Baton Rouge really does offer the unique Louisiana experience. From the city's rich and colorful history, to the incredible culinary scene, live music, art & sport, Baton Rouge buzzes with the exciting energy of the youth whilst embracing its important Southern lifestyle traditions.
Baton Rouge really is special, and it's because of this that we just can't wait to share with you our Baton Rouge City Guide featuring our "Top 9 Family Attractions" , which really are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun things to do in Baton Rouge with the family.
So make sure check out our entire Baton Rouge City Guide that we've carefully put together to help you on your next family day out, so you know exactly how to plan your exciting time in this exciting capital!
Main Image Credit: Visit Baton Rouge
Image Credit: Jordan Hefler
In this Baton Rouge City Guide, you'll learn about our top 9 things to do with kids in the Louisiana capital, as well as discover some really fun things to enjoy as a family!
We know that budgets always have to factor into planning with a family, so also in this Baton Rouge City Guide we share with you some FREE things to do with kids that won't break the budget!
Getting around Baton Rouge without a car? Well, keep reading because we let you in on how to get around the city on public transporation, plus we share some really cool facts about Baton Rouge that you can impress your friends with!
If you want to explore a bit further out, our Baton Rouge City Guide lets you in on one of our favorite day trips, and you can also uncover some famous faces who were born in this amazing city.
So whether this is your first trip saying "Yes, I want to go to Baton Rouge"! or perhaps you've lived in the capital all your life but never really explored what the area has to offer and wonder "What is there is to do near me in Baton Rouge?", then keep reading because we have the top 9 things to do in Baton Rouge with kids...and so much more!
Image Credit: Visit Baton Rouge
One of the reasons Baton Rouge is so special is the deep and colorful history. In fact, there is evidence of human occupation of the area from as far back as 8000 years!
Baton Rouge began to shape into the city we know today following the French explorers landing in the region in 1699. In fact, this event led to the name! In 1721 these explorers saw a red pole marking the hunting ground boundaries of the Houma and Bayagoula people, and what is "the red pole" in French? Baton Rouge of course!
In 1812 Louisiana officially became as state and in 1819, Baton Rouge was incorporated. Later, in 1849 Baton Rouge became the Louisiana capital.
The Baton Rouge region was the site of many a-battle, many milestone historic events and saw many nationalities passing through, all shaping the landscapes and making their mark - including the French, the Spanish, the British and African-Americans....
From the Civil War, to the Revolution and the Civil Rights Movement, Baton Rouge has seen a lot, and came out stronger each time.
During the 1990s, Baton Rouge saw a building boom which has continued to this day. Today, this Louisiana capital embraces its history and all those culture, resulting in an incredibly special melting point of music, people, flavors and traditions.
The city is so special, and the perfect destination for any family day out!
Image Credit: Jordan Hefler
The magic of Baton Rouge is waiting for you, and there are SO many ways that you can take in the history, the charm, the food, the music, the culture...and of course plenty of activities perfect for those little ones!
Feeling like starting your day with some history? Why not explore the iconic and incredibly historically important USS KIDD? Or learn about the state's fascainting past at Capitol Park Museum?
Ready for some good old fashioned family fun? Make a SPLASH at Liberty Lagoon, or mix between water play and thrilling theme park rides at Blue Bayou and Dixie Landin'!
Love nature, wildlife and the great outdoors? Make a stop at the WILD Baton Rouge Zoo, or escape into nature at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. One of the many wonderful things about Baton Rouge is how you can feel like you're in the center of it all one minute, then in the middle of nowhere the next!
Then, there are also plenty of activities that will make kids think, as well as keep them active from Uptown Climbing, to Celebration Station Baton Rouge and Knock Knock Children's Museum!
With so many fun things to do in Baton Rouge with the family, you'll soon have that family itinerary filling up! So, which attraction will you visit first?
Image Credit: Visit Baton Rouge
If you don't have a car during your time in Baton Rouge, that's not a problem at all! First, Baton Rouge has plenty of tours that can show you the sights (and also help you learn all about the city too!)
But, the city also has some great public transportation options too.
CATS (Capital Area Transit System) offers a great local fixed route transit service throughout most of the parish, with a service running every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. For those who need that extra assistance, 'CATS on Demand' is a specialized van service that offers curb to curb service qualifying for persons with disabilities.
If you want to explore the city by bicycle (which is always such a fun way to really immerse yourself in a destination!) Gotcha By Bolt offers nifty e-bikes that provide sustainable ways to explore the city. These bikes combine pedal power with a zippy electric motor making the ride even easier for you! After your ride, return the bike to the nearest hub!
For more information on getting around Baton Rouge, check out the various links thanks to Visit Baton Rouge!
One of the attractions that's definitely worth inclucing on your Baton Rouge family day out itinerary is the historic USS KIDD - as they say, "There's fun for the whole family at the Pirate of the Pacific!"
Your time on the USS KIDD will allow the whole family to trace the journey of DD-661 from her notorious first voyage across two decades of service to her final resting place as a memorial and National Historic Landmark, all preserved in her 1945 configuration!
It's been said that DD-661 was named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died aboard his ship during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. But who is really the namesake?
This fact and more is waiting to be uncovered at this important and iconic USS KIDD!
Image Credit: Maggie Bowles 2011
Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Baton Rouge
1Capitol Park Museum
Louisiana is an incredibly fascinating state, so why not visit the Capitol Park Museum where you can enjoy a panoramic exploration of the Pelican State? From Louis Armstrong, to the iconic Mardi Gras, and the mighty Mississippi River - all these come to mind when thinking about the beautiful state of Louisiana, and the Capitol Park Museum celebrates this incredibly vibrant state and its rich history!
Kids can learn how ethnicities from all over the world came together to form a rich melting pot of cultures and all left their mark on the region. An invaluable learning experience for the family in Baton Rouge!
Image Credit: Visit Baton Rouge
There is something for everyone at Celebration Station! This family-friendly Baton Rouge experience offers attractions for all ages including go-karts, fun arcade games, challenging yet fun mini golf, batting cages and so much more!
Whether you’re 3-years-old or 30, Celebration Station has something JUST for you, and it's also a great place to host birthday parties too if you're celebrating something special!
Image Credit: Celebration Station
Make a SPLASH at this fun seasonal water park AND theme park all in the one location! At Blue Bayou, water features galore await your family and no matter what age, there is something for you to enjoy! From lazy rivers, to twisting slides, rocking flumes and even pirates, Blue Bayou is all about staying COOL!
Then, you have Dixie Landin'! Feel brave on thrilling coasters like the Ragin' Cajun, twist upside on the Sidewinder, or enjoy classic amusement park fun like the Ferris Wheel and Tilt-A-Whirl. From the thrilling and scary to the gentle and charming. Dixie Landin' is ready and waiting for you!
Image Credit: Blue Bayou Water Park
Time to get WILD at Baton Rouge Zoo, only 15 minutes from downtown and home to over 800 weird, wonderful, inspiring and beautiful animals from all over the globe! Open to the public since 1970, Baton Rouge Zoo is the perfect place for kids to learn not only about wildlife, but also why conservation is so important to our planet and there are some fun events to enjoy too!
Take a Twilight Tour, watch some animal feedings or enjoy seasonal fun such as Boo at the Zoo - Baton Rouge Zoo has something for everyone and kids, there are so many animals waiting to say hi!
Image Credit: Baton Rouge Zoo
It's time to immerse yourself in nature at the 103-acre Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center! Dedicated to conservation, recreation, tourism and education, this award-winning center is filled with live animal exhibits, as well as natural artifacts and minerals on display, and even ecology and art exhibits are periodically featured!
Enjoy over a mile of gravel paths and boardwalks, all linked by varied habitats including hardwood forests and cypress-tupelo swamps. Keep an eye out for some of the hundreds of bird species, and even turtles and snakes too which are common to spot. If you have a keen eye, you might just spot coyotes, squirrels, opossums, deer, otters and even armadillos!
Image Credit: BREC
Liberty Lagoon Waterpark is one of the COOLEST places to hang out in Baton Rouge! In fact, it's the perfect place for you and your family to beat the heat! Liberty Lagoon has all the waterpark fun you need in a family day out, from big attractions like their shockwave or bowl slide, right through to their children’s play area and splashpad perfect for those little ones.
At the seasonal Liberty Lagoon there is something for everyone, so what are you waiting for? Get ready to splash into fun this summer!
Image Credit: Liberty Lagoon
Knock Knock Children's Museum is 26,000 sq ft of indoor children's play space for kids up to 8 years, offering hands-on interactive exhibits that focus on education in the literary realms, and STEAM subjects including science, tech, English and math!
The Learning Zone is a highlight of the museum (that's JUST for kids!) where kids can discover informal interactive learning environments that provide “teachable moments” connecting children’s every day experiences with invaluable hands-on learning through really fun play! Knock Knock...who's there? Kids fun, that's what!
Image Credit: Knock Knock Museum
The Louisiana Art and Science Museum is all about encouraging discovery, as well as inspiring creativity, and fostering the pursuit of knowledge so you know it's already a great place for kids to visit beore they even set foot inside the museum! Located within a 1925 historic railway station on the banks of the Mississippi River, this fascinating museum is home to a number of exhibits that will be sure to educate and inspire!
The exhibitions are both permanent and rotating, so there will always be something fun for you to go back and see. You might be learning about health and the human body one minute, then you might be learning all about the past, the present and stories not yet written of Louisiana! Every minute will be different!
Image Credit: LASM
Enjoy a host of indoor fun at Uptown Climbing, not only Baton Rouge's FIRST indoor climbing gym but Louisiana's LARGEST! At Uptown Climbing you can enjoy an impressive 90 foot long bouldering wall, as well as over 60 rope stations up to 35' tall, PLUS a speed wall, crack climb, 6 auto-belay stations, as well as a dedicated sport lead climbing wall.
For first time climbers there are induction sessions, and plenty of opportunities to join a class. All the routes are also color coded so you can ensure you are climbing to your own ability. For members you can enjoy a fitness room and even yoga! Kids, are you ready to scale new heights at Uptown Climbing?
Image Credit: Uptown Climbing
Famous Folk From Baton Rouge!
Randy Jackson is an American record producer, entrepreneur, musician and TV personality, best known as the longest serving judge on the hit TV series American Idol.
He has worked with artists such as Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and NSync.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore
Bob Pettit is an American former professional basketball player, who played 11 seasons of the NBA.
He was the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player award in 1956, winning again in 1959.
Image Credit: Bob Pettit
5 Fun Baton Rouge Facts
Impress your friends with your amazing Baton Rouge knowledge!
- The tallest State Capitol Building in the whole of the USA can be found in Baton Rouge!
- Baton Rouge was the site of the only American Revolution battle that was fought outside of the 13 colonies. The battle of course being the Battle of Baton Rouge!
- You can find Indian Mounds in the city that are older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt! Built by Native Americans (for a reason still not known), the two mounds date back around 6,000 years. Today they are listed on the National Register of Historic Places!
- The Old State Capitol Building is haunted, and was even featured on the TV Show Ghost Hunters!
- The first ever Civil Rights bus protest happened in Baton Rouge in 1953! This paved the way for the rest of the Civil Rights movement and ultimate desegregation
Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Baton Rouge
LSU Museum of Natural Science
It's a fascinating museum experience with FREE admission for the family at the LSU Museum of Natural Science! Located within the Louisiana Museum of Natural History, this fascinating museum is home to almost 2.5 million specimens AND it also houses the most active and third largest university-based collection of birds in the entire world!
In addition to fascinating habitat dioramas, the museum also features displays of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians all native to Louisiana, as well as fossil bones of a mastodon plus a cast of the skull of the dinosaur, Allosaurus, just to name a few of the items you'll see at the LSU Museum of Natural Science!
Image Credit: LSU
Red Stick Farmers Market
There is nothing quite like exploring a local market, tasting new foods and seeing what you can pick up! Red Stick Farmers Market is an open-air market that ensures all produce sold is grown locally, meaning you are really supporting local Baton Rouge when you visit! During the peak seasons, the market operates up to 4 weekly locations across the city.
With over 50 member farmers you can explore some incredible flavors and items including homemade pies, honey, milk, native plants, herbs, artisan breads and seafoods. A great way to spend a day in Baton Rouge AND a great way to support the local economy!
Image Credit: Breada.org
Take in the view at the State Capitol Viewing Deck!
Did you know that the Louisiana State Capitol is actually the tallest Capitol in the entire USA?! It is, AND you can enjoy the views from the top - for free! The State Capitol is 450ft high (460ft to the tip) and houses 34 floors.
The capitol houses the chambers for the Louisiana State Legislature (made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate) plus the office of the Governor of Louisiana. The Observation Deck on the 27th floor is where you can enjoy the spectacular city views of Baton Rouge, and the views of the Capitol gardens and the Capitol lakes are spectacular!
Image Credit: Visit Baton Rouge
Enjoy the Live After 5 Festivals!
Live After 5 is Baton Rouge's premier seasonal live music event series, and it's well worth checking out! Every spring and fall, visitors and locals gather together once a week to take in the sights and sounds of local musicians as they perform a free concert in downtown's North Boulevard Town Square at Galvez Plaza. Performances take place every Friday from 5pm to 8pm.
Throughout the years the festival has been held, local restaurants have also joined in the celebration, so keep and eye out as they offer specials during the series. So, get that picnic blanket ready and head downtown for a music and fun filled Friday evening as the sunsets across Baton Rouge!
Image Credit: Visit Baton Rouge
Take Advantage of First Free Sundays!
Whilst many attractions have an admission fee, if you keep an eye out for First Free Sunday deals, you can enjoy these very same attractions free of charge! This is the city's way of ensuring all children and families can enjoy these experiences! For example, the LSU Museum of Art (one of the largest university-affiliated art exhibitions in the South) offers family fun and art for everyone between 1pm and 5pm.
The Louisiana Art & Science Museum offers free admission all Sunday for their interactivce exhibits (the Planetarium just reduces their fees on Sunday), the Baton Rouge Galley offers free exhibits at 4pm every Sunday AND the historic USS KIDD offers free admission to the museum on a Sunday!
Image Credit: Jordan Hefler
Baton Rouge Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
Why not take a break from exploring city life with a day trip into some of the most unique and beautiful nature in the country? We are talking about Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve!
Named after that infamous French pirate - Jean Lafitte - this stunning National Historical Park is about a 90 minute drive from Baton Rouge and is just rich in history. In addition, kids can not only explore the park on the various walkways as they learn about this history, but you might just spot some wildlife too! This national park is home to alligators, mink, coyotes and more!
Image Credit: NPS
Jean Lafitte was a privateer as well as French pirate who operated in the Gulf of Mexico during the 19th century, however a mystery surrounds him still! Was he really a pirate? Was he a patriot? Or was he both? Historians do know that he was probably born in the early 1780s in France, however by 1810 he had made his way to Louisiana with his brother, Pierre.
Lafitte had always claimed that IF he did engage in any illegal activity, it would have only been smuggling on account of the United States 1807 outlawing of trade between France and Great Britain following the Napoleonic Wars.
However, in Jean Lafitte's day it was silver and gold that filled a pirate's treasure chest, but today's the regions' treasures are people, places, and memories.
It's at the fascinating and beautiful Jean Lafitte National Historical Park where the whole family can discover New Orleans’ rich cultural mix. Kids can learn all about the Cajun traditions from people who actually live them.
Then, there's the wildlife! How do you fancy watching an alligator bask on a bayou’s bank? Or it might be the history you love - after all, there's a LOT to uncover! At this National Historical Park you can walk in the footsteps of the men who actually fought at 1815’s Battle of New Orleans.
Not to mention the stunning landscapes and nature that will surround you. So whether you love animals, history, the great outdoors or all of the above, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park is a fascinating and memorable day trip from Baton Rouge that just might see you discover some treasured memories of your own!
Here’s our top 4 Jean Lafitte National Historical Park things to do:
- French Quarter Visitor Center
- Walk the Barataria Preserve Trails
- Chalmette Battlefield
- Acadian Cultural Center
We hope you found this content useful! Please share with your friends, and if you have any comments, or want to let us know what we can do to further help you find fun days out with the family, then just email our team at [email protected]!
Let's get the family adventure started!