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Fun Summer Activities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Museums and Educational Experiences

1. Mississippi Aquarium

Website: The Mississippi Aquarium is meant to deliver “an awe-inspiring entertainment experience which supports animal research and conservation, inspires learning, and instills a passion for the aquatic world.” If you are interested in planning a visit, general admission tickets can be purchased in advance or they can be purchased at the door. General admission tickets for adults are $29.95, $24.95 for children, and $26.95 for seniors. There are daily programs at the Aquarium that you can enjoy. For instance, at 10 am there is a “Croc Talk” where you can learn about the differences between an alligator and a crocodile. At 10:30 am there is an “Ambassador Appearance” where you can get up close with one of the ambassador animals and learn all about them. In addition to these programs, there are narrated dolphin training sessions and otter chats that you can enjoy! This schedule of programs, however, can change, so be sure to check with guest experience to make sure it is up to date. If you are interested in something more, you can purchase animal encounters. For instance, there are dolphin encounters where you can experience a 10-minute educational chat, 5 minutes with the dolphin and trainer, and a question and answer session once the interaction is done.

2. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

Website: This organization was established in 1984 with the goal of providing public education, conservation, and research on marine mammals in the wild. The public can purchase general admission tickets that include the opportunity to see dolphins and sea lions interact with their trainers as well as the opportunity to touch stingrays in the deep ray pool or to catch a parrot and macaw show. If you’d like more than what the general admission tickets offer, you can purchase tickets to have a dolphin or sea lion encounter or even the opportunity to snorkel with the stingrays.

3. Beauvoir: Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library

Photo Courtesy of Website: If you’re into history, then Beauvoir may be an interesting place for you to visit. In 1877 Jefferson Davis came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast looking for a place to write his memoirs. He went to visit his family friend, Sarah Dorsey, who was living in the home at the time after her husband had died. Jefferson Davis lived there for a while and paid rent until he ultimately bought the property from Sarah. Jefferson Davis did write his memoir while he lived there, “The Rise and Fall of Confederate Government.” If you’d like to plan a visit to the home, Beauvoir is open daily from 9 am-5 pm, and there are guided tours that are held on the hour.


Written by Tamra Cater

I am married, and I also have a 4-year-old daughter. I earned my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and I have been teaching psychology classes over the past 10 years. As a professor and as a parent, I grew to love learning anything about child development. I recently turned that into a passion for helping other parents by starting my own blog at


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