Fun Things to Do in Louisiana

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From New Orleans to Shreveport, fun things to do with your kids abound in Louisiana.

Free Fun

There are always fun things to do that are free. If you have a history or battle buff among your children, and will be around the New Orleans area, head over to Chalmette to tour the Chalmette Battlefield (http://www.nps.gov/), which had a pivotal role in the War of 1812. It is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, so make an afternoon out of it. In Baton Rouge, take the kids to the Laurens Henry Cohn, Sr., Memorial Plant Arboretum (http://www.discoverourtown.com/), which lets them interact and explore plants that grow in the area while running around open, outdoor space.

Educational Fun

The Louisiana Children’s Museum (www.lcm.org) in New Orleans offers 30,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits about nature, science, and local culture. They regularly host free Sundays, so check the website to save a little money. Lake Charles also has a Children’s Museum (www.swlakids.org), which features water play, a bubble exhibit, and a ball raceway room. Louisiana’s Science Center (www.sciport.org) in Shreveport appeals to older kids with nationally touring exhibits, an IMAX theater, and a planetarium.

Environmental Fun

If your kids love zoos, try to plan a visit to the Baton Rouge Zoo (www.brzoo.org), which houses 1,400 animals. The Alexandria Zoological Park (http://www.thealexandriazoo.com/) is smaller, with only about 500 animals, but the life-like habitats and hands-on demonstrations make it popular for kids as well. The Audubon Nature Institute (www.auduboninstitute.org) in New Orleans has a zoo, aquarium, and insectarium all in one location, and also has an IMAX that shows nature-inspired documentary films. Plan to spend an entire day if you visit this location. The Global Wildlife Center (http://www.globalwildlife.com/) in Folsom is the largest free-roaming wildlife preserve in the country, so jump in one of the covered safari wagons to drive through the exhibit and get face to face with some of the world’s most exotic and endangered species.

Seasonal Fun

One of the premier holiday attractions in Louisiana is New Orleans’ City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks (http://celebrationintheoaks.com/), one of the largest holiday light exhibits in the country. In the spring and fall, head Shreveport for the Movies and Moonbeams (www.moviesandmoonbeams.org) event, an outdoor movie featuring films that are appropriate for the entire family.

Just for Mom Fun

A spa is one of the best ways for a busy mom to relax, and if you are going to spend the money on a spa treatment, why not do it at one of the best in the state. Gayot ranks the Ritz-Carlton spa in New Orleans (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/) as one of the best in the state, so consider planning an overnight getaway at this luxury hotel. For something less traditional, head to the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City to shop, and then stop in at one of the local casinos in the evening for a fun girls’ night out.

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