New Orleans is famous for many things. Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, and world-class restaurants come to mind. While these are great “adult” activities and locales, we think the Crescent City is a phenomenal place for kids as well. With an abundance of sights, sounds and learning opportunities, these are some great activities to do with kids in New Orleans, and they’re fun for the entire family!
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
We love the water in New Orleans, how often do you get to see (up-close and personal) what lives beneath the surface? At the Aquarium of the Americas, you’ll get to see (and touch) mysterious animals right on the banks of the Mississippi and just steps away from the French Quarter! Check out the current exhibits here.
Located in historic Audubon Park, the zoo will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the wild (in Uptown New Orleans). You’ll get an up-close look at hundreds of animals from all over the globe including a white tiger, endangered whooping cranes, Amur leopards, orangutans, rare white alligators, and much, much more. Check out all the wonderful exhibits available to you here.
It doesn’t get more “Nola” than hopping on the streetcar. Whether you’re cruising down Canal or zooming down St. Charles, your kid will love the sights rolling past an open window. We think this is an especially great idea for Halloween or Christmas. Check out the routes and schedules here.
Speaking of Nola rides, another quintessential mode of transportation is the steamboat. Your kids probably love the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and a ride on the River is straight from the pages of a Mark Twain novel. You’ve got two options for a Mississippi cruise; check out the Creole Queen and the Steamboat Natchez.
The New Orleans area is teeming with swamplands. These mysterious lands are filled with the wonders of animal and plant life. On a swamp tour, you can get an up-close look at alligators, birds, raccoons, bears, turtles and more. You can explore the bayous from an eco-friendly flat-bottomed boat or from an exciting air-boat!
Mardi Gras World
You’ve been to Mardi Gras. When those ladders come out and the floats start rolling, we all kind of turn into kids, right? Mardi Gras is a sensory explosion and your kids love to soak it all in. But, this excitement doesn’t have to be limited to Carnival season. Bring your kids to Mardi Gras World, and let them see the floats up close and see how they get made! And of course, take them to the neutral ground to see the real thing!
Related: 2020 Mardi Gras Parade Schedules
Louisiana Children’s Museum
The Louisiana Children’s Museum is a world of learning. Recently moved from Julia street into a new $47.5 million campus in City Park, the museum now features 5 hands-on exhibits exploring Literacy, the Environment, STEM, Arts & Culture, and Health & Wellness. Your kids can follow the Mighty Mississippi’s journey or follow their food’s journey from water and land to their table. Or, they can make their own magic or dig into nature. Check out all of the amazing interactive experiences here.
Rated the #2 Museum in the U.S and the World, the National WWII Museum is a true gift to New Orleanians. This interactive museum puts you in the boots of soldiers and tells the story of an experience that truly changed the world. Your kids will love the 4D theater that truly makes you feel like you’re there. They’ll also love original artifacts from real soldiers who were there. A truly powerful educational experience, a day at the WWII Museum is unlike any other.
A day at City Park could be an entire blog on its own. There’s, of course, a sprawling expanse of green space, sports fields, and trails. There’s also the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, a 36-hole putt-putt course, a playground featuring larger-than-life storybook sculptures, and the Historic New Orleans Train Garden. Plan a full day for this one!
New Orleans Museum of Art
Speaking of education, the NOMA has been open since 1911. Located in City Park, you and your kids will enjoy checking out over 40,000 pieces of art. NOMA does a great job of including your kids with storytime, art workshops and weekly art classes! Learn more here.
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