I recently spent a ‘First Sunday’ checking out the Louisiana Art & Science Museum with our family and some friends. It was the perfect opportunity to experience the museum for the first time since I wasn’t sure how much my son would participate (He’s only one!). Every ‘First Sunday’ of the month the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, U.S.S. Kidd, and LSU Museum of Art provide free and reduced price admission to their facilities. We all had a blast that day and it got me thinking of other activities I can take us to experience throughout downtown Baton Rouge. Even if you don’t make it on a ‘First Sunday’, many of the activities are free or reasonably priced – a great reason to explore the city we live in!
1. Louisiana Art & Science Museum – www.lasm.org
LASM is housed in a historic railroad depot on the Mississippi River. Inside you’ll find interactive art and science galleries (my son loved this part), artist exhibits, and a planetarium, making it entertainment for all ages. Check out their calendar for rotating exhibits and planetarium shows – The Flight of the Butterflies looks like a must see!
$8.50 adults, $7.00 children 3-12
*First Sunday participant
2. Louisiana State Capitol – (225)342-7317
Louisiana is home to the tallest state capitol in the U.S., at 450 feet and 34 floors. On the 27th floor is an observation deck that you can visit for FREE! It provides an amazing view of the 10.5 acre Capitol Park, downtown Baton Rouge, and the Mississippi River. Don’t forget your camera for this view.
3. Capitol Park Museum – www.louisianastatemuseum.org
The Capitol Park Museum provides a “panoramic exploration of the most vibrant state in America” with everything you could want to know about Louisiana history and culture. It includes a 48′ shrimp trawler and a scale model of a drilling rig. As someone that didn’t grow up in Louisiana I found it incredibly fascinating and educational! Located only a block from the State Capitol, you can easily visit both in one day.
$6.00 adults, FREE children 12 and under
4. USS Kidd Veterans Museum – www.usskidd.com
The six hundred and sixty-first destroyer built by the U.S. Navy sits in the Mississippi River as part of the Louisiana Naval War Memorial. As you walk the decks of the destroyer you experience an incredibly accurate and authentic configured from 1945. Head inside the museum for more exhibits from the time period. This one seems to turn the dads into kids again, which is almost as fun to watch as seeing your kids experience it!
$10.00 adults, $6.00 kids, $8.00 seniors/veterans
*First Sunday participant
5. Old Arsenal Museum – (225) 342-0401
Formerly a powder magazine, the building was built in 1838 and includes exhibits about the structure of the powder magazine and history of the grounds. It’s a short walk from the State Capitol and is the perfect chance to walk through Capitol Park and enjoy the statues and interactive signage. This is a small museum, so if your short on time it’s a great way to sneak in a little Louisiana history.
Don’t forget about the Trolley!
Most of these stops are located on the downtown Baton Rouge trolley route, which is FREE Monday-Friday, 10:30am-2:30pm, because what kid (or adult) doesn’t love riding a trolley?! And if you’re walking between locations throughout downtown there are plenty of fun water fountains for an outdoor break to let the kids run wild.
I hope this provides a great start to exploring downtown Baton Rouge with your kids and family. Have any other suggestions of places to visit? Let us know!