Family-friendly activities: Things to do in New Orleans with kids
You might be surprised at the many things to do in New Orleans with kids. The land of Mardi Gras and all-night jazz is also quite family friendly. Share the joys of people-watching from Café Du Monde over hot chocolate and beignets. Then take that sugar energy on a walk through the French Quarter. Older kids may want to take a ghost tour through the streets and above-ground cemeteries. And the whole family can enjoy Mardi Gras floats and King cake, or a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Creole and Cajun dishes.
City Park: Fun for the whole family
Something for everyone is not an exaggeration here. City Park is brimming with activities for the whole family. Enjoy golf courses, tennis courts, botanical gardens, lakes, and more for the perfect day out. Now, for the kids: The Train Garden enchants the little conductor in everyone. Storyland is a maze of sculptures from nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty and fairy tales like Cinderella. Carousel Gardens has over 15 amusement rides, from classics like the Tilt-a-Whirl to Slime Buckets. And for those who like a little flair with their golf, there’s City Putt. This mini-golf course takes players on a mini-tour of New Orleans with each hole.
Strollers are welcome and recommended around the park. Some attractions cost extra for entry, and you should check schedules ahead of time, especially during the rainy season. Depending on where you go in the park, you may want to keep a changing mat with you. The visitor’s center and most attractions have food and drink for sale.
New Orleans Museum of Art: Discover art, inside and out
Follow the history of New Orleans through art at NOMA. Paintings travel through time from the Renaissance to modern Louisiana. Artifacts from Africa and Central and South America may remind kids of things they see today. They can see how memories were kept in lockets and the importance of glassware before plastics with the decorative arts. Then they can join in the act by creating their own works of art for the family’s private collection. But not before taking a walk outside in the sculpture garden, where massive installations give creativity an extra breath of fresh air.
You can bring a stroller inside and store umbrellas and bags at a coat check. You must check any large bags. Food and drink are not allowed inside, but you can purchase drinks from the café. Baby changing facilities are available.
Mardi Gras World: See behind the scenes of the festival
Even if you’re not in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras Festival, you can still enjoy it year-round, only with fewer people around. Together with the kids you can meet the artists and see how they build the colorful floats that take part in the parade. You can also dress up in costumes and take lots of selfies. To make your experience even closer to the real thing, you’ll get a slice of King Cake. Your family can join a tour of the Mardi Gras World where you will learn about its creation, the history of the festival, and how much preparation goes into it.
Remember that you can order a free shuttle to the Mardi Gras World, so you don’t have to worry about getting there on your own.
Louisiana Children’s Museum: Kids can play everywhere
As its name states, the Louisiana Children’s Museum is for kids. From toddlers on up, there are indoor and outdoor activities to distract, intrigue, and educate. They can get wet wandering around the mighty Mississippi, watching life along the river. Or they can learn some cooking skills. Maybe they’ll be able to make you something tasty when you get home! Outside, they can make music with steel drums or just run around the tunnels and play. Finally, they can take a ride on the floating classroom and learn about the wonders of water.
Children of all ages are welcome, although older teens may not find the activities very engaging. Strollers are welcome, with parking areas available as well as storage lockers for bags. Outside food and drink aren’t allowed, but there is a café.