One of the best things to do in the Arklatex region is to visit Shreveport, a city in northwest Louisiana overflowing with fun things to do. This includes visiting the city’s two riverfront casinos, checking out the best Shreveport events at The Strand Theater, saying hi to the animals at Shreveport Aquarium, and shopping along the Shreveport Boardwalk.
If you’re looking for things to do in Shreveport, LA, nightlife-wise, head to the Red River District for live music. As for things to do in Shreveport in December, check out the Christmas in Roseland event at the American Rose Center. Keep reading for more things to do in Shreveport year-round.
1. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino, Shreveport
On the historic Red River, you’ll find Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. The casino features around 1200 slot and game machines, as well as 28 table games. Meanwhile, its 23-story hotel tower has over 500 luxurious rooms and spacious suites, featuring oversized bathtubs and marble floors. If that wasn’t enough, Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino is also home to four dining options, a spa, a shop, and an authentic riverboat – complete with a 19th-century paddlewheel.
2. Sci-Port Discovery Center
Spread out over 92,000 square feet, the Sci-Port Discovery Center is a science and entertainment extravaganza, featuring interactive science exhibits, the PoP (Power of Play) Children’s Museum, the Sawyer Space Dome Planetarium, and Louisiana’s only IMAX Dome Theater. Its exhibits include solar observatories, the Peggy and Aaron Selber Space Walk (where you can walk among the stars), various “clusters”, and the Franks Foundation Solarium. The IMAX also shows a variety of educational and family-friendly films.
3. R. W. Norton Art Gallery
Established in 1966, the R.W. Norton Art Gallery is both a gallery and a museum with a fine permanent collection of American and European art. There are over 400 paintings and sculptures on display; created by more than 100 artists. R.W. Norton Art Gallery is also surrounded by a lush 40-acre botanical garden. A visit to R.W. Norton Art Gallery is definitely one of the best free things to do in Shreveport.
4. Shreveport Aquarium
Shreveport Aquarium is one of the best attractions in the city’s downtown area. It’s home to over 3000 marine animals from 300 different species. There are plenty of interactive experiences waiting for you at the aquarium as well, including touching jellyfish, stingrays, and other sea creatures in the tidepool, as well as shark and alligator snapping turtle feedings. With vibrant coral reefs, shipwrecks, lagoons, and ocean caves don’t miss a visit to Shreveport Aquarium.
5. Splash Kingdom Waterpark Shreveport
If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Shreveport in summer, check out Splash Kingdom Waterpark. It features multiple waterslides, including The Cannonball for people who want to race their friends; The Plunge for thrillseekers; and Flash Flood, which will take your breath away. But wait, there’s more. Splash Kingdom Waterpark is also home to a wave pool, a lazy river, Kid’s Castle and Kingdom Falls for children, an activity pool and sand volleyball.
6. Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park
The Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park is located in a pine-oak-hickory forest. It has five miles of walking trails with interpretive signage, a Birds of Prey aviary, and a deer enclosure. The Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park also has an onsite visitor center, which has naturalist volunteers on-hand, as well as interactive exhibits, a children’s play area, and more live animal enclosures. It’s a great place to get outdoors with the family.
7. American Rose Center
The city’s American Rose Center has been the home and headquarters of the American Rose Society since 1974. The center is home to the largest rose-dedicated park in the United States. The Gardens of the American Rose Center have 20,000 rose bushes across 118 acres, as well as companion plants, sculptures, fountains, and the Dudley Watkins Reflection Pool. The gardens are magically transformed during the holidays for the Christmas in Roseland spectacular as well.
8. Great Raft Brewing
Graft Raft Brewing is a locally-owned and operated independent craft brewery. They brew a range of flagship, seasonal, and Belgian-focused beers, including IPAs, wheat beer, amber ale, lagers, and specialty Baltic porters. Head to their taproom to sample their current selection, which you can enjoy alongside a delicious meal from a local food truck. Visit their Facebook page for daily food truck details. Great Raft Brewing also offers multiple free brewery tours on Saturdays only.
9. Red River District
Tucked under the Texas Street Bridge, the Red River District opened in 2002 and quickly became the city’s premier riverfront destination. The development has historic-looking buildings that are home to restaurants, live entertainment venues, and local businesses. It’s also conveniently located near popular attractions like the Sci-Port Discovery Center, the Shreveport Aquarium, and two casinos. So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Shreveport at night, enjoy live music at the Red River District.
10. The Strand Theater
When it opened in 1925, The Strand Theater was known as the “Million Dollar Theater” and “The Greatest Theater of the South”. Now Louisiana’s official state theater, the grand performing arts venue hosts touring Broadway and off-Broadway productions, concerts, and even magic shows. Its interior is said to rival that of some of the world’s finest opera houses, with ornate box seats, gilt-edged mirrors, six hand-painted murals, and dazzling chandeliers, including the 14-ft tall main chandelier.
11. Pioneer Heritage Center
Located at the city’s Louisiana State University campus, the Pioneer Heritage Center is a joint project managed by both the university and the Junior League of Shreveport. It features interesting exhibits on the diverse history, natural environment, and daily lives of pioneers who settled in northwest Louisiana from the 1830s to the 1930s. There are several buildings that make up the Pioneer Heritage Center too, including plantation homes, a blacksmith shop, and a medical office.
12. Eldorado Resort Casino
Along the riverfront and next door to Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, Eldorado Resort Casino features luxury rooms and suites, as well as 1500 state-of-the-art slots and game machines, 50 table games, and a Poker Room. There are also five dining options, including The Buffet and The Vintage, a fine-dining steakhouse. Its Allure Ultra Lounge has seating areas, the Avonite Bar and a hookah service, while you can dance in a skybox at the Celebrity Lounge too.
13. Robinson Film Center
For a unique cinema experience, check out the Robinson Film Center. With a 2 screen movie theater, restaurant, and adjacent event space, this one-of-a-kind theater in the heart of Shreveport hosts unique independent films, classic movies, and a myriad of educational events designed to promote film history and media literacy to the community. If you are looking for an intimate and unique movie and dinner experience, we would highly recommend an evening visit to the Robinson Film Center.
14. Jubilee Zoo
For a fun thing to do in Shreveport with kids, we think you’ll love the Jubilee Zoo. While it’s a smaller zoo with a limited selection of animals, this zoo showcases many family-friendly animals that can interact with kids. So, no big carnivorous animals to be found here! Just fun cuddly and sweet animals like zebras, camels, horses, deer, cows, and many more animals your kids will just love. Even in hotter summer weather, the zoo can be a comfortable place to visit as they have “misters” installed to keep visitors cool while interacting with the animals.
15. The Agora Borealis
If you are looking for a unique shopping experience in Shreveport, we think you’ll love The Agora Borealis. This unique shopping venue is dedicated to bringing together the best handmade products from artisans and craftsmen around Shreveport. Considering itself a cross between an art gallery and a fine furniture store, you can find all sorts of gems here, like handmade soap, jewelry, furniture, lighting fixtures, and much much more.
16. Mudbug Madness
If you’re in Shreveport on Memorial Day weekend, then you absolutely can’t miss the Mudbug Madness festival in Downtown. This 4-day festival celebrates the best cuisine, music, and art of Louisiana with mouth-watering Cajun food, live Zydeco & Jazz musicians, and other local entertainment that serves up fun for the whole family. The Mudbug Madness festival is an award-winning festival that you need to see to believe, so make plans for your Memorial Day weekend trip to capture the spirit of Shreveport LA.