Family Life

Mapping Family Fun Louisiana-Style

Whether you’re looking for water fun in Sportsman’s Paradise or wanting to dive into history in Cajun Country, there’s something for every member of the family in all corners of our great state. We have mapped out a few ideas to get you started this summer.

Creole Crescent

New Orleans, Chalmette, Covington

Global Wildlife Center. Eye-to-eye giraffe and bison encounters; safari tours with 4,000 animals on a 900-acre preserve. ■

New Orleans City Park. A playground of tunnels; roller coasters at Carousel Gardens; kite-flying; paddleboats, bike trails, Storyland with a pirate ship; a kid’s paradise. ■

Audubon Zoo. Penguins at the Aquarium; an underground Mayan Reef adventure, Cool Zoo’s Lazy River; Butterfly Garden; hop-on double deckers. ■

Louisiana Children’s Museum. Art Trek studio; see-your-skeleton with Mr. Bones; a storytime amphitheatre; talk-and-play learning centers; Fetch!Zone, rock climbing.  ■

Splendor Farms. Horseback riding lessons, bike rides; fun with cows, goats, chickens, horses and cats, too. ■

Steamboat Natchez. Two-hour cruises on the Mighty Mississippi cruises from the French Quarter with music, food and fun—steamboat-style. ■

Steamboat Natchez. Two-hour cruises on the Mighty Mississippi cruises from the French Quarter with music, food and fun—steamboat-style. ■

New Orleans Plantation Country. Explore plantations and learn their secrets, enjoy delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine, and experience exhilarating swamp tours. ■

Insta-Gator Ranch & Hatchery. Covington’s working 2,000-alligator ranch with guided tours and touch pool of baby alligators. ■

Café Du Monde. Original outdoor cafe beignets with gift-shop is a must-stop of rest and fun. ■

Abita Mystery House at the UCM Museum. This UCM (“you-see-em”) Museum of eccentric objects and inventions in a labyrinth of buildings connected by walkways as seen on “American Pickers.” ■

Plantation Capital

Baton Rouge, Port Allen, St. Francisville

Tiki Tubing and Zipline. Float down the river or get an adrenaline rush as you soar through the trees. ■

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. Open trampoline jump; Ultimate Dodgeball; and Foam Zone. ■

BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. A 103-acre facility of nature and environmental programs, camps, bird walks, live animal encounters, night tours and special events for kids of all ages. ■

LSU Family Sites. 5,000 year old Native American Indian mounds, Mike the Tiger’s Habitat— 15,000 square feet of the beloved mascot’s home delighting kids over 70 years, LSU lakes for events and outdoor activities. ■

Louisiana Art and Science Museum. Housed in a historic railroad depot on the banks of the Mississippi River with educational entertainment for visitors of all ages. ■

North Boulevard Town Square.  Weekly family-friendly events, lively downtown center of spectacular greenspace development. ■

Bowling and Skating. Quarters, All Star Lanes, Circle Bowl, Premier Lanes Entertainment Center, and Leo’s Rollerland are top picks!

St. Francisville Plantation Tours. Seven plantations with tours, more than anywhere in the south, within 12 miles of historic town. ■

Audubon State Historic Site. 100 acres of park with free-roaming peacocks with Oakley Plantation, home of bird artist John Audubon. A Night at the Museum for family sleepovers and events with historic games, cannons, an interpretive center, nature trails. ■

BREC’S Baton Rouge Zoo.  Animals around the world; Galapagos Islands; Twilight Tours on a tram in June and July. ■

Cajun Country

Lafayette, New Iberia, Lake Charles

Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. Alligators, birds, waterfowl, fishing, crabbing…all natural and up close as you drive this incredible scenic byway. ■

Conrad Rice Mill. New Iberia. Family tours of working rice factory a top attraction. ■

Lake Charles Children’s Museum. Three floors of hands-on, educational exhibits for the whole family. Exhibits include a television studio, shopping market, rock wall, waterworks station, cowboy café, and coastal wetlands. ■

Avery Island.  New Iberia. Tours of Mcilhenny Company’s world-famous Tabasco production in their white oak barrels with family gift shops. ■

Kart Ranch Family Fun Center. Go-karts, water wars, miniature golf, arcades, family adventures rain or shine. ■

Rok Haus Climbing Gym. Indoor rock-climbing with harnesses, ropes provided. Classes available and birthday parties for kids starting at age six. ■

Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum. Houma. Story-telling of careers in shrimping and seafood careers with drive a shrimp boat and “tong an oyster” hands-on fun. Then try your hand at driving a shrimp boat or using the oyster-tonging technique. ■

McGee’s Landing. A full service Cajun restaurant, marina, small boat rentals, kayak, canoe, and small motor boats. Guided swamp tours and airboat tours 7 days a week. ■

Zoosiana (Zoo of Acadiana). Home to over 500 exotic animals on over 40 scenic, well-shaded acres. Petting zoo, large playground sets, train, family rentals and events. ■

Geaux Splat Paintball. Lake Charles’s paintball complex with family-friendly environment, equipment and rental parties. ■

Sportsman’s Paradise

Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe

Louisiana Boardwalk. Outlet shopping at top-notch stores, entertainment and riverfront dining. ■

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. First bottlers of Coca-cola in U.S. celebrating with 5-cent Cokes; Garden Story Baskets with puppets and books for kids; scavenger garden hunts. ■

Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center. A journey through the universe in the Space Dome Planetarium; IMAX movies; interactive science, math, astronomy exhibits. ■

Ark-La-Tex Flyboard. Thrills of  “flying” above the water for ages 12 or older and 90 plus pounds. ■

Hillcrest Blueberry Farm. U-Pick Fresh Berries available seasonally during farm store hours. ■

Gator and Friends Alligator Park and Exotic Zoo. Feedings of giant reptiles; exotic petting zoo with animals such as miniature horses, lemurs and a camel. ■

Excalibur Family Fun Center. Fun castle with a soaring rock wall, arcade games, giant indoor playground, 3,000-square-foot laser tag course, outdoor go-kart tracks, batting cages and miniature golf. ■

Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum. Exhibits include the Firehouse with sliding pole, Health Hall for paramedics, Toddlertown, Kids’ Café, Bubbleworks, The Big Mouth, traveling seasonal exhibits. ■

Party Central Family Fun Center. Family games, bumper boats, racing go-karts, rock climbing, miniature golf, batting cages, kiddie rides. ■

Holy Roller Skatepark. Indoor 15,000 square feet skate park featuring ramps, hand rails, ledges, skate and snack shop. ■

The Heartland

Alexandria, Natchitoches, Pineville

Alexandria Zoological Park. Wild animals of Africa, walking journey through Australia and South America, up-close encounters of Louisiana’s backyard creatures.■

Bayou Pierre Alligator Park. Louisiana’s largest alligator park…hold, pet, feed them. Tiny village walk-throughs of other reptiles and critters. ■

T.R.E.E. House. Hands-on children’s museum for kids aged 1-12 with science, math, social studies and the humanities; exciting exhibits and programs. ■

Kisatchie National Forest. 604,000 acres of horseback riding, camping, water activities, picnicking, trails, fishing, beaches, learning center, scenic drives. ■

Gone Wild Safari. An African experience…wild animal safari with more than 150 wild animals roaming free outside your safari wagon. ■

Lafayette Science Museum.  More than 10,000 square feet of exhibits, featuring hands-on science fun and a planetarium. ■

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