Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center
501 Fisher Road
Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 232-0789 | General Information
(337) 232-0789, ext. 11 | Reservations
(337) 232-5740 | Fax
General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 8:00am – 5:00pm; Free
School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 8:00am – 5:00pm; Free
- Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 10:1
- Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Three weeks
- Number of Students per Visit: Up to 150 for films and tours; Up to 60 for programs
- Suggested Length of Time for Visit: Two hours
- Handicapped Accessible: Yes
- Grade Level Appropriate: PreK – 12th
- Lunch Facilities: Visitors may use grounds for picnics. Picnic areas and fast-food are in within three miles of the site.
- Gift Shop: Yes
- Bus parking available
Tell Us About It!
Jean Lafitte? Wasn’t he a pirate? Indeed he was, and an infamous one. Lafitte aided Louisiana in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and conducted business at two other sites in the park. This Cultural Center is dedicated to teaching visitors about the area’s Acadian heritage and the natural resources of Louisiana’s Mississippi Delta region. A theater and permanent exhibit hall are housed in the Center’s modern building. The exhibit interprets the history of Acadiana highlighting local life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Displays detail music, hunting, farming, fishing, dwellings, the Cajun people, the prairies, Mardi Gras and more. The photography collection of wetlands and prairie life is a favorite for visitors. Demonstration areas can be set up on the cultural Center and along with hands-on activities for students with advance planning.
What Can We See and Do There?
Follow the red brick path to the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center. Once inside, students will be greeted by a park ranger who will lead them to watch, The Cajun Way; Echos of Acadia, a 35-minute film. A second film, “Atchafalaya Revisited”, which runs 16-minutes, is available upon request. Students may want to play an organized artifact guessing game led by a Park Ranger, or get to look inside the treasure chest. From the chest a Park Ranger may pull out Cajun cultural artifacts such as musical instruments or items from nature to prompt group discussions. If teachers are interested, they can plan a Ranger’s Choice talk or a demonstration at 10:45am and 2:45pm for their students. Topics range from a weaving demonstration to a talk on Country Mardi Gras. Younger students may listen to storytelling. Middle schoolers receive a clipboard furnished with scavenger hunt instructions. Park Rangers lead the hunt carefully showing kids how to proceed. Older students can more studiously explore the exhibit while they find answers to, “What does Cajun mean?”
How Do We Get There?
From I-10 east take Exit 103 towards Lafayette to Hwy. 90E called Evangeline Thwy. Travel three miles and turn left on University. Travel 0.5 mile and turn left on Fisher Road. The site is on the right.
Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?
This site provides an indoor field trip experience.
Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
- K-4th grades: G-1B-E1-4; H-1A-E1-3; H-1B-E1-2; H-1C-E1-4
- 5th-8th grades: G-1B-M1-4; H-1A-M1-6; H-1D-M1-6
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?
Upon making tour reservations, teachers will receive a copy of a grade specific program guide. Kindergarten – third grade materials are available. Fourth – sixth grade teachers will receive, Cajun Life in Louisiana. Seventh – eighth grade teachers will receive It’s a Cultural Collage.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits
Remember those program guides with bright yellow covers? Look inside for worksheets and lesson plans to use as follow-up materials. Puzzles, art projects, language arts lessons, and reading lists are included for all grades. The range of natural history terms and cultural references may make an interesting set of new vocabulary words in class. The film “The Cajun Way: Echoes of Acadia” is available for classroom loans.
Louisiana history, Acadian history, Delta region, natural history, ethnic diversity, architecture, research skills, Native American history, agriculture, Creole culture