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There’s a Ton of Fun Things to Do in Jackson, MS

From ballet and theater to magnificent museums and more, you will not get bored in Mississippi's capital city.

By Rebecca Treon on February 13, 2023

The Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson, MS
The Mississippi Children’s Museum

The Jackson Metro is Mississippi’s epicenter of entertainment and the arts, offering something for every taste. Among the region’s cultural pearls are professional ballet, theater and opera companies, and a symphony orchestra.

Jackson’s cultural district is anchored by the Mississippi Museum of Art, which includes the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, a 1.2-acre public green space complete with outdoor art installations.

“I used to serve on the board of the Mississippi Museum of Art – it’s a great museum and they do a lot of really good traveling exhibits,” says Robert St. John, a well-known restaurateur who helped restore Jackson’s Capri theater and Highball Lanes, a bowling alley with vintage vibes. “You can’t go to Jackson without checking out the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.”

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, MS
Art Maripol

The two museums opened in late 2017 (also the state’s bicentennial). The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum documents the country’s civil rights movement between 1945 and 1970, while the adjacent Museum of Mississippi History’s theme is “One Mississippi, Many Stories.”

Stories about the region’s Black history and its role in the Civil Rights movement continue at a number of museums including the Medgar Evers Home Museum (the home of the fallen Civil Rights activist) and Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, which explores the region’s African-American history.

Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, MS
James Patterson

Cultural Activities in Jackson

Jackson recognizes its cultural heritage with thoughtful interpretations of its past and an eye toward the future. There are more than two dozen museums and attractions in the Jackson area, but these aren’t your grandfather’s museums.

The Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame offer interactive experiences and exhibits.

The region is home to several standout venues, too, including the Amphitheater at The Quarry in Brandon, the first amphitheater in Central Mississippi, which draws a variety of musical acts.

More Fun Things to Do in Jackson

Communities across the city are being revitalized with lively arts and entertainment scenes. Jackson’s Fondren District includes a number of art galleries, eclectic stores and antique shops. In 2021, a $13 million project began taking shape that includes eateries, a movie theater and bowling lanes.

St. John’s project is expanding to include a former Texaco station that is being revamped.

“The Fondren neighborhood is a very historic neighborhood and, in my opinion, is the coolest neighborhood in the biggest city in the state. About 15 years ago, a renaissance started and it really became a food and entertainment district,” St. John says.

“But they didn’t have a movie theater, they were all out in the suburbs, so we reopened the historic Capri movie theater. It’s single screen, 175 reclining seats and a digital laser projector. We have a full bar and serve a full menu of food, and we do first-run movies and classics. I’ve been in this business for 40 years and I’ve never seen so much enthusiasm. We’re the only locally owned independent movie theater in the entire area.”

“As far as Jackson goes, the amount of enthusiasm and appreciation we’ve received has been tremendous,” St. John says. “We fit into the vibe of the neighborhood and we wanted to be a part of that renaissance. We wouldn’t have done it any other way.”

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