Baton Rouge is a great place for a family vacation situated in South Louisiana, one of the southern United States. There is great food, historic sites and museums to visit, water parks, and lots of fun activities for all ages. We have gotten a list of the best things to do based on experience traveling to Baton Rouge and surrounding area (adding more fun ideas including Louisiana art, children’s museums, science museums and more in recent years).
Fun Things to Do in Baton Rouge with the Whole Family
Baton Rouge is ranked as the 100th most populated city in the United States and the second largest city in Louisiana after New Orleans. It is the capitol city and sits on the Eastern bank of the Mississippi River in southeastern LA’s Florida Parishes region.
The words baton rouge means red stick in French.
Baton Rouge is the site of Louisiana State University and Southern University. The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is the 10th largest in the U.S. in terms of the amount of shipped weight.
Explore Baton Rouge’s Historical Landmarks
Magnolia Mound Plantation Tour
Tour the Historic Magnolia Mound Plantation – Discover the history and architectural beauty of a real Southern plantation. This is a beautiful place for kids can learn about life in the early 1800’s and the rich history in a hands-on way to how chores and cooking were so different back then. Magnolia Mound’s thematic exhibits include several historic homes full of historical objects including the BREC’s Magnolia Mound, a historic house museum, the open-hearth kitchen which hosts daily cooking demonstrations, a quarters cabin furnished for the 1830 period, a pigeonnier outbuilding built to house squab, original overseer’s house and privy which is a three seat outhouse. Guided tours and educational programs are available to the interactive exhibits.
Step aboard the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial – The USS Kidd was a WWII Destroyer that was built in 1943. It now serves as a Veterans Museum docked on the banks of the Mississippi River. You can enjoy a self guided tour, see aircraft from the World War II era, or even spend the night on board this historic ship. You can take a virtual tour of the USS Kidd that will take you through each deck and many of the interior rooms.
LSU Campus Mounds
Roll down the Mounds – Two 20 foot mounds stand side by side on the LSU campus. They are believed to be ceremonial mounds dating back 5,000 years! Kids love to run up and down the mounds, roll down the sides of them, or just enjoy the view from the top on the Louisiana State University campus! What a beautiful place.
Rural Life Museum
LSU Rural Life Museum – The Rural Life Museum features over 30 unique, historic buildings in an open-air setting. It is the largest collection of local Louisiana architecture. Tour the 32 historic outbuildings that spread over 25 acres and are divided into four sections: the working plantation, the Upland South Region, the Gulf Coast Region, and an Exhibit Barn on a self-guided tour along with the Windrush Gardens.
Best Outdoor Activities in Baton Rouge
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
Discover the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center – Follow the boardwalks and paths through the varied habitats of swampland, hardwood forests, and beech-magnolias and view the amazing birds and wildlife that live there. You can visit the 9500 square foot Nature Center and see displays, carvings, photographs, and live animal exhibits. It is a great place to learn and have some fun.
LSU Hilltop Arboretum
Enjoy the great outdoors at the Hilltop Arboretum – Kids love walking along the paths and enjoying the great outdoors as they stroll through 14 acres of native trees, shrubs, and flowers at the LSU Hilltop Arboretum. My kids especially love looking over the side of the old bridge and this is one of the fun free things you can do in Baton Rogue
Enjoy Baton Rouge’s Family Entertainment Venues
Dixie Landin & Blue Bayou
Play at Blue Bayou Waterpark and Dixie Landin’ Amusement Park – Blue Bayou Water Park has over 20 water attractions including the Mambo which is the world’s largest upside down water slide! But it isn’t all just nail biting scary rides. There is an awesome wave pool and younger kids will love the lazy river and Pirate’s Cove along with the huge splash pad.
Top Baton Rouge Museums
Knock Knock Children’s Museum
Knock Knock Children’s Museum – One of the best things for kids in Baton Rouge hosts 18 different learning zones that are hands-on, interactive exhibits where kids learn through play. The learning zones include story tree, go go garage, fish tales, art garden, knock knock maker shop, bubble playground, and storybook climber.
Old Arsenal Museum
Step back in time at the Old Arsenal Museum – This incredible museum was once a military post built back in 1838. In later years it served as a post in the Civil War during the Battle of Baton Rouge. It is now one of the most beloved historic buildings and museum for all to enjoy. Just outside the museum, kids will enjoy the old cannons and ringing the reproduction of the Liberty Bell.
Visit the Enchanted Mansion Doll Museum – Your little doll lover will enjoy spending time at this delightful museum full of antique dolls to contemporary dolls. There is even a life size Victorian doll house for kids to walk through!
Star gaze at the Highland Road Park Observatory – Kids and adults will be amazed as they look up at the stars through this 20 inch reflecting telescope. Saturdays are a great night for the public to go out and experience hands on demonstrations of how the telescope works and get help located stars and planets in the night sky.
Louisiana Art & Science Museum
Louisiana Art & Science Museum – Louisiana Art & Science has a whole bunch of hands-on galleries that are perfect for kids. Discovery Depot, Science Station and Solar System will take kids on a learning adventure!
LSU Museum of Art at the Shaw Center
LSU Museum of Art at the Shaw Center for the Arts – LSU Museum of Art has an amazing array of art — both permanent collections and special event exhibitions. Watch their calendar for a cool kids program called the Neighborhood Arts Project or NAP at Ardenwood Village.
Capitol Park Museum
Capitol Park Museum – A history museum filled with amazing things located in downtown Baton Rouge, the Capitol Park museum has multiple permanent exhibits like The Golden Age of Aviation, Living with Hurricanes and Grounds for Greatness. Watch their calendar for special events and current exhibitions.
Louisiana’s State Capitol Tour
Visit the Louisiana State Capitol Building – Kids love to roll down the hills outside the state capitol building. However, climbing the massive stairs to get to the entrance doors is not only fun but also educational because each step is inscribed with a state’s name and its date of admission to the union. But the most fun about a visit to this amazing building that houses the Louisiana state capital is the observation deck on the 27th floor. Kids love to look down at the people on the ground that look like little ants 350 feet below them.
Your family will have plenty of things to do in Baton Rouge! We haven’t even talked about how fun it is to visit the Baton Rouge Zoo or stopping by to say “Hi” to the LSU mascot, Mike the Tiger, in his big habitat on the campus at LSU Tiger Stadium. There are so many great family friendly activities in Baton Rouge that I’m sure you and your family will have a great time on your visit whether it is for a day trip , a long weekend or more.
More Places to Visit from Kids Activities Blog
- Things to do in New Orleans with Kids
- Things to do in Houston with Kids
- Things to do in Solvang
- Things to do in Arlington TX
- If you can’t travel, check out the things to do at home! So many fun things to do inside…and out.
What things to do in Baton Rouge make you the most excited about visiting? If we missed one of your favorite South Louisiana attractions, please add them in the comments below!