Family Fun - Visit Meridian

Family Fun

Family Fun

Get Festive with Kids

Even if you have kids, you can still rock out at music festivals or browse arts and crafts fairs. Just make a road trip to Meridian. The Queen City specializes in family-friendly festivals that deliver all the fun you remember from your where’s-the-party days and also provides lots of amusements — and a safe environment — for youngsters.

Meridian even offers a family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration. And the moderate climate makes for great festival weather year-round.

If your kids like music as much as you do, then the whole family needs to visit Meridian Underground Music, a self-proclaimed downtown “sub-cultural destination” where you can find CDs, vinyl LPs, musical instruments, and occasional live shows featuring local and touring bands.

Have a Family-Friendly Good Time

Children’s Museum Takes Fun Seriously
Happiness is contagious at the Mississippi Children’s Museum-Meridian. Adults catch it from kids as they giggle their way through a puppet show they’re making up on the spot or grin with satisfaction at making a paper airplane soar (learning about aerodynamics in the process).

Children get it from playing their way through almost 35,000 square feet (25,000 of it outdoors) of brain-stimulating wonders and adventures made just for them. As they’re having fun, they’re also learning about literacy, health and nutrition, and STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

They’re interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds. They’re getting exercise. They’re discovering things about the Meridian community and its history; one of the galleries is called Around My Town. The other galleries are WonderBox, featuring hands-on creating and inventing; My Storybook Factory, focused on literature, music, art, and performing arts; My Best Me, involving the many aspects of health; and My Fantastical Backyard, the museum’s whimsical outdoor playground.

Most days feature at least one special event — perhaps story readings, or lessons in chess or Spanish, or an introduction to basic robotics and coding, or a visit from medical professionals or other interesting guests.

Set aside plenty of time. Neither kids nor their grown-up companions will want to leave.

Fun Spans the Seasons
Trees of Christmas at Merrehope displays more than 25 exquisitely decorated trees from Thanksgiving week through December at the Merrehope and F. W. Williams historic homes.

Lazy Acres Farm, west of Meridian, puts on three seasonal events: the Bunny Patch Easter egg hunt, the Pumpkin Patch (and Corn Maze) in the fall, and the Christmastime Lazy Acres in LIGHTS!

Santa’s Christmas Factory at the historic Soulé Steam Works offers “snow” and a mini train ride. In spring, the Earth’s Bounty Farmer’s Market starts its April-through-November run downtown on the first Saturday of every month, with such child pleasers as a petting zoo and watermelon seed spitting contests.

The Ralph Morgan Rodeo takes place twice a year, in April and August. In the fall, the Queen City Fair brings rides and entertainment. Kids love the steam engines at the early November Soulé Live Steam Festival.


1-Day Stay

For a fun-filled family day, start at Earth’s Bounty (first Saturday of each month, April through November). While the kids enjoy the petting zoo, arts and crafts, and live music, you can check out the farm-fresh produce and other goodies. Head north on Highway 39 to refuel your vehicle and you at the Shell station that houses Pappy’s BBQ. Turn the kids loose at Jeannie’s Place at Planet Playground, behind Pappy’s in Northeast Park. Then splash away the day at Dunn’s Falls.

Picnic in a Park
Bonita Lakes Park and Highland Park are great for picnics, with lots of space for kids to run and play. The 10,000-square-foot Jeannie's Place Planet Playground at Northeast Park is a community treasure. Bonita Lakes and Lake Okatibbee also offer nice playgrounds.

Where to Get Wet
Children love water. So they’ll be happy that many Meridian hotels have pools. Several sport all-season indoor pools: Drury Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express & Suites.

Highland Park, site of the Dentzel Carousel, features a Splash Pad water playground and a swimming pool.

At Dunn’s Falls, a short drive west of Meridian, children (and dogs) adore splashing in the waterfall and wading in the Chunky River. Picnic tables and barbecue grills make this a peaceful place for a meal.

History Even Youngsters Love

When they enter The Simmons-Wright Company, “kids are awestruck,” said proprietor Gary Pickett. “For them, it’s like walking into the Twilight Zone.” Residents of Kewanee, east of Meridian, still regularly shop this enormous old-style general store. It also serves breakfast and lunch, plus fudge, pralines, and divinity, Monday–Saturday.

Rainy-Day Options
Stay dry and happy with these indoor options:


Make it a weekend

Kids and grown-ups alike love the interactive fun at The MAX and enjoy letting their imaginations run wild at the Mississippi Children’s Museum-Meridian.  While you're downtown, be sure to check out some of the Around Town Carousels Abound artist-painted carousel horses. Then head to Highland Park to ride the real thing: the historic, irresistibly joyful Dentzel Carousel. End the day with a drive in the country to one of our many fish camps for Southern fried catfish.

Next morning, explore beautiful Bonita Lakes Park. With nature trails, lakeside paths, playgrounds, and picnic facilities, it’s a full day’s worth of fun.