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By Kristy Christiansen

Sci-Port Planetarium

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Lake Claiborne Nature Walk

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North Louisiana is wild and scenic, dotted with beautiful state parks alongside lakes, bayous and forests. Bring your family to explore nature at its finest, where you can search for bugs while hiking the trails or pitch a tent and camp out under the stars. Then venture into the cities of Shreveport-Bossier City and Monroe to test your science knowledge, discover the roots of Coca-Cola bottling or smell the fragrant roses.

Meet the Wildlife

Gator and Friends Alligator Park and Exotic Zoo: It’s feeding time! Come watch these giant reptiles wrestle their way through the dinner plate. Then visit the park’s calmer side at the exotic petting zoo, where you can walk beside animals such as miniature horses, lemurs and a camel.

Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo: Featuring a brand-new Children’s Zoo and an Australia exhibit, Monroe’s zoo houses about 400 animals, including lions and tigers and bears! Don’t miss the Hall of Small, where you are immersed in the world of insects.

Play Outdoors

Lake Claiborne State Park: Lounge on the sandy beach and swim in the pristine waters of Lake Claiborne. Take your boat out to go waterskiing or fishing in the well-stocked lake. The rolling hills and forests offer prime opportunities for hiking through nature.

Chemin-A-Haut State Park: Scenic and serene, this park is situated on a high bluff over Bayou Bartholomew. It’s a great outing for kids with two playgrounds, swimming and wading pools and an easy walking trail along the banks of the bayou.

Make New Discoveries

Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center: Journey through the universe in the Space Dome Planetarium, immerse yourself in an IMAX movie or learn about science, math and astronomy through more than 290 interactive exhibits.

The Gardens of the American Rose: Home to the American Rose Society’s national headquarters, Shreveport boasts the nation’s largest park dedicated to roses. Wander the gardens and see and smell the beautiful roses all around you.

Poverty Point State Historic Site: Long before today’s residents inhabited northeast Louisiana, a sophisticated group of people built earthen ridges and mounds along the banks of the Mississippi River. Learn about these ancient people and the culture they created thousands of years ago.

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens: Home to the first bottler of Coca-Cola, the Beidenharn site offers tours of the historic house, a Coca-Cola Museum, a Bible Museum and a formal garden. Families with young children can enjoy Garden Story Baskets, complete with books and puppets, and a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens.

Party Central Family Fun Center: Spend the day bonding as a family, playing games, crashing bumper boats and racing go karts. From rock climbing to miniature golf, batting cages to kiddie rides, Party Central has cornered the “fun” market.

Discover more family friendly activites around the state:

Find family fun in central Louisiana.

Find family fun in southwest Louisiana.

Find family fun in the Baton Rouge area.

Find family fun in the New Orleans area.

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