10 Things to Do in New Orleans with Kids

Traveling with the little ones can feel like a challenge if you don't know what alternatives your destination has to offer. The following things to see and do in New Orleans with kids are an excellent compilation to help you with this aspect of your visit.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

11 min read

10 Things to Do in New Orleans with Kids

New Orleans | ©Tarique Adnan Siddiqui

There are thousands of things to see and do in New Orleans no matter what your age or interests are. The long history of this city has given it an identity that captivates even the most reserved visitor.

The list below can help you properly balance your children's entertainment with the other activities that the city's nightlife and culture can offer you as an adult.

1. Visit the Audubon Aquarium

Audubon Aquarium| ©Gary Burke
Audubon Aquarium| ©Gary Burke

Stretching along the banks of the Mississippi River is the Audubon Aquarium, one of the largest in North America. Inside are approximately 15,000 creatures representing a wide diversity of 600 marine species.

The breadth of marine ecosystems preserved and exhibited there is also quite impressive. For example, you can walk through a tunnel of Caribbean corals with a beauty so impressive that it would only be available to you if you were diving underwater in a real context.

Endangered white crocodiles are also among the repertoire of animals you can meet if you visit the Audubon Aquarium. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that brings you long-lasting good luck according to the mystical beliefs of the Cajun culture.

Touching baby sharks, seeing anacondas and observing poison dart frogs are other activities that characterize a visit to this entertaining aquarium. So this is a plan that can easily take up half of your day.

The hours can change, but it is usually open from Tuesday to Sunday with permanent closure on Mondays for maintenance reasons.

It is located at the beginning of Canal Street and is therefore a good thing to do in the mornings before hopping on some of New Orleans' best tour buses that will take you to other nearby points in Downtown and the French Quarter of the city.

Details of interest:

  • Address: 1 Canal St, Woldenberg Park,
  • Price: about $30 to $25 per adult, children and seniors pay 10% less. Weekend tickets are more expensive.
  • Duration: it all depends on the visitor's speed, but on average it can take about 3 to 4 hours if you participate in all the aquarium exhibits.
  • Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, every day of the week except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Book a tour bus in New Orleans

2. Tour the Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo| ©Toni Sterling
Audubon Zoo| ©Toni Sterling

Across town, in Uptown and specifically at the south end of Audubon Park is the Audubon Zoo.

This is an equally interesting plan to do with kids in New Orleans for the fact that it allows them to run, play and be entertained while learning about the animal diversity of our planet.

Leopards, orangutans and white lizards are some of the protagonists along with elephants, giraffes and other reptiles native to the swampy ecosystems of Louisiana.

Within the zoo itself there is a children's attraction called Cool Zoo. It is basically a water park where they can cool off in small fountains and slides for an additional fee that varies according to each season.

Just across the street from the zoo are the Audubon Park golf courses. These can finish entertaining you and your whole family for the rest of your afternoon, keeping in mind that it has free access if you want to walk around them.

Details of interest:

  • Address: 6500 Magazine St, Audubon Park
  • Price: tickets cost $25 per adult approximately and children pay 10% less along with seniors.
  • Duration: it is an entertaining museum, but it is not that big and therefore about 2 hours are enough to visit it in its entirety.
  • Hours: every day (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays), from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

3. Astonishing with the National World War II Museum

World War II Museum| ©Viator
World War II Museum| ©Viator

World War II was a traumatic episode for all the countries involved in the conflict. It is therefore logical that there is a national museum within the United States dedicated to this stage of its history and this is located in the city of New Orleans.

It is an entertaining option to visit with children because of the fact that all kinds of machinery and tools used at that time for the defense of the free world are exhibited. The little ones of the house love to see this kind of artifacts, such as airplanes or war tanks.

This World War II Museum in New Orleans is open almost every day of the year so you can visit it with your children when you are in town.

In addition, it is right between Magazine and Camp Streets in the heart of the Warehouse District. That is, in a very touristy section of downtown.

It usually closes at 5 pm and therefore it is recommended that you look for alternative plans in the nearby perimeter. A couple of blocks away is Lafayette Square, which offers a place to rest while watching the sunset fall over the city sky.

In addition, the Art District of New Orleans is located along Magazine Street and other nearby streets. So taking a stroll through there to check out some galleries while eating an ice cream or sipping a lemonade is another good alternative to welcome the evening with the kids.

Details of interest:

  • Address: 945 Magazine St
  • Price: Tickets cost about 28 euros per person if you buy them online. It is preferable that you do it in a site that offers free cancellation of your reservation.
  • Duration: it is not common to spend more than 3 hours and a half touring this museum. In fact, it is common that you can visit all the exhibits in a maximum of 2 hours.
  • Hours: from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Buy your tickets to the World War II Museum in New Orleans

4. You should also visit the Louisiana Childrens Museum

Louisiana Childrens Museum| ©Shan Bailey
Louisiana Childrens Museum| ©Shan Bailey

Speaking of museums, to the north of the city, in the City Park, is located the Louisiana Childrens Museum.

Like the other children's museums in the rest of the country, it is an extremely fun activity to visit with children ranging in age from as young as 12 months to well into their pre-teen years, i.e., 13 years old.

Educational exhibits on the history of the region, games with animators and childcare specialists or climbing walls to entertain the older children in the house. These are some of the attractions you can enjoy with your little ones if you decide to visit this museum during your visit to New Orleans.

Near the Childrens Museum you will also find other important establishments of the gigantic City Park, which curiously resembles in shape and extension to New York's Central Park.

The New Orleans Museum of Arts is one such place and the city's botanical garden is the other. Together they can make a full afternoon to entertain you and your children without the need to walk too far and without having to be inside the same section of the city all the time.

Details of interest

  • Address: 15 Henry Thomas Dr
  • Price: Tickets are relatively inexpensive, usually costing about $16 for both adults and children, as long as they are over 12 months of age. Babies under one year old are admitted free of charge.
  • Duration: 3 hours are usually more than enough to entertain the little ones of the house in the facilities of this museum.
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. On Sundays the opening is delayed until 11:30 am.

5. Have fun with the curious and entertaining exhibits at the Jamnola

Jamnola| ©Jamie T
Jamnola| ©Jamie T

Jamnola is a permanent display of multimedia material that spans across 12 different rooms for visitors to marvel at the art on display.

The inspiration for these fun compositions stems from the food, culture and music of this quirky city and this makes it a very convenient stop if you are looking for plans to do with kids in New Orleans.

I guarantee you 'll leave this place with tons of pictures worthy of a social media post.

Children under the age of 16 are also not allowed to go without adult supervision. Don't overextend your evening stay, as Jamnola closes its doors at 8 pm, leaving you free for the rest of the evening to explore the streets of the French Quarter which is a short walk away heading southwest.

Details of interest:

  • Address: 2832 Royal St
  • Price: Tickets are around $29 for adults, $20 for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. Children under that age are completely free.
  • Duration: It is a relatively short activity and it is not common to take more than 45 minutes to walk around and take pictures of all the exhibits available.

6. Organize a ride on the city trolley

New Orleans Tramway| ©hmerinomx
New Orleans Tramway| ©hmerinomx

Children have an amazing capacity to be amazed by anything that is new to them in their environment. That's why a ride on the city's streetcar is a great way to round out a day when you've planned a tour of New Orleans' French Quarter.

Another reason that makes it an interesting plan is the fact that this transport is the oldest streetcar in the world that still operates today. So by riding as a passenger you are participating in a historic landmark that continues to unfold daily with use by locals and tourists alike.

There is one line that runs right in front of the Mississippi River and another that runs north and south along Canal Street. Which is convenient when you consider that most of your tourist stops are in this area of the city.

As for the cost of a tour, you will be surprised to know that you will only pay approximately $1.25 per trip. You can also purchase a Jazzy Pass that gives you unlimited rides for 1, 2, 3 or 31 days for a fee proportional to the use you would make of the streetcar on those respective dates.

7. Take the kids to Carousel Gardens and City Park's Storyland

Carousel Gardens| ©Francesco
Carousel Gardens| ©Francesco

City Park offers other children's entertainment alternatives for your visit to New Orleans with the Carousel Garden and the Storyland sculptures.

Both are good choices of things to do and see in a New Orleans summer because of the fact that this park has enough shade to escape the sun while the children play freely in a safe space full of nature.

In the case of Storyland you will find a beautiful theme park with 26 permanent exhibits featuring life-size fairy tale characters.

Fire trucks, Captain Hook's ship and the whale from Pinocchio's fairy tale are some of the sceneries present in this attraction, located very close to the city's Botanical Garden.

Carousel Gardens is the other protagonist of children's entertainment in the City Park and consists of a small amusement park with roller coasters and other machinery that has been in continuous operation since 1906.

This makes it one of the oldest public spaces of its kind in the United States and one of the few remaining urban parks of its kind in the country.

At least when it is not the Christmas season, because in that case it is a good night plan to do during the winter in New Orleans.

Details of interest

  • Price: keep in mind that admission to these attractions is not free, as the admission ticket is $5 per person.
  • Duration: closing time is set between 5 and 6 pm every day of the week and you can spend about 3 or 4 hours between both children's attractions.

8. Catch a soccer game at the New Orleans Superdome

New Orleans Superdome| ©Nikita N
New Orleans Superdome| ©Nikita N

This city's soccer team is the New Orleans Saints and during three quarters of the year the NFL preseason, regular season and postseason take place.

So if there is a game scheduled for the week of your visit to the city, it is an excellent idea to come with the kids to experience the best of the American passion for sports in a place as impressive as the New Orleans Superdome.

There are no guarantees as to how much you might pay for tickets, as prices are always adjusted according to the relevance of the game. What I can assure you is that this is a very fun activity for any kid, as the stadiums are filled with a festive atmosphere that gives them the opportunity to drink as many sodas as they want along with a typical American Hotdog.

My recommendation is not to worry about paying for front row seats if the kids don't understand sports. Chances are they will be more interested in experiencing the mysticism of the surreal moment of attending a stadium like the Superdome and being able to share it with you.

Buy your ticket to a New Orleans Saints game

9. Shop at the Vampyre's Shop and tour a cemetery

Masonic Cemetery| ©Carlos D
Masonic Cemetery| ©Carlos D

Children should be indulged with their tastes to encourage the free development of their personality and it is no secret that many are interested in ghostly things.

New Orleans is the perfect place for your kids if this appeals to them, as it has one of the few vampire stores on the planet.

It is located in the French Quarter one street away from Bourbon Street and sells all sorts of artifacts that a flesh and blood vampire would use to camouflage himself among society.

On that same block, at the other end, is the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and is also a good place to learn about the identity of voodoo spiritualism in the culture of this part of the country.

So booking a New Orleans ghost tour can be a convenient way to please your kids and entertain the family in an unconventional way.

And to take it to another level, there are also cemetery tours in the city that mix terrifying stories with a genuine admiration for the architectural beauty of these places.

Although you should keep in mind that although this is a good alternative for older children, it is still a delicate plan for younger and impressionable children.

Details of interest

  • Address and hours: Vampyre's Shop is at 709 St Ann St and is open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.
  • Price: the entrance to the store is free, but in general the ghost or vampire tours around the city that include a guided visit to this establishment are around 28 or 30 euros per person.
  • Duration: the tours usually last about 2 or 3 hours maximum and the individual visit to the store does not last more than about 20 minutes within the schedule.

Book a ghost tour in New Orleans

10. Go to Jackson Square to have your fortune read and hear some live jazz

Jackson Square| ©Jordon Dopp
Jackson Square| ©Jordon Dopp

Jackson Square is an epicenter of tourist activity in the French Quarter at all times of the year. December and February are important months for this beautiful square because of the arrival of Christmas carolers or the Mardi Gras celebrations.

So on your visit to New Orleans you can not skip this corner of the city if you want to find entertainment for the youngest of the group.

Throughout the year there are psychics and tarot readers who offer fortune telling and personal fortune telling to interested tourists. Clearly, this is a shocking and very interesting moment for the mind of a curious child who is amazed by all the new things around him.

At the same time, the square is also usually full of trumpet and saxophone players who for a few dollars offer those present a small concert of free and experimental jazz. This is also an experience that can move both an impressionable child and an adult of your age.

You can take advantage of the fact that most guided tours of New Orleans pass through this square so you don't have to readjust your itinerary. This way you can make two of your plans happen in the same day, simultaneously.

Book a guided tour of New Orleans