Mississippi is the perfect antidote for the “Mom, I’m bored” blues. We have lots of new and updated attractions that are perfect for young, old, and everyone in between. For animal lovers, sports fans, and bookworms, alike, our focus is on fun, yes, but learning, too. There are great opportunities to discover new facts, develop new skills, and broaden understanding virtually everywhere you look.
Cruisin’ the Coast is coming October 2–9, 2022, offering eight jam-packed days of classic cars, live music, and entertainment. Billed as “America’s Biggest Block Party,” the annual event is one of the nation’s largest and best-attended car shows. Last year’s event attracted record-breaking crowds to see more than 9,000 antique and classic cars, hot rods, and custom vehicles brought to Mississippi’s coast by participants representing 40 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.
One of Coastal Mississippi’s newest attractions, the Mississippi Aquarium, offers indoor and outdoor exhibits including 12 freshwater and saltwater habitats. More than 200 species of animals and 50 species of native plants can be seen, including bottlenose dolphins, river otters, sandbar sharks, stingrays, and a variety of exotic birds. The aquarium is one of only a few locations in America featuring underwater viewing via the SeaTrek helmet diving experience.
The Hattiesburg Zoo provides an opportunity to view more than 100 species of animals from around the world, including a Sumatran tiger, a jaguar, howler monkeys, and wallabies. The zoo’s expanded Africa exhibit, Experience Africa, debuted in 2021 and includes two giraffes, a hyena, and colobus monkeys. The zoo also offers a high-ropes course and a Sloth Experience. (Be prepared to book your sloth encounter months in advance. It’s super popular.)
Mississippi is home to two Minor League baseball teams, the Mississippi Braves, who play in Jackson, and Coastal Mississippi’s Biloxi Shuckers. Both teams offer an assortment of family-oriented and kid-friendly promotions, including fireworks and post-game opportunities for kids to run the bases or play catch on the field.
The Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo is known, of course, for its large herd of American bison. But there’s a lot more to the park than just its namesake animal. At 175 acres, it is the largest zoo in Mississippi. More than 260 exotic animals can be seen, including a giraffe, zebras, llamas, a Burmese python, and a variety of monkeys and other primates. Unlike traditional zoos, visitors can drive their own vehicle through the park and feed the bison and many other animals.
Oxford, Mississippi, is known far and wide for its literary tradition, and the city remains a magnet for writers to this day. So, it’s no surprise that the city boasts one of the country’s most celebrated independent bookstores, Square Books. The bookseller has three storefronts on the town square in Oxford – Square Books, Off Square Books, and Square Books, Jr. In addition to its excellent collection of books, Square Books is known for book signings featuring noteworthy authors and for hosting Thacker Mountain Radio, a weekly live radio broadcast.