The start of spring, marked by the vernal equinox, is the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, or the imaginary great circle that divides our sky into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This sky crossing creates a 24-hour period of 12 sunlight hours and 12 nighttime hours, and welcomes springtime into the Northern hemisphere and autumn into the Southern Hemisphere.
This year, the vernal equinox falls on March 19, at 11:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time. After March 19 the Northern Hemisphere enjoys the first indications of spring: earlier sunrises and later sunsets, warmer days, and the first blooms bursting through the earth. Celebrate springtime with us in the Lake Charles area. Here are some fun, budget friendly outdoor activities to keep you busy.
1. Stroll Through Prien Lake Park
Prien Lake Park, a 29-acre park, features walking and running trails, a playground, a— water park, designated pet areas, and, of course, a fishing lake. Numerous picnic areas allow for fun outdoor get-togethers. The amphitheater and two pavilions house events all spring and summer long. With so much to do and free admission, Prien Lake Park is a perfect outdoor getaway that isn’t far at all.
2. Camp in Sam Houston Jones State Park
If you want an outdoor adventure, check out the Sam Houston Jones State Park. There’s a small entrance fee, but the 1,087-acre park with something for everyone is well worth it. You'll be surrounded by natural beauty while walking along the numerous trails. Fishing enthusiasts will find plenty of spots to satisfy every fisherman. Campsites with RV hookups easily turn a short trip into a relaxing stay.
3. Visit Louisiana’s outback on the Creole Nature Trail
A quick hour drive from the Isle of Capri Casino transports guests into another world of marshes and wildlife on the Creole Nature Trail. With over 180 miles of trails and 26 miles of Gulf of Mexico coastline, the Creole Nature Trail offers a great way for the whole family to enjoy springtime. Children can learn about the park’s ecosystem and wildlife at the free education center. Get an even closer look at the intricate marshlands with a guided tour, or step out solo to fish and hunt waterfowl in the affectionately dubbed Louisiana Outback. There isn't better way to enjoy the warm weather than by being surrounded by nature.
4. Spring Art Walk Presented by the Arts Council of SWLA
Although it’s not actually on the vernal equinox, the Spring Art Walk is held in the midst of springtime on April 29. Located in the Charlestown Cultural District, this downtown art celebration offers a great way to enjoy the spring sunshine without donning hiking boots. View works by over 100 regional artists on the closed-off streets and pop-up galleries in the town’s coffee shops and salons. Food trucks offer tasty treats, live music keeps the atmosphere festive, and local venues host after-parties and giveaways. You can even commemorate the day with an art purchase from the outdoor art market. Go ahead and mark your calendars for this festive springtime event.
5. Celebrate Spring’s Abundance at the Charlestown Farmers Market
A great activity for those not too nature inclined, or on time-constricted trips to the Lake Charles area, is checking out the weekly Charlestown Farmers Market. It’s held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Stroll through the venue to view spring’s abundance from local farmers. Even if you don’t
buy produce, check out the local baker and artisan booths to taste freshly baked pies and get some homemade soap, jellies or various art pieces.
With so many fun, budget friendly outdoor activities, Lake Charles is the perfect place to celebrate springtime!