On a Date …
Mynelle Gardens, on Clinton Boulevard, is a botanical wonderland. There are seven acres of nooks and crannies—a perfect setting for romantic walks.
This fall season, take your date to see a live play production at area theaters. Dedicated to bringing quality theatre to Jackson, New Stage Theatre and Kessler Productions offer shows throughout the year. Upcoming are "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," "Lost Highway: Hank Williams" and "Hairspray."
Don't forget local bookstores for quiet conversation without screaming over loud music. You want to get to know the person, and you can't do that at a movie.
Art galleries are an idea for creative spirits. See the LoungeList at jacksonfreepress.com for a full list.
The Jackson Zoo is a great place to visit friendly animals. Step back, watch your date go goo-goo over the animals.
Hiking at Rocky Springs off the Natchez Trace Park is historical and an adventure. It takes you away from the city and offers fresh air and solitude.
There are several opportunities in a day to catch a tennis match at Parham Bridges Park. After the match, take a leisurely walk around the park. Never know who you may run into.
Volunteering is free, beneficial for you and the people who receive your help. For ideas on volunteering, see "Be the Change," page 29.
Hosting game and movie night at your house is always fun. Just make sure to tell your friends they should BYOB.
Visit animals at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. Ask to take an animal into their yard to spend time with it.
The Mississippi Museum of Art, open for over 100 years, is undergoing a complete renovation. In May 2007, the building will be twice the size it is now, housing permanent and rotating work. You can also rent the museum.
The Ink Spot claims to be "Jackson's newest art gallery and tattoo parlor" on their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/theinkspotgallery).
Midtown Art, Congress Street and Fondren ArtMix. The first Thursday of each month in September through April, Fondren businesses open their doors, and local artists sell their art. Lots of free food and drink, too. On Oct. 7, part of Congress Street downtown will be closed for an art and music festival. and Nov. 4, artists in the Midtown community show their art.
Volunteer to teach art at a local school. Children have untapped creativity, and many have never been exposed to resources to create art.
Places to Study
If it's the day before an exam and you haven't begun to study, you need to find a place without too much visual stimuli. A good old-fashioned library is the place you need to be. Don't go to one on your campus, though; venture off to someone else's or a public one.
For peace, quiet and as close as you'll get to a beach in the city, the Ross Barnett Reservoir is perfect for digesting physics and trying to figure out what that white, fluffy cloud is shaped like. Just ignore its name, and you'll be fine.
Who doesn't love coffee? It's the quintessential eye opener. So find a Cups in your neighborhood, order a medium white mocha, and learn.
We don't care what anyone says about Smith Park, we love it. During the day, the downtown spot is the perfect little hideaway in the middle of downtown. And when you tire of reading that book, look at the governor's mansion and daydream about what you'd do differently.
Banner Hall. If you go there, you may get more social studying done than academic, but that's important, too. Get to know Lemuria Books while there.
Smith Robertson Museum serves an artistic look at the information I learned in history class. Richard Wright, author and Mississippi native, was once a student there, and his desk is still at the museum.
The Old Capitol Museum is a wonderful place to learn about Mississippi's history. The museum chronicles our state's history by sharing artifacts, memorabilia, and art from different eras. The building was the actual capital until 1903.
Aspiring writers will find comfort in visiting Eudora Welty's home. The Mississippi native lived and worked here in Jackson her whole life. Her delicate spirit lives on in the house that has undergone recent renovations. Don't miss her garden.
Rumor has it back in the day, if you didn't have coins, but you'd saved your bottle tops, you could hand them over for entry into a matinee at the The Alamo Theater. The theater, in the Farish Street Historical District, was built in the 1940s. A National Historic Landmark, it is a venue for cultural events through the year.
The Medgar Evers' House is a great place to learn the importance of sacrifice. The house is small; its significance is enormous. When you need encouragement to succeed, drive by the house and ponder Mr. Evers' ultimate sacrifice.
A Whole Meal Under $10, Really
There's a great misconception about young people's choice to eat fast food. The main thing that attracts us to burgers and pizza is the LOW prices. But there are places with great meals under $10!
Go for the green at Zaxby's. Zaxby's has substantial salads for reasonable prices. A favorite: the Blue Salad—topped with blue cheese crumbles and blackened chicken. Add a medium soda on days you can splurge. Otherwise, just have water.
WELCOME TO MOE'S! You never spend a lot of money at Moe's Southwest Grill. A Moo Moo Mr. Cow from the kid's menu and eat like an adult. Stuff that burrito and get chips, a drink and a cookie for—stop the presses—$3.99 plus tax.
In the mood for great barbecue? Stop by the Exxon on the corner of Northside Drive and Frontage Road to get a half slab of ribs ($7.69 plus tax). It's enough to share. Split the bill with a friend. Grab a soda, and head over to Kroger's deli (I-55 North) for a side dish for $0.99.
Sometimes you've gotta have soul food, and there's a soul-food haven near JSU's campus. New Bethlehem Temple (corner of Prentiss Street and Robinson Road) serves up good southern cooking Tuesday through Friday. Choose one meat, two sides, and bread. The menu varies from day to day, but you'll never spend more than six dollars.
For an amazing burger, cow or veggie, head to Stamps Superburger on McWillie or Dalton near JSU. Don't miss the sweet potato chips. For hummus and falafel, head to the renovated Aladdin's in Fondren across from UMC.
Then there are those delish paninis and cold pastas we all live for at Basil's in Fondren Corner.
Sometimes you’ve gotta have soul food, and there’s a soul-food haven near JSU’s campus. New Bethlehem Temple (corner of Prentiss Street and Robinson Road) serves up good southern cooking Tuesday through Friday. Choose one meat, two sides, and bread. The menu varies from day to day, but you’ll never spend more than six dollars. CORRECTION: It's called Greater Bethlehem Temple. I was a member there for ten years, so I know the food quite well. Even the child's plate will fill you up. My personal favorites: the barbecued turkey wings and the okra and tomato blend. They don't serve that every day, so when you can get it, GET IT!