Louisiana Art & Science Museum#12 in Best Things To Do in Baton Rouge
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Located in a historic railway station that dates back to 1925, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum features a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as a planetarium. The museum also houses a selection of hands-on galleries, including the "Science Station," where kids ages 7 to 12 learn the elements of life science, earth science, physical science and math via a series of interactive exhibits. One such exhibit is "Calories in, Calories Out," which teaches participants about the amount of time and energy it takes to burn off the calories of various snacks. Among the museum's permanent exhibits is one dedicated to ancient Egypt that displays a mummy from the Ptolemaic period.
Along with its science-focused exhibits, the museum also houses a permanent collection of 4,000 artworks and artifacts. A selection of items from the museum's permanent collection are on display in the museum's two small galleries at any given time. Visitors can expect American and European art – including works by the likes of Jean Victor Bertin and Charles Burchfield – as well photography, and Louisiana modern and contemporary art.
According to past visitors, the museum offers a great rainy-day activity. Though it's not strictly geared toward kids, a few reviewers said adults might not find enough to engage with here as many of the exhibits were made with a younger audience in mind. For others, the shows screened in the planetarium were a highlight.
You'll find the Louisiana Art & Science Museum along the right bank of the Mississippi River, across the street from Louisiana's Old State Capitol. Admission costs $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12 and seniors 65 and older. Due to COVID-19, the museum has restricted its hours. It welcomes visitors Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is also a gift shop located on-site. For more information, visit the museum's official website.
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#1 Louisiana's Old State Capitol
A National Historic Landmark, Louisiana's Old State Capitol is not your average capitol building. Designed in a Gothic Revival architecture style and constructed between 1847 and 1852, the exterior of the building looks like a medieval fortress. Created by architect James Harrison Dakin, the building is accented with towers, stained-glass windows and cast-iron – a design aesthetic that Dakin referred to as "Castellated Gothic." Though it's no longer used for official government business (lawmakers started using the new state capitol beginning in 1932), it's open to the public and houses a number of exhibits, including a multimedia presentation about the ghost of Sarah Morgan, a Civil War-era figure who kept diaries of her experiences throughout the war.
Past visitors called the building a "must-see" while in Baton Rouge. Reviewers were particularly impressed by the stained-glass windows and spiral staircase.
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