The LSU Rural Life Museum is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The indoor exhibits (Exhibit Barn) are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the outdoor exhibits (Historic Outbuildings) are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The front gate at Essen will close automatically at 4:30pm every day.
Your visit is self-guided. Upon your arrival, we will supply you with a map to help you select which areas to visit. For admission prices of both the LSU Rural Life Museum and the LSU Windrush Gardens, please see our Hours and Prices page.
Audio Tour Wands
We now offer audio tour wands to help guide you on your self-guided tour. The wands are $5.00 each and in exchange either your keys or identification (license or passport) will be held at the front desk until the audio wand is returned. The LSU Rural Life Museum staff is available, if you have questions or need assistance.
Time Needed for Visit
Allow yourself at least two hours to see the LSU Rural Life Museum. Families with young children may want to stay less time. Allow yourself about 30-45 minutes to see the LSU Windrush Gardens. Since the museum and gardens close daily at 5:00 p.m., the latest you want to arrive for your self-guided tour is 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. if you want to include both the museum and gardens) in order to give yourself enough time to see everything.
The LSU Rural Life Museum strives to provide fun and education for guests of all abilities. The Exhibit Barn, Gift Shop and Restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Half of the historic outbuildings are accessible by wheelchair. Please see the front desk staff member, if a member of your party needs a wheelchair while touring the museum. The museum has wheelchairs available to borrow at no charge on a first-come, first served basis. Please notify us before you arrive, if your family/group has anyone with special needs.
Two weeks advanced notice is required for docent led tours of ten or more people. However, advanced reservations are not required for regular daily visitation. For more information about docent led tours, please see our Tour Group page or contact the museum at 225-765-2437.
Check-In and Payment
Check-in and admission payments are done at the front desk/gift shop area of the museum. After walking through the main entrance, the front desk and gift shop are to your left.
Accepted forms of payment are cash or credit card. Personal checks are only accepted if the check holder is a current Louisiana resident.
The LSU Rural Life Museum is located to the back of the property. After driving through the front gate at Essen Lane, drive 1.5 miles back. Parking is free and available at the front of the museum.