5 things to do before summer ends

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Brendon Rivere, 7, of Denham Springs,  plays at Plaquemine's Water  Spray Park, while visiting Tuesday with his grandmother, Martha Rivere of White Castle.
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Brendon Rivere, 7, of Denham Springs, plays at Plaquemine's Water Spray Park, while visiting Tuesday with his grandmother, Martha Rivere of White Castle.

School starts in less than two weeks, so let’s send summer out with a bang!

Here are five great ways to relieve that end-of-summer boredom.

Get wet

Cool the days away in water and spray parks located throughout the area.

Blue Bayou and Dixie Landin’, 18142 Perkins Road, bluebayou.com. Make a day of it with the 20 water attractions, like the triple seven-story serpentine slide and the twin eight-story speed slide called the Ragin’ Cajun. The six-story Mad Moccasin water slide twists and turns in complete darkness. All that fun, however, comes at a cost. Tickets are $36.99 for anyone 48 inches or taller and $29.99 for the shorter folks.

BREC’s Liberty Lagoon, 111 Lobdell Ave., libertylagoon.com. Load up the kids to hit the Gator Bowl or the Purple Plunge. Tickets are $10 for those more than 48 inches tall and $8 for anyone under that. Lazy River tubes are $1 for the day.

Plaquemine Spray Park in Plaquemine City Park, 24505 Ferdinand St., is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday until Aug. 5. After that, the park is only open Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 31. Sprinklers, buckets that drop water and water-gun-like spray toys blast away the summer blues. Admission is free. (225) 687-0641.

Jambalaya Spray Park and Pool, 1015 E Corner-view St., Gonzales. (225) 647-9564, gonzalesla.com. The pool is closed on Thursdays, and there’s an entrance fee of $7 per person per day. The spray park is free.

Movies on the cheap

Many theaters offer discounted second-run movies for kids, sometimes with a charitable twist.

Cinemark at Perkins Rowe, Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse with children’s movies for $1 per ticket at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays. On July 31, the movie is Rio and on Aug. 7, Chimpanzee swings in. Coupons for discounted snacks are available at cinemark.com.

Summer Movie Express at UA Citiplace Stadium 11 (Regal), $1 children’s movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On July 30, it’s African Cats, and Chimpanzee will be playing Aug. 1. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Will Rogers Institute. regmovies.com.

Grand Cinema, 15365 George O’Neal Road, “Summer Movie Camp” with $5 tickets, which include popcorn and a drink. Movies begin at 10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Coming up on July 26 is Kung Fu Panda 2 and July 29-Aug. 2, it’s Shark Tale. thegrandcinema.com/camp.html.

AMC Baton Rouge 16, 16040 Hatteras Ave., $3 second-run movies for older kids and adults, Mondays through Wednesdays. Movies start at 10 a.m. Oz The Great and Powerful will play July 29-31; GI Joe: Retaliation, Aug. 5-7 and Oblivion, Aug. 12-14. Proceeds benefit the Autism Society. amctheatres.com.

Strike!

At All Star Lanes, 9829 Airline Highway, there’s more to do than just knock down bowling pins. There’s an arcade with prizes, and a mini golf course should be completed by the end of summer (so put that one on your fall calendar). Prices for bowling depend on what time you go and whether you play by the game or by the hour. From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, a game costs $3.49 or $17.49 per hour. On Sundays, between 8:30 a.m. and noon, bowlers can play for 99 cents per game plus $3.50 for shoe rental. A family special is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and includes popcorn, shoe rental, a pitcher of soft drinks and two hours of bowling for $44.95.

Circle Bowl, 8878 Florida Blvd, (225) 925-5471, circlebowl.net. Register your kids at the website so they can play two free games every day through Aug. 23.

Premier Lanes, 1414 N. Airline Highway, Gonzales, (225) 621-2695, premierlanes.net. Visit the website to check out the kids bowling league and other lane specials. There’s also a great arcade, and don’t miss the Spin Zone bumper cars.

Snakes & skulls & simians, oh my!

Slither into the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, 10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway, brec.org/swamp. You can walk a mile of gravel and boardwalk trails through the swamp or cool off in the air-conditioned exhibit building where there are live snakes, turtles, birds, frogs and a working beehive displayed low enough so even the youngest kids can get a peek. Youngsters can also pet a pelt and run their fingers over skulls, snake skins and feathers. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free for ages 2 and younger; $2 for ages 3-17; $3 for ages 18-64; and $2.50 for seniors and college students.

With more than 1,400 furry and feathered creatures, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road, brzoo.org, is a great place to talk to the animals. There are daily chats with the otters (11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.) and a daily duck parade at 4:30 p.m. On the weekends at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., the zoo has Wildlife Safari Theatre. The zoo is open 9:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends through August. Admission is $8.25 for adults and teens; $7.25 for seniors; $5.25 for children ages 2-12; and free for children 1 and under.

Seek science

Kids won’t even know they’re learning when they visit the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, 100 River Road S. For the youngest, there’s Discovery Depot, which is filled with toys and crafts, everything from building blocks to puppets. In the Science Station, youngsters ages 7-12 can try out the Whisper Dish, Plasma Ball, Wentzscope and Ball Maze. The museum galleries contain art exhibits, outer space exhibits and the Ancient Egypt Gallery. Special events include Ms. Trudy’s Traveling Trunk show at 11 a.m. each Saturday, Kids’ Lab: Creating Fun with Chemistry for ages 6-12 on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, and Viewing and Doing Art for ages 6-12 at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Planetarium shows for July and August are Dynamic Earth, The Little Star That Could, Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs and Digital Universe. Admission for adults is $7.50 for galleries only, and $9 for galleries and planetarium show; for children ages 2-12 and seniors, $6.25 for galleries only and $8 for galleries and show. Children ages 1 and younger: free. lasm.org.