If you and your tot need relief on a hot summer day, head over to Blue Bayou Water Park (bluebayou.com) for some water fun. You can float down the Lazy River with your cutie pie or splash and play in Pirate's Cove, an interactive water play area with kid's slides, spray features and wading pools. Or, visit Liberty Lagoon (libertylagoon.com), where your little tyke can play on the Spray Pad or Water Playground, with spray nozzles, water dump buckets and climbing activities.
Animals and Nature
Does your little wild man have a love for animals? Take him for an adventure at Baton Rouge Zoo (brzoo.org). He'll get a kick out of watching the animals, which include tigers, alligators, tortoises, elephants and zebras. You can also attend special events at the zoo, like Boo at the Zoo and Zoo Lights. Or, you can take your tot for some nature activities at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center (brec.org/index.cfm/park/detail/19). This park covers 102 acres and features an indoor nature center with live animal exhibits and nature displays. There are also walking paths throughout the park for visitors, where you might spot birds, turtles, snakes, rabbits, squirrels and deer.
If you want to introduce your tyke to some cultural activities, spend some time visiting the museums in Baton Rouge. The Capital Park Museum (no website; 660 N. 4th St., Baton Rouge; 225-342-5428) features exhibits that teach visitors about the state's culture and history. Exhibits include a wooden shrimp trawler, Civil War submarine and a huge, record breaking Marlin. Stop by the Louisiana Art and Science Museum (lasm.org) to participate in events like the entertaining and interactive Miss Trudy's Traveling Trunk Show program or First Sundays, with activities for the entire family.
If you need something to entertain your little monster on a rainy day, visit Gymboree (gymboreeclasses.com) for Open Gym Time, where your kiddo can play with other little ones and explore the play floor. You could also sign him up for an art class, where he'll get to take part in hands-on art activities with drawing, sculpture and dramatic play. Your cutie could also take a music class to learn about music through singing and experimenting with musical instruments. Visit Lindsey's Bouncing Tigers (lindseysbouncingtigers.com) for Open Play. Your little tiger can climb and bounce on the inflatables, play with toys and enjoy exciting games with other little guys.
Gymnasium Play Areas
You may or may not be interested in signing your child up for gymnastics classes, but gyms often offer open gym events and play time. CG's Gymnastics has foam pits, mats, bars, rope swings, trampolines and lots more. It hosts a lock-in event creating mazes and towers out of the mats and leading exciting games. Gymnasia is another option. It has Kids Fun Night open to ages 5 and up, featuring games, open gym time, food, movies and hide-and-seek.
Family fun centers typically offer a wide range of activities, creating an exciting playground, even for the older kids. Skate Galaxy features a multi-level laser tag arena using the latest in technology, a roller skating rink for the speedsters and a rock-climbing wall sure to challenge even the most capable climbers. Another thrilling venue is Laser Tag of Baton Rouge. It has a 21,000 square foot laser tag arena with an observation deck for onlookers, as well as a large video arcade room.
Kids are always thrilled with the opportunity to jump around in a bounce house. Party Playground features a number of inflatables including slides, obstacle courses, bounce houses and sports games. You can bring the kids in for open play or reserve the facility for a party. It's My Party has a 70-foot long obstacle course, a giant Batman inflatable house, castles for the princesses, a 24-foot high slide, a volleyball arena and many other inflatables. It has summer camps, open play, party packages and plenty of food.
Playgrounds Just Outside of Baton Rouge
There are a few other options close to the city of Baton Rouge. In Denham Springs, which is just 12 miles to the east of Baton Rouge, you will find Pretend Play Party. It is a play center in the Livingston Square Shopping Center providing many events and fun programs for kids. It has offerings such as "Watermelon Wednesday," balloon animals and root beer float days on a regular basis. 15 miles from Baton Rouge in Prairieville is Jump-N-Jive. It has party packages, open play and food offerings in an large inflatable party center.
Animals and Farms
Little kids will get a thrill at the Jubilee Zoo. Young ones can play around on the wide selection of inflatables, go on a pony ride, pet and feed many friendly farm animals such as miniature cows, llamas and zebras, ride the carousel and cruise through the zoo on a hayride. The facility has a picnic and playground area as well. Dixie Maze Farms is another play place in a farm environment with a cow train ride, pony rides, corn mazes, a corn bin, pig races and a pumpkin patch during the fall.
Playtime is best when the kids are also learning and exploring new things. At the Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center, your young children can have a fun time in the section specifically for little kids. It has a construction zone where kids can build and create their own city. It also has a creature corner educating the kids about different animals with hands-on exhibits. Gymboree Play and Music offers several play and learn classes for kids ages 0 to 5. It has an interactive play area with art, sports, music and school skills classes.
Kids' eyes get big when they find out they get to bounce around in giant inflatables. Jumpin Jupiter is an indoor play area with numerous bounce toys including slides, obstacle courses, bounce houses and interactive games. It has open play times as well as party rental options. At In the Zone, your little ones can enjoy the abundant play options such as wet and dry slides, obstacle courses, moon bounce slides, carnival games, concessions and combo bouncers. It has a separate area for toddlers if your little one is not quite ready for the big attractions.
You can't go wrong with a fun center for the little ones. Kiddie Mia's Fun Center is ideal for younger children featuring a large selection of kiddie rides, several video arcade games, redemption games, air hockey and an ample supply of prizes to claim after the games are done. At the Splash Kingdom Family Water Park, small children will have a blast at the Kid's Castle, which is for the 52-inch and under crowd. It has slides, splash toys and a 10-inch deep pool. The lazy river and wave pool may also be of interest at this fully equipped water park.