August 20, 2017

New Orleans: 5 Family-Friendly Activities

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Mardi Gras is here, attracting thousands and thousands of people to the French Quarter of New Orleans. If you’ve never been to New Orleans, I can tell you that there is so much more to do beyond Mardi Gras. An aquarium, insectarium and even steamboat cruises make for a perfect time in New Orleans for families. Take a look at my five favorite attractions:

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas: There’s more than just sea turtles and sharks at this aquarium. Stop by for the Gulf Chat three times a week to learn more about sea life, then learn about the wildlife indigenous to the Mississippi River. Pop by Parakeet Pointe to see hundreds of colorful parakeets, and cap off your day with a visit to the Amazon Rainforest.

Audubon Insectarium: Open Tuesday through Sunday, you and your kids can take in a daily cooking demonstration called Bug Appetit to sample exotic creations prepared by resident bug chefs, learn about insect courtship and life cycles in the Metamorphosis Gallery and even discover the insects that have been pivotal to the history of New Orleans.

Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World: Enjoy the magic of Mardi Gras without the crowds and dare I say, debauchery (I went to Mardi Gras twice in my 20s, so yes, I can say debauchery). Watch a short film on the history of Mardi Gras, then take a guided tour to see parade floats up close and even check out statues and decorations as they are being made.

Carousel Gardens Amusement Park: You and your kids will love the antique carousel, one of only 100 antique wooden carousels in the country. You’ll also find a ferris wheel, bumper cars and a miniature train ride that tours the park. Then stop by Storyland, which sits adjacent to Carousel Gardens, featuring more than 25 larger-than-life storybook exhibits. A great way for kids to burn off some energy!

Steamboat Natchez: Enjoy the two-hour Harbor Jazz Cruise down the Mississippi River aboard New Orleans’ only authentic steamboat. You’ll hear historical facts and Dixieland music as you take in this lunchtime or mid-afternoon cruise. Or try the Dinner Cruise for beautiful sunsets. Kids under six ride free with a paid adult.

Have you ever been to New Orleans with your kids? I’d love to hear about your favorite family activities. Just leave me a note in the comments section below.

You might also be interested in these 15 fun Things to Do With Kids in New Orleans!

Photo Credit: Ewald & Edith Wolff

Comments

  1. Parents are brave if they’re taking their kids to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It’s craziness times 10. I would not suggest it. My husband used to live there and we go back every year but have yet to take the kids with us. Next year will be their first New Orleans trip and we’re planning to take them the first weekend of Jazz Fest. It’s more low-key, fewer crowds and less expensive. There are also kid tents set up at Jazz Fest with activities for little ones (parents need to stay with them). For other things to do with kids in New Orleans, make sure to hit Jackson Square to see the street artists, grab some food at Cafe Du Monde and see excellent street performers. The kids will love the guys pretending to be statues. If you walk up the steps behind Cafe Du Monde you can take a walk along the river and hopefully catch some good music from the locals who have set up shop for the day (Dr. Saxtum is the best if he’s out!). You can also jump into a horse drawn carriage in Jackson Square for a short tour of the city. At least the kids can get a little history lesson from it.

Leave a Comment

*