Freedom Trees 11/11/2014 to 01/1/2015 Start off the season with the tree lighting ceremony of the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum Freedom Trees honoring veterans with a patch, ribbon, medal, or photo from their military service. On November 11, the trees will be turned on at a Special Ceremony at 5 pm.
Dancing Lights 11/22/2014 to 01/1/2015 Monroe-West Monroe is shining with festive light displays painting each city bright! Drive the trail of light shows that tell jokes, dance and more. See the map for locations.
Santa's Christmas Village 11/22/2014 to 12/21/2014 A holiday wonderland with ice skating, snow, make and take ornaments, cookie decorating, and special visits with Santa! Don’t miss the talking and singing Tree-Jays, an interactive light display that the kids will love.
Get ready to have a ball at this 40-lane center with pool tables, lounge and full-service snack bar.
Hours: Sun 12pm-Midnight; Mon-Thu. 9am-Midnight; Fri-Sat: 9am-2am
Step up to the soda counter to hear the tale of Coca-Cola’s bottling beginnings from an entertaining soda jerk. Then refresh with a 5 cent Coke and the nostalgia of early Coca-Cola memorabilia displayed in an indoor and outdoor setting of the Coke Museum. Walk among the wonderful collection of Coca-Cola artifacts including a delivery truck, signs, posters, bottles and Coke machines.
Tour the elegant home of Joseph Biedenharn, first bottler of Coca-Cola, every room lovingly decorated by his daughter Emy-Lou Biedenharn, a renowned opera singer during the pre- World War II years.
Stroll through the beautiful ELsong Gardens behind the home with over an acre of terraces, fountains, formal plantings and statues, interlaced amid French iron grillwork, tailored boxwood walkways, and year-round blooms all enshrined by an English-style brick wall.
Explore the extensive collection of historically significant and unique Bibles, including a Gutenberg leaf, in the Bible Museum adjacent to the home. Also on permanent display is the impressive Russian Icon Exhibition. A variety of other exhibits from institutions such as the Smithsonian are displayed on a rotating basis.
A wonderful retail shop with a variety of Coke merchandise, local souvenirs, jewelry and home decor is also on the premises.
Hours: 10 am-5pm Tues-Sat Cost: Adults $10, Students $6 (Children and Students through 12th Grade), annual pass $40, Househould pass $100
Immerse yourself in nature at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This majestic 4,500-acre expanse of lake, swamp, bottomland hardwoods, mixed pine and hardwood uplands is a wildlife habitat with all manner of plant species and everything from small alligators and turtles to coyote, deer and a wide variety of fowl.
Delight in the beauty of herons, egrets, orioles and red-winged blackbirds from the wildlife pier or bird blind. Walk on a nature trail that meanders through a forested wetland. Marvel at the quiet beauty of the 1,600-acre lake from the quiet of your rented canoe with stately cypress and tupelo trees towering overhead.
The Visitors’ Center, a restored 1880s Acadian house, offers interactive exhibits and a nature shop. Behind the center is a covered amphitheater for educational programs. Visit the Aquarium Room with live exhibits of native fish, reptiles, amphibians, and a Discovery Room with a variety of learning stations and reading materials. Other features include an arboretum with 150 labeled Louisiana native tree and woody shrub species, a photo blind, boat launch, canoeing, year-round fishing, and seasonal hunting opportunities.
Hours: Refuge open daylight hours. Visitor Center open 8-4 weekdays; 9-5 Sat.; 1-5 Sun. Cost: Admission: Free; Boat launch fee: $2; Canoe rental fees: $20 for 1/2 day (4 hours), $35 for a full day. Call to schedule
Beautiful 3,000 acre lake, covered picnic areas, playground, boat launches and climate-controlled lodge available for weddings, receptions and reunions.
104 Cheniere Lake Road West Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 387-2383
Chennault Aviation & Military Museum of Louisiana
Here’s one gem of a museum! Occupying one of the last standing buildings from the World War II Selman Field Army Air Corps Navigation School, this totally renovated facility is filled with more exhibits and artifacts than one would ever believe.
The aviation portion highlights three historical chapters in the nation’s and Monroe’s history: the Navigation School (largest in the country) that trained over 15,000 navigators during the World War II years; the birth of Delta Airlines from a regional crop dusting service; and Louisiana native General Claire Lee Chennault’s Flying Tigers fighter squadron.
The military portion is portrayed through sections of the museum representing the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. Each section houses an abundance of weaponry, uniforms, photographs, documents and other artifacts depicting World War I to present day with heavy emphasis on World War II. The exhibits employ an oral history approach for describing these times. Local heroes from Northeast Louisiana are profiled from their days in the military, providing dramatic first-person accounts.
In a separate room is an extensive exhibit showing the life and times of General Claire Lee Chennault and his famous WWII Flying Tigers. The museum features an exhibit with an elaborate collection of Nazi Germany artifacts and a growing outdoor display of WWII aircraft and vehicles. A state-of-the-art theater and conference center are also on site.
Upon entering this fun castle, you are faced with a soaring rock wall, right at the center of a room full of arcade games and giant indoor playground. A covered walkway brings you to a 3,000-square-foot laser tag course. Outside you will find two go-kart tracks, batting cages and miniature golf.
A neighborhood park encompassing over 53 acres with picnic areas, a 9-hole golf course, putt-putt golf, tennis courts, softball, soccer fields, and children's park. Beach volleyball courts, a jogging path and a public boat launch are located over the levee along the Ouachita River. The Monroe Advocates for Safe Streets (MASS) have developed 6 bike trails through the City of Monroe based out of the park.
Corner of Riverside Drive & Forsythe Avenue Monroe , LA
Tel: (318) 329-2458
Frenchman's Bend Golf Course
This beautiful, semi-private, championship 18-hole, par-72 gold course features undulating greens, 5 sets of tees, driving range and restaurant. The tips play at 6,900 yards. Hint: Keep the ball down low as the wind is a factor on this course.
160 acres of park with forested areas as well as large playing areas and the Raising Cane’s Dog Park, which is separated into two sections for large and small dogs. Jogging and nature trails, a fishing pond, beautiful gardens, covered picnic areas, and a theatre stage for performances. Home to the Ballet Under the Stars in the spring. A climate-controlled lodge is great for receptions and family reunions.
820 Kiroli Road West Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 396-4016
Landry Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery located in the rolling hills of West Monroe. Wines produced here include Blackberry Merlot, Blanc Du Bois (Dry and Semi-Sweet), Cabernet Sauvignon, Cotton Rouge, Redneck Red and more . Visitors can sample these wines with cheese and bread, while enjoying the picturesque views from the beautiful tasting room. Their Outdoor Concert Series is not to be missed, with music ranging from country to jazz. Patrons bring picnic blankets and chairs and enjoy live music from the hillside along with jambalaya and dancing. Two harvest festivals are hosted each summer that offer visitors the chance to harvest grapes and participate in a grape stomp. Tours are available by appointment.
Hours: Tasting room is open Saturday from 11 am to 5:30 pm. Call Monday-Friday to drop in.
This 80+ acre zoological park is full of family fun with animals, plants of all kinds, a winding waterway with a jungle cruise, and a splash pad opening Summer 2013! Over 450 kinds of animals from all over the world and over 1200 species of plants are here. A special Louisiana Purchase Exhibit features animals indigenous to the original Louisiana Purchase with wildlife ranging from the black bear, bison and elk to mountain lion and American Bald eagle. The Australia Exhibit features wallaroos, wallabies, emu, cockatoos, and a kookaburra. The interactive petting zoo is home to pygmy goats, miniature zebu cattle, miniature horses, four-horned sheep and more. A must-see!
Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Cost: Adults $4.50, Seniors $3, Children $3, 2 & under are free. Call for group rates.
An 18-hole miniature golf course includes cascading waterfalls, old-fashioned water towers and a gristmill with a real spinning water wheel. Try your hand at the indoor blacklight course with a swampy theme. Continue the fun at the arcade.
205 Mane Street West Monroe, LA 71292
Tel: (318) 322-7229
Market at 7th Square
Started to give local vendors a place to sell their crops, the West Monroe Farmers’ Market has become a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. Open year round and offering a variety of crops and goods, the market has something for everyone. Strawberries, bedding plants and greens hit the shelves in early spring. Summer brings a multitude of crops, such as corn, tomatoes, squash, peas, peppers, butter beans, okra, watermelon, muscadines, peaches and more. The brisk fall air brings with it crops like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and sugar cane. During the holiday season, shoppers can find navel oranges, satsumas and pecans. So stop by the farmers market for a ‘taste’ of North Louisiana.
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-6pm
1700 North 7th Street West Monroe, LA 71291
Tel: (318) 322-2203
Masur Museum of Art
This is truly a wonderful museum, set in a 1920s Tudor-style structure (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) with charming open spaces, hardwood floors and inviting year-round displays of a wide spectrum of art. The Masur Museum features a permanent collection of paintings, prints and sculpture, as well as six to eight exhibitions annually of art from museums and artists nationwide. An annual national juried exhibition is also held. Art lectures, gallery talks, special presentations, art classes and children’s workshops are conducted year-round.
Hours: Tues-Fri 9 am-5 pm; Sat 12 pm-5pm Cost: Free
It's so much fun, they'll never know it's a museum! This is a super place, where adults and kids can learn and grow together. Permanent exhibits include the Firehouse, a replica with a sliding pole; Health Hall, where kids can be a paramedic; Toddlertown, a cool, whimsical area for those under 4; Kids' Café, be a server, cashier, chef; Bubbleworks, make a giant bubble; and The Big Mouth, walk in and explore! Great traveling exhibits from across the U.S. are featured throughout the year, too. From mid-November to Christmas, the museum transforms to Santa’s Christmas Village with ice skating, holiday crafts, storytime with Mrs. Claus, the Peppermint Post Office, and visits with Santa. Party packages are available, and a gift shop is on the premises. It's where learning is fun!
Hours: 9:00-2:00 Tues-Fri; 10:00-5:00 Sat Cost: $5 per person - group rates available
A collection of African American art, culture and history in an architechturally interesting building! Changing art exhibits feature local and regional African American artists. An interesting array of artifacts from Northeast Louisiana includes kitchen ware and furniture from old slave cabins, early cotton farming tools, even sacks used for picking cotton. Also on display are life-like models of famous African American leaders like statesman and reformer Frederick Douglass, educator Mary Bethune and first African American millionaire and businesswoman Madam C.J. Walker, as well as an archival section featuring local African American leaders, their history and contributions. Available for meetings and family reunions with a full kitchen.
Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Tues-Fri; 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Sat; Sunday by appointment. Cost: Adults 18 & older, $7; Students & Senior Citizens, $5; Group rates available.
Here’s a great find where over 25 regional artists showcase their talents with an exciting variety of mediums in this quaint gallery located in Antique Alley. Traditional and contemporary paintings, sculpture, ceramics, woodwork, photography, jewelry, glass-fused items, even note cards and special novelty items. An annual art extravaganza is held each November. Workshops are offered at various times in the year.
This bottomland hardwood forest restoration-in-progress is nestled on 8,747 beautiful acres and features three reservoirs located on an agricultural tract and offers crawfishing opportunities, as well as fishing for bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass. A camping area that is located on eight secluded acres is also available.
Cost: $15 WMA hunting permit-for hunting only. Must have a current hunting or fishing license or a LA Wild stamp when entering WMA.
In Ouachita Parish - 6 miles southeast of Monroe Monroe, LA 71203
A beautiful 70-acre forest and wetland park with several overlooks and a 1.2-mile stone trail for jogging, walking, or relaxing. Surrounds a scenic lake with native cypress trees draped with Spanish moss.
700 Downing Pines Road West Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 322-8903
Revolution Park Racing and Entertainment Complex
With 3/8-mile concrete track, the speedway is home to multiple levels of racing plus special events like concerts and more. The Grandstand has room for 4,000 fans and racing season is March-October. They have Master suites, concession stands and ample parking. Catch the action!
Enjoy shopping, food, and fun along the beautiful Ouachita River in Downtown Monroe. The RiverMarket brings in vendors from across the region selling clothing, jewelry, art, food, and accessories in this open air market. Each weekend brings a different theme with demonstrations, samples, and live entertainment.
Hours: Saturdays only, April to July & September to December Cost: Free to attend
Practice your golf skills at Northeast Louisiana’s only lighted driving range. This 9-hole, par-36 golf course features 3,194 yards. Hint: Be careful on the 4th hole. If your second shot is not perfect, you could land in the swamp.
2411 Trenton Street West Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 361-9345
Twin City Motorsports Park
Get those RPMs revving at this super quarter-mile asphalt drag strip! At the Friday night Test-N-Tunes, race anything you like on the strip! The action gets dirty twice a year on the new horse shoe mud track. Racing season runs from March through November.
Hours: Friday and Saturday Cost: Adults $10, 7-12 years $7, children under 7 are free. $20 for participants on Friday Test-N-Tune.
Located in a working pecan orchard, Uncle Robert's Orchard offers wholesome entertainment for all ages with an Outdoor Fun Center, bonfire ring, unique games & play areas, an old-fashioned tractor driven hayride, and mini-wagon train.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30 am to 6:00 pm Cost: $8 per person, Children under 2 are free.
This is a real family-friendly facility where you can ride, practice and race! A one-mile dirt track for bikes and quads, plus pee-wee track, mud track for 4-wheelers and a remote-control car track. Open daily (weather permitting). Year-round racing and events. Excellent track maintenance. Night lighting, concession stand (weekends), parking, camping, RV parking.
Hours: Daily year-round, dawn to dusk (and later). Cost: Admission: daily, monthly, yearly rates