Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center
314 St. Mary St.
Thibodaux, LA 70301
(985) 448-1375 | General Information
(985) 448-1375 | Reservations
(985) 448-1425 | Fax
General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 9:00am – 5pm; Free; Fee for boat tours range $10.00 - $26.00.
School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm; Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm; Free; Fee for boat tours range $10.00 - $26.00.
- Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 10:1 museum; 6:1 boat tours
- Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Two weeks +
- Number of Students per Visit: Up to 100 for the site; 20 for the boat
- Suggested Length of Time for Visit: 90 minutes
- Handicapped Accessible: Yes – site; boat - no
- Grade Level Appropriate: K – 12th; Boat tour 4th- 12th
- Lunch Facilities: Nearby Peltier Park has a picnic pavilion.
- Gift Shop: Yes
- Bus parking available
Tell Us About It!
“What is special about Louisiana?” asks one of the National Park Rangers at this Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. In the next breath, he explains to students how Louisiana is a gumbo, a melting pot of cultures and people form Acadian to Zydeco. (There are six parks in the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve system in Louisiana.) This field trip destination is about historical and natural resources that tell the story of the people who settled along the bayous, swamps and wetlands of southeastern Louisiana. Their migration, settlement, and cultural development are interpreted in the museum, which contains a 200-seat theater and an audio/visual classroom. Thibodaux served as a trading post between New Orleans and the bayou region during the 19th century. The area has seen many changes over the past 200 years, but the long-lasting presence of the earliest Acadians, is maintained by the Cajun cuisine and French language still found in southeastern Louisiana. Laissez les bons temps rouler. Let the good times roll.
What Can We See and Do There?
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center offers guided museum tours and a boat tour to help students discover what the area looked like to the settling Acadians 200 years ago. In the museum, teachers may request a presentation of one of 15 films about Cajun culture and the area. The films run from 13 to 74 minutes. The museum features exhibits about the history, language, music, and architecture of Cajun culture from its 18th century beginnings to the present. An art gallery regularly displays work by local artists and the craft room is used for demonstrations of folk crafts and weekly Cajun music jam sessions on Mondays from 5:30pm – 7:00pm. Teachers should inquire about planned activities in the craft room when scheduling their field trip. Boat tours depart from the local wharf and travel to Madewood Plantation and Ed White Historic Home. Stops include tours of these historic places and lunch can be pre-arranged at Madewood Plantation. Kids can begin to envision what Louisiana looked like to those early French-speaking settlers.
How Do We Get There?
From New Orleans on I-10 west, travel to I-310 south towards Boutte-Houma then take U.S. 90 west towards Houma. Exit at LA 24. Turn right on LA 24 west. It will become LA 20 east. Turn Left on LA 1 north, travel two miles to the site.
Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?
This field trip is indoors. Field trip planners may want to call the Center to check road conditions during periods of heavy rain.
Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
- K-4th grades: LS-E-B1; LS-E-C1; SE-E-A1, 3, 5; G-1B-E1-4; H-1A-E1-3; E-1B-E1-2; E-1C-E1-4
- 5th-8th grades: LS-M-C3; SE-M-A1; G-1B-M1-4; H-1A-M1-6; H-1D-M1-6
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?
Teachers can call or write for pre-visit packets. The packets are complete with benchmark listings for grades K -8. Activities suggested include genealogy, cooking, and language-arts projects.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits
Thumb through the packets the site sent earlier. Teachers will find short stories and lesson plans that refer to the field trip sights and activities. Plug in the boom box and play some Cajun music for your students. Ask them if they have heard this music at home. Anybody care to dance?
Louisiana history, geography, French, wetlands, environment, music, art, food ways, drama