Clouds of fog roll through darkened halls, concealing mercenaries tracking their target’s movement. Before their trap can be sprung, the unthinkable happens: their vests begin to vibrate as a giggling child yells, "Got you!"Laser Tag of Baton Rouge's family-friendly laser-tag sessions thrust players aged 7 and older into similar faux combat, peppered with flashing lights and thumping music. Players race through a 7,500-square-foot multilevel arena brandishing Gen 6 laser-tag weapons that dole out precise shots and automated score updates. Special scenarios challenge players to work cooperatively toward a shared goal; for instance, in the Fugitive mission, one or two targets must escape a group intent on their capture.
Between bouts inside the arena, players can test their gaming skills at the center's arcade, which is filled with contemporary and classic machines. Each game is outfitted with the Power Play system, a swipe-card-and-sensor combo that tracks remaining game credits, relieving players from the hassle of endlessly fishing for quarters. The arcade also leads to an observation deck that looks onto the laser-tag arena, giving spectators a giant's-eye view of the combat below.
For more than 25 years, Melius Bar & Cafe has been dishing out comfort fare and boozy beverages in a casual sports-bar atmosphere with 10 flat-screen televisions for taking in local teams. With a straightforward menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, early birds can munch on traditional cuisine, including the Bucktown special made with two eggs any style, two sausages or three bacon slices, and two slice of texas toast ($3.50), and afternooners can dig into a specialty, such as a burger ($6.25), salad ($2.75+), or fries ($1.75+). Regular happy hours keep parched patrons hydrated with bubbly drinks, and weekly lunch specials remind palates why they choose to go into tasting instead of accounting. With pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, and video poker, bar-room game sharks can hone their sporting skills in a random game play or join a league to show off proper thumb-stretching techniques.
Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Rivershack Tavern's historic 100+ year-old edifice envelops daring pub dishes and cold drinks served within a dart's throw of the Mississippi River. Classically trained chef Mike Baskind executes a robust menu that jump-starts waning taste buds with its snack-a-tizers such as fried green tomatoes ($6.75) and fierce alligator sausage ($6) that isn't afraid to talk back to mouths. Heaping sandwiches have playful monikers to delight diners and to conceal the meaty operatives' real names, such as the pastrami-filled Ben D. Rules sandwich ($9.25). A seven-sandwich-deep po' boy lineup includes crunchy delights such as a fried oyster po' boy ($11.75). The historic, worn-in setting surrounds patrons in classic wood-paneled tavern décor and entertains with its rotating calendar of live music.
A stay at Harrahs New Orleans Casino & Hotel places you in the heart of New Orleans, walking distance from Riverwalk Marketplace and Spanish Plaza. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Battle of Liberty Place Monument and Audubon Insectarium. n Rooms
Make yourself at home in one of the 450 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and iPod docking stations. Your room comes with a pillowtop bed. LCD televisions with premium TV channels are provided for your entertainment, with wired and wireless Internet access available for a surcharge. Private bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers feature makeup/shaving mirrors and complimentary toiletries. n Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Try your luck at the casino and enjoy other recreational amenities including a nightclub and a fitness facility. Additional amenities include wireless Internet access (surcharge), an arcade/game room, and gift shops/newsstands. n Dining
Enjoy a meal at one of the hotel's dining establishments, which include 9 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access 24-hour room service. Breakfast is available for a fee. n Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a 24-hour business center, and audiovisual equipment. Planning an event in New Orleans? This hotel has 30000 square feet (2787 square meters) of space consisting of a ballroom, banquet facilities, and exhibit space. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
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.
Though its name implies a quick chug or hurried meal, most customers tend to linger at Down the Hatch. That’s because the bar and grill offers scads of activities and creative Cajun-inspired bites to keep loungers happy long into the night. Most evenings here start at a dining room table, where alligator po-boys, smoky pulled pork, and Angus beef burgers are some of the menu’s biggest crowd-pleasers. As the food disappears from plates and more drinks get ordered, crowds diverge onto the brick patio or linger around the bar or jukebox. Amid the festive groups, there are even folks getting work done courtesy of the free Wi-Fi and the belief that the best writers are inspired by whiskey.