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Things To Do in New Orleans with Kids

The minute we stepped off the plane at the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans I knew something had changed.

I have been to New Orleans two times before this trip with my kids on a solo parenting expedition.

Mardi Gras World New Orleans dressing up

When I was first here, was over 20 years ago for Mardi Gras. Not really a time for family travel. Plus, I was so young, kids were the furthest from my mind. So they never even came on my radar.

Recommended Read: Historical Facts About New Orleans

My second venture there was 15 years ago with my parents and brother. Since I was already in my twenties, we weren’t exactly going on a family-friendly type of trip, but to enjoy the Jazz Festival. Also, not really the youngest family-friendly time to visit. And even if it was, I certainly didn’t pay them any mind.

So when we got off and were literally surrounded by at least ten other families with kids my kids ages, I was thrilled.

And it only got better from there.

Things For Kids To Do In New Orleans

Honestly, I had no idea there was this much to do in New Orleans. When I started doing my research, I was blown away with all the cool activities and decided a week was a good time period for our trip.

1. Mardi Gras World

This is a must-do. No matter the age. No matter how limited you are on time. This place is incredible. Not only do you get to see all the cool floats and how it’s being done right in front of you, but you also get to learn all about the Mardi Gras festival and Cultural importance for New Orleans.

entrance to Mardi Gras World in New Orleans

2. Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

This is without a doubt one of the best insect or bug live museums we’ve been to. It’s relatively small and can be done in about one to one and a half hours.

The highlight by far was the bug buffet. You and your kids can try food with real insects. I totally skipped on this, but my kids went for it.

build a bug  at Audubon Insectarium in new orleans

3. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Aquariums are always fun. This one also isn’t huge. The whole place can be seen, including attending some shows, in about two hours. The aquarium combined with the Insectarium is a perfect way to spend the day.

The best part about it is the location. You have to walk along the Mississippi River along the riverfront walk.

stingrays at the audubon aquarium of the americas

4. City Park and Celebration of the Oaks 

City Park is the main park area of New Orleans. It’s about a 20 minute ride by streetcar out, but really worth the trip. It’s a huge park which can have you enjoying it for a full day.

We also came during the Christmas season, which is a really popular festival called Celebration of the Oaks and is a must-see. We did it with a Gray Line tour so that I would be able to learn some history about it as well. But it was a short tour, and the rest of the time we spent exploring the festival area of the park.

New Orleans City Park - Celebration of the oaks

5. Steamboat Natchez

this is kind of a given that you will at one point or another end up on this cool steamboat cruise. You can either do lunch or dinner. If you do lunchtime, you don’t actually have to buy the food, and can simply enjoy the cruise. No matter the price you pay, everyone gets to enjoy some live jazz.

steamboat natchez at new orleans

6. Swamp Tour

If you have a chance to do a swamp tour, I highly recommend it. The whole tour, including the ride out to the bayou area is about four hours tops. We had to do it since my kids wanted to see where the Princess and the Frog spent most of their time. But after doing it, it was a really nice difference to the rest of your time in NOLA.

kid fun - swamp tours new orleans

7. Voodoo and Cemetery Tours

I couldn’t resist this tour. Voodoo is such a huge component of New Orleans culture and history. However, I wouldn’t really recommend this tour for younger kids. It can get really verbose and a bit boring. Gratefully, my kids found a way to entertain themselves, but just be aware it can be boring and the kids will want to go home.

voodoo tours in new orleans

8. Walking Around and Sightseeing

New Orleans, especially the French Quarters area, is a walking city. It’s quite small as far as how many blocks. But each block has so much to do. Street performers. Musicians. Magicians. Sword swallowers. And the list goes on and on.

sword swallowers at the french quarters in new orleans

The riverfront walk is gorgeous. Plenty of spots to sit and enjoy the view while the kids can run around and explore in safety.

New Orleans Riverwalk

Jackson Square was one of our favorite spots. During the week, off season, it’s quieter with artists and horse carriages and the famous Cafe Du Monde. But during the weekends and high season this place has extraordinarily talented dancers, break dancers, magicians and countless of others. You can literally spend the whole day and not feel it.

French Quarters - Jackson Square

French Market – just a few blocks from Jackson Square is the famous French Market. This is an open market. Even though it’s great to see all the stuff for sale unless you plan on getting your kids something, it might be seriously boring for them.

French Market - New Orleans

This is just some of the things to do in New Orleans.  I’m sure you can find tons more, but for now it’s a good start.

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