Brandon, Mississippi, has experienced a boom in the last few years, resulting in incredible growth. The city now has more than 25,000 residents, new businesses transforming its Downtown, and an amphitheater welcoming some of music’s best performers. Consistently ranked as one of the best (and safest) places to live in the state, Brandon is ideal for families. If you’re new to the area, or just looking for something different to do with your children, here are some free things to do in Brandon with kids (and its neighboring areas).
Visit The Libraries
Brandon and Flowood have fantastic public libraries. And I truly mean, fantastic. Both offer a plethora of programs for children of all ages, like Preschool Story Time, Teen Craft Night, and trivia, just to name a few.
The Brandon Public Library (1475 W Government St) gives children incentives for reaching reading goals by partnering with local restaurants. Kids can pick up a dedicated form from the children’s section, complete the reading goal, and earn free meals from Raising Canes Chicken Fingers and Mazzio’s Italian Eatery, plus icy treats from Dairy Queen.
There is almost always a scavenger hunt going on in the children’s section of the Brandon Public Library, and children can win prizes for completing it when they visit.
Flowood’s G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library (103 Winners Circle) has the coolest children’s area setup, with really nice window seating for reading. And, it hosts our preferred Preschool Story Time.
Winners Circle Park
One of the best things to do in Brandon with kids is visit a park. Our favorite in the Brandon/Flowood area is Winners Circle Park (100 Winners Circle). The park is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different age group: 0-2, 2-5, and 5-12. There’s something for children of all ages to enjoy here–from slides to a play-on fire truck and swings to balance beams.
Shiloh Park (330 Shiloh Rd) is primarily a sports complex, with dedicated fields for baseball and soccer. But, a walking trail runs throughout the park and there are a few play structures scattered throughout, making it worth a visit.
Brandon City Park
Right outside of the Brandon Public Library is the Brandon City Park (1451 W Government St). It has a large climbing structure for children plus swings and a nice walking/nature trail behind it. Be sure to peruse the adorable Little Free Library on your way out of the park.
Bobby Cleveland Park
If you find yourself on the reservoir side of Brandon, stop by the Bobby Cleveland Park at Lakeshore (1112 N Shore Pkwy). This park, overlooking the reservoir, has a fun climbing structure for kids, plus a dog park.
Flowood Nature Park
Have you been to the Flowood Nature Park beside of Winners Circle Park (4077 Flowood Dr)? Here, you will find a one-mile paved, distance-marked walking trail and pretty lake full of turtles, geese, and fish. Picnic tables underneath shaded trees make it a great spot for picking up lunch on the way and eating al fresco.
Rankin Trails By The Quarry
Brandon opened the Rankin Trails By The Quarry a little over a year ago, and it’s ever growing. Rankin Trails is a great place for walking or biking, and there are many turns and paths throughout. I highly recommend wearing tennis shoes as the ground is not even, and dogs are allowed if on a leash.
Rankin Trails does not have an address, but the entrance is to the left of the Brandon Fire Station (located at 629 Marquette Road).
042 Farmers Market
Brandon has several community events throughout the year.
During the summer, Downtown Brandon hosts the 042 Farmers Market every 2nd Thursday of the month. The event is full of local vendors, and offers a free jump house for children.
Downtown Brandon Events
At the end of October, attend Brandon’s Fall Festival at the Amphitheater for games, inflatables, hayrides, and trick or treating with local businesses.
The Brandon Christmas Parade is likely the most popular local event of the year. Come see a variety of holiday decorated parade floats as they make their way around Downtown Brandon, many throwing out prizes and candy for kids.
You can stay up to date with all of Brandon’s community events on their Facebook page.
Venture Outside Of Brandon
There are some fun free things for kids to do in neighboring Jackson and Pearl, too.
On Sundays when the Mississippi Braves baseball team plays at Trustmark Park in Pearl, children can receive a free ticket by joining the MS Braves Kids Club. This completely free program also gives your child first access to running the bases after the game, meet and greets with the team’s mascot Diddly, exclusive discounts, and more.
My daughter loves visiting the new LeFleur’s Bluff Playground in Jackson (Riverside Park Circle). This 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art playground features 80 play activities, 73 of which are inclusive to children with accessibility needs.
Also in Jackson, is the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S Lamar St). It always has one exhibit that is free to visit and open to the public.
Every 2nd Thursday of the month, Mississippi Public Broadcasting hosts an Explore! Discover! Grow Day for children ages 3 to 6 (3825 Ridgewood Road). Attendees watch an episode of PBS Kids’ Work It Out Wombats! and then participate in exciting learning centers.
More Activity Ideas
Want to take your children to dinner? Kids eat free on Tuesdays (with the purchase of any entrée) at our favorite restaurant in Brandon, The Cleaners by Pizza Shack.
Extra Activity: Have $5 to spare? Visit the Shiloh Splash Park.