A great family fun holiday is exactly what you’ll find in Natchez. From touring antebellum mansions, exciting festivals and events, luxury shopping and spas, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities, Natchez offers an adventure for every member of your family!
Anyone who has young children knows that time is of the essence – and when you want to bring your kids along on vacation, scheduling events throughout the day can often be stressful. At times, you may even feel forced to choose between activities so your little ones stick to their bedtimes and don’t get too tired with miles of walking. We have put together an example itinerary of some family-friendly things to do in Mississippi to help make planning your stay a little easier.
1. Traveling with family can sometimes be difficult, and traveling with children can be downright exhausting, so for your first day in Natchez we recommend taking it easy. Take a stroll along the bluff and catch a sunset before heading to one of our delicious restaurants for dinner. Then, it’s off to bed, you’ve got a busy day ahead of you.
2. We recommend beginning your Natchez experience at the Natchez Visitor Center. Here you will be greeted by a warm and knowledgeable staff, dedicated to help you make the most of your visit. Be sure to watch the 20-minute video, The Natchez Story, and enjoy learning the overall history of how this enchanting city came to be. After the movie, enjoy our interactive, paneled exhibit depicting the development of the area. Step behind the life-size paddle wheel, feel real cotton, and play the interactive game that allows you to take a journey down the Mississippi River. Then venture over to the ticket counters and purchase antebellum home, carriage ride, and tour tickets all under one roof. Additionally, if you have questions about kid-friendly restaurants, our helpful tour guides can make suggestions for dining alternatives that are suitable for your whole family.
3. Tickets in hand, head out to tour a few of the perfectly preserved antebellum homes that have drawn millions of visitors to Natchez over the years. Guides, dressed in full hoop skirts during both Spring and Fall Pilgrimage, will lead you through these houses open year-round and tell the tales of the families that once drank mint juleps from their porches.
4. Taking in all that history sure can leave you hungry! For lunch, head downtown to Fat Mama’s Tamales, where you can enjoy delicious food on a shaded outside porch. Their signature entree is their great tamales, but feel free to toss in a link of boudin (pronounce boo-dan) or some fire and ice pickles to spice up your Fat Mama’s dining experience just a tad more. The adults won’t want to miss their famous “knock you naked” margaritas!
5. Put your carriage tour tickets to use and take the 45 minute narrated, horse-drawn carriage tour of the historic district while your lunch settles. Our convenient, family-friendly guided carriage tours allow you to see the sights with your kids without the fuss or hassle of driving in traffic, finding parking or navigating through an unfamiliar area. If you happen to have elderly members in your party, our carriage tours are also a great option for those who need to take breaks in between our daily tours.
6. Take the short drive out to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and stroll the hallowed ground of the home of the city’s original inhabitants. There are ceremonial mounds at the site, along with a replica of an Indian dwelling, and a museum complete with artifacts that have been recovered on and around the site over the years. The Grand Village is very kid-friendly with hands-on activities and plenty of space to run around and play. It’s one of many unique and historically rich things to do in Mississippi.
7. Head back downtown to grab some lunch at The Pig Out Inn. Tender ribs, turkey, chicken, and pork all smoked on a grill just outside the back door await your taste buds. When the weather is just too delightful to dine indoors, grab your lunch to go and follow the alley to the bluff, grab a picnic table and enjoy your meal while viewing the mighty Mississippi River.
8. Visit The William Johnson House, located on State Street, to learn about the life of William Johnson, a young prominent citizen in the free black community of Natchez. Johnson kept very detailed journals describing life in Natchez in the 1800s. His home is now run by the National Park Service as a museum detailing Johnson’s life.
9. Homochitto National Forest offers a diverse collection of activities that will keep all entertained, perfect for a family camping vacation. Spend hours hiking along the many creeks and trails that thread this enchanting woodland. The Clear Springs Recreational Area consists of a man-made lake, campground, picnic grounds, swim area, and two hiking trails. The longer of the two trails in the Recreation Area, Clear Springs Trail, is developing a reputation as one of the top three mountain-bike trails in Mississippi.
10. End your days at Duncan Park for fun on swing sets and climbing equipment. The park is a great place to unwind and get some fresh air!