Nestled in the corner of Louisiana where Texas and Arkansas meet, Shreveport is a cultural hub for the surrounding communities and an important commercial center for the Ark-La-Tex region. Though it's most famous outside the state for its muggy, subtropical summers, Shreveport is a family-friendly city with fun activities to entertain kids and parents alike.
Make Science Fun
SciPort science museum does an excellent job of balancing toddler-friendly exhibits with hands-on activities and information that have big kid and grown-up appeal, making the museum an ideal spot for a family outing. Be sure to catch a show in the Space Dome Planetarium while you’re there, and check the museum calendar online for upcoming events, including free admission dates and special dress-up days. Kids can feed animals including ducks, sheep, deer and goats at the Jubilee Zoo, which is more of a petting zoo than a traditional zoo. Take the tractor-drawn hayride, and bring your camera to snap photos of your child interacting with kangaroos, zebras, camels and other animals.
Shreveport summer days can be hot and humid, so the best way to enjoy them may be to find a place to cool off. Put the kids in their swimsuits and wear something you don’t mind getting wet, and head over to RiverView Park to play in the sprayground, a playground that sprays water to help everyone cool off. The park, on the banks of the Red River, is an easy walk across the Texas Street Bridge from the Louisiana Boardwalk, which has a carousel, arcade and ice cream shop. Go swimming together in one of Shreveport’s public swimming pools -- both Southern Hills park and David Raines park have water slides in addition to swimming.
Practice the Arts
If you want to get creative, Artspace is the place to be. On the first and third Thursday of each month, families can participate in hands-on workshops with local artists, who talk you through a process, then encourage you to unleash your own creativity with the available supplies. The Robinson Film Center shows an interesting mix of new and classic films and documentaries, but their interesting classes -- on fascinating topics like understanding the Oscars and presidential campaign commercials -- are also worth checking out.
Enjoy a Little Culture
Don’t assume that your kids won’t sit through the symphony. The Shreveport Symphony Orchestra pushes the classical envelope with unusual productions like movie-and-music combinations and piano-beatbox duets. Download the discussion questions from the website for the Meadows Museum of Art before you visit this museum on the Centenary College of Louisiana campus, and you’ll have plenty to talk about as you explore the small collection of world art with your child.