Our best family vacations always include shrimp. I love the little crustaceans. I could eat shrimp for three meals a day, and snack on it in-between. Grilled, sauteed, fried, boiled, and all of Bubba Gump's special recipes.
If God is just, there will be shrimp in Heaven.
So it was no wonder that, the day after we arrived at Jekyll Island on one family excursion, our first stop was the Historic District, where they were staging the 2007 Shrimp and Grits: the Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival. It was a hungry shrimp lovers dream come true.
The Best Family Vacations Include Good Time Celebrations
The Shrimp and Grits hoo-rah is not the only annual "happening" on this island paradise. There's lots going on here all year long. Your family can enjoy celebrations of all kinds, including athletic competitions, holiday festivals, artsy stuff, and just plain old get-together and have-a-blast good times!
Jekyll Island provides many family-friendly entertainment options, from shrimp to music to glass globes. Below you'll find more information on some fine Jekyll Island celebrations, complete with the dates of upcoming events.
Jekyll Island Rhythm & Brews Festival
Grab the sun block and a cooler full of cold drinks, lounge back on your beach towel, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Jekyll Island Rhythm and Brews Festival. Listen to tunes from some of the areas best live entertainment while sampling Craft brews and snarfing down scrumptious BBQ. And if you do happen to get sauce on your clothes, the Atlantic washing machine is only a few steps away. Agitate the ocean way! (Do sharks like the taste of BBQ?)
The Jekyll Island Tennis Center Tennis Tournaments
If you play tennis, or like to watch at a higher level, try out one of the sanctioned tennis tournaments hosted by the Jekyll Island Tennis Center. (If you don't play tennis, try it out. It's a great sport, one you can play till your old and gray. If you do play, introduce your kids to the sport - a tennis themed outing is one of the best family vacations you can have.)
Jekyll Island Soccer Complex Tournaments
Come watch youth soccer at all levels at the Jekyll Island Soccer Complex sanctioned tournaments. Or bring your team and participate. Go for the goalllllllllll!
Cross Country by Foot Power
Watch top high-school runners compete in the Jekyll Island Cross-Country Invitational.
Swim, Run, Bike - All at the Same Time
Like to run, swim and bike? The Turtle Crawl Triathlon is made for you. Not up to a triathlon? Participate in the 5K Fun Run part of it. Or just come out to watch.
Go Dawgs! Or is that Gators?
The longest running Jekyll Island Athletic Event, the Georgia Florida Golf Classic is an annual rekindling of a decades long golf rivalry. Grab the kids, and come out and cheer your favorite animal team on. Oh, yeah - you get to eat good, too. (As a Georgia graduate, you know who I always cheer for).
Jekyll Island Arts Festival
Art is at the forefront of the Jekyll Island Arts Festival, usually held in the spring. You'll also find exhibitions by several prominent artists throughout the year.
Planning a trip to Jekyll Island in January or February? Don't miss out on their Island Treasures glass fishing float hunt. You get to keep what you find!
Reel Good Stuff
Jekyll Island has been the stage for the filming of several Hollywood movies - some good, some not so good. One of our best family vacations occurred during the week they were filming a movie at the Jekyll Island Club hotel.
Amp Up the Amphitheater
Valdosta State College Performing Arts department used to stage summer plays at the Jekyll Island Amphitheater, but no longer do so. This is one of my "soap box" things. The plays were wonderful, and we spent many an evening under the stars, with cranes and wood storks flying overhead (there's a prime bird roosting area behind the amphitheater), introducing our kids to great stage works like "Mame" and "Guys and Dolls", among others.
The amphitheater has fallen into disrepair, now. What a waste of a grand venue. My request? Please contact the Jekyll Island Authority
and petition a return of the amphitheater to its days of glory. Maybe
there's a group out there who could "adopt" it and restore it for future
productions. Let's see...you could stage plays, concerts, magic shows,
educational exhibits...the stuff dreams are made from!
Business Conventions and Events
Business folks can take advantage of Jekyll Island's Convention Center for their next group event.
Christmas is a special time on Jekyll Island, one you won't want to miss. The island seems to open it's arms and embrace you with holiday spirit, showcasing many kid-friendly events for families visiting the island. Maybe one of the best family vacations you will experience.
Easter Egg Stroll
The Jekyll Island Authority welcomes families to a fine Easter celebration within the Historic District. Kids troll the area seeking brightly colored eggs at the annual Easter Egg Stroll. Come on out and join the fun - and take the time to drop in on one of the Island Churches for Easter Sunday service.
Here's your Key to the Island - your one-stop shop to track upcoming Jekyll Island events, or an easy-access portal to add your own!
Whether you like to sweat it up on the tennis court (or watch top juniors compete), stroll the beaches seeking colorful blown-glass globes, eat shrimp till you bust, get down to up-beat bluegrass music, or explore and learn about nature, Jekyll Island has the celebration for you - and there's something happening all year long.
Take the plunge - make one of these fine events one of your best family vacations!