It’s a common refrain as the weekend approaches, but for interabled couples or those with disabilities, nothing is more discouraging than heading somewhere that makes being physically challenged into an obstacle. No couple should deal with that type of stress.
Luckily, there are some “wheely” great inclusive date spots in the Capital City. Here are four fun ones to check out.
For creative souls: A day at the museum
Museums and art galleries allow couples to bounce ideas off one another, discovering a new layer of their partner’s personality as they interpret artwork, artifacts and eras. Plus, most museums’ and art galleries’ accessibility standards tend to be higher than other public buildings. Admission is affordable, too.
Capitol Park Museum downtown has cool exhibits such as Louis Armstrong’s childhood bugle, a Mardi Gras float and a life-size shrimp boat. The current traveling exhibit, “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” runs through Nov. 14.
Head to the other side of downtown to see the LSU Museum of Art on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts, where you can explore American and European paintings and interesting sculptures and photography. Afterward, take the elevator up to Tsunami Sushi for an incredible rooftop view of the Mississippi River.
If your partner likes historic artifacts, the Ancient Egypt Gallery at Louisiana Art & Science Museum has a mummy from 300 BC resting inside a reconstructed Ptolemaic era tomb. Or, you can make a move like Ross Geller and visit the museum’s Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, which always has a variety of shows playing. Find the museums on Facebook
For nature lovers: Outdoor afternoon
An afternoon or evening stroll around the Mississippi River Levee Pathway or LSU Lakes is an easy romantic activity.
There are accessible ramps at major trail heads such as the River Road intersections at Skip Bertman Drive and Florida Street that will lead you to the top of the levee. A wide asphalt path meanders along the river throughout Baton Rouge. The paths at LSU Lakes are curvy but wide enough.
You can always pack a picnic while you are enjoying the scenery. Make sure to bring a lap tray if there are no accessible picnic tables available or if you don’t have a personal tray on your wheelchair.
If your significant other adores gardens, they would love the meadows at LSU’s Hilltop Arboretum off Highland Road or the rooftop garden of the Main Library off Goodwood Boulevard. Both places are wheelchair accessible and free.
After you enjoy some quality time checking out the luscious flowers, head down the street to Mid City Beer Garden for cocktails and apps. There are plenty of low-top tables at this popular watering hole.
For exploring the wild side:Zoo day
Like art galleries and museums, zoos are held to a higher standard of accessibility. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has paved paths connecting you to animals from around the world. Even though zoos are more for families, they can still be fun for couples. You won’t run out of topics to talk about. The cool creatures are everywhere you look, including tigers, rhinos, Chilean flamingos, Aldabra tortoises and alligators. You can share silly animal jokes with each other. There are also wheelchair rentals on site for $7 if you ever need a backup. brzoo.org
For the competitive spirits: Bowling night
Knock down your sweetheart like a bowling pin at Red Stick Social off Government Street. Bowling is one of the most accessible sports for wheelchair users, and at this Mid City spot it costs $25 per hour, Wednesday through Sunday. Call ahead to check if there’s a bowling ball ramp available. If you are quadriplegic, you can use a mouth stick to push the ball down the ramp. Red Stick Social also has a full menu of food and drinks. Bands or DJs are usually playing on the stage downstairs. Find the schedule at redsticksocial.com.
This article was originally published in the November 2021 issue of 225 magazine.