As we roll into March and the air begins to smell like spring, my boys and I have had the urge to head to a park! We decided to explore two; one local to the Jax Beach area and another that was more of a destination.

Jack Russell Park, one of Atlantic Beach’s prized parks, is located on Seminole Road. It is home to the Atlantic Beach Athletic Association, hosting the Atlantic Beach Little League Baseball, Softball, and T-Ball leagues. The park spans 12 acres of land, including 6 tennis courts, 2 racquetball courts, a baseball field, and soccer field!  There are two playground areas, each geared towards a different age group.  Both have climbing structures and slides. Swings are located in the younger play area, with a tire circle in the older area. (Both of my boys LOVE the tire circle and climb, jump, and interact with it in different ways!) There are easily accessible bathrooms and a concession stand open on weekends. There is also a large,covered pavilion available to rent for birthday parties or events. We have attended a birthday party at Jack Russell Park and it was a hit!  (You can book them by calling 904-247-5828.)

On Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10am-2pm, the park hosts a Farmer’s Market where you can find local vendors selling seasonal organic produce, all-natural meats, free-range eggs, baked goods, local honey, gluten-free and vegan foods, as well as flowers, jewelry, and other handcrafted treasures. We frequent this market as a family and absolutely love it! We particularly love the live music and have discovered many local talents this way.

Palencia Park is a fantastic pirate-themed playground located in St Augustine’s Palencia community. The two-ship armada and pirate ship structure includes multiple slides, tunnels, walkways, and climbing spaces. The play area is fenced in, which is awesome! I love that both boys can run around without me worrying about them roaming too far. Additionally, Palencia Park offers three baseball fields and a multi-purpose sports field nearby. Restrooms are close and relatively clean. There is also a covered pavilion that you are able to rent. We hosted our son’s birthday here and had a wonderful experience. Reservations can be made online and cost $40 (non refundable!) for a 4-hour block of time.

Both parks offer everything you need for a fun-filled afternoon with your family. If your kids are anything like my boys, they’ll have a blast climbing, exploring, and burning off some of that endless kid-energy. We’ll be taking advantage of this beautiful weather and visiting again soon.