Kraft Family Vacation Part I: Road Trip to Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi

It’s finally here! Our third annual Kraft family vacation! We are so excited to share our travels with you!

Our first day on the road dawned bright and early (and foggy!), with our family of five hitting the road by 5:00 am.

We planned to break the trip into two legs, driving five and a half hours the first day to Vicksburg, and then staying overnight at an Airbnb in Jackson. Saturday we will do another five hours to get us to the house by check in at 3:00 pm.

About three hours in we stopped at a rest stop (right before mile marker 96 on Interstate 20) to allow the kids some time out of the car to move around.

The bathrooms were super clean and the green space was nice for the kids to “exercise”. They enjoyed jumping around and running and spinning for a few minutes before hopping back in the car.

Our first stop in Vicksburg was the Catfish Row Art Park, a playground, splash pad, and paddle wheel steamboat for kids to play on. We wanted to make sure our first real stop was somewhere the kids could get a little exercise and stretch their legs.

We let the kids run around and engaged in some imaginary play about their friend “Herbert the Whale”. Lately in the evenings we’ve been telling stories before bed about Pirate Parker, Co-captain Charlie, and their friend Herbert. They love participating in the story telling so we pretended we were looking for Herbert as they played on the old steamboat.

From Catfish Row we headed to the Vicksburg National Military Park. The entrance fee for a single vehicle was $20, or it’s free with a National Park Pass.

The park was pretty interesting, with some beautiful monuments. The best part was that the whole thing was easily drivable so we were able to cruise on through and head out when the kids were tired of it.

From there we pointed our crew towards Jackson and our first overnight stop. We had some time to kill before checking into our Airbnb, so we took a turn down the Natchez Trace Parkway to view the beautiful scenery and stop off for a quick hike around the Tupelo-Bald Cypress Swamp.

Although we didn’t have any alligator sightings, we did see a gorgeous heron fishing for his dinner.

After that brief stop we headed back into Jackson to our cottage for the evening. We made one more quick stop at Target for some necessities.

We booked a cute vintage house in the Belhaven historic district, with three bedrooms so it was more comfortable for us with all three kiddos (and cheaper than adjoining hotel rooms).

Here’s how we set the kids up for the night: Parker wanted his own big bed, the baby slept in the pack and play, and Charlie is doing her first night on Parker’s old blow up toddler bed.

After a long day in the car, we were all ready for pizza and bed. We’ll be back soon with another update from the road!

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