Shadows-on-the-Teche's curators share the legacy of the iconic structures and inhabitants of an antebellum 19th-century sugar cane plantation that helped shape the surrounding region. Trained guides draw upon more than 17,000 documents, photographs, and talking parrots to paint fascinating pictures of the enduring structure. A brilliantly recreated picket fence stands as a small-scale preview to the towering columns that brace a structure packed with a variety of artifacts, many of which are original to the home. The plantation is a National Trust Historic Site, and the tour contains extensive information on the Weeks family, the home's influential original owners.
When designing Squirrel Run Golf Club's three courses, architect Joe Lee incorporated the verdant charm of South Louisiana, challenging golfers of all stripes with 27 holes of stunning natural beauty. Throughout the Plantation, Steeple, and Woods courses, trees reflect off of glistening pools of water, and greens of Champion grass keep balls rolling with buttery-smooth surfaces. Separate practice greens and facilities allow golfers to fine-tune specific skills, and a well-stocked pro shop carries fairway-ready gear from labels such as Callaway, Cleveland, and TaylorMade or custom-fitted clubs from Ping and Titleist. After strolling the greens and thwacking shots into the stratosphere, guests share frosty beverages, grilled fare, and stories of the time they gave Fred Couples a piggyback ride at The Restaurant at Squirrel Run.
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.
At The Accidental Chef, local Louisianan chefs with troves of tips and anecdotes enlighten budding epicures during classes that reveal the secrets to preparing Italian, Cajun, and Creole-focused cuisines at home. The school's easy-to-follow, hands-on cooking classes range from 90 minutes to 14 days, with extended courses including overseas travel to facilitate authentic lessons in international cuisines. The chefs also make local treks to lead group classes in homes, offices, and stove-equipped underground lairs.