What’s the first thought you have when you think about New Orleans? Chances are what comes to mind isn’t child-friendly. Maybe it’s because of the city’s lively night scene, but it is actually the perfect destination to bring your whole family. NOLA’s history, culture, music and food scene make it a one-of-a-kind vacation spot that’ll be sure to entertain everyone. Whether you’re visiting or a local, we’ve put together a guide of our favorite kid-approved places that we are sure you will love too.
Wake up and smell the beignets (and chicory coffee) by starting your trip off with our favorite New Orleans treat at Café Du Monde. This café is open 24 hours a day/ seven days a week, so you can begin as early or as late as you’d like. After you are done eating, make sure to look through their windows to see how those beignets are made.
Cross the street and check out Jackson Square before heading into St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest running cathedral in the United States. Make sure to pick up a self-guided brochure that is available at the entrance for a $1 donation.
From here, you can take a horse and carriage ride around the French Quarter. It’s great if you have little ones that like to be carried around, that way you both get a break from walking while still taking in all of the culture and history!
Later, we recommend stopping at the French Market. This open air market has been in the same spot for 200 years, and began as a trading post. Today, you’ll find shops filled with souvenirs and local snacks!
Just a short walk from the market, make sure to add the Audubon Aquarium to your to-do list. Your family will enjoy touching sting rays, feeding parakeets, and admiring other animals like the penguins and sea otters. You can also visit the butterflies in the Audubon Insectarium on Canal Street.
History buffs will enjoy taking a day tour down the Mississippi River on the Creole Queen, where a local historian will narrate the story of the city and stop at the Chalmette Battlefield. Or you can plan a jazz dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez! If you don’t have time to catch either of these, you can also ride the ferry to Algiers and back.
Downtown and Warehouse District
Just outside of the French Quarter you’ll find an assortment of more activities to do. Start by visiting us here at Mardi Gras World! Where every day is Mardi Gras! You’ll learn the history of our carnival season, and see our artists at work preparing for next year’s festivities. Tours also come with a slice of king cake, no matter what time of year you plan your trip.
Did you know that you can also visit the largest World War II Museum here? And it’s just steps away from Mardi Gras World. Schedule a couple of hours in your itinerary for this one, as there is a lot to see.
Spend the afternoon at the Audubon Zoo, where you can touch an elephant and catch a sea lion show. In the summer pack your bathing suits to enjoy the Cool Zoo. Also, Uptown is filled with restaurants that will satisfy any of your cravings.
Mid-City and Beyond
Take the street car to Mid-City, where you can enjoy City Park. This park houses Storyland, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. You could spend a whole day here and make everyone happy!
If you are looking to plan some excursions outside of the city, there are many tour companies that will take you to visit an old plantation home, like Nottoway Plantation, and on a Swamp Tour. We would definitely recommend doing this if you have time!
These are just some of the attractions you can enjoy during your visit to the Big Easy. So what are you waiting for? Start packing your suit cases, and don’t leave your kids behind! Laissez les bon temps rouler!