Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium


In 1956, the women’s organization Le Deaux Douzaines began conducting science enrichment programs for school children. This work led to the founding of the first Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium in 1969 on Girard Park Drive. With the support of a vigorous Association, the Museum grew, and moved to the current facility on Jefferson Street in 2002. In 2005 the Association became a Foundation, supporting exhibits and educational programs at the Museum.

How to visit

Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium
433 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
Phone: 337-291-5544 Fax: 337-291-5464

Closed Mondays, and the following holidays:

Mardi Gras, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Museum Hours:
Tuesday through Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 1:00pm to 6pm

Planetarium Showtimes:

Wednesday 4:00pm
Saturday 11am, 1:30pm, 2:45pm, 4pm
Sunday 1:30 pm, 2:45pm, 4pm


Members admitted without charge
Non-members: Adults $5, Seniors $3, Children $2
(Children age 3 and under admitted without charge)

School or Group Field Trips:

Reservations for your class to visit the Museum & Planetarium can be made by mailing or faxing
a Field Trip Request Form to the Reservation Desk. Forms can be obtained one of three ways:

Leave a message at (337)291-5420. You must leave a complete address for your request to be processed.

Pick up in person at the Museum’s Reception Desk.


Paid parking is available in the Parc-Auto du Centre-ville garage,
one block south of the Museum & Planetarium on Vermilion Street,
and on surrounding streets at metered spaces.

Driving Directions:

The yellow Museum & Planetarium building is located at the corner of Jefferson Street and West Congress, in the heart of downtown Lafayette.

From Interstate 10, Take exit 103 onto US 167 South. Travel approximately 2.4 miles;
turn right onto Jefferson Street. Travel 4 blocks to West Congress;
the Museum & Planetarium is on the left.

From Interstate 10, southbound: After passing under Interstate 10,
travel approximately 2.4 miles; turn right onto Jefferson Street.
Travel four blocks to West Congess; the Museum & Planetarium is on the left.

From Route 90, northbound: Turn left onto Jefferson Street. Travel five blocks;
the Museum & Planetarium is on the left.


Education at Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium

Attention Teachers!
We now have Field Trip Request Forms available online. It is easier than ever to schedule a field trip for your class. Simply print, complete, and fax in your request. Your confirmation will be emailed or faxed back to you.
Planning Your Field Trip
Research and plan all aspects of your field trip here. Download the Field Trip Request Form, learn about admission costs and payment options, and print out a checklist for your trip.

Teacher Resources

Explore the museum’s resources, from loan collection trunks and kits to on-line activities to compliment your class field trip experience.
Educator Guides
Loan Collection
Online Resources

Outreach Programs for Students

Can’t make it to the Museum? Most topics from the Loan Collection can be presented at your school with advance notice. Call the Education Curator @ 291-5544 to make arrangements.

School Holidays

The Museum offers camps and workshops during school breaks to keep minds working, hands busy, and students engaged in a variety of informal learning opportunities.


We offer Geology Scout classes for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. Whether it is panning for gold or rock hunting for sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, your scouts will have a great time participating in our hands on activities while they work on their badge or patch requirements.


Bach Lunch

Bach Lunch will be held at Parc Sans Souci at 201 East Vermilion. All performances are scheduled from noon to 1pm. Lunches can be purchased for $5 to museum members and $6 to non-members and will be sold on a first-come first-served basis beginning at 11:15am. Call 337-291-5544 for more information.

The Fall Season of Bach Lunch Starts Soon!

Musicians representing a diversity of music will perform from noon to 1pm with no admission charge. Delicious lunches from popular local restaurants can be purchased for $5 for members and $6 for non-members. Drinks are available for $1. Parc Sans Souci at 201 East Vermilion.

Become a museum member at Bach Lunch and receive a free lunch!

We would like to thank our sponsors, KRVS, Acandiana Bottling Company, and the Lafayette Consolidated Government for making Bach Lunch possible.


July & August Schedule

There will be no Planetarium shows between August 20-24 due to Planetarium maintenance.

September Schedule

Programs begin promptly and late entry is not possible. Planetarium programs may not be suitable for pre-schoolers.

The Sky Tonight

This planetarium show introduces visitors to evening constellations, bright stars, and planets.

Space Flight for Kids (June 5 - August 14)

How did we go to the moon? How will we go back? What about the Space Shuttle and Space Station? This program uses rocket models, 1/50th scale rocket drawings, and more to help you find out!

Rusty Rocket’s Last Blast (July 17 - September 29)

After decades of teaching Rocket Rookies the basics of astronomy and rocket science, Rusty Rocket has plans to retire. His last mission is an introductory tour off the solar system and the planets’ environments. Rookie candidates in grades 1 through 5 and their families are welcome to come with Rusty – will it really be his last blast?

Featured Programs

Our Star, the Sun (June 2 - August 26)

Find out what astronomers are learning about our closest star and how it compares with other stars, and see the most recent image of the sun. Any sunspots today? This show is part of our celebration of International Heliophysical Year.

Discover the Night Sky (September 1 - October 14)

The constellations change in more than one way. Discover what constellations and planets are visible this season and find some of the discarded constellations mapped during the time of the Marquis de Lafayette!

Planetarium Events

Lunchtime Sidewalk Astronomy

Each clear Wednesday at lunchtime during July and August, watch for one of the Planetarium’s astronomie telescopes by the Museum at the corner of Jefferson and Congress Streets. Take a look to see Venus, the moon, or a safely filtered view of the sun! All welcome. Free! This activity is part of our celebration of International Heliophysical Year.

Field Trip to Stennis Space Center (Saturday, July 28)

Stennis Space Center in Mississippi is the test center for NASA rocket engines and is involved with remote sensing of Earth resources. Tour the StenniSphere visitor center and see a variety of actual rocket engines. There are many hands-on exhibits about space flight, the effect of the NASA facility on the coastal Mississippi ecology, remote sensing, and studies of the ocean floor, as well as a gift shop. NASA security requires visitors 18 and over to bring a valid photo ID (such as a driver’s license), and visitors ages 12-17 are required to sign in but picture ID is not required. International visitors must bring their passports. Since no food is available at the Center, participants should bring a picnic lunch.

For ages 8 through adult; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Our bus departs from the corner of Polk and Congress Streets at 8:45 am, and will return to Lafayette at approximately 5:45 pm. The fee is $15 for Members, and $18 for non-Members. Deadline for registration is Wednesday, July 25. Come with us, and have a blast!


Legacy of a Hero

Exhibit opens to the public on September 7

This 6,000 square foot exhibition will show the Marquis de Lafayette’s involvement with the emergency of democracy in America and in France. It will feature artifacts from the collections of the Musee franco-american du Chateau de Blerancourt, Service historique de la Defense, Musee de l’Armee, Biblioteque national de France, and Comte Gilbert Pusy de Lafayette. The exhibit will also feature an architectural-scale model of L’Hermione, the “frigate of enlightenment,” in cooperation with the Association Hermione-Lafayette.

Effigies of the United Houmas Nation

Open through August 12

Native American peoples of the southeastern cultural region have documented the natural environment through model-making since pre-historic times. Members of the United Houmas Nation have become internationally recognized as some of the finest practitioners of this ancient art. Thanks to a generous donation from Warren and Sylvia Lowe, the encouragement of the United Houmas Nation Tribal Council and the collaboration of Houmas artists, we are pleased to offer this exhibit of works from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Toddler’s Cove

Open through September 2

The Museum & Planetarium has installed a special area just for our youngest visitors. Toddler’s Cover is a creative play area where children under 5 years of age will enjoy crawling, climbing, riding and playing with a variety of age-appropriate toys in a fun, colorful and stimulating environment. Parental supervision is required and age limits are enforced to provide the best play experience for your little ones. Made possible in part by the Stuller Family Foundation.

Forensic Lab

Have you ever wanted to try a crime scene investigation for yourself? In our new forensic lab you can compare fibers under a microscope, analyze x-rays, take fingerprints and more. For ages 7 and up. Made possible in part by Les Deux Douzaines.

The Junior League of Lafayette: Celebrating 50 Years

May 12 through August 19

In 1957, seventeen civic-minded women formed the service organization that became the Junior League of Lafayette. During the next fifty years, the Junior League devoted its volunteer efforts and financial resources to the areas of child heath care and development, education, social services, substance abuse prevention, and the arts. The results of this work can be seen throughout Lafayette today. This exhibit was developed and produced by the Junior League of Lafayette.

Welcome to the Water Planet

June 1 through August 19

We usually think of the world in terms of solid matter. In reality, most of our world is made of water. Our planet is unique in the solar system as the one with abundant liquid water, and plant and animal life. This exhibition looks at the importance of our own Bayou Vermilion watershed in the context of the larger world, and encourages conservation and good stewardship of resources. This exhibition is funded by the Lafayette Parish Bayou Vermilion District and the Lafayette Consolidated Government.



The Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium Foundation cordially invites you to attend

The Marquis de Lafayette Birthday Gala and Art Auction in his honor

Thursday, September 6 from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm

Art Auction to begin at 8:00 pm

Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium, 433 Jefferson Street, Lafayette

Cocktail Attire

$50 per Member • $75 per non-Member

To purchase tickets and/or Membership by telephone, or for other information, please call (337) 291-5544. To purchase tickets and/or Membership by mail, please use the forms on pages 13 and 14.

Not a Member?

For $85 you will receive an individual Membership and a ticket to the Gala. This goes towards helping to support the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Contact Us


Mary Henderson 337-291-5544


Planetarium: Dave Hostetter 337-291-5544
Collections: Deborah Clifton 337-291-5544
Education: Dawn Edelen 337-291-5544
Exhibits: Barry J. Broussard Jr. 337-291-5544
LeMagasin (Museum Store): 337-291-5461
Foundation: 337-291-5544
Membership: 337-291-5544

Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium Administration

Ashley Boutte, Reception
Marsha D’Aunoy, Giftshop Manager
Edress Gilbert, Scheduler
Charlotte Guillot, Assistant Planetarium Curator
Judith Glaude, Cashier
Dexter LeDoux, Planetarium Technician
Karen Miller, Clerk III
Jalet Richard, Assistant Collections Curator