New Orleans is much more than Bourbon Street and clubs. In fact, New Orleans can be a great family destination. It takes a little planning, but there are wonderful things to do and see in New Orleans for the whole family.
When planning your New Orleans travel, take some time and make some time for the whole family. You won't forget it and neither will they!
These are just a few suggestions of things to consider when taking a family to New Orleans:
Entergy IMAX Theater. This is a massive theatre where different feature films bring you right into the action. The larger-than-life adventures explode with the help of the world’s most advanced motion picture technology. This theater is located next door to Audubon’s Aquarium of the Americas. It's five-story tall screen is an amazing achievement in itself. Show times are from 10 am to 5 pm daily. See Entergy IMAX® Theatre
Louisiana Children’s Museum. A great place to take children. Near downtown and the French Quarter. Many interactive exhibits, including a grocery store, hands-on bubble creation and other New-Orleans specific exhibits. (420 Julia St, 504-523-1357)
1850 House. Part of the Louisiana State Museum. A re-creation of an authentic house in the French Quarter from approximately 1850. Guided tours available, and interesting for both children and adults. Located in the French Quarter at Jackson Square. (523 Saint Ann Street, 800-568-6968).
New Orleans Travel Tip: New Orleans is HOT in the spring, summer and often the fall. Bring lots of water and plan on several rest stops when touring with children. If going out to the zoo, plan on a taxi or bus for a quick trip back to the hotel. The streetcar back can take as long as an hour from the zoo.
Audubon Zoo. Visit one of the country’s top-ranked zoos. Located Uptown, Audubon Zoo offers an exotic mix of animals from around the globe, engaging natural habitats, lush gardens and resting spots. There are exhibits from the mystical Louisiana swamp, and ‘hands-on’ animal encounters. With innovative natural habitat exhibits and an animal collection ranging from the unique white alligators to the extraordinary white tigers. Generally open Tue - Sun 10am. Closing times vary. You can take a taxi, a bus, or a streetcar from downtown or the French Quarter. See Audubon Zoo
Musée Conti Wax Museum. Located right in the French Quarter, you can enter the fascinating world of the French Creoles, and see what people looked and lived like in the past! Telling the story of New Orleans, this museum offers life-sized costumes, beautiful décor, and stories are told as a historical story. The origins begin over 300 years ago. You will see Iberville and Bienville discovering the swampy city, witness the duc d'Orleans planning New Orleans. you will learn the story of the casket girls, Napoleon as he sells Louisiana, Jean Lafitte the pirate, Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans, Mardi Gras Zulu King Weatherspoon, Louis Armstrong and Pete Fountain. See their website at www.neworleanswaxmuseum.com
Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and Storyland. City Park of New Orleans offers exciting rides and places to play, often open both day and night. Kids can play on Captain Hook's pirate ship, play in the mouth of a whale with Pinocchio, or play at any one of over 25 storybook exhibits in Storyland. The Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, located within the complex, is next door. The Amusement Park is open on weekends, and Storyland is open six days a week (Tuesday - Sunday). You will need a taxi or car to get here.
New Orleans Travel Tip: The City Park Amusement Park has more "rides" and activities than Storyland. Storyland is great for toddlers and small children who cannot ride rides. For the older bunch (even into the teens) the Amusement Park is a must if you are going to make the trip to City Park.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Another of the Audubon Institute signature properties, the Aquarium is located at the foot of Canal Street. As you enter, you are treated to life within a vivid Caribbean Reef. See the musty, lush beauty of the Amazon Rainforest. Other exhibits include penguins, sting rays and other deep sea creatures. It features the largest collection of sharks and jellyfish. See the rare white gator, otters and a changing exhibits gallery. It is located at the junction of downtown and the French Quarter and has easy access from all area hotels. Generally open Tues - Sun 10am. Closing times vary. See Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans Travel Tip: Many of these attractions (particulary the Aquarium and the IMAX Theater) often have long lines. It is best to get tickets in advance online or call ahead. You will be glad that you did to avoid the crowds!
Audubon Insectarium. This is the newest Audubon Institute property. It is housed in the massive and historic U.S. Custom House on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans. This modern exhibit offers ‘up close and personal’ live insect encounters, the indelible story of the Crescent City and insects, and “Life Underground,” where you’ll be shrunk to insect size. It also features global insect customs, sample exotic insect cuisine, learn about the history of termites and the latest technologies used in pest control management. There is an animated insect film, a mock Louisiana swamp, a Japanese butterfly garden and you can even watch hundreds of winged beauties as they flit about. Tues – Sun 10 am to 5 pm. See Audubon Insectarium!
There are, of course, other attractions, but these are some of the main considerations for both adult and family travel. Other tour options are available here.
See our page on French Quater Hotels.