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LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens

Subject: History

4650 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

(225) 765-2437 | General Information
(225) 765-2437 | Reservations
(225) 765-2639 | Fax

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General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 8:30am – 5:00pm; $7.00 Adults over 12 years old, $6.00 Seniors, $6.00 LSU Students and Staff, $4.00 Children 5 – 11 years old, Free Children under 5 years old

School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 8:30am – 5:00pm; $4.00 per person

  • Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 10:1
  • Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Three to four weeks
  • Number of Students per Visit: Up to 100 for tours; Hands-on programs up to 50
  • Suggested Length of Time for Visit: 60 Minutes. The tour lasts 45 minutes, but allow extra time for looking on your own or for hands-on.
  • Handicapped Accessible: Yes
  • Grade Level Appropriate: 4th – 12th
  • Lunch Facilities: Fast food restaurants are in the nearby area.
  • Gift Shop: Yes
  • Bus parking available

Tell Us About It!

LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens is a five-acre outdoor museum set on over 450-acres of the old Burden Plantation in busy Baton Rouge. The museum includes more than 20 buildings divided into three areas. The first two exhibits include the Barn which contains collections of objects depicting everyday life in rural Louisiana before 1930, and the Working Plantation which includes a completely furnished commissary, overseer’s house, kitchen, two slave cabins, school house, and sugarhouse. These exhibits help to represent life on a typical 19th century working plantation. The Folk Architecture is a collection of seven buildings that illustrate the diverse cultures in south Louisiana and includes a country church, a pioneer’s cabin, an Acadian house, a jail, and a dogtrot house. In addition to the historical emphasis at the museum, are the Windrush Gardens that offer a tranquil setting for walks.

What Can We See and Do There?

Students arriving at the LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens begin their visit with a colorful five minute orientation video. Guided tours are available for fourth graders and older, while kids in K through 3rd grade enjoy self-guided tours. All visitors have ample time to wander through the immense Barn that houses hundreds of artifacts, from African slave artifacts to wagons and early machinery. The 4th grade tour focuses on Louisiana’s folklife and takes kids through the Folk Life Architecture collection. The 5th grade tour emphasizes Louisiana’s 19th century plantation life taking kids through the overseer’s house and slave cabins. After the tour, kids are treated to a 30-minute talk and demonstration. Trained museum staff involves kids in shucking and grinding corn and other domestic tasks. The staff gives an old musket demonstration from loading the shot to firing. Bam! What a memorable day.

How Do We Get There?

From I-10, exit at Essen Lane (Exit 160). The museum’s entrance is located immediately on the right on Essen Lane marked by a white fence and sign.

Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?

The museum has a large indoor space that can accommodate groups if rain begins after the tour has started. Call to reschedule the field trip in case of inclement weather. Dress for extreme heat. Most of the museum experience is outdoors.

Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
  • K-4th grades: H-1A-E1-2; H- 1B-E1-2; H-1C-E1-4; H-1D-E1, 3; G-1A-E1-2; G-1B-E1-4; G-1D-E1-2
  • 5th-8th grades: H-1A-M1-3, 5; H-1B-M9, 14-15, 17; H-1D-M1-6; G-1A-M1; G-1B-M1-4; G-1C-M4
  • 9th-12th grades: H-1A-H1-4, 6; H-1B-H1; H-1C-H9; G-1B-H1-2, 4; G-1C-H2; G-1D-H3-4
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?

Visit the museum’s website. Fourth and fifth grade teachers can call to request a pre-visit packet that contains background information about folklife and plantation life.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits

Take an historic walk through your school neighborhood and look for different kinds of architecture. See any Acadian-style roof tops? See any shotgun-style buildings?


Louisiana history, architecture, American slavery, plantation life, folklife, farm life, cultural heritage, cultural geography


Atchafalaya National Heritage Area

• National Park Service affiliate
• "Passport to Your National Parks" Program
• Member of Alliance of National Heritage Areas
National Park Service Affiliate Louisiana Travel - Pick Your Passion Alliance of National Heritage Areas