By: Brittany Racca
We've compiled a few fun virtual experiences to beat the quarantine boredom blues during this time of social distancing including self guided tours, videos, puzzles and more. Click the links and find your next at home adventure!
1. Star in a Movie! (Or at least take a self guided tour)
- New Iberia is home to a bevy of movie locations including those used in the 2019 Lifetime movie Christmas in Louisiana. Sign in with your cable television provider to watch the movie.
- The area has also been featured in the opening credits of HBO's True Blood, James Lee Burke novel turned film In the Electric Mist and the star studded All the King's Men. Check out all the movies and tv shows in our Film Locations blog before visiting the spots.
2. Live on Virtual Island Time (B.Y.O.B.)
- Take a virtual tour of the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island and see the famous sauce being made right here in Iberia Parish!
- Jungle Gardens on Avery Island has recently made their driving tour into a mobile excursion. With both English and French options, you'll be able to explore the stops along the 1 hr long drive and learn the history and culture of the island. Like, did you know Jungle Gardens is home to a 900+ year old Buddha statue inside a beautiful temple? Discover the magic and wonder of the gardens from the comfort of home. You can also see the gardens with this virtual tour.
- Take a virtual tour of Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens who also has a new website for visitors to explore and a video with great views of the island both from the air and ground level. It gives a brief history of Jefferson Island including the salt mine collapse of 1980.
- Jefferson Island's Rip's Rookery is still open and available to the public for free viewing. Preview all the birds you could see when you visit with this YouTube video.
3. Get Artsy with Shadows (PSA: Support the arts, even when there isn't a global pandemic)
- Shadows-on-the-Teche had to cancel this year's Plein Air Art Competition, but they've created their first online art auction so guests can still bid on their favorite pieces until May 31, 2020. It is described as "a special social media exhibit and virtual sale of plein air work completed from all six years of the competition, from its beginning in 2015 to what would have been the sixth annual competition in 2020."
- The Shadows has also been posting virtual jigsaw puzzles on their Facebook page. So far, they've created the beautiful Summer House Azaleas option, Fall in the Formal Garden, 1922 Restoration and the traditional Shadows Gardens puzzles for you to complete.
4. Take a Tour (Symptom reported: Wanderlust)
- The Wat Thammarattanaram Buddhist Temple at Lanexang Village in Coteau, La. is definitely one of Iberia Parish's hidden treasures with its gorgeous detailing, otherworldly statues and overwhelming sense of peace you feel when you simply stand and admire its elegance. Come along on an insider's tour of the temple and let the Lao culture take your breath away.
- The Bayou Chateau virtual tour has us dreaming about spending time in a room that isn't the same one we've looked at for a month, and a vacation here sounds even better. Waking up next to the Bayou Teche in the heart of downtown New Iberia? Sign us up! Book your stay today and start planning your first post isolation trip.
5. Escape into a Story (Sometimes book worlds are just better)
- Dive into James Lee Burke's Detective Dave Robicheaux series with a self guided tour. Our video and brochure includes locations from the books and movies. Don't forget to signup for news on next year's Books Along the Teche Literary Festival.
- The Iberia Parish Library has created IPL Book Chats, an online book club that discusses a variety of books across all genres. They are setting aside a specific time each week for live book discussions.
- The library also offers weekly movie watch parties and trivias in addition to tons of options for ebooks, audiobooks and more in every genre. The best part is it's all FREE! Visit their website for more information or "Text a Librarian" to find out more.
6. Work Out (While Staying In)
- Although most of the wellness programs have been postponed, Iberia Parish Recreation has been hosting virtual yoga sessions for the public. There's traditional yoga on Mondays and restorative yoga on Thursdays.
- There is also line dancing on Wednesdays as well as other fun active classes. All of the free online classes are brought to you through Iberia Parish Recreation Wellness department. To participate email Susan Doreen Buller to be included on their virtual member list.
- Iberia Parish Recreation has also been posting fun interactive games/activites for people to interact with each other on their Facebook page like having crazy sock days or posting vacation photos.
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