Do you enjoy a good birthday celebration? We do!

Baton Rouge wasn’t far from Lake Charles, but being a 90’s country fan, I had to stop. Garth Brooks, anyone? We also needed to PLAN (who plans?) where we would be for the girls’ birthday so they could plan how they wanted to spend their birthday.

In our world, you choose the menu/food and what activities we engage in for the day. So what the heck do you do with twins?!? You give them each a day and alternate who chooses on their actual birthday.

Two girls with cupcakes and birthday candles
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Happy Birthday

Liv wanted to sleep-in and play an escape room. M wanted to visit the Blue Zoo Aquarium and the Baton Rouge Zoo. After looking at the weather, we decided to split the activities and plan the outdoor activity on the sleep-in day. You should’ve heard the complaining about having to share their day! I almost had to call Justin Timberlake so he could cry them a river.

Let’s talk 5 things to do with kids in Baton Rouge.

Le baton rouge – Red Stick

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The Red Stick in Baton Rouge, LA

So, who knows there is a red stick in Baton Rouge? Who knew Baton Rouge even meant red stick? Tom, of course! We had to visit before we left. That’s what we do.

Visit Baton Rouge says the red stick was a cypress pole on a river bluff covered in animal blood. Two indigenous tribes argued over hunting grounds, and the cypress pole was their solution. In 1817, when the town was incorporated, the name Baton Rouge stuck. Today, a red stick stands on Scott’s Bluff along the Mississippi River on the Southern University campus. It is said to be where the cypress pole stood all those years ago.

We parked across the street and walked over to the Red Stick. There were a few different educational signs explaining some of the history of the area and the Red Stick. We took our obligatory selfie, then headed home to finish packing up for travel day.

Blue Zoo Aquarium

$19.95 13+ | $16.95 3-12 | $17.95 Military

Blue Zoo Aquarium Parakeet Room
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It’s a bird – at the Blue Zoo Aquarium

For me, this aquarium is a little strange. To start, it’s located in the Mall of Louisiana. We’ve been to multiple aquariums, but this was our first in a mall. AND with birds. A whole lotta parakeets.

The birds were the highlight of the entire aquarium for the girls. They went into their exhibit and fed them twice because they just couldn’t get enough. Holy sensory overload in that little room with a gazillion birds chirping and children screeching excitedly.

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Liv loved feeding the parakeets

The other exhibits were ok. Very hands-on touching rays, starfish, and such, and we are not a hands-on, touching wildlife family.

I felt it was geared toward littles more than older children. There were a lot of hands-on exhibits, which is fantastic if you’re into that. My 14-year-olds colored and played in the children’s area at the end. Liv enjoyed that it was “cool and interactive,” while M said, “it was very fun even though it was aimed at younger children.”


$8.75 +tax 13+ | $7.75 +tax 65+ | $5.75 +tax 2-12

BREC Zoo Giraffe Frame
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Happy Birthday at the Baton Rouge Zoo

A lot of the zoo was closed for remodeling of enclosures. They gave us free tickets for a future visit when we purchased admission. We ended up giving those to a family of four in the parking lot as we left. We have no plans for being back in Baton Rouge.

There was storytime at one of the pavillions, and many children were in costume. Somewhere along our path, we saw a child dressed as Anna, and Liv said, “Hello, Little Princess,” and the girl ran away screaming. Liv has a way with littles. We all laughed while Liv looked horrified and offended.

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What we did see were decent-sized enclosures with active animals. They had a ton of birds. Liv said, “5 out of 10. Tigers are amazing.” M found the zoo small and easy to walk through in a short amount of time. She also enjoyed the plastic Mold-A-Rama machines.

13th Gate Escape Room

$32 per person

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Photo Stolen from 13th Gate’s Facebook Page

Our first escape room as a family. And we sucked. We were stuck in the first room for what felt like forever. After we made it into the second room, we moved a bit faster. But not fast enough. 

While working on the clues in the third room, the girls started using me as a human shield each time they were scared. When the Game Master came in because time was up, they grabbed and pushed me in front as they hid behind me. Screaming. Do you notice they are both taller than me?

We did not escape. We had 80 out of 60 minutes because of all the clues we used. The best part was we had a blast and laughed. A lot. 

Tabasco Factory Tour & Jungle Gardens

$12.50 12+ | $9.50 5-12 | $11.25 55+ | $11.25 Veteran

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Barrel Aging Coopering

Let me start by saying, this is really a small road trip from Baton Rouge. An hour and a half-ish each way. We were not Tabasco people before this tour. Tom found it and thought it might be a fun side trip. We never get enough of traveling. 

What a fascinating experience! We started at the restaurant, and that was just an eh experience. We headed over to check in at the museum, where we were greeted by a woman handing each of us a pack of miniature Tabasco bottles in different flavors.

It was interesting to read about the company’s history and brand. I loved seeing all the tchotchkes Tabasco put their logo on and the fan artwork. I also found it interesting that the Military put Tabasco in 2/3 of their MREs in the 80s.

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Inside the Tabasco Factory

After learning all about what we would see, we set off to see it. We saw pepper plants growing in a greenhouse and where they store the mash in barrels. Then it was time for the factory.

We moved from blending to the salt mine. (I had no idea there was a salt mine involved. Now I know. And you do, too. It was the first rock salt mine in North America.) Then onto bottling and labeling, where the machines were fussy. We ended the tour in a room with giant Tabasco bottles.

Liv’s favorite part was the labeling and bottling. M thought it “was cool to see all the different stages but not a fake set-up.” Tom found the history of the brand “amazing” and finds it intriguing it has remained a family project for 150+ years.

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The road through Jungle Gardens

Jungle Gardens was created by the founder’s son, who studied the plants and animals on Avery Island. The gardens are amazing. Tom said he would love to see it in full bloom because it would be even more spectacular.

M has never seen rose bushes so large, and Liv wants to build a garden like it someday. We drove through, got out, and walked. We enjoyed the peaceful serenity of the place.

It was also the ONLY place we have visited where an animal listened. We have seen bear, elk, horse, and sheep signs, and NEVER has an animal been standing next to it as it should be. FINALLY, an animal who listened.

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The alligator is posing with his sign as he should be

BONUS in February – Mardi Gras Parades

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Sorry. All we have is this selfie before the parade got to us.

We did not realize we would be in town for Mardi Gras parades, but we’re Mardi Gras newbs, so it is to be expected. M chose to attend a parade after dinner on her birthday choice day. What an experience!

The energy, the vibe, the throws. We wondered why people were showing up with reusable shopping bags. By the end, we knew. Toward the end of the parade route, where we were told to go, they started throwing beads by the bag. 

We attended two other parades that weekend and had as much fun at each and collected over 300 beads. We highly recommend checking out their parades if you’re near Baton Rouge for Mardi Gras. 

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