollections of sailors from various periods in maritime
history.

1015 Museum Circle, Unit 2
Phone: 398-9011
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, 1 p.m.. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Admission: free (donations encourage)

Ritz Theatre & Museum (www.RitzJacksonville.com)

The Ritz Theatre sign at nightOpened in 1999, the Ritz Theatre & Museum displays a permanent collection of African-American history, with changing art exhibits in the gallery. The Ritz has regularly scheduled events, such as monthly amateur nights and spoken word nights, performances by the Ritz Voices Youth Chorus and a wide variety of other performances, programs and community events.

829 N. Davis St.
Phone: 632-5555

Hours

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission

Adults, $6; seniors and students, $3. Groups of 25 or larger should call for group rates.

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum (www.rain.org/~karpeles/ )

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is one of seven in the United States that exists to display the manuscript collection of David and Marsha Karpeles. Displays of original historic manuscripts from all periods of history are rotated quarterly through the seven museums. Also on display on a rotating schedule are visual arts exhibits.

101 W. First St.
Phone: 356-2992

Hours

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Admission

Free