Museums in Baton Rouge You Should Visit

Looking to dig deeper and uncover the rich history and culture of Baton Rouge? There are plenty of historic and interactive museums in the Baton Rouge area, each with its own story to tell. Some focus on the arts, others on science, but they all help understand the uniqueness behind our beloved Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana. 

There’s also a handful of museums that participate in First Sunday, which gives visitors the opportunity to visit on the first Sunday of the month for free. Keep in mind that some museums also offer free admissions to children and college students. 

The following will help you locate and learn a bit about the museums in Baton Rouge:

Louisiana Art and Science Museum

100 S River Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

First of on our list is the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. The museum provides some of the most unique and entertaining experiences for all ages to enjoy. The Art and Science museum is located in a 1925 historic railway station, which adds on to its level of history. If that’s not enough to get you going, you’ll also be able to find permanent exhibits from Ancient Egypt and large Solar System displays. The museum also includes hands-on galleries for children and a state-of-the-art Planetarium with full-dome digital video projection that puts you in the center of the action.

Capitol Park Museum

660 N 4th St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge features 6 main sections full of exhibitions and different themes. Switching from one themed section to the next will leave you amazed since each sectioned is themed after a different era and culture. The museum’s themes include the Cabildo, the Presbytère, the Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill, a Jazz Museum, Capitol Park, and the Sports Hall of Fame. You’ll be able to find over 300 years of history covering cultures, music, sports, fashion, the Baton Rouge landscape, and various arts. Capitol Park Museum also features special events for your family to enjoy.

Note: Each section requires you to purchase a separate entry.

LSU Rural Life Museum

4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

The LSU Rural Life Museum is a great place to get a feel of how things were done around the South in the past. Visitors can travel to the past and experience lifestyles and traditions through artifacts, architecture, and other memorabilia from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Rural Life Museum also teaches its visitors how people from the past survived without phone, computers, automobiles, and other modern-day technology.

The grounds are also home to the Windrush Gardens; the perfect venue to host some of the most beautiful private events. The Windrush Gardens are surrounded by gorgeous plants, paths, and barns that serve as a great background for pictures.

Shaw Center for the Arts

100 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801

The Shaw Center for the Arts offers an all-in-one experience for its visitors. From a wedding venue to dinner, the Shaw Center has all the qualities it needs to give you the best day out in Baton Rouge. Inside the Shaw Center you’ll be able to find the Manship Theater, Harley/Vey Theaters, LSU Museum of Art, Glassell Gallery Group, and other artistic non-profits. The River Terrace at the Shaw Center is also a great venue to host a private party.

Note: Some of the museums inside the Shaw Center for the Arts participate in First Sunday.

LSU Museum of Art

100 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Located in the Shaw Center for the Arts, the LSU Museum of Art has plenty of inspiring collections and exhibitions. The museum primarily features regional, American, and European paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, works on paper, and photography. You’re sure to find over 6,500 art objects, ranging from a world-class collection of Chinese jade to public collections of Louisiana art. Some of the exhibitions even feature work done by local artists, LSU faculty, and students. Overall, it’s a great place for art enthusiasts to visit and have a peaceful time. 

Note: The LSU Museum of Art does participate in First Sunday.

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol has plenty of exhibits, programming, and arts that help inform the community about the state’s rich history and the democratic process. To start off, this beautiful building overlooks the Mississippi River in all of its beauty. The museum is currently featuring the “They Also Ran: Presidential Hopefuls” and the “CODOFIL” exhibits for history enthusiasts. Visitors can also enjoy the popular Ghost of the Castle Show and Kaleidoscope exhibits at the museum.

Knock Knock Children’s Museum

1900 Dalrymple Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Knock Knock Children’s Museum is dedicated to educating the future generations of Baton Rouge. The museum is popular for the wide variations of activities children can join in on throughout the year. Whether it’s only a weekend thing or an ongoing activity, children can enjoy the learning zones, storytime, cooking, arts and crafts, the bubble playground, and many other fun activities. It’s the perfect spot for children to have a unique learning experience that can stimulate a great passion for education.

Note: The Knock Knowck Children’s Museum does participate in First Sunday.

Magnolia Mound Plantation

2161 Nicholson Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

The Magnolia Mound Plantation is another great spot to experience how Louisiana locals lived in the area during the 1800s and early 20th century. Lately, this Baton Rouge Museum has started to step out of its boundaries and include history from around the world during the 1800s. The Magnolia Mound Plantation allows you to go through the kitchen, visit different houses on the plantation, and has arts and crafts activities for children. 

Burden Museum & Gardens

4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

The Burden Museum & Gardens offers discovery and adventure through historic, natural and educational experiences that teach visitors about Louisiana’s cultural past. The Museum and Gardens cover over 440 acres of land belonging to LSU. One of the main sections is the museum that features a large collection of artifacts from farms, plantations, and households. On the other hand, the grounds feature an expansive collection of specialty gardens, beautiful flowers, woodlands, wetlands, and an arboretum. The Burden Museum and Gardens also offer facility rentals where you can host weddings, parties, and other private events.

USS Kidd Museum

305, 6220, S River Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

The USS Kidd is a ship and museum located in downtown Baton Rouge. From family activities to overnight camping on the ship, the USS Kidd has everything you need to learn plenty about ships and US history. The ship is also one of only four Fletcher-class destroyers still preserved as museums and is preserved in its World War II configuration. The museum also displays artifacts that celebrate veteran and naval military history.

Note: The USS Kidd Museum does participate in First Sunday.

Baton Rouge Gallery – Center for Contemporary Art

1515 Dalrymple Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

The Baton Rouge Center for Contemporary Art is known for having an extensive collection of various art ranging from paintings to sculptures. The Contemporary Art Gallery opened the doors for modern art in Baton Rouge. It first started as a temporary gallery that was taken down but has now grown into a great gallery that exhibits some of the best modern art you can find in the state of Louisiana. Today, the gallery is located in what was once known as the City Park Pool House. Visitors are sure to find professional, local, and national artwork displayed throughout the gallery. Keep your eyes open because you might see work by your favorite photographers, painters, sculptors, printmakers, and/or multimedia artists.