Not only is Baton Rouge steeped in history, but it offers an array of kid-friendly museums, plantations, memorials and historic sites as well. Itching to get outside? Hike the trails at Tunica Hills or view the nation’s largest bald cypress at Cat Island. Afterwards, cool off by splashing around in Blue Bayou Waterpark.
Kid-Friendly Wildlife Attractions
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo: Travel through themed exhibits to visit animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas and, of course, Louisiana! And no visit here is complete without a ride on the scenic Cypress Bayou Railroad through beautiful wetlands surrounding the zoo – running daily every half hour, weather permitting.
Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area: Hike or horseback ride through forested hills and ravines, and past scenic bluffs and streams cascading into waterfalls. This area provides a unique habitat that supports uncommon species of animals and plants – including some not found anywhere else in the state – making it a great spot for nature photography, too.
Outdoor Adventures for Kids
Blue Bayou Waterpark & Dixie Landin’: Bring your bathing suit and experience more than a dozen water attractions, including some of the tallest, fastest and largest in the region. Next door, Dixie Landin’ Amusement Park offers wild to mild rides, from a giant looping rollercoaster called the Ragin’ Cajun to a host of kid-friendly rides for younger ones.
Tickfaw State Park: Explore four separate ecosystems – a cypress/tupelo swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, mixed pine/hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River – on a mile-long boardwalk through the park. Visit an 800-gallon aquarium stocked with local fish, enjoy a canoe or kayak, catch a nature program, go on a night hike or listen to the sounds of the swamp from the porch of your cabin. A gift shop onsite offers souvenirs with a local flare.
Immersive Family-Fun Activities
Knock Knock Children’s Museum: This award-winning 26,000-square-foot facility atop a hill overlooking City-Brooks Community Park in Baton Rouge is filled with fun hands-on “Learning Zones” designed to create teachable moments that will connect with children’s every day experiences. Special emphasis is placed on STEAM learning through exhibits touching on science, technology, engineering, art and math.
USS Kidd Veternan's Museum: Tour a U.S. naval destroyer from World War II, restored to almost exactly how she looked in 1945 and one of only four remaining that are preserved as museums. The attached museum houses a variety of artifacts celebrating veterans and naval history.
Louisiana Art & Science Museum: Marvel at fine art, immerse yourself in interactive art and science exhibits, stroll through an Egyptian gallery and visit the planetarium for exciting sky shows and large-format films – all inside a historic railroad depot overlooking the Mississippi River.
Louisiana State Capitol Buildings: Less than a mile apart, Louisiana’s old and new State Capitols are both fascinating attractions. Discover how Gov. Huey P. Long built the country’s tallest state capitol (450 feet high with 34 floors), then tour the chambers and see the surrounding gardens and much of the city from the 27th floor observation deck. Afterwards, walk over to the Gothic castle that once served as the statehouse and is today a political history museum. Learn more about things to do in Baton Rouge.
LSU Rural Life Museum: Children will be delighted to step in time to experience what life was like on a working plantation back in the 18th and 19th centuries. This outdoor landscape houses the largest collection of artifacts and architecture from this period, including a country church, barn, plantation quarters, pioneer cabin and several styles of houses.
Tour the River Road Plantations: Drive either side of the Mississippi’s River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and you’ll journey back in time to the days of sugar plantations. Stop along the way to tour beautiful houses that stand as the last vestiges of grandeur for this once-thriving industry.
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