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Memorial Day weekend fun: Head to the Baton Rouge Zoo, BREC parks, museums and gardens - The Advocate

Ready to get out of the house for a little start-of-summer fun this Memorial Day weekend?

Some attractions and museums are starting to reopen, so we rounded them up for you.


you won't be seeing LSU's Heisman Trophy winning QB Joe Burrow (he's in Ohio), you can check out his namesake, Burreaux, at the Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road.

The reticulated giraffe and his fellow animals are waiting for you. The zoo is open at 25% capacity from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; grounds close at 5 p.m.

Social distancing rules will be followed, and everyone is encouraged to wear masks.

Some sections of the zoo, like the Safari Playground, Cypress Bayou Railroad and L'aquarium de Louisiane may be temporarily closed, and chats with animal keepers and amphitheater shows are temporarily suspended.

Admission is $8.75 for ages 13 and older; $5.75 for ages 2-12; $7.75 for seniors. 

BREC has reopened some of its sites, including its Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center trails, dog parks, Magnolia Mound grounds, public restrooms and recreation centers in community parks and tennis centers are open. Neighborhood practice fields for individual or same-household activities with groups under 10 are permitted.

BREC golf courses are open.

BREC has not yet reopened its playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, pavilions, fitness centers, senior centers, splash pads, swimming pools, Liberty Lagoon Water Park or large outdoor venues such as Burbank Soccer Complex, Central Sports Complex, Oak Villa Sports Complex, Memorial Stadium, Goldsby Field and Olympia Stadium, Farr Park Equestrian Center and Independence Park Theatre.

The Burden Museum & Gardens, 4560 Essen Lane, are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates close at 5:30 p.m.)

Situated in the heart of Baton Rouge, the 440-acre site includes the LSU Rural Life Museum, the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and Windrush Gardens. The open-air Rural Life Museum is a walk-back in time to 19th century Louisiana, with an immense collection of artifacts from farms, plantations and households. The Botanic Gardens include The Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and All-America Selections Display Garden. Winding paths take visitors through the 25 acres of Windrush Gardens, filled with majestic live oaks, ancient crape myrtles, azaleas and camellias. 

Walk-in visitors and families are limited to groups fewer than 10, and all visitors are encouraged to wear masks and maintain physical distancing. A reduced price of $6 for admission is in effect for the weekend. The museum will resume regular activities, including opening galleries and the gift shop, on Monday. That's when regular admission is reinstated: $10 for ages 12 to 61, $9 for seniors and $8 for ages 6 to 11. Admission to Windrush Gardens is $3 per person. Free for ages 6 and younger.

The LSU Museum of Art in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., is open at 25% capacity with safety and social distancing protocols in place. Temporary hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 7 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Visitors are required to wear masks.

Many stores in the Mall of Louisiana, including anchors Dillard's, Macy's and Sears, have reopened with limited hours. Stores on the mall perimeter, including Ulta, DSW, Dick's Sporting Goods and Kirkland's, also are open. 

Kiwanis of Pointe Coupee's annual Blessing of the Boats on False River will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Rev. Pat Broussard and a deacon will bless the boats at the downtown New Roads Public Landing.

Those participating are asked to practice social distancing between boats.

For more information, call Kenneth St. Romain at (225) 718-1319 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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