Disclosure :: Special thanks to our sponsors, Associates in Pediatric Dentistry, for making this Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun in (and around) Baton Rouge possible!
2017 Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun in Baton Rouge
Summertime is officially upon us! Luckily for us moms in the Red Stick, there is no shortage of activity during this time of no school … whether bearing the summer heat or chillaxing inside. When you’re not taking advantage of our 2017 Summer Camps Guide, check out all Baton Rouge has to offer your family this summer!
Bluebonnet Swamp and Nature Center :: a 103-acre facility dedicated to conservation, education, recreation and tourism. It houses an award-winning, 9500-square-foot building filled with live animal exhibits; photographic presentations of the site’s flora and fauna; natural artifact and mineral displays; and a sizable, vintage waterfowl decoy carving collection. 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). Check out their site for a list of upcoming events this summer, including their 20th Anniversary celebration on May 13th!
Global Wildlife Center :: located about a little more than an hour away, The Global Wildlife Center is the largest totally free-roaming wildlife preserve of its kind in the country! Home to over 4,000 exotic, endangered, and threatened animals from all over the world and a perfect summer adventure!
Fishing :: Nothing like the simple pleasure of fishing! Here’s a listing of local lakes and ponds.
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.
Baton Rouge Zoo :: Make a day of visiting our zoo! Experience the animals, ride the train, grab lunch and play on the playground.
BREC Parks :: BREC Parks all across East Baton Rouge Parish offer a safe place for kids to play and explore. There is even free wi-fi available for the mamas wanting to do a little work or relax for a minute while the kids let off their energy. Small neighborhood parks with playgrounds are scattered all over EBR. 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.
- City Park located off of Dalrymple, this beautiful space boasts the shade of lovely trees and plentiful structures for kids of all ages to enjoy. The Raising Canes Dog Park is right next door — dog watching always makes for great entertainment as you swing!
- 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.
Plantation Visits :: Our area has no shortage of beautiful plantations and what better way to spend an afternoon or morning? For a complete list of plantations close to Baton Rouge go here, but Magnolia Mound and Houma’s House are just a few of our favorites.
Water Activities (Because it’s Hot!)
Repentance Park Fountains :: Located downtown in front of the Shaw Center for the Arts, these interactive fountains will leave kids jumping for joy. There is also another great fountain for playing and splashing in the North Blvd Town Square.
BREC Splash Pads :: There are a few BREC Parks with Baton Rouge splash pads! They are open March – October from 8:00am to 8:00pm
- Greenwood Community Park– This park near the Baton Rouge Zoo in Baker also features a playground, picnic area, golf, disc golf, dog park, walking trails, tennis courts and a fishing lake.
- Forest Community Park– Off of South Harrell’s Ferry Road with a playground, picnic area, pavilion rentals, recreation center, indoor basketball, tennis courts, baseball field, dog park, walking paths, and a fishing lake.
- City-Brooks Community Park– Near LSU and offering a playground, picnic area, dog park, tennis courts, baseball & soccer fields, golf course, outdoor basketball court, walking paths, and fishing lake.
- Highland Road Community Park– In addition to the splash pad, this park also features a playground, archery range, tennis court, baseball field, disc golf, tennis court, indoor basketball, and the Highland Road Observatory.
- Jackson Community Park– Visit the splash pad at this park in Central. The park also has a playground, picnic areas, baseball field, tennis court, and soccer field.
- Zachary Community Park– Opened last year, Zachary Community Park splash pad can be activated with a brass push button on the three foot yellow pole located in the splash pad spray area and is practically brand new! There are lots of other amenities like a walking trail as well.
BREC Swimming Pools :: Open May 27 – July 29 from 2:00-5:00pm
Cost: $1.25 per person, per day
- Brooks Pool – City-Brooks Community Park
- Howell Pool – Howell Community Park
- Anna T Jordan Pool– Anna T Jordan Community Park
BREC’s Liberty Lagoon :: Brand new amenities this season! Liberty Lagoon features water fun for the whole Baton Rouge family and includes slides, the Shockwave, pools, a splash pad, a lazy river and more. Check the website for hours of operation and 2017 schedule.
Cost: Age 12 months and younger – Free
Under 48″ tall – $10
48″ and taller – $12
Jambalaya Park Spray Pad and Pool :: Located in Gonzales, this park offers both a splash pad and a swimming pool. The splash pad is open from 8:00am to 9:00pm Tuesday through Sunday. If you can’t get to a Baton Rouge splash pad, this is nearby in Gonzales!
Cost: Spray Pad: FREE
Swimming Pool: $5 per person
Oak Grove Community Center Splash Pad :: This park has a splash pad, playground, and a sand volleyball court and is located at Hwy 42 and Hwy 73 in Prairieville.
Blue Bayou Water Park :: Off of Highland in Baton Rouge, Blue Bayou features more than 20 water attractions including the world’s largest upside down water slide and frequent concerts. Check the website for hours of operation.
Cost: Under 35″ – FREE
36″ – 48″ – $29.99
Over 48″ – $36.99
Age 60 and older – $29.99
Special pricing and season passes available
AquaPards Water Park :: Located in Denham Springs and open Monday – Friday from 10-5, Saturday from 10-6, and Sunday from 12-5.
Cost: Under 30″ – Free
In-District – $5
Out of District – $8
Indoor Activities (When it’s Just TOO Hot!)
Library Summer Reading and Activities :: You need look no further than your local library to keep the kids learning all summer long! 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!
Most libraries in the area offer free activities and events for children of all ages. Activities include storytimes, Lego clubs, crafts, hands on science, plays, dance and music performances, and interactive learning programs. More information on the EBR library summer schedule here.
Bowling :: At Circle Bowl kids (up to age 15) can bowl two free games per day now through August 11. You can register your children and find more information here. Other locations include All Star Lanes, Quarters in Baton Rouge also has a bowling alley, as does Premier Lanes in Gonzales.
Movies :: The Grand Theatre is showing a different kid-friendly film each week Monday through Friday at 10am during the summer. For the price of $5 you get popcorn, a drink, and a movie ticket. The 2017 Summer Kids Flicks schedule will be coming soon here.
The Independence Park Theatre is featuring several kid-friendly ( and some are free!) movie showings this summer. Check out the link for more information.
Indoor Playgrounds :: BREC’s North Sherwood Forest Community Park has an indoor playground, as do the Mall of Louisiana and the Cortana Mall. And then there’s always Chick-Fil-A! The College, Siegen, Airline, Millerville and Range locations all have indoor playgrounds, not to mention a kid-friendly menu complete with free ice cream (if you trade in the toy) with the purchase of a kids meal.
If you’re willing to spend a little money on an entrance fee, you won’t be disappointed with our area’s paid indoor playgrounds! In Baton Rouge, there’s Java Mama, which even has childcare workers supervising children during some hours. Down in Gonzales, there’s Lil Bambinos, which has areas for babies, toddlers and bigger kids up to age 10. Definitely stay in touch via social media with these two facilities throughout the summer for special events!
Bouncy Fun :: For inflatables, there’s It’s My Party, Party Playground and Jump N Jive in Prairieville. Trampoline park options include Area 51 and Sky Zone. Check in with all these for special events throughout the summer!
Arcades :: Do you have older kids who love video games? If so, you may want to check out some of Baton Rouge’s arcades. Chuck E. Cheese has locations on Siegen Lane and Sherwood Forest. Celebration Station has a game room with a wide variety of video and redemption games. Quarters has a huge selection of games, as does Premier Lanes in Gonzales.
Skating :: Want to show off your skills on wheels or blades? Then head on over to a skating rink. Leo’s Rollerland has an Olympic-sized ice rink that is opened seasonally and the largest roller skating floor in the country. Skate Galaxy has roller skating and even rock wall climbing.
Laser Tag :: What big kid doesn’t love to play a few rounds of laser tag? In Baton Rouge, there’s a few places where you can play. There’s Laser Tag of Baton Rouge, which has a multi-level arena. Quarters also has a laser tag arena, as does Skate Galaxy.
Museums and Culture
First Free Sunday at Baton Rouge Museums :: The first Sunday of each month certain museums in downtown Baton Rouge offer free admission which includes:
- USS Kidd :: a WWII destroyer docked in downtown Baton Rouge. You can walk the decks and see aircraft from the era. Regular admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children.
- Louisiana Arts and Science Museum :: 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. Regular admission to the museum is $9 for adults and $7.50 for children with an additional charge for the planetarium.
- LSU Museum of Art :: located on the fifth floor of the Shaw building. Explore the 14 art galleries featuring sculptures, paintings, and photography. Regular admission is $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under.
Old State Capitol :: A medieval fortress on the outside with spiraled staircase and an amazing stained glass dome on the inside houses the storied history of Louisiana’s flamboyant political history.
Old Governor’s Mansion :: After visiting the Old State Capitol, walk on down to learn more about the governors who lived here and ruled Louisiana. Kids love learning about Huey’s secret passageway!
State Capitol :: The Observation Deck on the 27th floor overlooks the city of Baton Rouge at a height of 350 feet. The views of the gardens are spectacular. What began as the dream of one man – Governor Huey P. Long – became a symbol.
LSU Museum of Natural Science :: With holdings of almost 2.5 million specimens, the LSU Museum of Natural Science is among the nation’s leaders in terms of the size and diversity of its research collection. It houses the most active and third largest university-based collection of birds in the world and the largest collection of genetic resources (DNA samples) in the world.
Rural Life Museum :: Dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of materials from the cultures of 18th and 19th century rural Louisianians, this is a gem in the heart of our city that you don’t want to miss. Get lost in exploration with the whole family in a time gone by.
Knock Knock Children’s Museum :: Ok ok, so this isn’t open yet but according to the web site, it is scheduled to open this summer and we could not be more excited!!!
Other Fun Summer Resources and Lists
Be sure to check out our 2017 Guide to Louisiana Summer Festivals!
Take a day trip! Ten places for water fun in New Orleans.