Guide to Naturefest!

Calling all outdoors enthusiasts!

Get ready for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife’s annual celebration NatureFEST! on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

NATURFEST Science Museum child plays with large bubbles

What To Expect

A festival, nature outing, and museum trip rolled into one, NatureFEST! is back with plenty of activities for the whole family. Visitors can participate in live wildlife demonstrations with birds of prey and reptiles, watch fish feeding by divers in the museum’s giant aquariums, go on exclusive behind-the-scenes tours with local scientists, and more. Young patrons can enjoy a variety of crafts with The Home Depot’s Kids Workshops and embrace their wild side with face painting.

Multiple exhibitors from around the state will showcase their own animals, wares, and crafts, including the award-winning Hattiesburg Zoo, Camp Creek Native Plants, Central MS Beekeeping, Jackson Audubon, and Pearl River Woodcarvers, to name just a few.


Where To Dine

Vicksburg-based and Veteran-owned Triple J’s Pizzataco food truck will be parked on-site with a mouthwatering selection of street tacos. Plenty of kid-friendly restaurants are a short drive away in Fondren (Brent’s Drugs, Highball Lanes, The Station), The District at Eastover (Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint), and Belhaven (Belhaven Town Center, The Manship Woodfired Kitchen, Keifer’s).

Area Restaurants

Museum Trail solo female bike rider with colorful mural and bridge
The Museum Trail
Credit: Travis Crabtree

Explore The Outdoors

Take your day outside a step further in one of Jackson’s several parks, walking trails, and play stops. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science has a range of nature trails connected to the museum itself that take you through bluffs, river bottoms, lakes, and scenic swamplands. The state-of-the-art LeFleur's Bluff Playground sits in front of the museum with a 30,000-square-foot playground for children ages 6 months to 12 years old, including 80 play activities – 73 of which are inclusive to children with accessibility needs.

The Museum Trail
and Belhaven Mountain Bike Trail begins steps from the museum entrance and have both a multi-use, 2.5-mile rail-to-trail path, as well as multiple wooded trails for casual walking and hiking. LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is another great option for camping, hiking, and enjoying 305 acres of protected woodland and Mayes Lake. If you’re in town for an extended stay, check with Capital City Kayak Adventures for rentals and guided tours in the area.

Experience JXN Outside

Location & Admission

This event is included with museum admission or MMNS Foundation Membership. The museum is located off Lakeland Drive at Interstate 55.

Event Website