In 1959, Robert Trent Jones Sr. completed work on Timberlane's 7100-yard, par-72 golf course near the west bank of the Mississippi, and it still stands as a friendly, challenging round in a pleasant, private setting. Mature oaks line the sides of each Bermuda-grass fairway, and in 2007, Timberlane re-surfaced its expansive greens with Tif Eagle turf, giving putts a new zip and helicopter pilots a new view. Before hitting the links, sharpen up your chipping, putting, pitching, pitch-shifting, and Super Bowl Shuffling on the all-grass practice range and putting green, or try the driving range nearby. When you're ready, hop in your provided golf cart to match wits with the labyrinthine course, which features four sets of tee areas per hole, 17 water hazards, 80 sand bunkers, and 13 mechanical yetis. If he's around, see if you can snag a tip from resident PGA pro Tim Brown, who was named by Golf Digest as the #1 Best Teacher in Louisiana in 2009.
In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr's only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and eight years later, Pure Barre spread its franchises to what is now more than 160 locations across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, physiques can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The total-body workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers to regain their desired shape without leading the daycare's piggyback carpool. High-energy, intimate classes with small amounts of attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to derive the deepest possible burn from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills. Pure Barre also offers private barre-ties, DVDs, equipment, designer exercise apparel, and more.
With its imposing, slate-gray façade, the 170-year-old U.S. Custom House may be the last building in which you’d expect to hear the delighted squeals of children. But behind the steely columns, the building erupts into 23,000 square feet of colorful displays and fluttering, scuttling insects, courtesy of the Audubon Society and Insectarium. In the Asian garden, hundreds of butterflies dodge shafts of sunlight to alight on tropical ferns and the shoulders of young visitors. And at the Insects of New Orleans gallery, visitors can ogle the pink katydids, cockroaches, and lovebugs that contribute to the city’s heritage.
These bug-filled displays are all part of the insectarium’s mission to conserve Louisiana’s indigenous species and inspire stewardship in its visitors. While adults can sate their curiosity with the vast array of exotic species, curators gear many displays toward young guests by making them lighthearted and interactive: the Field Camp’s entomologist answers questions about how to collect bugs or break up flea-circus strikes, and at Bug Appétit, chefs dole out insect-filled delicacies to adventurous palates.
Playmakers Indoor Sports facilitates the frolicking needs of recreationalists with a full menu of soccer, lacrosse, flag football, and paintball in a climate-controlled arena with a turf field. Every weekend, the field sprouts a series of inflatable bunkers for Friday-evening paintball sessions. Intermediate-leveled sharpshooters strap on provided protective gear and the equipment necessary for dappling human canvases with high-speed brushstrokes.
Founded in 1976 by a group of ambitious visual and performing artists, the Contemporary Arts Center still keeps in touch with its roots as an artist-driven community organization. The award-winning design of its ever-changing gallery, atrium, and theater spaces juxtaposes the original architecture of a turn-of-the-century warehouse building with newer materials and aesthetics. Within its 30,000 feet of open event space, the CAC hosts a range of events, such as curated contemporary exhibitions, world and local music performances, and special galas such as the SweetArts Bash.
When not coordinating exhibitions and performances, the CAC staff also leads educational programs such as one-day art camps, which expose children and adults to the arts. In these programs, professional local artists train groups in drama, dance, music, visual arts, and creative writing.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.