This year, I’ll be checking off a city that has been on my bucket list for way too long. That’s right, Ella and I are heading to NOLA and today we’re sharing the top 50 Things to do in New Orleans with Kids according to our copious amounts of vacation research!
What to do in New Orleans with Kids
While New Orleans might not immediately stand out as a family-friendly vacation spot, there is so much more to the Big Easy than Mardi Gras!
Quirky and unique, NOLA has a wealth of unexpected spots that will make you wish you’d added an extra day to your trip. From live jazz pop-ups, to a rich literary history, amazing food and more – you will not have a hard time keeping the whole family happy in New Orleans.
One of my favorite ways to save money while travelling is to look into Sightseeing Passes, like this New Orleans Sightseeing Pass. They are also a great gift idea if friends or grandparents ask for suggestions.
This one has two different options: select your top 2 to 6 attractions from their list (Attractions FLEX Passes) OR (my favorite option) pick a 1, 2, 3 or 5 day pass with unlimited admission to the 20 Attractions they offer free admission to. Of course, these passes are only a good deal if you’re actually interested in the attractions they cover. There are a couple attractions for this pass that I’m not super interested in, but the ones we are interested in make it worthwhile. (Not to mention it includes an airport shuttle!)
Check out my list of the 50 things in New Orleans you can do with the entire family – and be sure to PIN THIS POST for your NOLA Vacation Planning.
- Enjoy a live Jazz performance at Preservation Hall. Several all-ages shows are available throughout each evening. Find info about showtimes here.
- Stroll Magazine Street as a quieter Bourbon street alternative.
- Take the St. Charles Ave route on the New Orleans Streetcar to view local architecture while resting little feet.
- Ride the “Flying Horses” at Carousel in City Park. Learn more on their website.
- Dip your toes in the Gulf of Mexico at Orange Beach or Gulf Shores.
6. If you don’t make Mardi Gras during your trip, get a behind-the-scenes experience at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. Read more here.
7. Stroll the Rail-To-Trail Tammany Trace path and finish with a stop at the inclusive playground.
8. After investigating the manicured gardens at Longue Vue House & Gardens, let kids enjoy the Discovery Garden created just for them.
9. Read more about the region and especially William Faulkner at Faulkner House Books. Discover more here.
10. Beloved childhood story characters come to life at Storyland in City Park. Preview the magic here.
11. Get up close and personal with the history, geography, and culture of the region at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Learn more the wealth of attractions here.
12. Connect with the historical roots of New Orleans at Louis Armstrong Park.
13. Get up close and personal with Gulf of Mexico sea life at the Audubon Aquarium.
14. Create a one-of-a-kind glass souvenir at the Shard Shop. See current class offerings here.
15. There’s always something new to see and eat at the French Market.
16. Appreciate the value of insects and delight in the graceful butterflies at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
17. A trip to NOLA wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
18. For an inexpensive adventure sure to excite the kids, take the Canal Street/Algiers Ferry. Get tickets and see the schedule here.
19. The stunning resolution of the Entergy Giant Screen Theater brings wildlife into reality.
20. Once your ride the Carousel, check out the bigger Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
21. The staff at French QuarTour Kids Tour go above and beyond to connect kids to the history and culture of New Orleans. See tour options and more at their website.
22. With a climbing wall and art studio, a stop at Louisiana Children’s Museum offers something new for everyone.
23. See a massive model of early 19th century New Orleans at the Historic Train Garden.
24. Appreciate the historical importance and impact of the second world war at the WWII Museum – perfect for older kids and teens. You can even take online classes through the museum here.
25. After a visit to the World War II museum, grab a retro bite (and milkshake!) at the Soda Shop.
26. Enjoy the waterside views and hear about the history of water-travel through New Orleans at the New Canal Lighthouse.
27. Running parallel to Bourbon Street, Royal Street offers unique shops and sights for families to enjoy.
28. Stop in for a bite at Pizza Delicious or get a pie via bike delivery!
29. Bring the over-the-top glam of Mardi Gras to life at the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture. Get a preview here.
30. Classic, tasty, and sure to please, enjoy a favorite local sandwich at Short Stop Poboys.
31. Stroll riverside at the Woldenberg Riverfront Park near the Audubon Aquarium.
32. A bit of a drive from New Orleans, but if you’re driving to NOLA anyways, stop in Baton Rouge for Knock Knock Museum. Designed for kids 0 – 8, it offers hands-on STEAM activities in 18 different learning zones. Learn more here.
33. Rent a bike and cruise the trails or venture onto the water at City Park Boat & Bike Rentals.
34. Buy the kids a classic beignet at Café Du Monde, while you sip on the Chicory coffee they’ve been brewing since 1862.
35. See the crumbling remains of a sugar plantation and appreciate the Lake Pontchartrain views at the Fontainebleau State Park.
36. Savor tempting chef crafted dishes at St. Roch Market where everyone can find something to love! Read more about what awaits here.
37. One of the city’s favorite attractions, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 creates a direct connection to the past. However, catch a tour to visit this historic site – vandalism has led the city to end self-guided exploration.
38. The unique features of regional artists’ creations take center stage at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
39. Visit the site of the infamous Battle of New Orleans at Chalmette National Historical Park.
40. One of the top-rated zoos in the country, the Audubon Zoo has a full display of local wildlife include highly endangered Whooping Cranes and Amur leopards.
41. Visit Jackson Square to explore the local artists, architecture, and more. The park is also a great launch pad for other attractions in the area.
42. Kids 6 and under get free admission at the New Orleans Museum of Art & the Sculpture Garden!
43. Don’t miss the chance to take a lovely dog for a walk while you sightsee! Visit the Villalobos Pitbull Rescue Center to learn more.
44. Adventurous families will love an afternoon on a Big Easy Bayou Kayak Tour. They welcome kids of all ages.
45. A perennial favorite, the Steamboat Natchez offers cruises throughout the day or special brunch or dinner offerings.
46. Located off Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the US. Visit for mass or a tour.
47. The unique Music Box Village will stun and amaze your senses. Check it out here.
48. You’ll have a lot of options for swamp tours – check out this review to decide on your favorite.
49. Crescent Park, a beautiful and compact park with riverfront walking paths, is a lovely spot for an after-dinner stroll.
50. Don’t forget the pralines! Leah’s Candy Kitchen or Aunt Sally’s Pralines offer the best around.
Have you visited these spots with your family? Or did I miss any of your favorites? Share in the comments below!
For more NOLA Family Vacation planning, check out our 10 Best New Orleans Restaurants for Foodie Families.