Exploring New Orleans with Kids
Known for romance, history, and parties, New Orleans also offers plenty of things to do with kids. Catch a cheap flight or drive a few hours from Atlanta to New Orleans for these fun things to do:
Eat bugs at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Learn about all kinds of insects and arachnids, enjoy the insect cartoon theatre, walk through the butterfly sanctuary with its many species of butterflies, and take in an interactive insect themed movie at the giant screen theatre. Parents and kids (if you can convince them) can chow down on delicious bug snacks like mealworm cornbread and crunchy cricket pecan pie in the Bug Appetit Kitchen.
Ride the streetcar to Audubon Park. Pretend you’re on a movie set as you travel down St. Charles Avenue. Get off at the Broadway Street stop to take in the architecture at Tulane University and Loyola University, the centuries old oak trees, the homes on St. Charles Avenue, and historic Audubon Park. Named after the famous naturalist who lived for a short time in New Orleans, John Audubon Park has a 2 mile loop of paved walking and biking trails and two new playgrounds. Download the RTA app to purchase streetcar tickets.
Play at Storyland and Spend the Day at City Park. Storyland combines all your favorite storybook characters in an amazing old-school playground. Visit the Three Little Pigs, slide down the Dragon Slide, climb up Jack & Jill’s hill and more. Keep your family busy at City Park with several other attractions –play on two additional playgrounds, visit New Orleans Botanical Garden with a permanent model train display of New Orleans, and ride the carousel, take a train ride and more at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Get beignets at Morning Call anytime of day or take in a game of putt-putt at City Putt. If you visit during the holidays, you won’t want to miss the Celebration of the Oaks where you can view amazing light displays throughout the park and in the botanical garden. Near the park, grab a book at Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop, which specializes in sci-fi and fantasy books for adults, and has a fun kids’ section upstairs.
Steer a Ship at the Port of New Orleans and more at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Spend a couple hours as kids pretend play upstairs at Winn Dixie, prepare pizzas and sandwiches at the diner, pretend they’re optometrists and more. The museum is moving to City Park in 2019 with a new, enhanced experience.
Take a kids walking tour through the French Quarter. We learned about the ghosts that haunt the French quarter in a not-too-spooky tour with French QuarTour Kids Tours. Our kids learned about the city and got to hunt for ghosts and treasure. If you aren’t into spooky, they offer the more history oriented Creole Kids tours plus music history, teen, and even tiny tours for the littlest tourists.
Get beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde. The line is often long, but it moves quickly at this classic spot across from Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Kids will love getting powdered sugar everywhere and moms and dads will enjoy the surprisingly tasty coffee paired with the yummy confections.
Enjoy a fancy meal at Brennan’s in the French Quarter. In this foodie city, it’s nice to go to a fancy place you can take the kids and not feel out of place. Brennan’s is famous for inventing the Banana’s Foster dessert which is a must order. The fiery display and delicious treat will be memorable for all. The kids’ menu has tasty courses like fruit with whip cream, drinks in kids cups, and kid-friendly menu items like chicken that even the pickiest eaters will love.
See artistry at work at Mardi Gras World. Even if you can’t catch a parade on your visit, take in the floats, learn all about Mardi Gras, and get a string of beads at Mardi Gras World. Watch local artists design and build floats for Mardi Gras and other parade events. After this tour, we were ready to move to New Orleans and join a Krewe.
Explore the shops and eats on Magazine Street. Visit Magic Box Toys and lots of other trendy shops on Magazine Street. We loved the huge local record store, Peaches, with its CDs, records, and books for adults and kids. After working up an appetite shopping, grab a hot dog at Dat Dog or food at the tons of other restaurants on the six mile stretch.
Travel across the famous 22 mile causeway to Mandeville and Fontainebleau State Park. Experience nature and an engineering marvel at one time. Kids will love riding across the 22 mile causeway and stopping at the nearby state park for easy hikes near Lake Pontchartrain. Tune your radio to local favorite, WWOZ 90.7, for New Orleans jazz as you cross the river or listen to a New Orleans Jazz Spotify playlist for the ride. Bring a picnic basket or eat lunch nearby in Mandeville.
Where to Stay
A few blocks from the French Quarter, this brand new hotel is a trendy, quiet spot in downtown New Orleans. The well-appointed rooms are perfect for families starting at about $129/night with a few suites available. There is a delicious restaurant on site and a convenient grab and go snack section in the lobby of the hotel. The Pac-Man throwback arcade game is an extra perk. Saint James Cheese Factory, popular and perfect for lunch, and Revelator Coffee are right across the street from the hotel.