Summer Fun, Not Far from Home: Iberia Parish

Summer Fun, Not Far from Home: Iberia Parish

When I tell non-locals I’m from Louisiana, they obviously think of New Orleans first. I then usually clarify, “closer to Lafayette.” But in truth, I really wish my little gem of a parish, Iberia, would be a bigger name on the map. Iberia parish has so much to offer families, especially those looking for things to do with their kids in the spring and summer. I’m barely scratching the surface with my list, but I hope to share many more events and businesses that call Iberia Parish home. Here are our four activities to get you started:

Picnic at Jungle Gardens

When you think of Jungle Gardens, you probably think TABASCO®. While touring the factory is quite interesting (even for kiddos), you’ll also find a beautiful nature preserve called Jungle Gardens. It boasts being home to a huge bird colony, beautiful plants and flowers, and sometimes a random alligator! It’s the perfect place to spend getting lost for a day with your littles. We love to stop for a picnic lunch on the grounds midway through our adventure. Hangry kids (or parents) do not make for a fun day. If you know, you know.

Delcambre Seafood & Farmer’s Market

Snapper craft at Delcambre Seafood & Farmer’s Market

Being born and raised in the little town of Delcambre makes this one close to my heart, but I promise even out-of-towners are impressed with this monthly event. It takes place on the first Saturday of each month and every market is stacked full of vendors and events. There is always a children’s area where kids can create crafts with an educational twist. This month my kiddos got to learn about tons of facts about snappers and decorated their own fish, using cardboard, glitter, and sequins. Even my non-art loving boy enjoyed making his own snapper. Not only do the little ones love the craft table, but the snacks and food are second to none. Did I mention there’s live music and featured cocktails every month? If you weren’t already sold, boats pull up to the dock during the market, and you can buy fresh shrimp right off the boat. Take a few pounds home and dinner is taken care of too.

Shadows-on-the-Teche

Take a tour of a sugar plantation that operated in the 1800’s at this sprawling home on Main Street in New Iberia. Tours last 45 minutes so they are long enough to gain information, while still keeping everyone’s attention. The Shadows was home to children during its operation, so the tour includes stories of how they lived, which my own first graders enjoyed during a field trip there. They also took great interest in how sugar goes from field to table. While you’re downtown, enjoy a stroll down Main Street and stop for a snack at one of the many hole-in-the-wall restaurants open for lunch. We particularly love Cane River Pecan Company Pie Bar.

Lake Fausse Point State Park

This park is just a short drive from Lafayette and New Iberia, (it’s actually located in St. Martin Parish, which is split in two, bordering Iberia) so your family shouldn’t complain about being stuck in the car for long. It’s part of the nation’s largest swamp, and you can rent canoes or boats to take in all the sights. We love that we can have a day on the water without owning our own boat. The park also has camping and RV sites if you want to make it an overnight trip. Don’t forget bug spray and sunscreen. A picnic lunch is a plus here, too!

Okay, so once I get started promoting what Iberia Parish has to offer, I get a little too excited and talk a little too much, so I will leave you with these four options to get started. Some of your best family memories will be made in these four spots, if only you take the drive and give them a try. The thought of summer approaching honestly gets me a little overwhelmed. Although I love the time with my kids, we run out of things to do (unless we want to spend a fortune). Hopefully my list will broaden your horizons and add a few more cost-friendly family activities to fill your summer.

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