Your kids can get their fair share of sunshine and outdoor recreation in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Check out some of the fun offerings for families to unwind and explore parks, beaches, festivals, swimming pools, wildlife, and places to indulge in snocones and ice cream! 

Reconnect along the Creole Nature Trail! www.creolenaturetrail.org

1. Splash Around

Summertime and the warmer months are perfect for splashing around in Louisiana’s Playground! Both Golden Nugget and L’Auberge Casino Resort boast lazy rivers with innertubes for floating. Not to mention you can also enjoy a lazy river at SPAR Waterpark in Sulphur, complete with waterslides and a splash pad. A trek down the Creole Nature Trail will land you at Holly Beach on the west side of the trail or Rutherford Beach on the east side. Either one is perfect for playing in the surf or a seashell treasure hunt! The beaches along the Gulf in Southwest Louisiana have been named one of the top 15 places to collect shells in the world by Reader’s Digest. 

Lake City Cruisers Biking

2. Lake Area Recreation

Lake Area Adventures newly opened all-inclusive facility makes a fun day for the family with a ropes course, gamers lounge, airpark, climbing wall, and an aquatics center with The Terrace restaurant located on-site. They also offer sunset kayak tours along some of the majestic sights of Southwest Louisiana’s waterways with single and tandem kayaks and pontoon boat rentals! Your kids might also want to check out the town with a tour with Lake City Cruisers on light-up glow bikes with a wide array of tours available. (Kids must be 13+ to ride). Biking Thru The Lake also offers guided tours of historic downtown Lake Charles, perfect for family-group bookings and special events. 

Putt Putt

3. Competitive Fun

Nothing says sibling rivalry like a fierce game of Putt-Putt. The animal-themed Putt-Putt course at Putt-Putt Fun Center has just the right amount of play mixed in with giraffes, pink elephants, and blue whales! They also feature batting cages. If combat and games appeal to your kids, they will love Bayou Games Paintball Complex. Bring the crew to indulge in paintball wars, gellyball, and laser tag, or check out their video game trailer for competitive play! For a true thrill for ages 13 and up visit Game2Life where your team can practice your aim with axe throwing and laser tag. Outjump your friends and siblings at the Altitude Trampoline Park, ideally located off I-210, making for the perfect rainy-day activity. 

Downtown at Sundown

4. Family-Friendly Festivals

Each May, the Downtown at Sundown Concert Series takes over downtown Lake Charles with infectious sounds of country, rock, jazz, R&B, and our beloved zydeco. Food trucks and vendors line the streets as attendees relax in their lawn chairs and groove throughout the evening. In July, enjoy the Red White Blue & You! 4th of July Festival with live music, a star-spangled parade, and fireworks to celebrate the nation’s birthday. Mardi Gras is a family-friendly celebration with parades, a gumbo cookoff, the Krewe of Barkus dog parade, king cakes, and more. Each October, the Cal-Cam Fair in Sulphur offers an array of activities, carnival rides, live music, funnel cakes, and family fun.

1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center
Lindsey Janies

5. Art & History Lessons 

The Imperial Calcasieu Museum showcases local art and traveling exhibits. On the grounds is the Sallier Oak, named after one of the founding fathers of Lake Charles. The 375-year-old oak shades much of the backyard of the museum, and here, there are arts and yoga events held underneath its branches. In the heart of downtown Lake Charles, you can find the 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center with traveling exhibits, the Black Heritage Gallery and more. The grounds also play host to the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Other places to enjoy art and history are found at the Brimstone Museum Complex and the DeQuincy Railroad Museum.

Family on the Creole Nature Trail
Lindsey Janies

6. Spot Wildlife

Hands down, Pintail Wildlife Drive is one of the best places to see migrating birds, waterfowl, and alligators. On sunny days, you can see alligators warming themselves along the banks of the canals found along the drive nicknamed “Alligator Alley,” which is located on the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge on the east side of the Creole Nature Trail. On the west side, Peveto Woods Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary is thriving with wildlife, and it’s also just a short walk to the Gulf of Mexico. Near town, Sam Houston Jones State Park sits alongside the river and has numerous walking paths, upgraded playgrounds, and more where birds are sure to be spotted. 

Millenium Park

7. Play at the Park

Near the waterfront, families can enjoy Millennium Park, which features playground equipment and a splash pad during the warmer months. The park includes fun, themed, playground features such as a pirate ship, Hazel the Oil Steamer, a Cajun cabin, and more. There is a separate area for toddlers with swings and a shaded seating area. Bord du Lac Park (translates to side of the lake) includes attractions such as Veteran’s Park, a promenade and 911 Memorial. Prien Lake Park has walking paths, a covered pavilion for picnics, and a playground for kids right along the lakefront. 

Family at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point
Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point

8. Interactive Learning

Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point Welcome Center is known as the launchpad for the Creole Nature Trail. Here, you can learn about attractions and wildlife as well as culinary and cultural aspects of Cajun/Creole life. The center is interactive to learn about music, crabbing, cooking, and more. Just down the road from Adventure Point, you will find Almosta Ranch for interacting with farm animals and exotic birds. Here, kids can ride horses, and feed the animals, and they also have festivals and events. Niche Creative Studio is perfect for kids who want to get crafty and learn to sew, crochet, or paint!  

McNeese Baseball Joe Miller Ball Park
Kathryn Shea Duncan

9. McNeese Cowboys, Gumbeaux Gators, and Louisiana Voodoo

Take yourself out to a McNeese State University baseball game for an afternoon of cheering on the Cowboys (or your favorite visiting rival team). This Spring we also welcome the Gumbeaux Gators, one of three Louisiana baseball teams in the Texas Collegiate League. The stadium is near the regional airport and great dining options, including the family-friendly Crying Eagle Brewing-University. Check out the Cowboys' season schedule and the Gators' season schedule and get your tickets early or at the gate. Arena Football arrives in Louisiana's Playground at the Lake Charles Event Center this spring with the revival of the Louisiana Voodoo! Get your gear and tickets here.

Lulu's Snocones

10. Sweet Tooth Cravings

After the ballgame with the kids, PT’s Snowballs is located in Sulphur for a sweet taste of delicious snow cones or ice cream. Look no further than Lulu’s Specialty Snowcones for over-the-top sugary treats - especially if you’d like a slice of cheesecake as a topping! Twanie's Terrific Treats serves up the ultimate cookies ranging from chocolate chip overload to seasonal favorites like lemon and brownie a la mode. 

Upcoming Family-Friendly Events