20 Fun and Free Things to do in Lake Charles, Louisiana 

Lake Charles is a beautiful city that can be found in southwest Louisiana. If you’re headed here, you’re probably wondering about things to do in Lake Charles, Louisiana and what makes the city of Lake Charles one of the best places to visit in Louisiana. Lake Charles, LA, is the home of the Mardis Gras Museum and is known for its beautiful views, deep history, and beautiful culture. It got its name from being located by a large lake that attracts visitors and tourists all year long. 

And you might wonder – where is Lake Charles and what major cities is it next to? Lake Charles is located close to larger cities of Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Lake Charles to New Orleans is just 200 miles and about a 3-hour drive. Lake Charles and Beaumont are about 55 miles apart and one hour drive away. If you are planning to visit and see some Lake Charles attractions, here are the best 20 things to do in Lake Charles. 

20 Fun Things to Do in Lake Charles, Louisiana


1) Do a Little Putt Putt Golf with the Family

If you want to look into more things to do with kids in Lake Charles rather than simply for adults, enjoying some mini golf is a very fun yet affordable way to have fun with the whole family.

Putt Putt Golf, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This fun Putt Putt Golf course is open from 3-10pm on weekdays, 10am-11pm on Saturdays, and 12pm-10pm on Sundays. Maybe visit soon if you’re looking for things to do in Lake Charles this weekend.  We certainly think this is a great place to visit when you’re looking for what to do in Louisiana. 

2) Relax at Prien Lake Park

Another place that you can either go alone, with a special someone, or with kids is to this 29-acre park in Lake Charles. This is just one of the many parks located in Lake Charles, but it is special because it has a fun water park area for the kiddos to have fun and enjoy for hours on end.  Spending time with a love one here also ranks as one of the most romantic things to do in Lake Charles, LA. So, if you are in Louisiana and wondering the best things to do here, Prien Lake Park should be on our list of things to do and places to visit in Lake Charles. And when searching for Lake Charles Water Park, this is the place to go. 

3) Learn at the USS Orleck Naval Museum

The USS Orleck is a retired Gearing-class destroyer that went through a lot during its time in the United States Navy between 1945 and 1982. Now, it is located in Lake Charles and acts as a museum for people to walk through and learn about the navy. 

USS Orleck Naval Museum
Credits: USS Orleck Naval Museum, facebook

Visiting here is a great learning experience and full immersion into what this destroyer went through. If you’re looking for what to do in Lake Charles, this Lake Charles attraction has to top your list. We also think that if you are looking for things to do in Louisiana this weekend, you should make a stop at this Naval Museum one of your activities for the weekend. 

4) Experience Nature at the Sam Houston Jones State Park

This is one of the best places and things to visit in Southwest Louisiana because of how much there is to see and experience in the great outdoors. If you are someone that loves nature and wants to be in it, this is one stop you must make to see the 1,087 acres of bald cypress trees, lakes, rivers, and more. It’s one of our favorite things to do with kids in Lake Charles. We also think this is a great place to go in Louisiana as a whole. 

5) Stay Overnight at the L’Auberge Casino Resort

An LA casino that you can enjoy and stay overnight at is the L’auberge which also doubles as a resort. This all-inclusive resort has casinos, flat-screen TVs, free WI-FI, coffeemakers, and more.

Casino Lake Charles, Louisiana

It’s certainly a tourist attraction in Lake Charles and one of the places to visit in Lake Charles, especially without kids. Lake Charles and surrounding areas have a decent amount of casinos, so if you are looking for a casino in Lake Charles, this is one to visit. This is one of the popular Lake Charles casinos as well as casinos in Louisiana as a state.

6) Visit the Veteran’s Memorial Park

Another historical tourist attraction in Lake Charles is the Veterans Memorial Park where you can experience the memory and remembrance of those who fought for the United States. It is a powerful and moving place to visit, so that makes it a great one to visit. We rank this place as one of the most important things to do around Lake Charles. We think that if your kids are old enough to handle what the park stands for, you should take them for the experience and history. 

7) Take Your Kids to the Children’s Museum

If you need somewhere that will entertain your kids and keep them happy on your trip, you should take them to the Children’s Museum which has interactive exhibits that the whole family can do together.

children's museum louisiana
Credits: Louisiana Children’s Museum

There are also art opportunities and things for them to learn about while they are here. This is one of the fun places in Lake Charles that should be on your list of places to see here. Spending time at the Louisiana Children’s Museum is one of the top family-friendly and kid-friendly things to do in Lake Charles, LA.

8) Have a Good Time at the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu

Nothing says Louisiana like Mardis Gras, and what better way to experience than going to the museum that is dedicated to Mardis Gras? In this museum, you can learn about the history of this unique French holiday as well as see visual elements of the culture such as costumes, art and more. Not only is this a fun place to take your family, but it is also a place where you can learn about history. It’s also a popular tourist attraction in Lake Charles so plan accordingly. We think that if you’re looking searching for Louisiana places to visit, this museum should meet your needs. 

9) Stay at the Charpentier Historic District

Charpentier Historic District was added to the National Registrar of Historic Places in 1990. It is a great place to experience the culture and history of Lake Charles especially if it is your first time there.

Charpentier Historic District
Credits: Charpentier Historic District

This district runs for more than 40 blocks that are full of different styled houses and buildings. You can see the home styles with cute porches, eclectic railings, and more. If you’re looking for where to stay in Lake Charles, this could be an interesting and fun place to stay with the kids. We also think this is a Louisiana point of interest and part of the downtown Lake Charles, LA that you should not miss. 

10) Take a Free Tour of the Historic District

Rather than paying a lot of money for museums and other places to learn about the history of Lake Charles, you can always take a free tour in the Historic Charpentier District. While walking through this district, you will feel as if you stepped through a time machine. With architecture dating back to the 1800s, you can feel the vibe. To take the free tour, all that you need to do is download the free tour app and you can learn all about the district as you walk through it.  If you only have enough time to do one thing only where you’re in Lake Charles LA, visiting this place a priority. The historic district is a must-see in Louisiana. We think you should visit Lake Charles to experience this place for yourself. And if you’re already staying in this historic part during your visit here, then you’ll certainly have time to learn about and enjoy this historic district. 

11) Enjoy a Free Concert with Music at Morganfield

If you are looking for some fun and romantic things to do in Lake Charles, going on a cute date at Music at Morganfield park is a good option. This is great for romantic things to do in LA. 


Throughout the year, there are many free concerts offered where you can go out, bring a lawn chair, and dance the night away. You will leave wanting to visit Lake Charles for more. If you are looking for things to do in Louisiana at night, this should make it on your list. There are of course so many other things to do in Lake Charles at night, but we think dancing is awesome. 

12) Hop from Park to Park

There are many parks spread throughout Lake Charles, so one free activity that you can do with the entire family is take a trip from park to park, something like park-hopping. With over 15 parks to see in the whole area, you will never run out of places to run and play with your loved ones. This is also true if you brought your dogs along for the trip because there are dog parks in Lake Charles as well. Yes, Lake Charles is pet-friendly in certain places. Make taking your pet to a pet-friendly park on your list of your things to do in Lake Charles this weekend. 

13) Enjoy Free Live Comedy Shows and Trivia Nights

If you are a fan of trivia or game nights, Lake Charles has a lot of them to offer you. What makes these trivia and game nights even better is that most of them are free!

Comedy Shows
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

If you look at the schedule for places such as Delta Towns, L’Auberge Casino Resort, and more, you can find all the dates and time for free game and trivia nights. So, if you are wondering what to do in Lake Charles LA this weekend, this should be on your list. And if you’re in need of fun things to do in Louisiana for adults, then you’ve got it! 

14) Have Fun on a Beer Tour

Aside from things to do in the day, there are also some fun things to do at night in Lake Charles. One fun thing to do as an adult at night is going on a beer tour hopping from bar to bar. There are a lot of nice and fun bars in Lake Charles, so taking a tour with your friends to experience the different environments in bound to result in bonding with your friends or even better, making new friends! We think Lake Charles is a great city and one of the best cities in Louisiana. How many other cities offer a beer tour for adults? A beer tour is certainly something unique and should be on your list of things to do in Lake Charles if you love beer. And even if you don’t, the tour will show you so much of Lake Charles and expose you to other things to do in the city. 

15) Go to a Free Festival

One fun fact about Lake Charles is that it is known as the Festival Capital of Louisiana. What makes most of the festivals so popular is that admission is free. There are more than 70 festivals performed in the city every single year. With all the festivals going on, you will not run short of things to do in the city of Lake Charles LA or places to visit in the city. 


From Culture Fest to Chuck Fest, there is no shortage of things to do in the festival town. So, if you’re looking for fun things to do Lake Charles, plan to attend a free festival. So plan your travel dates to coincide with the festivals you want to see. 

16) Adventure with the Free Galleries and Museums

Because Lake Charles and Louisiana in general are so packed with history and culture, one great free way to learn more about Lake Charles is through going to the various galleries and museums. While some museums do charge admission fees, there are many free ones as well such as the 1911 Historic City Halls, Black Heritage Gallery, and more. You probably know the weather in Lack Charles is mostly nice, but when you have bad weather, an indoor gallery and museum is a great place to visit.

17) Walk the Creole Natural Trail

If you are an outdoor lover or love nature walks, taking a stroll on the Creole Nature Trail is a good option for you. Along the nature trail, you can even stop at the adventure point.

Creole Natural Trail, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Credits: Creole Natural Trail

At this point, depending on the time of year, you will be able to see wildlife and learn the history of the area. Walking the Creole National Park, right before sunset of sunrise, is something we also consider as one of the most romantic things to do in Lake Charles. 

18) Take Your Dog to the Ward 3 Dog Park

While you like to take into account what you can do for your kids on trips, it is also important to take into account what you can do if you have your four-legged friends with you. One place that you can take a dog in Lake Charles is the Ward 3 Dog Park where they can run around, play fetch, and just have fun. We love that Lake Charles LA is a pet-friendly destination as well. 

19) Stroll at Millennium Park

For a chill day and one where you can just relax and take in the sun, hanging out at Millennium Park is never a bad idea. Since it is a lakeside park, there are amazing views and places to see. There is also an amazing play place for the kids as well as a picnic area to hang out and eat. Perhaps pack a picnic along so you can stay longer and enjoy more of the park. 

millennium park louisiana
Credits: Millennium park 

Millennium Park is one of the best parks in the USA so if you get a chance to add this to your to-go list, take the kids, you won’t regret it. We think it’s one of the most fun things to do in Lake Charles. 

20) Gamble at the Golden Nugget Casino

With the waterfront view of the contraband bayou, this Lake Charles Casino is a must-visit if you are one that likes to gamble. And if you want to experience the full range of this casino, you can even stay overnight in the hotel. This hotel and casino are highly rated and raved about by many people for its hospitality and beauty. Of course, this place is more suited for adults and so you might want to stay somewhere else if you have your kids in tow. 

If you are planning to visit Lake Charles anytime soon, there is a lot for you and the entire family to do and enjoy. From free stuff to do in Lake Charles, to places to enjoy the culture and history of Louisiana, Lake Charles is a perfect vacation spot for families. 

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