The northwestern corner of Louisiana, around Shreveport-Bossier, is a mixture of spicy Cajun attitude and wide-open Texas spirit. It’s where Elvis Presley got his start. Not only are there alligators at the Cypress Black Bayou there are also many free and family-friendly things to do on your next family vacation.

Chimp Haven Discovery Days is one of the best free things to do in Schrevepost-Bossier Louisiana

Chimp Haven Discovery Days. Photo credit: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.

The Duck Pond

The official name is East Kings Highway Park, but this wonderful play area along Old River is known to locals as “the duck pond.” The nickname comes from the large number of ducks that visit the pond during the spring and summer.

At the park, there are lots of play structures, swings, slides, picnic tables, a waterfront location and, of course the ducks. Making this soft-surfaced playground a great place to spend an afternoon.

The park is open from dawn to dusk.

Elvis Presley Statue

At 705 Elvis Presley Avenue, you can check out the bigger-than-life bronze statue of Elvis Presley in front of the Municipal Auditorium, where the king of rock `n’ roll performed on the Louisiana Hayride for the first time in October, 1954.

His 1954 concert was considered to be the King’s first big break.

Finding Evlis is one of the best free things to do in Shreveport-Bossier Louisiana

The bronze Elvis statue in front of the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Photo credit: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Regional Visitor Center

The J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Regional Visitor Center tells the story of how the Corps of Engineers worked to tame the Red River for navigation and recreation, causing the beginning of Shreveport-Bossier.

The center offers 8,300 square feet housing a reception area, theater and exhibition hall with audiovisual, static and interactive exhibits.

It is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to- 4 p.m.

Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum of Champions

Located inside the Shreveport Convention Center, the Ark-La-Tex Sport Museum of Champions has an exhibit dedicated to each of the more than 100 athletes recognized from the area.

This museum is open on weekends when there is an event at the convention center.

The Barksdale Global Power Museum

This military museum, formerly known as the Eighth Air Force Museum, features military aircraft, dioramas, a gift shop and more.

Here you can discover the history of Strategic Bombardment at the home of the 2nd Bomb Wing, the mighty 8th Air Force, and the new Air Force Global Strike Command.

The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.

Chimpanzees and Elvis - Free things to do in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana

Airplanes at the Global Power Museum. Photo credit: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

Once in a Millennium Moon Mega Mural

On two sides of the AT&T building, the nation’s largest public arts mural covers 30,000 square feet.

Visible from I-20, the mural is a unique and monumental time capsule capturing the people of Shreveport, their treasures, tragedies and triumphs in vivid color and poignant portraiture.

RiverView Park

At 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, the public park features an interactive water fountain with lights and music, a 300-foot-long floating boat dock, a magnificent waterfall that incorporates natural stone and plantings, an arbor and viewing area at the summit of a waterfall.

Chimpanzees and Elvis - Free things to do in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana

RiverView Park waterfall. Photo credit: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

Southern University Museum of Art at Shreveport

This museum features more than 300 original pieces of African-American and African art, and is a part of Louisiana’s statewide African-American Heritage Trail.

The goal of SUMAS is to provide an array of learning experiences to a variety of audiences, and to serve as a resource for diverse communities through the imaginative use of the museum and its collections.

The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to noon. You can also make appointments to visit on Saturdays.

Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park

Features interpretive exhibits, hiking trails and picnic area. Trails are well marked, identifying natural features and animal habitats.

Special events are scheduled on a regular basis. An annual environmental day camp, called Earth Camp, is offered each summer in the park.

The park is open Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Chimpanzees and Elvis - Free things to do in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana

A volunteer presents at Walter B Jacobs Memorial Nature Park. Photo credit: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.

Spring Street Historical Museum

At the Spring Street Historical Museum, antiques and artifacts are on display in Shreveport’s oldest building, circa 1865. The museum currently operates under the Secretary of State’s Museum Program.

Since 1976, this building has been owned and operated by the Shreveport Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames in Louisiana, which oversaw its restoration. The museum is listed in National Register of Historic Places and features an original vault, Victorian cast-iron grill-work gallery, Civil War artifacts and much more.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Chimpanzees and Elvis - Free things to do in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana

Photos from Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Burea.

This post was updated by Alexandra Olsen, a college student intern for TravelingMom.com, in June 2016. Her love of travel began at a very young age–traveling with her family to little beach towns growing up in Brazil.  She has her own personal travel blog, Trail Mix, which she started while spending a summer studying abroad in Norway.

What is your secret for finding free activities during your vacations? Tell us in the comments section below!