Free and Cheap Summer Fun in Baton Rouge with Kids
Summer days are footloose and fancy free. Kids are sticky from melting popsicles, and they’re washing it off by running through the sprinkler. Of course, this is after they’ve slept in and watched movies until noon. The joy and happiness of a carefree summer is here! And it lasts for about a week before the boredom sets in. Look, I’m all about kids being bored. I personally believe creativity stems from boredom, but sometimes kids can get a little TOO creative, if you know what I mean. Plus at some point, we just need to get out of the house, which is why we need cheap summer fun in Baton Rouge!
Fortunately, there are a ton of FREE and CHEAP activities to do in Baton Rouge with kids on these long hot summer days. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite activities for summer fun!
Library Summer Reading and Activities
You need look no further than your local library to keep the kids learning! Many parish library systems in the Greater Baton Rouge area are offering summer reading programs. Your child can set a reading goal, record the books read, and turn in his reading log to receive prizes or coupons! Pre-readers can participate by having an adult read aloud to them. Moms, this is for you, too. Set a good example, and let your kids catch you reading this summer. Most libraries also have prizes for teens and adults! Libraries are truly a great source of cheap summer fun in Baton Rouge.
The library is for more than reading! Most libraries in the area offer free activities for children of all ages. Activities include storytimes, Lego clubs, crafts, hands on science, plays, dance and music performances, and interactive learning programs. Be sure to check out the following links for more information.
Yes, you read that right. At All Star Lanes, kids (up to age 15) can bowl two free games per day all summer long. You can register your children and find more information here.
Summer Movie Programs
Cinemark Perkins Rowe :: Summer Movie Clubhouse is back at Cinemark with 8 weeks of kid-approved movies! Enjoy safe and exciting big-screen entertainment for just $1.50* per ticket for each movie. Save even more with $1 OFF deals on kids’ snack packs or any size popcorn and drink combo during Summer Movie Clubhouse showtimes.
Celebrity Theatre :: The 2023 Summer Film Festival runs from June 5 – July 28, Monday – Friday, at 10:00 am. Admission includes a drink and popcorn for $6 per person!
First Free Sunday at Baton Rouge Museums
The first Sunday of each month, certain museums in downtown Baton Rouge offer free admission. Cheap summer fun in Baton Rouge doesn’t get more educational than a free day at a Museum, are we right?
Louisiana Arts and Science Museum is located on River Road. The museum has art exhibitions that change periodically as well as several permanent science exhibits. The Universe Gallery includes a display of the latest images from the Hubble telescope, and the Ancient Egypt Gallery has a real mummy! Be sure to let the kids play and explore in the two hands-on galleries, Discovery Depot and Science Station. The planetarium offers reduced-priced tickets on the first Sunday.
LSU Museum of Art is located on the fifth floor of the Shaw building. Explore the 14 art galleries featuring sculptures, paintings, and photography. Every Friday night from 5:00-8:00 pm and the first Sunday of every month is FREE!
BREC’s Magnolia Mound is a rare survivor of the vernacular architecture influenced by early settlers from France and the West Indies. This venerable landmark is unique in southern Louisiana not simply because of its age, quality of restoration, or outstanding collections, but because it is still a vital part of the community. Free walking tours are offered on the first Sunday of each month!
Downtown and LSU
Can’t make it downtown for a free first Sunday? No worries! There is still plenty to do in downtown Baton Rouge. Visit the state capitol building and ride the elevator to the 27th floor observation deck and check out our city from a bird’s eye view! Visit the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park and the Old Arsenal Museum. Don’t forget a swimsuit, so the kids can cool off in one of the many fountains downtown.
Visit Louisiana’s Old State Capitol to explore the exhibits and see the Ghost of the Castle show! Admission is $3 and hours are 10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday through Friday and 9:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday.
LSU can also be a fun place to spend a summer day. Pack a lunch and have a picnic on the lakes, and don’t forget food to feed the ducks! Visit Mike the Tiger and see the historical Indian Mounds. Stop in at the LSU Museum of Natural Science. This free museum features over a million insect and arthropod specimens as well as preserved animals displayed in their habitats.
Just 10 minutes from LSU, the Louisiana State Archives features various exhibits throughout the year in the gallery and exhibit rooms. The World War I poster collection is currently displayed. Admission is free.
BREC Parks all across East Baton Rouge Parish offer a safe place for kids to play and explore. Some of the larger parks include free splash pads for those hot summer days! But BREC has much more than just playgrounds and splash pads to offer. We’ve included links to our favorite BREC parks that offer free and cheap fun!
North Sherwood Forest Community Park is the perfect place to be on any day, rain or shine. The park includes an indoor playground in the air conditioned facility! Outside, the whole family can enjoy walking and bike paths and fishing.
Greenwood Community Park in Baker has a splash pad and modern play structures. Families can inexpensively rent kayaks and canoes and set off on an adventure on the 18 acre lake!
Blackwater Conservation Area is a park set aside to protect local wildlife habitats. Take the kids hiking on their trails or fishing in one of their two lakes.
Bluebonnet Swamp is another conservation area that includes an exhibit building with live animal displays and touch tables for the kids. Pick up a snakeskin or inspect an animal skull! See a working beehive and search for the queen! Along the walking path, visitors might see various birds and turtles and even deer and otters! There is a small fee for admission ($2 for children, $3 for adults).
Highland Road Park Observatory features 20 inch and 16 inch reflecting telescopes! The many free events offered include solar viewing, evening sky viewing, and planet viewing. Each Saturday for a $5 fee ($6 for out of parish residents) children ages 8-12 can attend Science Academy.