Wondering what are the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids?
Continue to read for our top choices.

There are so many reasons to love small towns – the charm, the food, the sense of community – just to name a few. That’s why I was so happy when my husband needed to go to Lafayette, LA, about a two-hour drive from our hometown in New Orleans. It was the perfect place to take a family vacation. While planning our trip, I was amazed at all of the things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids. 

Lafayette has such a unique culture and history. Their heritage is a combination of the arrival of the Acadians from Acadia, Canada in 1765, and the rich presence of the Native Americans and African Americans who already occupied the land. With such a diverse background, Lafayette is the perfect place to learn about history and try a variety of foods; in addition to the usual kid-friendly activities that many cities offer (like museums and zoos). 

Discover my favorite resources to find your next vacation activity!

Things to do in Lafayette, LA with Kids: Culture Museums

Culture museums are one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids.

Vermilionville Historic Village and Acadian Cultural Center

Personally, I believe that any place that offers an open area for kids to walk (or run) around is kid-friendly, especially if it includes unique experiences that they would not normally encounter.

Both Vermilionville and Acadian Village are outdoor culture museums that embody the life and culture of the individuals who lived in Lafayette during the 18th century. You even get the wonderful opportunity to visit restored homes from that time to get a true feeling of what your life would’ve been like if you were alive 200 years ago.

To my surprise, my kids really enjoyed running around the grounds and exploring the different buildings and activities they offered. For that reason, Vermilionville and Acadian Village are two of my top things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids.

Vermilionville Historic Village

My kids explore Vermilionville in Lafayette by climbing all over an alligator statue.

Since Vermilionville is the only one of the two that’s open on a Sunday, we added this one to our itinerary. From talking with locals, it appears that both Vermilionville and Acadian Village are similar in concept. 

Personally, I loved how open Vermilionville is. Since it’s settled on 23 acres of land, it gave the boys plenty of space to run around and burn their energy while simultaneously learning some history. Now I’m no history buff, so a museum with only signs to read is a no-go for me, especially when traveling with kids.

Unique Lafayette Kids Activities: Learning Through Music 

We walked into the first home and were immediately greeted by a young woman playing the guitar and singing the traditional music from that time. At that moment, I knew this museum was a top thing to do in Lafayette! She continued on to tell the history of the Acadians, Native Americans, and African Americans of the time. Since there is a dedicated room for each ethnic group within the home, it was the perfect opportunity to learn about each group.

The most unique experience of that particular home was when she pulled out the accordion. Since it was their first time both seeing and hearing one, my boys immediately lost their minds with excitement. She was kind enough to let them touch it and explain how it works. A special memory indeed. 

This unique Lafayette kid-friendly activity continued as we went from home to home, saw how they used to skin the catch of the day, make quilts, and even explored a typical bedroom and kitchen from the era.

Unique Lafayette Kid-Friendly Activities: Explore the Bayou

Vermilionville is settled on Bayou Vermilion, which offers plenty of access to bayou-themed activities. 

On the museum side of Vermilionville, you can hop on a ferry. Before hopping on said ferry, be aware that you have to navigate yourself across the bayou by pulling a rope. It’s a pretty simple adventure, but the boys thought it was the coolest. 

On the other side of Vermilionville, you can rent canoes and kayaks and take a self-guided tour across the bayou. However, this activity was not recommended for us because our boys were too young.

Things to do in Lafayette, LA with Kids: Museums

Jumping with joy in Downtown Lafayette. I'm just realizing the plethora of options for things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids.

Lafayette Children’s Museum

We were excited to see that Lafayette had a museum specifically made for kiddos. They have various exhibits, including a bubble factory, a grocery store, an animal hospital, an outdoor play area, and so much more. 

The Lafayette Children’s Museum is an excellent and affordable kid’s activity since tickets are only $10 per child and adult, and children under 12 months are free. They are open every day of the week, excluding Monday.

Lafayette Science Museum

During our walk down Jefferson Street (Lafayette’s main drag filled with restaurants, boutiques, and various places of interest), we passed the Science Museum. The boys immediately stopped to peek at the life-sized dinosaur located in the front window. There were so many cool exhibits from the window alone.

The museum offers a dynamic blend of interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and captivating displays that will leave your children both entertained and enlightened.

The various exhibits cater to a wide range of ages, making it one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids. Younger children can explore the dedicated play areas designed to spark their curiosity, while older kids can dive into the fascinating world of science through the various exhibits. From the wonders of space and astronomy to the mysteries of the deep sea, this museum provides an array of captivating subjects to explore.

Pricing for admission to the Science Museum in Lafayette is reasonable, with adult tickets priced at $12 and children aged 2-15 at $10. Children under 2 years old get in for free. The museum is typically open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays, making it convenient for a day of family fun. Sundays see slightly shorter hours, with the museum opening at 1:00 PM and closing at 5:00 PM.

Zoosiana: The Zoo of Acadiana

Located 15 minutes from downtown Lafayette, Zoosiana is a family-friendly zoo that offers a unique blend of education and entertainment, making it the perfect Lafayette kid-friendly activity.

I love that smaller zoos offer closer access to the animals since they are typically less crowded than larger zoos. We visited on a Monday afternoon and we literally didn’t see any other guests the entire time. The boys were able to get up close and personal with the animals. They absolutely loved it! 

Similarly, I was pretty impressed with the variety of animals – they had lions, giraffes, llamas, a variety of tigers, and so much more. If your kid loves animals, Zoosiana has to be on the list of things to do while you’re in Lafayette with your kids. 

Unique Things to Do in the Lafayette Area with Kids

The boys in front of the Lafayette visitors center on our family vacation to Lafayette, LA.

Tabasco Factory Tour, Avery Island, and Jungle Garden

The Tabasco Factory Tour and Museum is located on Avery Island, about 30 minutes from Lafayette. Not only do you get an insightful look into the history and production process of Tabasco sauce, but you also get the opportunity to explore the beauty of Jungle Gardens as The Tabasco- Avery Island Experience ticket includes both.

Both self-guided tours will take a combined two hours and are two of the best things for kids to do near Lafayette, LA. Do note that reservations are recommended and cash is not accepted.

At the beginning of the tour, you will journey through the Avery Island Jungle Gardens, where you’ll learn about the origins of the famous Tabasco peppers and the McIlhenny family’s dedication to preserving this unique ecosystem. As you move on to the factory, you’ll witness the sauce-making process firsthand, from the aging in wooden barrels to the iconic Tabasco bottle filling.

This tour is equal parts informative and engaging, making it suitable for visitors of all ages, including families traveling with children.

Additionally, the on-site restaurant, 1868, serves up delectable dishes infused with Tabasco sauce, making it a flavorful pitstop for lunch or snacks. The family-friendly atmosphere, coupled with a dedicated kids’ menu, ensures that children are well-catered for during your visit.

If you can’t make it to the restaurant, be sure to stop at the gift shop and pick up a Tabasco branded goodie, or at the very minimum, try the Tabasco flavored ice cream. Delish!

With its blend of history, education, and delicious culinary experiences, the Tabasco tour and museum is a unique thing to do in the Lafayette area with kids.

Conrad Rice Mill

Conrad Rice Mill in New Iberia, about 30 minutes from Lafayette, is an unforgettable experience that blends history, education, and a touch of culinary delight. Whether you have kids or not, it’s definitely one of the best Lafayette things to do! Established in 1912, Conrad Rice Mill is the oldest, independently run rice mill still in operation in the United States.

The tour is a journey through time, where you’ll discover the intricacies of rice production and the profound significance of rice in shaping the Louisiana landscape. During the tour, there is an opportunity to sample some of the products and a gift shop outfitted with a variety of rice, seasonings, and Louisiana goodies for you to take home.

The friendly staff knows how to make the tour a great kid-friendly activity. They turn it into an adventure that sparks their curiosity about the history of rice farming while enjoying the sensory experience of touching and smelling rice grains.

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Also in New Iberia, on Jefferson Island, Rip Van Winkle Gardens is a historic and tranquil botanical garden with a history tracing back to 1870. Here, you can take a tour of the historical Joseph Jefferson Mansion and the 15 acres of semi-tropical gardens, grab a bite to eat at the restaurant or stay in one of the cottages from the 19th century.

The centerpiece of this oasis is the Joseph Jefferson Mansion – a stunning architectural masterpiece that provides a captivating glimpse into the past. Visitors can explore the mansion’s rich history and its connection to the famous actor Joseph Jefferson.

For families, the gardens offer a range of kid-friendly activities. The Jungle Gardens Playground is a highlight, with climbing structures and swings set amidst the natural beauty of the gardens. Children can also get up close and personal with friendly animals at the on-site petting zoo. Plus there are numerous, friendly peacocks roaming around.

As I previously mentioned, any destination that includes an abundant amount of land that allows my kids to walk (and perhaps run) while learning, is considered a fun thing to do in Lafayette with kids.

Local Things to Do in Lafayette, LA with Kids

My boys in front of the Downtown Lafayette sign.

Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market

Located at Moncus Park with over 50 vendors, Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market is a great kid-friendly activity that will allow you to experience the culture of the city. Each Saturday morning from 8 AM to noon, locals and tourists alike gather to grab freshly baked bread and sweets, local produce, meats, seafood, and locally crafted goods. Families love to bring their kids as there is ample space for them to run around and listen to live music to dance to.

It’s a great way to experience the local Lafayette culture with your family!

Rock’ n’ Bowl

Looking for kid-friendly things to do in Lafayette, LA? Then Rock’ n’ Bowl is the place. Not only is it a great bowling alley, but they normally have live musical performances. Plus their food is very tasty and is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Be sure to check their calendar for upcoming performances and any special themed nights.

Lafayette Kid-Friendly Restaurants

My boys on the Cajun Food Bus Tour in Lafayette – one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids.

If your kiddos are anything like mine, then eating good food has to be on the Lafayette kid-friendly activity list. With such a variety of cultures that make up Lafayette, this area offers tons of delicious and unique culinary experiences. Be sure to sample some of the local favorites on a Cajun Food Bus Tour.

During this 3-hour tour, you’ll visit five local eateries. The tour fee includes all meals and gratuities at the restaurants.

Some schedules don’t allow for a 3-hour food tour, but if you still want to visit the most kid-friendly restaurants in Lafayette, keep reading for my favorites.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants: Local Lafayette, LA Cuisine

Pop’s Poboys

You can’t go to Lafayette without getting a poboy, and Pop’s is one of the best in the city! They offer over two dozen types of poboys, as well as delicious starters and salads. Plus, there is a kid’s menu that specifically caters to the taste buds of little ones.

We tried the fried catfish poboy, smoked sausage poboy, debris poboy, greens, mac & cheese, and french fries. Everything was delicious and my kids enjoyed it all!

We were stuffed! Luckily, Pop’s is conveniently located downtown, so we were able to take a nice walk exploring the city after we ate.

Don’s Specialty Meats

Similar to Poboys, boudin and crackling are Lafayette’s local delicacies. Don’s Speciality Meats is the place to get it. Not only do they have delicious, homemade meats and dishes, but they also offer a variety of products in their market that you can take home with you. I was actually surprised by how much my kids enjoyed visiting and trying some Lafayette local food staples, so it made the list of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA for kids.

Cupid’s Daiquiris

Me enjoying a well-deserved daiquiri from Cupid's Daiquiri in Lafayette. It's not one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids, but it is one of the best for adults.
This daiquiri was so yummy!

This one is not a kid-friendly activity per se, but it’s a must-do for the adults accompanying kids in Lafayette. In fact, you can bring the kids along, since Cupid’s Daiquiri has a drive-thru. Yes, you read that correctly, you can get a daiquiri via a drive-thru! And for the adults who love daiquiris, you’ll be in heaven with the variety of flavors and options they offer. I sure was!

Local Kid-Friendly Restaurants: American Favorite Cuisines

Scratch Farm Kitchen

Looking for a delicious farm-to-kitchen breakfast and/or lunch while in Lafayette? If yes, be sure to take your kids to Scratch Farm Kitchen. The food is both absolutely delicious and fresh and healthy at the same time. It’ll be sure to give your little ones fuel for a great start to the day. It sure did for my kiddos!

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant is a local favorite! Not only do they have something on the menu for everyone – from poke bowls, to sandwiches, to tacos – but they also have a menu just for kiddos. While you’re there, be sure to order the cookie skillet. Delicious!!

Pro tip: Their brunch is every bit as delicious. A stop for brunch here is definitely one of the top things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids!

Hideaway on Lee

Another great local restaurant, Hideaway on Lee is known for its delicious burgers and steaks. If you happen to be in Lafayette on Sunday, attend their Sunday BBQ from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. As a bonus for the adults, they are known for their specialty cocktails and “grown folks float.”

Central Pizza

It’s no secret – kids LOVE pizza. That’s why a stop at Central Pizza is one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids.

Central Pizza is a great lunch spot for kids in Lafayette. Not only do they offer pizza by the slice from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but they also offer a variety of red and white pies, salads, shareables, and more! They also have a delicious warm cookie skillet and ice cream- delicious!

Coffee & Dessert

Bordens Ice Cream Shoppe

What’s a vacation with kids without a stop for ice cream? When in Lafayette, be sure to stop at Bordens Ice Cream Shoppe. Established in 1940, Bordens offers a delicious variety of ice cream flavors prepared the “old fashion way”. In fact, this location is the last Borden retail shoppe in the world.

I’m sure your kids will agree that it’s one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids!

Black Cafe

I’m not sure about you, but a day full of adventure with my kids requires coffee! My kids found a stop at the coffee shop the perfect opportunity to get something for themselves. Luckily, Black Cafe offers a plethora of delicious treats – from their famous sweet potato biscuits to pastries and desserts. And who can forget hot cocoa, a childhood staple!

Where to Stay in Lafayette with Kids

We absolutely loved our stay at Mouton Plantation. It’s a beautiful bed and breakfast that’s perfect for families close to downtown Lafayette. Our 2 bedroom, 1 bath suite was perfect! Plus the included breakfast was top-tier. My boys loved it and so did my husband and I.

The courtyard and outside lawn had plenty of space for the kiddos to run around and burn lots of energy. In my opinion, a stay at the Mouton Plantation is one of the best things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids.

If you prefer a hotel, check out the Drury Inn & Suites located about two miles outside of downtown Lafayette. The accommodations are clean and modern and the service is exceptional. Included is breakfast and a manager’s reception in the early evening.

FAQ: Things to do in Lafayette, LA with Kids

Is Lafayette, LA worth visiting?

Absolutely! Not only does Lafayette have a rich history – including cultural museums that transport you back into history and amazing live music – but they also have delicious food. That’s reason enough to visit Lafayette!

What is there to do in Lafayette, LA for kids?

When it comes to things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids, the possibilities are endless. Check out my favorite family activities and things to do with kids in Lafayette, LA below.

– Vermilionville Historic Village
– Acadian Cultural Center
– Children’s Museum of Acadiana
– Lafayette Science Museum
– Tabasco Factory and Avery Island
– Conrad Rice Mill
– Rip Van Winkle Garens
– Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market
– Rock n’ Bowl

What is Lafayette, LA best known for?

Lafayette, LA is best known for its traditional Cajun and Creole culture – including Zydoco music, world-famous Cajun and Creole cuisine, and southern hospitality.

Final Thoughts: Things to do in Lafayette, LA with Kids

During our amazing trip to Lafayette, I was happily surprised to learn about all of the things to do in Lafayette, LA with kids. From cultural museums, unique kid activities, and delicious kid-friendly restaurants, Lafayette is filled with family fun. Especially if you live as close as New Orleans, there’s no excuse not to stop by for a fun-filled family vacation.

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