It’s time for another one of our National Park adventures. We’ve been trying to hit some of the parks close to our home so our latest adventure took us to Kingsley Plantation. The plantation is part of the larger Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve.
I’ve been wanting to take the kids up to Kingsley Plantation for a while so one weekend when we had nice weather we decided to take a drive up to the north side of Jacksonville for a visit.
We began our visit with a stop by the visitor center. It was small, but had some hands-on activities for the kids and a little gift shop. While we were there we picked up Junior Ranger Booklets for the kids and checked out an Adventure Backpack.
If you visit Kingsley Plantation, I highly recommend you ask to borrow the Adventure Backpack. It came filled with all sorts of fun items that the kids used on our visit including a compass, binoculars, small net and magnifying glass.
Once we had dug through the backpack it was time to start exploring the grounds of the plantation which include the slave quarters, barn, waterfront, plantation house, kitchen house, and interpretive garden.
One thing the kids really enjoyed was walking around the property and seeing the slave quarters. It was interesting to see how they lived on the property, but away from the main house. The plantation house is closed during the week for structural work. Weekend tours are available but you must call ahead for a reservation.
We did some more walking around. The plantation is 99% outdoors so I recommend you visit when it’s cool outside. As you can see, my daughter loved using the binoculars from our Adventure Backpack.
We were surprised by how many animals we saw while wandering around the grounds of Kingsley Plantation. The kids loved the peacocks and used the little net that came in our backpack to catch crabs down by the river.
Our final stop was back at the visitor center where the kids received their Junior Ranger badges.
Highlights: The Adventure Backpack that we checked out from the visitor center really made our visit so much fun. Kingsley Plantation is a smaller so it’s great for a short half day visit.
What We Would Change: I highly recommend visiting Kingsley Plantation in the fall or winter when the weather is cool. We went in May and it was hot. The majority of your visit will be outside so good weather will make or break your trip.