Open 364 days a year, Kart Ranch entertains Baton Rouge– and New Orleans–area families with a variety of outdoor games and activities. Engage in family-friendly adrenaline pumping by zipping around the tire-laden go-kart track, or test the buoyancy of your brood by squirting each other to splashy submission on the outdoor bumper boats. Batting cages are smartly covered to allow players to practice pitches through rain, shine, and plagues of squirrels, while the adventure golf course sports soothing waterfalls and fountains as players go head-to-head for par-gaining rights. Activity tickets can also be used toward kiddie karts, water wars, and playground admission, while game tokens can be used toward arcade and skill games, which in turn reward tickets that can be exchanged for prizes such as toys, candy, or self-propelled laser doomsday howitzers.
Love Swimming's team of talented teachers turns landlubbers into merpersons with their 30-minute swimming lessons for students of all ages and skill levels. In Water Babies classes, designed for children between 6 months and 3 years of age, parents dive in along with their children to help them develop motor skills, confidence, and nascent sitcom plots. Beginners can sign up for the level 1 and 2 classes, which impart water-safety basics such as floating and introductory swim strokes, and experienced water treaders can opt for level 3 and 4 sessions, which introduce the butterfly, back, breast, and freestyle strokes. During the even more advanced Stroke School class, Love Swimming's water whisperers bridge the gap between casual and competitive swimming with drill-based instruction. All classes are held in one of the facilities' warm and inviting saltwater pools, and feature an intimate five-to-two student-teacher ratio, ensuring everyone gets plenty of advice, personal instruction, and turns to host underwater tea parties.
The hands-on, participatory Children’s Museum of Acadiana entertains children aged 2 to 12 while boosting their understanding of art, human development, and cultural awareness. The Bubble Factory exhibit engulfs children in a life-sized bubble while they concoct massive bubbles of their own. Stuffee teaches future surgeons the proper placement and usage of internal organs without the use of tiny tweezers and an electric buzzer. Children stage their own TV newscast at the Le TV des Enfants exhibit, where they learn the ins and outs of being a camera operator, meteorologist, or a newscaster.
Designed by renowned course architect Joe Lee, Squirrel Run Golf Club’s 27-hole course incorporates clusters of scenic trees, babbling waterways, immaculate fairways, and smooth, Champions grass greens. Players can fine-tune their swings before hitting the links with a regimen of 10 one-hour clinics, where one of Squirrel Run Golf Club’s PGA-certified aces demystifies the golf swing for small classes with their profound knowledge of golf mechanics and subtle use of hypnotic putter pendulums. Each of Squirrel Run’s three nine-hole courses feature harrowing water hazards on most holes that place a high premium on confident shots and deft club selection. Players loop any 18-hole combination of the 27-hole labyrinth, playing to a maximum length of 6,782 yards when combining the Steeple and Woods course. With five tee options, the treacherous monolith graciously caters to players of all abilities and golfers who insist on playing with bocce balls.
Sculpted through the water-kissed terrain of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, The Island Country Club challenges golfers with a lengthy course that measures 7,010 yards from the farthest tees. Water hazards await on nearly every hole throughout the course, giving advantage to golfers with confident swings and disciplined refusal to give golf-ball treats to the aviary creatures that occupy The Island’s wooden duck houses. The course’s most difficult hole, the 441-yard, par 4 11th offers a PGA Tour-worthy test from the tee, as drives must steer clear of a water hazard that hugs the entire right side of the hole while also shaping the shot to compensate for the fairway’s right-ward bend. In respect of the wildlife that shares the course grounds, The Island uses solar panels to power its clubhouse, golf carts, and herds of robotic caddies hired to graze in the native long grasses.
To prepare for upcoming rounds, golfers can enlist the services of PGA master professional Dave Baron, the club’s head golf pro. After a long day of launching drives and managing 9-irons' tender egos, golfers can unwind at The Island Grill, where executive chef Mark Maggio artfully blends elements of Italian and Louisiana cuisine.
Course at a Glance:
More akin to a small, self-contained town than a fitness center, each of Spectrum Fitness’s seven locations kowtows to packed schedules and multitasking parents. A slew of classes arranges social body blasting—customers can tone their torsos with squats, presses, and curls in a BodyPump barbell class or sweat in spinning classes atop a stationary bike equipped with pursuit-style handlebars, adjustable resistance, and a front-mounted E.T. Members of Spectrum Fitness can swing by its Central location and trot on the treadmill until dawn. They can drop off their tykes at the childcare center and take a yoga or kickboxing class. And they can follow a swim by basking in the bronzing light of the tanning bed before sauntering up to the Pro Shop for smoothies.
The staff takes great pains to accommodate newcomers of all ages, levels, and car-stacking abilities. Personal trainers concoct customized fitness regimens during solo and group training sessions, and Silver Sneakers and water aerobics classes bring seniors into the fitness fold.