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Filed under: Amusement & Theme Parks, Family Day Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, Nature & Wildlife, RV Home School, Uncategorized

Shreveport, LA… discovering Louisiana…

January 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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During our recent time in Shreveport, our whole goal was to hit the best of the best in the area.  We tried to find a variety of destinations and activities, and here are a couple more sure-to-please-stops to add to our previous post

DSC_0649Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park…  This 160 acre park, located just west of Shreveport, is a haven for birds and other wildlife.  The park sports extensive walking trails through wooded areas, and there are bird and deer enclosures on the property.  The park has a visitor’s center with multiple rooms filled with interesting and educational displays, including a room with local reptiles in it (some of them were venomous snakes).  There were a lot of hands-on activities for the kids, and interesting exhibits for us bigger people.
DSC_0619The park holds numerous naturalist-led programs, for all ages, throughout the week; the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.  We signed up for a ‘slithering snake’ talk, and the naturalist that was helping us, Hulya, was nice enough (and knowledgeable and flexible enough) to tweak her talk to fit our interests and knowledge levels.  Since we are from Montana, she gave us a program about venomous and non-venomous local snakes, which are different from the snakes we have back home.  She even taught us how to tell if a snake skin shed is from a venomous snake or a non-venomous snake.  We all enjoyed the talk, and our younger children had fun with a hands-on activity that she had planned for them.DSC_0643
After our educational lesson, Naturalist Hulya took us in to the reptile room and told us about the different animals that they have in the park, and in the tanks.  She even fed the turtles and some of the lizards so that the kids could watch the animals eat.  It was a fun time for us while we learned about the local wildlife!
The Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park is free to the public, and they are open 7 days a week.  Plan at least an hour for a relaxing visit, and check out their Facebook page before you go to see if they will be offering any programs during the days you will be in the area!  This is a great ‘real life nature’ stop if you would like to learn more about the local animals and plants.

Another one of our “Best of Shreveport” destinations is the Sci-Port.  The Sci-Port is one of the top children’s science museums in the United States!  But, even if you are not traveling with kids, the Sci-Port is still a stop that you might want to consider.  The Sci-Port contains an iMax Dome theater that plays a variety of films throughout the day – and the iMax has it’s own admission so you don’t have to pay to get in to the museum if you only want to watch the film!

DSC_0675If you are a star gazer, the Sci-Port also has a Planetarium that features showings about the planets and constellations.  There is also a gift shop that carries great gift ideas, and 2 penny squishers if you collect.  And ask about the live demonstrations – we went to one called ‘Fire Tornado’, which was very interesting!
Now, if you ARE traveling with kids, you might not make it to the iMax – the kids are sure to be immediately occupied with the 92,000 sq ft of hands-on science lessons!  The Sci-Port covers everything from all those stars in the planetarium to electricity, a bed of nails to water tables, muscle health to how the shape of an airplane wing creates lift.  They also have temporary exhibits come through – a new one opens on Jan. 31 called Treasure! – it’s all about treasures and treasure hunters.  I think it sounds intriguing!   When you purchase your tickets, be sure to check out the demonstration/activity schedule to determine if any of the shows are of interest to you.  We would have been sorely disappointed to have missed the Fire Tornado demo! DSC_0699 The museum has activities for kids of all ages (even us big ones!) – there was a whole area for littles, with dozens of appropriate activities, and there were also very interesting displays to engage in for the older kids (and myself ;) ).  Our visit was a fun 4 hours long!  You can check out the Sci-Port on their website, and on Facebook.  For us, it was a perfect activity for a rainy afternoon – and I could even count it towards our roadschooling!
Shreveport has so much to offer those of us traveling!  Whether you are just driving through on I-20, or you are going to visit Shreveport as a vacation destination, take a couple of days and explore – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all the great activities that await you there (we still have a couple more stops to share next time!)!

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