Things to do in Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette’s thriving arts scene encompasses visual art, theater, live music, film and more. The city is filled with art galleries, cultural centers, museums and performance spaces, with events happening every day of the week.
Acadiana’s distinct mix of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco also plays a part by infusing performances and events with local culture and local talent. Cajun jam sessions, Zydeco dance lessons and bilingual shows spoken in French and English are just some of what you’ll find. Lafayette is also home to a brand new Rock ‘n’ Bowl, a New Orleans-based live music venue and bowling alley downtown.
Art isn’t just for adults either. Children are welcome at all of the city’s museums, some like Lafayette Science Museum and Children’s Museum of Acadiana catering just to them. Acadiana Center for the Arts also has youth programs and camps throughout the year, while Hilliard University Art Museum hosts Toddler Time once a month.
A second Saturday ArtWalk held Downtown is a great way to experience Lafayette’s arts and cultural offerings all in one spot, as galleries open their doors, new exhibits are on display and impromptu performances pop up in the streets.
Experience the arts
Acadiana Center for the Arts
A true community arts organization, this state-of the-art Downtown facility serves the entire region through arts education, outreach and more than 40 annual exhibits and 150 annual events featuring every genre of the performing arts.
Cité Des Arts
Cultures connect at this multi-use center Downtown, which includes a 100-seat theater, several gallery spaces, classes and an arts cafe and bar.
Heymann Performing Arts Center
Located adjacent to the Oil Center, this 2,200-seat auditorium holds bimonthly performances from Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, along with world-renowned artists and entertainers, Broadway hits and dozens of other community functions throughout the year.
Lafayette Art Association
A nonprofit established by artists, this member-driven organization operates a public gallery and Green Apple boutique.
Hilliard University Art Museum
A place of learning and a destination for families, this museum serves students, faculty and staff of the university, as well as the public. The museum holds a permanent collection, along with 11,000 square feet of rotating gallery space.
See the stage
Acadiana Repertory Theatre
This theater company focuses on the development and production of new works, working hand in hand with playwrights. Expect to be engaged, inspired, entertained and challenges at one of their shows performed on stage at Cité Des Arts.
Acting Up (In Acadiana)
Founded in 2003 by Amy Waguespack, Acting Up is the resident theatre company at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Ensemble-driven work is performed in many “non-theatre” spaces.
UL Lafayette Performing Arts Department
This university department presents two main stage performances each semester, one in dance and one in theater. Events are held at Burke Theatre in Burke-Hawthorne Hall on campus.
Visit a museum
Alexandre Mouton House/Lafayette Museum
Named for the first Democratic governor of Louisiana and once home to Vermilionville founder Jean Mouton, this house museum is run by a group of 24 civic-minded ladies who offer guided tours Tuesday through Saturday.
Children’s Museum of Acadiana
A hands-on participatory museum serving children and their families, schools and community organizations, exhibits include a full-sized Acadian Ambulance, Cafe des Enfants, a mini grocery store and TV station. ›
Lafayette Science Museum
With more than 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, this Downtown museum also houses a planetarium and virtual aquarium, along with workshops, films and other programs for children.
Hear the music
Acadiana Symphony Orchestra
One of only two symphonies in the United States associated with a Conservatory of Music, ASO strives to make orchestral music available to as many people as possible through annual concert seasons and community events.
This organization’s mission is to present the great masterpieces of choral literature to the people of Acadiana by performing four concerts a year, including Christmas by Candlelight at St. John Cathedral.
Lafayette Concert Band
A part of the Lafayette musical community since 1982, the LCB is comprised of 80 woodwind, brass and percussion instrumentalists who perform throughout Acadiana.
View the screen
Cane Fire Film Series
This independent film series is held the second Monday of each month at Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Movies in the Parc
Downtown’s Movies in the Parc, presented by LUS Fiber, offers family-friendly movie events featuring crowd favorites under the stars in spring and fall.
Southern Screen Film Festival
Held each November, this festival presents four days of film screenings, live music, screenwriting, live podcast, workshops, parties and more.
Immerse Yourself in Culture
This attraction preserves a piece of early American heritage by recreating a typical 1800s Cajun village with authentic homes, a chapel and event pavilion.
Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center
One of six cultural sites, the Acadian Cultural Center showcases the history of the Acadian people who settled southeast Louisiana through ranger talks, films, exhibits and other programs.
Lafayette’s living history and folklife park promotes the cultural resources of the Acadian, Native American and Creole people from a 23-acre site on the banks of Bayou Vermilion. The park includes 19 attractions, ranging from restored original homes to local artisans demonstrating essential crafts.