We have several ways for you to enjoy summer right here in the Golden Isles. Movies, museums, and music festivals promise to keep you entertained without having to travel far away.
Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum
Mosaic, the reimagined and renovated Jekyll Island Museum, is bringing to life five distinct eras from the island’s history for visitors and locals. “We tried to make it very interactive, with lots of things for kids to do and see and adults as well,” says Museum Director Stephanie Long. “So far, we’ve seen a lot of kids really enjoying it and families coming through and going through the exhibits together.”
Just opened at the end of April, the museum now covers the island’s history from the Native Americans to the 1960s, when Jekyll Island became a state park. “We’ve expanded to include the whole history of the island, not just the Club Era, which we used to cover,” Long says.
A 1947 Studebaker with a radio playing hits from the era greets visitors at the museum gallery entrance. “It’s meant to represent the opening of the causeway and the point where the island really opened up to everybody; it wasn’t the exclusive club anymore,” Long says.
Another popular feature of the museum is the Magic Mirror, where visitors can stand in front of a camera and see their clothes magically change on screen from modern-day attire to Gilded Age costumes from the museum’s collection.
A contraption called a Red Bug offers virtual joy rides around the island, just as visitors of a bygone era would have seen it. “We try really hard to include a lot of history that hasn’t been seen here before and make it interactive for kids, something for all ages,” Long says.
The museum is housed in the former clubhouse stables, on the edge of Jekyll’s historic district. “It’s a neat old building with a neat old story to it,” Long says. “It’s a good, productive reuse of the building. We had a lot of this stuff in our collection for many years and really didn’t have a place to put it. So a lot of this has never really been seen before, and a lot of it’s been donated by families who used to vacation here.”
Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum, is located at 100 Stable Rd., Jekyll Island. The museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for ages 13 and older; $7 for children ages 4 to 12; children younger than 4 are admitted for free. Package pricing including other historical tours is also available. For more information, check out jekyllisland.com/mosaic.
World War II Home Front Museum
The World War II Home Front Museum is introducing a new generation to the history of the Golden Isles’ war effort in the 1940s.
Stories come to life in the museum, which opened in the Historic Coast Guard Station at East Beach in December 2018. “This museum, in particular, is very good for families to come to,” says Kim Campbell, site manager of the museum. “Every gallery is designed to engage all ages.”
Those galleries recreate home front scenes and offer interactive experiences for visitors, who can take part in a plane spotting activity or direct fighter pilot squadrons using radar technology. A knot-tying table in the museum offers families a chance to try their hands at the activity together. Pop-up programs planned this summer will engage families and history buffs alike, too.
“Our museum is definitely one where the family cannot only individually enjoy different elements, but we have things designed to bring families together,” Campbell says.
The World War II Home Front Museum, 101 12th Street, St. Simons Island, is open Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Sunday, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for ages 6 to 12; children under six and Society members are admitted free of charge. A $2 military discount for those with ID will be applied, too. Last tickets are sold at 4:30 p.m. each day. For more information, visit coastalgeorgiahistory.org.
St. Simons Lighthouse Museum
The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, also operated by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, will offer additional pop-up summer programming — including tours and in-gallery programming — says Sandy Jensen, education director for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. “We are the best place to learn about history in the Golden Isles, between the Lighthouse Museum and the Home Front museum,” she says.
The Lighthouse Museum, adjacent to the A.W. Jones Heritage Center, offers the history of the lighthouse and Keeper’s Dwelling; the technology that has evolved with the structures; and an overview of St. Simons Island, dating back to Native American habitation.
“It’s also, of course, the best view in the Golden Isles,” Jensen adds, for those who climb the 129 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
Joint passes for the lighthouse and home front museums will be offered at a discount price this summer. For more details, check out coastalgeorgiahistory.org.
Summer Kid Show Series with GTC Cinemas
The Summer Kid Show Series is a great way for kids to enjoy a flick at the movies this summer. With showtimes at 10 a.m. each Tuesday and Thursday morning in July at both Island Cinemas and Glynn Place Cinemas, there are plenty of chances to catch the PG-rated films hosted each week. Admission is $1.50 with $1.50 drinks and $1.50 popcorn, too! Details: gtcmovies.com
Check it out:
“Sherlock Gnomes” at 10 a.m. on July 2 and 4
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” at 10 a.m. on July 9 and 11
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” at 10 a.m. on July 16 and 18
“Wonder Park” at 10 a.m. on July 23 and 25
Date Night: Movies hitting the box office this summer
For the adults, enjoy a date night with these new releases heading to theaters in the next few months:
“Spider-Man: Far from Home” opens on July 3
“The Lion King” on July 19
“Hobbs & Shaw” on August 2
“It: Chapter 2” on Sept 6
*For showtimes and prices, go to gtcmovies.com
Movies on the Green on Jekyll Island
Enjoy a picnic dinner and some festivities on the lawn before settling in for a movie night on the Village Green on Jekyll Island. This event is free and open to all, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs. Various snack and dinner options will be available for purchase at several of the Beach Village shops, too. Details: jekyllisland.com
Check it out:
“Smallfoot” at 8:30 p.m. on July 27
“Aquaman” at 8 p.m. on August 31
“Bumblebee” at 7:30 p.m. on September 28
“The House with a Clock in its Walls” at 7 p.m. on October 26
“The Grinch” at 5:30 p.m. on November 30
Beach Village Music Series
Jekyll Island’s Beach Village Music Series, held the first Saturday of the month, will turn the Village Green into an outdoor arena. Plan to get there a bit before the 5:30 p.m. start time to find a spot with your beach blanket or chair. Admission is free. Details: jekyllisland.com/signatureevents.
Coming to the Stage:
July 6: Lyn Avenue
August 3: Second Chance Band
September 7: Free Spirits Orchestra
Little Light Music Concert Series
The Little Light Music Concert Series keeps the fun acts coming as the series continues this summer on the lawn of the St. Simons Lighthouse. Performances on select Sunday evenings began in May with concerts planned through September. The evening performances take place from
7 to 9 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean breeze before the concert begins. Tickets are $15 for adults; children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance in the Museum Store located in the A.W. Jones Heritage Center, or at the gate the evening of the concert. Details: coastalgeorgiahistory.org, or the Coastal Georgia Historical Society on Facebook for news and weather updates during the concert season.
Coming to the Stage:
July 14: The Funk Brotherhood
September 1: Sounds of Motown
Sounds by the Sea Summertime Concert
End the summer with a chance to catch the finale of the Sounds by the Sea concert at Neptune Park, oceanside of the Casino Building, on St. Simons Island. The evening performance — an annual tradition hosted by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities for the 30 years — is set for August 31 with The Blues Factor Band playing high energy music that encompasses the blues, classic rock, Motown, funk R&B, and more.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic supper and a lawn chair or blanket to relax on. Admission, payable at the gate the night of each show, is $10 for adults; children ages 6 to 12 are $5; and those under 6 years old are free. For more details, go to goldenislesarts.org.
Other chances to catch a show this Fall:
The RSM Classic will host the Saturday evening concert on November 23 at the Saint Simons McKinnon Airport. Past headliners have included Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, and Jake Owen. This year’s performer will be announced this fall. Details: rsmclassic.com
The Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival is set for September 20 to 22. Several local and regional bands will perform throughout the festival on the grounds in the Historic District of in the Historic District of Jekyll Island. Details: jekyllisland.com