Monday, March 28, 2016

5 Fun Kids Activities in Ruston

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant 

Entertaining kids can be tricky business, especially when traveling. We want to make your time in Ruston, La. as family-friendly as possible, which is why we've put together a list of the top 5 kids activities to experience in Ruston & Lincoln Parish! 

1. Ruston & Lincoln Parish Parks
Ruston & Lincoln Parish has an abundance of parks and play areas. With jungle gyms, covered pavilions, picnic tables, Frisbee golf courses and more, you’re sure to enjoy a day outdoors with the kids at one of our local parks. Lincoln Parish Park is a local favorite for families looking for some fun and safe outdoor adventure. You can find a list of all Ruston parks here. If you'd like to discover more things to do outdoors, check out our 10 Reasons to Get Outside in Ruston blog! 

Huckleberry Trails Park | Ruston, LA

2. Schedule a visit to the IDEA Place at LA Tech
The IDEA Place is a great spot for the entire family with exciting science exhibits, interesting activities, and lots of fun! They are conveniently located on the Louisiana Tech campus in Woodard Hall. The IDEA Place hosts various events throughout the year for children and families, and the exhibits are available for visitors Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm by appointment. Call 318-257-2866 to schedule a visit. 

IDEA Place, LA Tech Campus | Ruston, LA
The Eddie G. Robinson Museum located in Grambling, La. is a hidden gem of North Louisiana. This museum tells the story of College Football Hall of Fame member Coach Eddie G. Robinson and his perseverance, dedication, and love of football. It's a fun and unique experience for the entire family, and admission is free. For hours and more information, click here

Eddie G. Robinson Museum | Grambling, LA

4. Events at the Lincoln Parish Library 
Lincoln Parish Library hosts multiple events every week for families and kids. Bring the kiddos to the library to watch a family-friendly movie, participate in fun activities, or attend a book club (ages 9-12). You can see the full calendar of events here

Event at Lincoln Parish Library | Ruston, LA

5. Art Lessons at Positive Space Studio 
Positive Space Studio offers after-school art lessons, summer camps, holiday camps, and private parties for kids and adults. Get a group together for a private party and let the creativity flow! Check their Facebook for upcoming events/camps or book your private party by calling 318-791-3574. 

Art workshop at Positive Space Studio | Ruston, LA

We've also added a few other suggestions based on age! 

For younger kids:

  • North Village Plaza: Grab a sweet treat from Eskamoe's and let the kids play on the playground in this new and developing shopping area.  
For older kids:
  • Louisiana Military Museum: There is a ton of history packed into the Louisiana Military Museum in Ruston. This two-story building has so many stories to tell with its diverse collection of war memorabilia, military uniforms, weapons, and much more. Kids, teenagers and adults will all find this one-of-a-kind museum to be highly interesting and entertaining. As an added bonus, admission is free.
  • Lincoln Parish Museum: The Lincoln Parish Museum has a huge collection of art, antiques, treasured items and more. The most popular feature of this museum is the "Walls That Talk" audio tour that tells the stories of the murals pained throughout the historic house. This museum also has free admission. 

We hope you find these activities fun for the entire family! Let us know your favorite family/ children's activity in Ruston & Lincoln Parish in the comments below. 

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Louisiana Crawfish Pie Recipe

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant
Recipe from Louisiana Cookin'

As we leave the winter weather behind and the temperature begins to rise, the crawfish craze in Louisiana begins. Crawfish season is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year in Louisiana. There's nothing quite like the spicy smell of a crawfish boil to welcome Spring. 

Although it's prime time for crawfish boils, we know that a big boil isn't always feasible. So if you're craving the taste of crawfish and want something that you can cook up right in your own kitchen, look no further. Check out this mouthwatering recipe for crawfish pie that we pinned on our Pinterest

photo via
½ cup salted butter
1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
½ bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup cold water
2 pounds crawfish tail meat
½ cup chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 (14.1-ounce) package Pillsbury Ready-Made Pie Crust (2 crusts)

1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; 
add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook     until softened. 

3. Add soup, evaporated milk, salt, and peppers. Add cornstarch mixture. 

4. Reduce heat to low, and cook until 
thickened, about 5 minutes. Fold in crawfish, green onion, 
and parsley; cook 5 minutes. 

5. Place bottom crust in a deep-dish pie plate, and bake, using pie weights, until lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. 

6. Fill with crawfish mixture, and place top crust on pie. Bake until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

We hope this recipe satisfies your crawfish craving! What's your favorite crawfish recipe? Let us know in the comments section below! 

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Locals Love It: Rosemary's Kitchen

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Rosemary's Kitchen | Ruston, LA
In continuing with our "Locals Love It" series, we're spotlighting a local, family-owned restaurant that people haven't been able to stop talking about since it opened its doors in September 2012. 

Rosemary's Kitchen has quickly become a beloved eatery in Ruston. With its unique atmosphere, creative dishes, and stocked grocery, locals can't seem to get enough of this incredible lunch spot. 

Locals Love the Homey Atmosphere

Rosemary’s Kitchen is not your typical eatery. Located in a converted home on Bonner Street, this restaurant has character and charm for days. Rosemary’s is owned and run by mother-daughter duo Rosemary Thomas and Sara Corley, and that strong family connection is reflected in the atmosphere of the restaurant. 

With framed family photos on the walls and rustic touches everywhere, you feel as though you’re visiting a family member’s home for lunch. Locals find that it's the perfect atmosphere for a cozy lunch date, a casual business meeting or a relaxed meal with friends. 

Fresh shrimp tacos at Rosemary's Kitchen
Locals Love the Creative Menu
Here’s the unique thing about Rosemary’s Kitchen, their menu changes weekly. They always offer their seven delicious sandwich options, which you can get on a croissant or in a wrap. Additionally, there are three different dishes offered every day, including one vegetarian option. This is where things get innovative and absolutely delicious. The mother-daughter duo take traditional family recipes and add new flavors that take the dishes to a whole new level. 

Some recurring favorites are the shrimp and grits, creamy tomato soup with a triple grilled cheese, and various fresh tacos and paninis. They also offer a tasty homemade dessert every day for lunch. Rosemary’s Kitchen prides itself on the use of fresh ingredients, and you can tell just by looking at the food how incredibly fresh all of their ingredients are. Find this week’s fresh menu here.

Rosemary's Kitchen's signature shrimp and grits

Dry goods in the grocery at Rosemary's Kitchen
Locals Love the Gourmet Grocery 
Rosemary’s Kitchen has a great little grocery located inside the restaurant that has tons of local goodies as well as a cooler stocked with homemade items, to-go meals and more.  They also carry various organic brands and items in their grocery. Rosemary’s doesn’t stop there; they even make fresh breads and cookies weekly that are available in the grocery.         

Next time you're in the area, do your taste buds and stomach a favor and visit Rosemary's Kitchen located at 400 S Bonner St. They serve lunch Monday – Friday from 11am-1:30pm and the grocery is open Monday  Friday from 10am-5:30pm. To see photos of what they're serving daily, check out their Instagram and Facebook

Tori is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website

Thursday, March 3, 2016

10 Reasons to Get Outside In & Around Lincoln Parish

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Lake D'Arbonne State Park 
Located in the center of North Louisiana, the city of Ruston is surrounded by tall pine trees, gorgeous state parks, and fish-filled bodies of water. Louisiana didn’t get the title of "Sportsman’s Paradise" without being a prime location for outdoor recreation and adventure, and Lincoln Parish is no exception. 

In the Ruston & Lincoln Parish area you’ll find a wide variety of outdoor activities to get you out of the house or hotel room. Check out these 10 reasons to get outside in and around Ruston & Lincoln Parish!

1. Scenic Trails

Ruston & Lincoln Parish has several scenic trails that you can run, walk, and explore! Take your pick from Huckleberry Trails, Lincoln Parish Park, James Lake, Lake D’Arbonne State Park, Jimmie Davis State Park or Lake Claiborne State Park to experience some of the best trails in North Louisiana.

2. Fishing

Grab your fishing poles and bait and try your luck at one of the local lakes in Lincoln Parish! Lake Claiborne and Lake D’Arbonne are great spots to catch bass, crappie, catfish and bream. You can also do some great fishing on Caney Lake at Jimmie Davis State Park, James Lake, and the lake at Lincoln Parish Park. 

Sunset fishing on Caney Lake at Jimmie Davis State Park 

3. Picnicking

Take your lunch to-go and picnic at one of our local or state parks in Ruston & Lincoln Parish! With covered pavilions and several picnic tables scattered throughout the park, Lincoln Parish Park is one of our favorite picnic spots.

4. Wildlife Watching

James Lake has an incredible birding trail that is one of Louisiana's best places to enjoy bird watching with three locations to see these beautiful creatures - the viewing platform, the bridge and the lake's wooded walking trail. Jimmie Davis State Park, Lake D’Arbonne State Park and Lake Claiborne State Park are also great places to bird watch and appreciate local wildlife. 

Bird watch from the viewing platform at James Lake

5. Biking

Lincoln Parish Park is home to one of the best mountain bike trails in America. The ten-mile trail offers a challenging and exciting course for beginners and advanced riders alike. Lake D’Arbonne State Park, Lake Claiborne State Park and Jimmie Davis State Park also offer great biking trails for cycling enthusiasts.

Experience the nationally-recognized bike trail at Lincoln Parish Park

6. Boating
Is getting your boat out on the water your favorite outdoor activity? Lake D’Arbonne, Lake Claiborne and Caney Lake at Jimmie Davis State Park are perfect spots for boating of all kinds, as well as water skiing. If you’re looking for a smaller setting, take your canoe, kayak or paddleboard out to the lake at Lincoln Parish Park.

7. Camping
We have an abundance of camping options in Ruston & Lincoln Parish. Set up a tent and camp at Lincoln Parish Park, Lake Claiborne State Park, or Jimmie Davis State Park. If tent camping isn't your thing, then you can absolutely bring your RV camper out to any of those locations. Cabins and lodges are also available for rent at Lake Claiborne, Lake D’Arbonne and Jimmie Davis State Parks. 

Primitive tent camping at Jimmie Davis State Park 

8. Park Playing

Bring the kids out to play on the playgrounds at our local parks in Ruston! Click here to see a list of all Ruston parks. You can also play a fun game of Frisbee Golf at Hideaway Park, Lake Claiborne State Park or Lake D’Arbonne State Park.

9. Horseback Riding

Are you interested in horseback riding? Collins Natural Horsemanship in Lincoln Parish is a great place to take riding lessons, go on a pleasure ride or have a memorable birthday party. 

Horseback riding at Collins Natural Horsemanship

10. Geocaching
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game that uses GPS-enabled devices to lead participants to a geocache. There are hundreds of geocaches in the Ruston & Lincoln Parish area! Just use the Geocaching app to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. This is a fun activity for the whole family to get out and explore Ruston & Lincoln Parish!

We hope we’ve given you a reason to get outside this week in Ruston & Lincoln Parish! Let us know about your favorite outdoors activities in the comments below!

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.