Situated on the lush tree-lined waterfront of City Park Lake, Ocean Water Beach Rentals' fleet of eco-friendly watercrafts carries visitors on casual aquatic voyages. Yellow and blue pedal boats take couples on human-powered trips into the tranquil waters, while single-person vessels such as eight-foot kayaks coast alongside lakefront houses, hovering birds, and extremely lost treasure ships. The aqua aficionados welcome boaters from March through November.
At Baker Range, Inc. cups of freshly brewed coffee accompany rented firearms and shooting lessons. Former Airborne Infantry Lieutenant of the 82nd Airborne Division and longtime lawman Gordon Hutchinson leads private lessons, where he dispenses tips on technique and safety. Instructor Shael Stringer heads up the range's security-training department. Required by the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners, his training classes have steadied the hands or prehensile feet of thousands of security guards.
New Venture Theatre throws abundant energy and breathless song-and-dance numbers into its production of Once on This Island, a Caribbean adaptation of The Little Mermaid that garnered eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score, during its Broadway run. Fueled by soulful, rhythmic musicality, the kaleidoscopic performance spotlights long-distance lovers as they fight to overcome unequal social ranks, dissimilar backgrounds, and opposite views of the Sopranos finale. Vengeful island deities add fantastical flair to the story, which weaves universal themes such as prejudice, hatred, and death into its plot.
Since its self-titled debut in 1981, musical powerhouse Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, fusing innovative lyrics and catchy melodies into a distinctive, peppy sound. Although best known for their cartography skills and era-defining hits such as "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio," the foursome also refined the art of music videos in the ‘80s and honed an edgy, influential fashion sense. Energized from the success of their critically acclaimed 13th album, All You Need is Now, which escalatored up to No. 1 on the iTunes album charts, the Fab Five will regale audiences with danceable classics as well as new tunes and a collection of antique wooden noisemakers.
The Enchanted Mansion whisks guests away to a storybook land of diminutive proportions, where fairies and first ladies alike commingle in a series of themed display rooms. Tucked into a picturesque Southern setting, the quaint mansion houses a diverse collection of hundreds of dolls dating back to the pre-Revolutionary era. The building’s deceptive three-story façade gives way to a single floor filled with oversized furnishings to promote tolerance for persecuted porcelain by making guests feel doll-sized themselves. Presidential dolls hold forth on foreign policy and puppet regimes in the White House room, and childlike figurines develop literacy in the storybook room as an antique collection watches proudly nearby.
Established in 1977 by the late Phil Cohagan, one of Louisiana's diving pioneers, Seven Seas' legacy lives on through National Association of Underwater Instructors trainer Nancy Cohagan and her two children. Nancy leads a team of experienced, NAUI-certified instructors who train students to NAUI standards through intensive in-water classes. They introduce scuba theory and beginner technique during a basic certification program, which includes sessions in an onsite classroom and a custom-built, heated pool, as well as five dives in local waters. To help students build on these skills, instructors also lead advanced diving courses on topics such as search and recovery, nonpenetration wreck diving, and underwater photography, as well as certification programs for nitrox and rescue divers.
In Seven Seas' dive shop, staff members help customers navigate racks of gear for sale or rental. They offer basic student packages that contain all the pieces needed for class, as well as individual wetsuits, masks, gauges, and accessories from brands such as PADI, NAUI, O'Neill, and ScubaPro. The shop's staff can also repair broken or worn equipment, and proofread messages in bottles before they're tossed out to sea.