Looking for things to do in Baton Rouge? We can think of 10! Here are some of the top destinations in Louisiana’s Capital City.
Louisiana’s flagship university is best known for its thousands of sprawling oak trees, vibrant culture and community, and Mike the Tiger. The Louisiana State University campus is lively during school hours, from the the iconic Quad, to the beautiful LSU Lakes, and to the Parade Ground that host games, frisbee, picnics, and siestas in between classes. Near the LSU North Gates are some restaurants that are staples in the community, such as Highland Coffees, Louie’s Cafe, and The Chimes. During your visit, say “hello” to Mike the Tiger, the school’s beloved live mascot who can be found napping in the sun, swimming in his pool, or prowling about his impressive habitat. He is cared for by the LSU Veterinary School, one of the top veterinary schools in the country.
The USS Kidd, also known as the “Pirate of the Pacific,” is one of the most authentically restored ships in the world. She is also one of only four Fletcher-class destroyers (or, destroyer ships built by the United States during World War II) that has been preserved as a museum and the only known one to be preserved in her 1945 configuration. After 20 years of service, the USS Kidd is available in downtown Baton Rouge for families and friends to get a close look at WWII history. There are four levels to explore; if you’re crunched for time, you can check out the museum’s website to see which part of the ship is the most popular among visitors.
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
Beautiful weather with minimal humidity is rare in Baton Rouge, so you’ll want to take advantage of such a day at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center! It features 103 acres of walking paths and boardwalks through the wild Bluebonnet Swamp. You’ll see dozens of bird species, rabbits, turtles, and plenty of other critters during your visit. While you’re there, stop at the award-winning exhibition center with live animals and nature displays. You may even catch a cool event such as Dog Day or Swamp Flashlight Night, depending on when you go.
Louisiana Art and Science Museum
Artists and scientists of all ages will love exploring the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. Go stargazing in the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, where you can watch shows in a domed theater that completely immerses you with surround sound and fulldome, high quality video. Check out the exhibitions, from galleries that change to those that are here to stay; learn something new at hands-on exhibits such as the Science Station; visit a real mummy from Ancient Egypt; and more!
13th Gate Escape
Can you escape in 60 minutes or less? 13th Gate Escape has eight award-winning escape rooms that must be solved in 60 minutes or less. You and your friends and family will start by selecting rooms based on theme, difficulty, and scare levels. Then, you will work as a team to get out of your room as fast as possible by solving riddles, uncovering secret passages, and cracking codes. Run from Dr. Victor Delacroix in The Asylum, travel to another dimension in The Disappearance of Flight 13, find the missing agent in Agent 13, or solve the mystery in the other thrilling rooms.
Baton Rouge Zoo
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is the perfect place to discover the animal kingdom in the Capital City. Here, you can visit animals from all corners of the globe: birds, fish, mammals, reptiles–you name it! There’s a special area dedicated to the fish, reptiles, and amphibians of Louisiana as well. You can also feed the giraffes, play in the Safari Playground, make new furry friends at the petting zoo, and meet the pygmy hippos at the new Sapo Springs exhibit.
Old State Capitol
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol in downtown Baton Rouge is considered a National Historic Landmark because of its dedication to preserving Louisiana’s rich history. It has withstood more than a century’s worth of events, and it now stands to educate visitors and impress them with its unique architecture, winding staircase, and a beautiful, domed, stained-glass ceiling. Admission is free!
If you’re looking for dinner with a view, Tsunami Sushi is an iconic restaurant downtown that offers rooftop views of the Mississippi River. Plan your dinner by making a reservation for a time right around sunset so you can watch the sky explode with colors over the Mississippi River Bridge. If someone in your family prefers not to eat sushi, don’t worry! There are plenty of menu options suitable for all taste buds.
Knock Knock Children’s Museum
If you have any young children joining you on your adventure around Baton Rouge, make sure to stop by Knock Knock Children’s Museum! Play and learn at this six-acre space of interactive exhibits. Your child will have fun exploring while improving their literacy and STEM skills. There are over a dozen Learning Zones at the museum, from I See Food Cafe, to the Bubble Playground, to the Storybook Climber, and beyond.
Depending on what time of the year you stop by, you may catch an event that’s unique to the spirit of Baton Rouge. If you visit during the fall, you may be able to catch an LSU football game, Mid-City’s White Light Night, or the Downtown Book Festival. Springtime in Baton Rouge boasts classic festivities such as Mardi Gras parades, crawfish boils, and the iconic St. Patrick’s Day parade.