Zoo in Hammond


Select Local Merchants

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.
423 Canal Street
New Orleans,
LA
US
Kliebert?s Turtle and Alligator Farm hosts handicap-accessible walking tours that educate guests of all ages during interactions with exotic reptiles. Kliebert?s staffers call themselves ?the original swamp people,? and accommodate thousands of cold-blooded critters in their watery hotel. During tours, reptile-loving guides introduce some of the 58 year old alligators by their famous names. Yetta, who is the 16ft snake, is convinced her neighbor the crocodile is a reincarnated pair of Rick James's shoes. Guests traverse the grounds to observe feedings or pose for photos with baby turtles and alligators. In addition to demonstrating their dedication to reptile preservation, the tour guides show visitors a bird sanctuary for egrets and herons. Once the riveting tour winds down, guests can browse the gift shop, where they?ll find alligator heads, turtle shells, and alligator meat for purchase.
41083 W Yellow Water Rd
Hammond,
LA
US
In partnership with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Insta-Gator Ranch strives to preserve Louisiana wetlands and educate its visitors on regional wildlife. On the ranch, tour guides explain the ins and outs of the Louisiana alligator industry, from hatching gators to using them for food and textiles. During the tour, guests stroll along protected walkways near crystal clear waters to witness the goings-on of more than 2,000 alligators and view the specialized airplane used to scoop up alligator eggs from Louisiana swamps. Adding flair to the experience, a guide leaps into the pen to catch one before giving it a warm embrace and a box of water buffalo-flavored chocolates. Before tour's end, both kids and adults can hold and play with baby gators and have their portrait taken with the scaly youngsters. The hatchery also allows for the adoption of infant gators and houses a retail shop filled with alligator belts, wallets, heads, and more.
23440 Lowe Davis Rd
Covington,
LA
US
A sense of excitement begins to build every weekend at BREC BMX Raceway. Each Sunday evening?weather permitting?USA BMX sanctions a race at BREC and invites bike riders to register for the competition. At 5 p.m., the race commences, and 20-inch bikes fly along the dirt track. Before reaching the finish line's glory, competitors must navigate sharp turns, jumps, and the occasional dimensional tear.
6201 Florida Blvd
Baton Rouge,
LA
US
Spanish moss drops from the branches of Afton Villa Gardens’s 250 live oaks, brushing the shoulders of Apollo, Diana, and other faded statues of Greek gods. The vitality of the greenery stands in stark contrast to the remnants of past grandeur dotting the landscape. A Gothic Revival mansion stood in the center of Afton Villa Gardens 130 years ago, but crumbled in a 1963 fire. But signs of the estate remain: classical statues carved from Italian stone dot the 250 acres of fertile land, and the mansion’s brick foundation now supports English wallflowers, wild ferns, and exotic Post-it notes. As the newest residents and caretakers, the Trimble family pays homage to the past not only by preserving the ruins, but by nurturing plants typical to 19th-century southern gardens and West Feliciana parish. Camellias and sweet olive border a formal boxwood parterre, and honeysuckle and silverbell compete for the affections of bumblebees beneath cherry trees. Visitors are welcome to tote along food and beverages to savor a picnic lunch on the idyllic grounds.
9047 U S Highway 61
Saint Francisville,
LA
US
At the Vieux Carré, New Orleans' famous 85-block French Quarter, modern-day visitors moving in and out of National Historic Landmark properties are transported to city's past while taking in the mishmash of architectural styles distinguished by colorful facades and filigreed iron galleries and balconies. The restored landmark property known as the Gallier House makes its home in the Quarter, waiting to dazzle with the 19th-century splendor that backdropped the lives of their inhabitants—a diverse crew of enslaved workers, tycoons, free people of color, architects, and robots—more than a century ago. The Gallier House was built in 1860 by renowned architect James Gallier Jr., who also designed the old French Opera House and Municipality Hall (now Gallier Hall). Gallier ensured the house was ahead of its time by installing a bathroom with indoor plumbing, a ventilation system to circulate air, an attached kitchen, and a hologram butler. The fully furnished two-story house also contains a courtyard, carriageway, and slave quarters, and it inspired Louis and Lestat's New Orleans residence in Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. In 1996, The Woman's Exchange bought the property, ensuring that it would be preserved as a museum and historic landmark. Today, curators illuminate the mansion’s history through frequent exhibits and educational programs for people of all ages.
1132 Royal St.
New Orleans,
LA
US
Advertisement