Rainy Day? Ideas for Family Fun
If you're dodging a shower or have had your share of sun for the day, here are ten treasures to discover on dry land.
- At the Amelia Island Nature Center, located at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and open to all visitors, kids are greeted with a “hello” by the resident macaw, Buddy. They can view a variety of live turtles, snakes, and fish indigenous to the region while learning about the island’s ecology and history. This is a great place to book educational excursions for the sunny days ahead. Afterwards, head next door to Falcon’s Nest for hamburgers, salads and creamy root beer floats under a hangar-like display of suspended aircraft.
- The Fernandina Beach Branch Library downtown is recently expanded and has a children’s room complete with computers, plush toys, reading nooks, and ongoing story time and other activities. If you are not a resident of the state of Florida, you may obtain a borrowers card for your family by paying a yearly fee of $40.
- Visit one of the island's independent bookstores, Books Plus or The Book Loft for the perfect porch read, from thrilling best-sellers to local lore to board books and puzzles.
- Go back in island time at the Amelia Island Museum of History, just blocks from Centre Street. Little ones stand at the helm here, navigating their own ships and dressing as pirates and their crew. They can collect stamps to commemorate their trip through history, starting with Timucuan Indians. Recognized as a “Let’s Move” museum, it's housed in the old jail (and there's even a preserved cell kids can enter.)
- For The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island guests, Ritz Kids offers children aged 4-12 a sensory and educational experience in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. Older siblings can lounge with other teens at Our Space. Meanwhile, moms can slip away to bliss at their award-winning Spa. (A Heaven in a Hammock massage pairs well with rainstorms.)
- Explore our three must-visit downtown antique stores, which offer an eclectic mix of treasures from the past and unique souvenir options.
- Enjoy local talent with a variety of live performances including periodic productions just for families. Amelia Community Theatre has two stages and is located in the heart of downtown. Amelia Musical Playhouse offers a variety of shows from “The Producers” to “Charlotte’s Web.” Fernandina Little Theatre presents plays, workshops, stage readings, and independent films.
- Speaking of films, movie lovers can visit the new Coastal Cinemas 10, a short drive over the bridge in Yulee. The theater boasts a "BigD" large-format digital screen and summer Tuesdays mean special 10am discount matinees of kid-friendly flicks.)
- Get bouncing at Party Bounce Play, with 8000 square feet of inflatable slides and bounce houses (including some designed especially for children four and under), a game room with 400 Wii, Xbox and PlayStation offerings, plus an area for parents to relax with free wi-fi and coffee. Located on Sadler Road within walking distance of several hotels and close to Seaside Park beach access.
- YMCA members can visit the McArthur Family YMCA to shoot hoops or take a family Zumba class. Daycare is provided during mornings and evenings.