Dig Baton Rouge

SUMMER CHECKLIST

By Nick BeJeaux

If you’re at loss for how to spend your summer in Baton Rouge, we’ve got you covered. From learning to decorate cookies to taking on a new sport, there’s no reason to let summer pass you by without doing anything interesting. Check out our top 15 suggestions for one awesome summer in BR.

  1. Get A Library Card

Baton Rouge just got a shiny new library on Goodwood Boulevard that puts the “Oo” in book. The Main Library has more books than you could ever read, a whole other digital library to delve into, historical archives you can spend hours pouring through, 3D printing services, and, of course, wi-fi. Once you register a library card with them—for free by the way—all of these services will be open to you. More info can be found at ebrpl.com.

  1. Walk around the LSU Lakes

Walk, run, bike, crawl, whatever, just do it. The LSU Lakes are a green jewel resting in the heart of Baton Rouge that many cities just don’t have. If you’re the active type, love nature or both you have no excuse to avoid this wonderful place. If you’re into watersports, kayaking and paddle boarding are great ways to explore this wonderful greenspace.

  1. Take a Leisure Class

The Louisiana Culinary Institute is offering Culinary Arts and Baking/Pastry classes starting June 20. These classes ranging from Best Burger Ever to A Feast From India cost around $100 each, but learning a new skill—especially one as awesome as cooking—is priceless. You can also take leisure classes at LSU to learn how to do everything from making your own soap to tending a bonsai tree to swing dancing.

  1. Pick up an intramural sport

Summer is a great time to pick up a sport, and BREC is offering intramural basketball, dodgeball, flag football, and kickball leagues for youth and adults. This is a great outlet for athletic folks that want to compete, but in a laid-back, fun way. Also, what better way is there to bring friends closer together than forming a dodgeball team? More information at brec.org.

  1. Find your favorite snoball stand

From Ninja Snoballs to SnoMan Snoballs, not all snoball stands are created equal. Different stands don’t necessarily have a “better” product than others, but the little differences can make a huge difference for customers. Some enjoy smooth ice, others like it crunchy. Some like a lot of juice, some like theirs on the dry side. Find out what works for you, if only as an excuse to buy a ton of snoballs.

  1. If you don’t have a bike, get one

If you live within a five mile radius of Downtown, and you don’t have a bike, what are you doing? BR is working to become a pedestrian/bike friendly city, so now’s the time to jump on that two-speed bandwagon right now—whether you’re buying a new one from Capitol Cyclery or renting from Baton Rouge Bicycle Rentals. Already there are dozens of bike paths in and around the city and with planned development in the Nicholson Corridor, those avenues will only grow.

  1. Volunteer

Kahlil Gibran wrote, “You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” When considering where to give of yourself, be sure to do a lot of research to make sure you’re helping in a meaningful way. After all, you want to make sure you’ve made a good investment, right? Check out local food banks, animal shelters, Habitat for Humanity, and The Red Cross for great volunteer opportunities.

  1. Give Happy’s Running Club a try

If you’re looking for something to do on a Tuesday evening, why not take a run with Happy’s Running Club? Registration is easy, but there is no commitment on your first run, so you can try it out and see if you like it before becoming a full member. Your canine running mate is welcome to join you during the run and at the afterparty, so long as you keep them on a leash.

  1. Shop at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market

Louisiana loves it’s food culture, and with good reason. Our tropical climate allows us to grow beautiful fruits and vegetables, but the only place you can get them are farmer’s markets like the one held every Thursday and Saturday. Support your local growers, health, and culture by pursuing the checking out the Red Stick Farmer’s Market.

  1. Take a Baton Rouge Food Tour

Speaking of food, the C’est Si Bon food tours are a fantastic adventure for tourists and locals alike—especially locals. The $48 price tag is well worth the opportunity to get to know the real food of your city as only a local can. For more informations, check out batonrougefoodtour.com.

  1. Get a record player and invest in vinyl

There’s something magical about the ritual of taking a record from its sleeve, laying a needle on it and listening to the sounds that pour from the record player. Don’t get suckered by department stores that sell some vinyl for $25 bucks when you can find great music for $2 at local treasures like Atomic Pop Shop, Lagniappe Records, or Capital City Records. Keep in mind, though, you won’t find a mint-condition Sgt. Pepper for a buck.

  1. Audition for a film or play

Theatre Baton Rouge is currently holding auditions for Monty Python’s Spamalot, and the film industry is always on the lookout for extras and actors. More info at theatrebr.org and auditionsfree.com. To get ready for your new life as a film star, you should probably take a class at the BR branch of the New Orleans Video Access Center.

  1. Tune in to the College World Series (assuming LSU does well in regionals)

Nothing says summer like baseball, beer, and barbecue. LSU has a chance to do well in Regionals and (fingers crossed) make its way into the College World Series. Even if you don’t like baseball, use it an excuse to party.

  1. Master bar trivia

Being full of useless information is not a bad thing at all if it wins you free beer, food, or anything, really. The Chimes, Mellow Mushroom, Pluckers, and Schlitz & Giggles all offer trivia nights where you can win free food and drink. If you’re really good, you could theoretically eat and drink your fill without spending a dime.

  1. Pick up backpacking

Who says you have to cross the country to find great camping? If you’re looking to get out more, there are a few backpacking spots in the state for the wilderness adventurer to try out. Head to Kisatchie National Forest (Pineville), Lake Fausse Pointe State Park (St. Martinville), or Chicot State Park (Ville Platte) for hiking with backcountry campsites.

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