Pick a park
St. Bernard State Park
Snuggled up to the Mississippi River, St. Bernard State Park is ideal for families who want to experience camping without heading too far off the beaten path. Or, if you're looking for a relaxing park to take the family to for a day trip, St. Bernard is home to several man-made lagoons, a nature trail bridging both woodlands and wetlands, a swimming pool and boathouse, and picnic facilities complete with barbecue grills, restrooms and covered seating.
New Orleans' 1300 acre City Park offers several attractions for kids and families, including Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, Storyland fairy tale playground, pedal boats, bike rentals and even authentic gondola rides. Bring the dog along too and check out NOLA City Bark Park, New Orleans' first dog park.
Chicot State Park
If your family is into fishing, you'll be interested in Chicot State Park, where fishermen and women have caught record numbers of largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills and red-ear sunfish. Pack your camping gear, or take advantage of the cabins that sleep either six, eight or 12 people. Picnic areas and playgrounds are located on both the South Landing and the North Landing of Lake Chicot.
Lake Claiborne State Park
Lake Claiborne State Park in Homer, Louisiana, is known for its popular sandy beach. The beach is located on a protected inlet, away from boaters and water-skiers. Jump in for a refreshing swim, and then go for a hike on one of the nearby nature trails. Lake Claiborne has plenty of options for campsites and cabins. Just make sure you reserve your spot in advance, as some weekends fill up quickly.
Chemin-a-Haut State Park
Take the high road to Chemin-a-Haut State Park, which sits on a bluff overlooking some of the most pristine wildlife in Louisiana. Kids are the stars at this state park, which boasts two playgrounds, a swimming pool and a picnic area with three shelters. If you're staying overnight, there are plenty of choices, including RV and tent camping and several cabin options.
Sam Houston Jones State Park
Bird watchers flock to Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles, Louisiana, as do the nearly 200 species that migrate through the area during spring and fall. Hiking trails and rental boats are fun family activities to enjoy in this beautiful park, which boasts both tree-filled lagoons and pine and hardwood forest. Stay the night in a tent or cabin, then set off to one of the nearby wildlife refuges to continue your birding.