Have you ever heard of the magic school bus? Call us Mrs. Frizzle because today we’re going on a field trip! Natchitoches is not only a quaint southern town filled with warmth and friendly people, but it’s also perfect for adventures. We’ll even prove it with a list of all the places you and your Natchitoches school group should visit.
The Top 7 Field Trip Stops for Natchitoches School Groups
Dark Woods’ Lost Treasure Mining Co.
Disregard the ominous name, because although most of the adventures offered by this place might seem frightening (there’s even a warning section listed on their website), this particular experience is all about good-spirited fun. At Dark Woods’ Lost Treasure Mining Co., you get to be a treasure hunter for a day. It is Louisiana’s only genuine gem mining attraction, so you know it’s worth a visit. What gems can you find there? Crystals, minerals, and fossils. Come empty-handed and leave with a pocket full of joy, or gems for that matter, because you get to take home whatever you find!
Briarwood Nature Preserve
Show the kids a little history at Briarwood Nature Preserve. Originally, this historic spot was a cotton plantation in 1859. The property was named after Caroline Dormon, whose summer home was in Briarwood, where she developed an appreciation for nature. Caroline loved nature so much that she petitioned the superintendent to place her in a wooded area, which led her to Kisatchie School. Caroline and her sister, Virginia, moved into Briarwood as adults and lived there until their passing. After their deaths, the home was passed to the Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Preservation of the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve. The preserve was watched over by Richard Johnson, Caroline’s chosen steward, and his wife, Jesse. Richard and his wife are the reason why Briarwood Nature Preserve still stands today. Speaking of the current Briarwood, you might wonder what you and the kids can do while you’re there. Well, there is plenty to do. You and your Natchitcoches field trip group can spend the day looking at the Iris Collection in the Bay Garden or visit Caroline’s historic cabin. See what made this place Caroline’s pride and joy.
Gator Country Louisiana
Did someone say gator time?! Well, get ready! This place is not only a fan favorite but also a winner for those reptile friends who love basking in the sun. We’re talking about our gators. So, there are gators, but what else? For starters, Gator Country Louisiana has a feeding show, which, if seen in the wild, could be potentially problematic, but here it’s all about fun and excitement at the feeding show. If the crew is feeling brave, you can even handle these bad boys. Not to worry, gators aren’t the only things you can hold; they have lizard and snake friends too! If you want to steer clear of all the sharp-toothed reptiles, there’s even a petting zoo with more soft and gentle animals. Spend the day immersed in the experience.
Natchitoches Film Trail
What do students love more than playing these days? Movies! What better way to spend the day than enlightening them about the movies that shaped modern-day cinema? Many people might already know that Natchitoches was where “Steel Magnolias” was filmed, but it is not the only film shot there. This trail takes you through about six different films that were made in the area. Be careful, though, if you have any star students in your midst, as there are warnings about the possibility of running into some movie scouts while there. Get starry-eyed and head out for a cinematic adventure.
Los Adaes State Historic Site
Take the students to learn about Louisiana’s history! A long time ago, Los Adaes was the capital of Texas and served as a New Spain outpost in Louisiana. It was a place where the French, the Spanish, and Native Americans worked together. This area is particularly important to the city of Natchitoches because, in the early 1700s, a Franciscan missionary named Father Francisco Hidalgo convinced the French governor of Louisiana to establish a post near East Texas, and then they established Natchitoches in 1714. Today, you can explore the historic area and its gigantic presidio. Experience life in the olden days!
Roque House and Gardens
What makes this house particularly unique, especially being in the South, is that it can be traced back to a 60-year-old freed man of color named Yves, who was called Pascal. Yves is said to have built the house and owned 91 acres of land. After Yves’s death, Madame Aubert Roque and her husband owned the home, which is how the house got its name. In the 1940s, after their time had passed, the house was used as a storage unit for hay. Eventually, a local preservation group acquired it and moved it 20 miles away to restore it, which is how it came to be in Natchitoches. Today, you can visit the restored house and embrace its historic outward appearance.
After reading about all these fantastic places, you may wonder how to transport an entire class full of people. Don’t worry, Louisiana Motor Coach has got you covered. School buses are old-fashioned; today, we need to modernize things a little. It’s time for an upgrade for you and the kids! All you have to do is tell us how many people and where you need to go and let us handle the rest!
Request A Quote for Your Natchitoches Field Trip Charter Bus Today