4 Kid-Friendly Day Trips From Baton Rouge

Whether you are new to living in Baton Rouge with kids or have been in the area a while, welcome! Red Stick Mom is the premier parenting website for Baton Rouge moms and dads. Whether you are looking for a list of the best splash pads in Baton Rouge, where kids eat free in Baton Rouge or how to keep your kids busy all summer, Red Stick Mom is here to help. 

4 Easy Day Trips From Baton Rouge With Kids

Living in Baton Rouge with kids is amazing, but sometimes you need to get away for a bit and have a change of scenery. When you want to just get away and experience something new without breaking the bank, a quick road trip is the perfect choice! We’ve put together 4 AMAZING day trips from Baton Rouge that the whole family will enjoy. Each of these ideas is a quick and manageable drive from Baton Rouge. You’ll enjoy a day full of adventure and be home in time for bed … ideally with tired kiddos!

Gulfport, MS

You’d never guess this little beach town was full of enriching activities for kids of all ages, not to mention enjoying a simple beach just a couple of hours from home. (Google Map) – 2 Hour Drive

Ocean Adventures

1. If you are an early riser, your first stop should definitely be Ocean Adventures Marine Park. This interactive learning center will capture anyone’s fascination with marine life! Open every day from 9am until 4pm, general admission tickets can be purchased online. Visitors will get their hands wet in the touch tanks, explore new sea creatures, and be treated to a live dolphin show. You can even feed or swim with the dolphins at an additional cost.

2. If you’re leaving Baton Rouge a little later, head over to Lynn Meadows Discovery Center first. Be sure to plan for a few hours here. There is something for every child: pretend play, art explorations, science inquiry, outdoor adventuring, and more. Visitors can return at a later time in the day, so if you need to run out for a quick lunch, you can return and play at no charge. There is also a picnic area if you prefer to pack your own snacks. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and on Sundays from 10-2.

3. As your day begins to wind down, take a visit to the Friendship Oak located on The University of Southern Mississippi’s campus. This 500 year old oak is stunning to see and a great photo-opp, and it is believed “those who enter my shadow will remain friends through all their lifetime.”

4. Finally, be sure to pack a couple of buckets and shovels and end your day on the sands of Long Beach, MS. What could be more perfect than a walk in the sand as the sun sets on your fun-filled family day!

Lafayette, LA

Full of culture, family-friendly fun, and some really great food, Lafayette will take you by surprise. (Google Map) – 1 Hour Drive

1. Start your morning off right with an authentic French breakfast at Pouparts Bakery. Enjoy a croissant, freshly-baked bread, and a treat or two for later. And be sure to have the kids practice their “Bonjour!” and “Merci!” (Closed Mondays).

2. Head over to beautiful Vermillionville next: a living history museum and folklife park where visitors can experience hands-on history. Tour the original, restored homes of the Acadian, Native American, and Creole people in the mid 1700’s – late 1800’s.  Enjoy demonstrations by local artisans, wander the beautiful gardens, and let the kids imagine they are back in time! (Closed Mondays). Similarly, LARC’s Acadian Village allows you to travel back in time and see what life was like for the early settlers in the 1800s. You can tour this Acadien style village which showcases how the original settlers lived off the land and used all the materials around them in their daily lives. (Closed Sundays and Major Holidays; Open during Christmas for LARC’s Acadian Village which is also worth the drive).

3. After a yummy, Cajun lunch at one of the many local eateries downtown, take some time to stroll around all the shops and enjoy a coffee or ice cream. The list of restaurants are many, but some favorites include: SpoonbillPamplonaGrocery TavernCarpe Diem (coffee, gelato, wine), TsunamisHideaway on LeeScratch Farm KitchenTula’s TacosCentral PizzaPop’s PoboysDwyer’s CafeBorden’s Ice Cream, and Reve Coffee Roasters. If you are into wine, stop into Wild Child Wine Shop which is a boutique wine shop that focuses on natural wines. Love some books? Beausoleil books is a super unique place to shop. Want to shop some trendy and unique apparel and gifts, stop into Genterie Supply Co. Downtown has plenty to explore!

4. For the afternoon, children of all ages would certainly enjoy the Children’s Museum of Acadiana. Visitors will love the pretend play stations, hands-on exhibits, a toddler play area, bubble station, and more! (Closed Mondays)

5. If you are more in a science mood, the Lafayette Science Museum has a ton to explore. Exhibits range from geology, entomology, space, and even dinosaurs.  Open on Saturday and Sunday only, catch the 11:15 am kids Planetarium Program (Closed Monday – Friday).

6. If you are feeling like you want have a good time, Exposure Selfie Studio is a fabulous selfie museum that has photo backdrops and interactive sets that allow you to create content or just enjoy having fun with photos!

7. Also, close to Downtown you will find the ULL Ragin Cajun campus. Maybe not your first thought for a stop, but if you venture into the center of campus, you can visit an actual swamp complete with gators, turtles and fish. Stop in for an Old Tyme Grocery Po-Boy and Sno-Cone (if it’s a warmer month) and picnic near the ULL swamp!

8. If you want to venture closer into the mid-town area, you might be interested in visiting the newly opened Moncus Park. Plenty of wide sidewalks for a fun scooter ride around the ponds, a huge hill to climb, and more kids play areas to be open very soon! If you catch it on a Saturday morning, the Lafayette Farmer’s and Artisan Market is a really fun time for the whole family. Moncus Park would also be a fantastic spot for a picnic lunch from a nearby place or from their Food Truck Fridays (Fridays 11am – 2pm).  A quick burger at Burger Tyme or Judice Inn would do the trick for a grab and go picnic meal. Both burger places are family owned and original to Lafayette – you won’t find them anywhere else!

New Orleans — Uptown

No need to travel all the way downtown to the busy French quarter! Enjoy the beauty of New Orleans and plenty of family-friendly fun. (Google Map) – 1.5 Hour Drive

Parrot at the Audubon Zoon

1. Start your day off with a walk on the wild side with a visit to the Audubon Zoo. You could easily spend all day wandering around the beautiful grounds and visiting all the exhibits, but we recommend planning a 3-hour visit and saving some energy for the rest of the day. In addition to the beautiful animals, you can check out a cool dinosaur exhibit, play by Monkey Hill, and enjoy a snack or two. Open Thursday through Mondays from 10am-5pm.

2. After a busy morning, take a lazy, stroller-friendly stroll down Magazine St.  If you’re hungry, there are so many delicious places, it will be hard to choose. You could enjoy pizza at Reginelli’s or a snoball from Imperial Woodpecker Snoballs. If you need a refuel, coffee at PJ’s or La Boulangerie will not disappoint. There is also plenty of shopping and people watching, too!

3. From here, head North to historic St. Charles Avenue. You will want to find a parking spot along one of the side streets because you will be hopping on the St. Charles Streetcar. Kids will love this 20-30 minute ride with plenty to see along the way. Bring exact change ($1.25/person) and be sure you hop on the car going Uptown. While you enjoy the beautiful houses, your kids will have fun spotting all the forgotten Mardi Gras beads in the trees.

4. Towards the end of the streetcar route, you will want to make a stop at beautiful Audubon Park. There are beautiful oak trees, winding walking paths, and a fantastic playground for the kids. You can hop back on the streetcar heading back to where you parked as your fun day in historic New Orleans begins to wind down.

Mandeville, LA

Mandeville LakefrontThis beautiful, family-friendly area on the Northshore is sure to have something for everyone! (Google Map) – 1 Hour Drive

1. Just a quick drive from Baton Rouge, you’ll want to start your day early on the Northshore with the first stop at LaLou for breakfast or brunch. Kids will love their Pain Purdue and adults will love the Mandeville Omelet. Yummy.

2. After your hearty breakfast, drive just down Girod Street another couple of blocks and enjoy a walk and playground stop at the Lake Ponchartrain Lakefront. Check out the massive live oaks along the lake and try to spot the New Orleans skyline and all the sailboats out on a clear day.

3. For the outdoorsy family, head to the Tammany Trace for some bike riding along the trails. Don’t have your own bikes? You can rent them at Brooks’ Bike Shop (just a short distance from the Trace on Girod Street). In warmer months, the kids will love the Splash Pad at the Trailhead and Kids Konnection, an inclusive playground along the Trace.

4. If you want to take playtime indoors, check out the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, located near the Kids Konnection Playground on Koop Drive.

5. A trip to Mandeville is not complete without a visit to The Candy Bank on Carroll Street. Located in the old St. Tammany Bank building, The Candy Bank is home to the sweetest treats you’ll find on the Northshore. You’ll find ice cream, candies, homemade fudge, and old-fashioned floats.

6. After a busy day so far, spend the late afternoon at the peaceful Fountainbleau State Park. This 2,800 acre park has everything from hiking trails, a nature center, fishing spots, playgrounds, and a beach! The sandy beach along the lake is the perfect spot to bird watch, collect rocks and shells, and build a sandcastle or two. You could even stay and watch the beautiful sunset from the pier as your nature-filled day comes to an end.

So, where will you be heading on that next free day? New adventures with your Baton Rouge family are just a short drive away!

Angela is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to 4 children. She and her husband, Josh, were born and raised in Louisiana and love raising their kids around family and friends. They love exploring the outdoors, traveling, and playing sports. Angela loves to encourage other homeschooling moms and loves to advocate for getting kids off screens and outside.

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