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 Park Golf Course
An 18-hole, par-72, 7,042-yard municipal course with flat wooded landscape. Driving range and carts with GPS systems. Check out the 2007 Buick Open Winner Brian Bateman's trophy display. Hint: Look out for the 18th hole - it's par-4 with water all the way down the right side.
8475 Millhaven Road Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 329-2454
Take a break from shopping in Pecanland Mall and catch a movie at this 10-screen complex.
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
Kids will have a blast with 6 huge jumpers and a game room featuring an X-box, Wii, ping pong and air hockey table. Private parties are available.
Hours: Monday-Thursday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm; Friday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Cost: $10 for 1 hour; $16 for 2 hours; $25 for unlimited jumping
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
Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
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
Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum
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
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