Fun Things to Do on a Budget in Hattiesburg
Here are our top picks for fun and affordable things to do in Hattiesburg, MS.
Public Art Mural Trail
A walk on the Public Art Mural Trail is a great way to discover everything Hattiesburg has to offer. The trail features more than 41 murals, paintings, and sculptures. Art pieces are spread all over Hattiesburg in gardens, college campuses, roadways, walls, and even utility boxes. Artwork is courtesy of both local and nationally known artists. Look for official trail stop signs to find art pieces. Expect to spend about half a day walking the exhibits.
If you are a fan of thrift shopping, you’ll definitely want to check out the Lucky Rabbit. Hattiesburg’s famous antique and thrift store has a large inventory of vintage collectibles, furniture, jewelry, boutique clothing, and toys. The Lucky Rabbit offers 15,000 square feet and over 80 vendors. In addition to shopping, check out the wild displays which include old soda machines, payphone booths, vintage arcade games, and roadside signs. If you are lucky enough to find the friendly store cats, Lucky and Rabbit, be sure to give them a snuggle.
An outdoor sale is held on the first Saturday of every month, featuring unique vendors, food trucks, beer, and a giant bounce house for kids. The Lucky Rabbit is located at 217 Mobile Street. Hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
On the grounds of Camp Shelby, the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum honors Mississippi servicemen and women from all branches of the military. The museum is home to an extensive collection of military artifacts, documents, videos, and displays. There are galleries for all major conflicts, including WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the war on terrorism. Don’t miss the Hall of Honor which is dedicated to Mississippi’s 28 Medal of Honor recipients. An outdoor military vehicle park features an impressive array of tanks, aircraft, and artillery.
You can visit the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum on Camp Shelby via Forest Avenue. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
African American Military Museum
The African American Military Museum provides a thorough history of African American soldiers in the United States. The museum features displays and artifacts from African-American soldiers that fought in the Spanish-American War through modern times. The museum has intricate displays dedicated to the Buffalo Soldiers, Ruth Bailey Earl, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Jesse Leroy Brown.
The African American Military Museum building is a Mississippi landmark, originally serving as the only USO social club for African American soldiers. Access to the museum is available at 305 East Sixth Street. Admission is free. Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
Known as the tiniest museum in Mississippi, the Pocket Museum is a whimsical charmer in downtown Hattiesburg. Hidden in an alleyway on West Front Street, the Pocket Museum features miniature vignettes and art pieces. Be sure to check out the extensive sidewalk artwork and alleyway murals. Themes change monthly at the Pocket Museum making it a place to visit again and again. Past museum themes include Swiss Army knives, miniature animals, fairy houses, origami, and Victorian art.
All American Rose Garden
Also known as the Southern Miss Rose Garden, the All American Rose Garden is a must-see for rose enthusiasts. The garden was planted in 1974 and is now home to over 800 rose bushes, 36 varieties of roses, and five fields of ground-creeping “drift roses.” You can visit the All American Rose Garden at 118 College Drive on the University of Southern Mississippi campus. The garden is always free to explore.
If you have kids, the Hattiesburg Zoo is an inexpensive and fun way to spend the day. Check out the array of live zoo animals, including giraffes, monkeys, lions, anteaters, and birds. At the Touch Africa petting zoo, kids and kids at heart can pet and feed African animals such as miniature zebras, Tunisian sheep, and Nigerian dwarf goats. The Australian Wallaby Walkabout is another petting zoo featuring Australian animals such as wallabies, emus, and KuneKune pigs. Be on the lookout for exciting animal encounters throughout the zoo, including Chewy the two-toed sloth, Leggs the rose-haired tarantula, and Moonpie the Kenyan sand boa.
Other attractions at the zoo include the Bug Hub, a playground featuring oversized attractions including a colossal anthill slide, spider’s web rope maze, and giant snail shell. The splash pad is a great way to cool off on a hot day. The zoo’s signature red and blue train is only $3 per person and offers a relaxing ride throughout the property. Brave visitors can climb the new four-store ropes course. Purchase a bag of mining rough at the Mining Expedition and look for gemstones, shark teeth, fossils, whale bones, arrowheads, or crystals.
Admission to the Hattiesburg Zoo is a bargain. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for kids ages two to 12, and free for kids under 2. Discounts are available for seniors, college students, active military, and groups of 20 or more. The Hattiesburg Zoo is on South 17th Avenue. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sarah Gillespie Collection at William Carey University
The Sarah Gillespie Collection is an art museum that exclusively features artwork produced by Mississippi residents. The art museum has over 600 pieces, including oil paintings, pencil sketches, and watercolors. The museum includes works from several famous Mississippi artists, including Bill Dunlap, Theora Hamblett, Kate Freeman Clark, and Alan Flattman. The Sarah Gillespie Collection is on the William Carey University campus. Hours are Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. when school is in session. You must make an appointment to view the collection during the summer months.
There you have our favorite budget-friendly activities in Hattiesburg. Did we miss any of your local favorites? If you know of a low-cost Hattiesburg hot-spot, let us know, and we will add it to our list.