If you’re considering where to take your next family vacation, there’s no place better than Baton Rouge for family-friendly fun and leisure. The city of Baton Rouge and surrounding areas are literally packed with unique museums, landmarks, activities and glorious wide-open spaces. If you want your family entertained while you absorb some amazing sights, here are five options for you to take a closer look at that will appeal to you all.
Visit the Historic Magnolia Mound Plantation
The Deep South is famous for its plantations and in Baton Rouge you get the opportunity to visit one of the many located on the banks of the River Mississippi, Magnolia Mound. The landmark plantation house is one of the few surviving pieces of architecture featuring influences from settlers from both the West Indies and France. Its idyllic setting on the Mississippi gives you a unique photo opportunity to capture one of the many sights that identify this part of the world for its natural beauty. Magnolia Mound has been restored to its former glory and displays an outstanding collection of artifacts from a bygone era in America’s history.
Take in the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial
In the heart of downtown Baton Rouge is the outstanding memorial to the men and women of the armed forces of which the destroyer, the USS Kidd or otherwise known as the ‘Pirate of the Pacific’ is the centerpiece. This spectacle is something the whole family can enjoy and gives you the opportunity to step back into time to learn more about just how much our forces have sacrificed to protect our freedom over the years. The USS Kidd is permanently moored in Baton Rouge and you are able to walk the decks and take a closer look at what navy life was really like back in World War 2. The destroyer was named after Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd who lost his life in the ambush attack on Pearl Harbor of December 7th 1941. Launched in 1943, the USS Kidd became one of an elite flotilla of destroyers and home to thousands of US naval forces throughout the remaining years of the war.
Roll down the Indian Mounds
On the grounds of the LSU in Baton Rouge, there are two large 20ft mounds that date back more than five thousand years. It is well documented that Native Americans lived in what is now known as Louisiana for an astonishing 12,000 years. Consequently, there are residues of Native American culture throughout the state, including the two mounds in Baton Rouge. It is said that the mounds represent the social, political and religious life of those ancient times and were created as organic ceremonial artifacts that have endured thousands of years, numbering 700 in total throughout Louisiana. Whether you enjoy the thrill of rolling down a grassy slope or just want to take in the spectacular view from the top, the Indian Mounds are a unique sight-seeing opportunity.
Perhaps more of a place to get involved rather than take in the view, the Blue Bayou Waterpark has it all going on. It’s set in an 80-acre estate and is designed with the whole family in mind with 4 roller coasters, 29 rides, 20+ water attractions and a host of other activities to enjoy. This is really a place you can happily spend the entire day and there’s plenty of opportunities to eat in style with a wide range of different restaurants and cafes to choose from. There is one ride that can entertain you all while you get a chance to take in the beautiful surroundings of Blue Bayou – the Iron Horse Train, which covers almost a mile around the perimeter of the estate.
There’s so much to see and do at Blue Bayou that you might want to consider checking into a local hotel like the Marriott Baton Rouge Gonzales so that you can repeat the experience another day!
There’s a great combination of conservation, recreation, education and leisure at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. Your family gets a great insight into the unique flora and fauna of swamp areas and you find out about the kind of wildlife indigenous there too. There are a number of entertaining family events throughout the year and it is home to a fascinating collection of carved waterfowl decoys which make a quirky and interesting exhibit. If you and your family enjoy wildlife, it’s possible to spot snakes and turtles while on a trail and if you’re lucky you’ll also get close to armadillos, deer, otter and raccoons amongst others.