New Orleans is truly a melting pot of cultures. A delightful blend of Creole, Cajun, Spanish, and African influences, it offers families a one-of-a-kind chance to introduce their little ones to diverse cultures right within the heart of America. If you are looking for things to do in New Orleans with Kids, this guide is for you.
Stick around, and I’ll share some fantastic things you can do with your kiddos while you’re in town, and trust me – we won’t be walking up and down Bourbon Street with the Kids.
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Is New Orleans worth visiting with Kids?
New Orleans with kids is so much fun because there is much to do in the city. Suppose your children are interested in food, History, or having a good time. In that case, New Orleans is the perfect destination to bring them. Since New Orleans is a larger city in Louisiana, there are many fun things to do in New Orleans with kids.
Where can kids go in New Orleans?
Kist can pretty much go anywhere that is not adults-only or a bar. Bourbon Street is not the first place I would ring the kiddos, but I have yet to see them on Bourbon Street. There are tons of family-friendly activities to do all over the city.
Is Frenchman Street kid-friendly?
Many clubs and bars on Frenchman are 21 and over, but there are a few places during the day you can get into. I would save Frenchman for when the kids are just slightly older.
1. Exploring the French Quarter
Ensuring a trip to the French Quarter, especially with kids, is essential when in New Orleans. The historic neighborhood boasts captivating sights and is brimming with activities that appeal to all ages. Here’s what to do with your kids in the French Quarter’s.
To read everything to do in the French Quarter, please read my comprehensive guide.
2. Jackson Square
Jackson Square is the heart of the French Quarter and a great place to start your exploration. The park resonates with History framed by architectural marvels like St. Louis Cathedral.
Immerse the vibrant ambiance with great music, intriguing street performers, and even a fortune teller who can give your children a closer look at their future.
3. St. Louis Cathedral
After wandering around Jackson Square, enter St. Louis Cathedral for a self-guided tour or mass. The oldest Cathedral in North America is the perfect place to go to mass or admire the Cathedral.
4. French Market
Head toward the French Market to savor the essence of Creole flavors and pick up some unique souvenirs.
This open-air market has been a New Orleans institution since the late 1700s and is a great place to find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Watch your kids’ eyes light up as they sample classic New Orleans treats like beignets from Cafe Du Monde and pralines. Multiple vendors line up selling toys and trinkets that make great souvenirs.
5. Royal Street
If you want to walk around the French Quarter, Check out Royal Street for a more upscale shopping experience, head to Royal Street. This picturesque street has art galleries, antique shops, and high-end boutiques.
There are plenty of reasons for your kiddo to enjoy and have fun, from browsing the unique shops and galleries to the street performers and musicians.
6. French Quartour Kids
Looking for family-friendly walking tours around the French Quarter? French Quartour Kids are touring designed with the kids in mind, from Pirate treasure hunts to ghost hunts. They have tours perfect for young children ages 4-7 years old. The Sounds of New Orleans Music Tour is perfect for older kids and teens.
Check out our blog post on what to do with Teens!
7. Preservation Hall Live Jazz
Ever heard that New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz? Well, it’s true! Places like the intimate Preservation Hall in the French Quarter let you experience this magic up close. The best part of Preservation Hall is that it is family-friendly for people of all ages!
8. Armstrong Park
Armstrong Park is your go-to for a quick city escape, tucked away in the soulful Treme neighborhood.
Picture this: kids giggling on the playground, families leisurely strolling down pathways, and an expanse of green just waiting for those impromptu picnics or tag games.
It’s like the city’s serene little secret.
Add some of these activities to your upcoming trip or staycation!
🚌 Take a 2-Hour City Sightseeing Bus Tour which is great way to learn about the history and romance of this magnificent city
🚢Experience Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with dinner while soaking in incredible views.
👻 Hear tales of vampires, voodoo, and witchcraft on this city walking tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter
🦸 Try Escape Room Adventure and test your problem-solving skills with fun and tactile challenges
⛰️ Go on a food tour and explore the history and culture of the area with an expert local guide while tasting regional specialties at some of the best restaurants around.
9. New Orleans City Park
City Park promises a day filled with wonder. This urban park is one of the largest parks of its kind in Louisiana. A fun way to spend the day is by starting with a Beignet breakfast inside the park, using one of the outdoor spaces to run off any excess energy, and spending the afternoon in one of the museums once the afternoon heat settles in.
10. Carousel Gardens Amusement Park
Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is located inside City Park and features 17 rides, including a Ferris wheel, a heart-pumping roller coaster, and a miniature train.
Children of all ages will love riding the antique carousel and the Ladybug roller coaster. The amusement park is open year-round, so you can visit it no matter what time of year you’re in New Orleans.
The best part? Admission to Carousel Gardens also gets you into Storyland, so you can enjoy even more family fun.
11. City Park’s Storyland
Inside Carousel Gardens, you’ll find Storyland, a playground where you can find characters from classic fairy tales.
Your kids will love exploring Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, Jack and Jill’s hill, and other enchanting play areas.
Each play structure is meticulously crafted, reflecting the pages of beloved children’s stories. And as the kids play and explore, they’re not just playing; they’re living the stories, each step echoing with the magic of once-upon-a-times and happily-ever-afters.
12. Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a large sculpture garden with permanent exhibits bound to impress even the pickiest young kids. The Sculpture Garden is an excellent place to get a few selfies in with the family, from enormous Spiders to art installations that will bring up the topic of Hurricane Katrina.
13. City Putt Mini Golf
An all-in-one Experience in City Park, City Putt Mini Golf is a must-visit for families searching for light-hearted fun with kids.
It features two distinct 18-hole courses perfect for kids of all ages. The courses are beautifully landscaped and have New Orleans-themed obstacles, adding fun to the visit. You can spend the whole day here.
14. New Orleans Museum of Art
When ready for an Air conditioning break, visit the New Orleans Museum of Art. Visiting this museum is a great way to immerse yourself in art, and older children will enjoy the different art exhibits. Make sure you stop by the gift shop on your way out.
15. Louisiana Children’s Museum
The Louisiana Children’s Museum is an Oasis of Curiosity for younger kids in New Orleans. Skipping the Louisiana Children’s Museum isn’t an option.
This immersive space welcomes children with interactive exhibits, fostering learning most enjoyably. Dive into a universe-spanning subject from intricate art to enthralling science.
Some popular exhibits include the Little Port of New Orleans, where kids can learn about the city’s port and shipping industry. Or they can practice shopping and budgeting at the Grocery Store exhibition.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum was one of my favorite places to go as a child, and the new and improved version in City Park is phenomenal.
16. New Orleans Botanical Garden
The New Orleans Botanical Garden is a serene oasis where families can unwind. Marvel at the wide variety of flora; if you’re lucky, you might spot a butterfly dancing around. It’s nature’s own symphony here. If you visit during the spring or fall, there are typically free concerts here on Wednesday nights.
17. Train Ride in City Park
Is there a little train enthusiast in the family? The City Park Train has got you covered. This delightful ride offers a scenic tour of City Park, a sprawling urban playground.
Sit back, relax, and watch the park’s beauty unfold from the comfort of your train seat.
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18. Museums and Historical Sites
In New Orleans, an adventure with the kids doesn’t just mean fun but also a deep dive into the city’s rich History and culture. Your list of places to visit in NOLA with kids can’t miss the city’s museums and historical sites.
Here’s a curated list of destinations that seamlessly blend education with entertainment.
19. National WWII Museum
If you have a history buff interested in World War II, bring them to this museum! Every corner of the National WWII Museum is brimming with stories, artifacts, and life-sized equipment representing different facets of World War II. If you want to teach your Kid about this time in History, visiting the museum in New Orleans is the perfect option.
The immersive displays featuring tanks, aircraft, and more will captivate the kids. At the same time, interactive zones offer a glimpse into the life of a soldier amid war’s chaos. This museum typically takes about a day and a half to complete.
20. Ogden Museum of Southern Art
If your Kid likes art, you should bring them to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art to see the stunning art from local artists. Admission to the museum is free for children under 5 or those on SNAP benefits.
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21. Pharmacy Museum
The Pharmacy Museum, located in the heart of New Orleans, offers a peek into the History of medicine and pharmacy in New Orleans. Located within a historic building that was once a working pharmacy, you can see the tools, equipment, and medicines used by pharmacists in the past.
The old-world remedies and outdated medical instruments promise an enriching experience for young minds.
22. St. Louis Cemetery
You are probably thinking, why would I bring my children to the Cemetery – but History comes alive here! St. Louis Cemetery is located on the edge of the historic French Quarter. It offers a glimpse into New Orleans’ past. Kids will be intrigued by the above-ground tombs and the stories they hold. St. Louis Cemetery is my favorite because the voodoo queen Marie Laveu’s final resting place is here.
Get your ticket to tour St. Louis Cemetery here.
From luminescent beetles to giant tarantulas, it’s a bug’s life on full display. The Insectarium in New Orleans is North America’s largest museum dedicated to insects and their relatives.
Offering interactive exhibits allows visitors to get close to diverse species, from vivid butterflies to exotic beetles. They even have their own Butterfly Garden, one of the best things about hanging out with bugs.
Children and adults can explore the fascinating world of bugs, understanding their vital role in our ecosystem.
24. Mardi Gras World
Overlooking the Mississippi River, Mardi Gras World offers a unique lens into the heart and soul of New Orleans’ most iconic festival.
As guests enter its doors, they’re plunged into vibrant colors, larger-than-life sculptures, and intricate costumes.
Here, the magic of Mardi Gras is crafted year-round, with artisans meticulously designing the majestic floats that become the parade stars.
The sheer scale and imagination often amaze children, from mythical beasts to beloved storybook characters.
25. Kids’ Costume Corner
Within Mardi Gras World is a delightful place that excites every young visitor: the Kids’ Costume Corner.
This vibrant space is a treasure trove of festive garments and accessories, letting children step into the shoes of carnival royalty or perhaps don a mask of mystery.
From feathered headdresses to shimmering capes and whimsical masks, the Kids’ Costume Corner is designed to encapsulate the essence of Mardi Gras in child-friendly fashion.
Watching their young ones light up with delight, transforming before their eyes, is heartwarming for parents.
26. Riverfront Activities
When visiting New Orleans, the Mississippi River isn’t just a waterway – it’s an experience, especially for families with kids. Dive into an array of riverside adventures guaranteed to capture young imaginations. Here are some top recommendations for a memorable riverfront escapade:
27. Mississippi Riverfront
The Mississippi Riverfront is charming, with beautiful views of the Mighty Mississippi River. Replete with benches and picnic spots, it’s ideal for a relaxing family pause.
Venture into the Riverwalk Marketplace for a sprinkle of shopping and dining. Let a riverboat tour or a quaint carriage ride narrate the river’s tales.
28. Audubon Aquarium
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas invites families into an educational experience. Navigate through various exhibits, from vibrant Caribbean reefs to playful penguins. It’s the perfect thing to do in New Orleans with Kids. The touch pool offers a tactile marine experience, while daily feedings and the immersive 4D theatre amplify the experience.
29. Steamboat Natchez
A ride on the Steamboat Natchez is a fantastic way to experience the Mississippi River. This authentic steam-powered paddle wheeler offers a variety of cruises, including daytime jazz cruises and evening dinner cruises.
You’ll enjoy stunning views of the city skyline and the river while listening to live jazz music. Children will love watching the steamboat’s massive paddlewheel in action and exploring the boat’s various decks.
30. The Creole Queen Paddlewheeler
The Creole Queen Paddlewheeler is more than just a boat—it’s a floating testament to New Orleans’ storied past. With its iconic paddlewheel churning the waters, passengers are transported back in time, enjoying scenic views of the city’s skyline.
For kids, the real magic is in the tales of pirates and explorers narrated onboard, the gentle sway of the boat, and the sense of adventure that fills the air.
31. Louisiana Love Locks
Buying or bringing a lock to lock on a chain fence is free and family-friendly. While walking down the Riverwalk, you will find a chain-linked fence with hundreds of locks. Your family can add your own lock and go about the rest of your day!
32. The Algiers Ferry
Take a ride on the Algiers Ferry across the mighty Mississippi and enjoy views of the city skyline from the Algiers point. The ferry is a budget-friendly way to see the city and is a fun experience for kids.
33. Outdoor Fun and Tours
New Orleans has plenty of outdoor activities for kids and adults. Here are some of the best outdoor activities you can do with your kids in New Orleans.
34. Audubon Park
Nature’s Uptown Oasis Spread across 350 lush acres in uptown New Orleans, Audubon Park is nature’s playground. Beyond its verdant landscapes, the park unravels a tone of kid-friendly activities. From walking through mesmerizing gardens exploring the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit to relishing a family picnic, it’s a haven for memories with your family.
35. Audubon Zoo
Audubon Zoo is Ranked amongst America’s top-rated zoos. It is a sanctuary for over 2,000 creatures from diverse corners of the Earth.
Elephants, giraffes, and majestic tigers await the wide-eyed gazes of your young ones. The Audubon Zoo also has a small water park and a playground during the summer, so your kids can cool off and burn off some energy.
36. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park
If you want to rent a car for the day, take a short road trip to Jeane Lafite National Historical Park and do some hiking. Kids can explore the Swamp and may even see an Alligator or Two. Walking around the Swamp is excellent fun, and if you discover that your kiddo isn’t too afraid of spiders, alligators, and snakes, you can opt for an airboat tour outside of New Orleans.
37. Ghost Tours
The streets of New Orleans, with their timeless charm, hold whispered tales of the unseen and the unknown.
Ghost Tours unravel these mysteries, taking visitors on a thrilling adventure through the city’s most haunted locales. Children will find themselves spellbound, hanging onto every word as guides recount eerie legends and centuries-old folklore.
Amidst shadowed alleys and historic buildings, young minds ignite with curiosity and wonder. Ghost Tours aren’t merely about spooks and specters; they’re an immersive history lesson, bringing the past alive in the most enchanting, spine-tingling way.
38. Ride on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar
All aboard the New Orleans streetcar – a charming trip down memory lane! The iconic St. Charles line isn’t just a means of transport; it’s a journey through History, whisking you through some of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods.
And let’s be honest, there’s something magical about those old-world trams, especially for the kiddos.
39. Cajun Kids’ Concerts
Feel the rhythm, let the kids groove, and soak in the Cajun musical heritage. Cajun Kids’ Concerts are a toe-tapping affair that introduces young audiences to Louisiana’s bayou country’s rhythmic beats and melodies.
Performed by local musicians, these concerts feature lively fiddles, accordions, and washboards, engaging children in an authentic cultural experience.
40. The Shard Shop NOLA
Unleash your child’s inner artist! The Shard Shop NOLA offers a unique glass art experience, letting kids craft their masterpieces from colorful shards. It’s both fun and educational.
41. The Garden District
The Garden District, with its sprawling mansions and canopied streets, feels like stepping into a storybook setting, ideal for igniting the imagination of young adventurers.
As families walk down its avenues, children’s eyes light up at grand homes reminiscent of palaces and fairy tales.
Hidden amongst the opulent residences are pockets of enchantment tailored for little ones. Playgrounds nestled beneath ancient oaks beckon with swings and slides.
Historical scavenger hunts introduce kids to the district’s rich past, making History feel like an exciting detective game.
42. Local Cuisine
A great option when exploring New Orleans with your family is trying different cuisines and delicious local delicacies. We are not asking you to try out Boudin Balls or Fried Alligator (we will save that for an adult-only trip), but you can get your kids to try out some of the delicious treats below. You can try so many New Orleans Restaurants, but below are some of my favorites regarding the kids.
43. Kid-friendly Creole cooking classes
Aprons on! Dive into the world of Creole cuisine, tailored for young chefs. Kid-friendly Creole cooking classes in New Orleans are a delightful fusion of fun and flavor.
Young chefs get hands-on, learning to whip up traditional dishes like jambalaya and Gumbo, but with a twist tailored for their palates.
Beyond just cooking, these classes immerse kids in the region’s rich culinary culture, making them savor every bite while fostering a lifelong appreciation for Creole cuisine.
44. Cafe du Monde
Café du Monde is a timeless treat for families visiting New Orleans. While parents savor their café au lait, children delight in the cloud-like beignets generously dusted with powdered sugar.
The bustling ambiance of the French Market, combined with the joy of a messy, sweet treat, makes it an enchanting spot where young ones cherish simple pleasures and create sugary memories.
You can even get some when you are at the airport. Check out my guide on where to eat by the New Orleans Airport.
45. Fat Boy’s Pizza
Who doesn’t love pizza? Fat Boy’s offers massive, delicious slices that satisfy kids and adults alike, making mealtime a joyous affair. This Pizza Joint just started down the road in Jefferson Parish. However, they have a location in the French Quarter and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
46. Camellia Grill
Classic diner vibes with a New Orleans twist! Kids will love the bustling atmosphere and the mouth-watering menu at Camellia Grill.
47. The Backyard
An oasis of fun with its laid-back ambiance! The Backyard offers excellent food and an environment where kids can play and adults can relax with a beverage or two.
48. Dat Dog
A delightful twist on the classic hot dog! Kids can customize their perfect hot dog at Dat Dog with unique toppings. Don’t worry; the adults can have a delicious sausage on a brioche bun. The loaded fries are one of my favorite things to get here.
49. Juan’s Flying Burrito
Have kids that will only eat Mexican food? No worries because you can Spice up mealtime! Juan’s offers a kid-friendly approach to Mexican cuisine, ensuring smiles.
50. Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
The sweetest cooldown! The whole family will absolutely adore the flavored snowballs at Hansen’s, an authentic New Orleans treat. Hansen’s is the oldest continually operating snowball stand in New Orleans!
51. Drago’s Seafood Restaurant
Drago’s is a friendly family seafood restaurant with lots of things on the menu! The parents can enjoy chargrilled Oysters while the kids can eat off of the fried shrimp platter!
A must-try iconic sandwich from New Orleans! Kids will love the variety and taste of this iconic local delight. I suggest getting a traditional roast beef poboy or fried shrimp poboy. For those pickey eaters, some restaurants even have just a ham and cheese po boy.
Another sandwich classic! The flavorsome layers of a Muffuletta offer a culinary journey kids will remember on this family vacation.
54. King Cake
If you are visiting between January 6 – Mardi Gras day then this will be a sweet treat! Kids will enjoy searching for the hidden baby inside this colorful and delicious cake. Click here to read all about King Cake in New Orleans.
A sugary delight that will have kids, and parents, wanting more! These nutty and sweet candies are an authentic taste of New Orleans.
Gumbo is the melting pot of New Orleans – introducing kids to Gumbo will expand their taste pallet and they will try so many fun things from the gumbo pot!
57. Music and Festivals
New Orleans is known for its vibrant music scene and lively festivals. It is an excellent destination for families with kids who love music and culture. Here are some family-friendly music and festival activities to check out during your trip to the Big Easy.
58. Mardi Gras Parades
Mardi Gras isn’t just a festival – it’s a way of life. And trust me, you haven’t felt it until you’ve seen the city come alive with carnival.
Mardi Gras is family-friendly if you know where to go. Downtown and the French Quarter are two areas you will want to avoid during Mardi Gras. But anywhere on the Uptown parade route or even Mardi Gras in Jefferson Parish is perfect for the entire family.
Your Kid will be wide-eyed seeing the dazzling floats, marching to the beats of bands, and trying to catch as many beads and toys thrown their way.
Throughout the year, the city buzzes with festivals celebrating everything from music to munchies. A must-attend is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a melting pot of local and international talents.
Take advantage of delights like the French Quarter Festival, Bayou Boogaloo, or the drool-worthy Po-Boy Festival.
Pro tip: always check the festival calendar before your visit. It’s a game-changer.
Outside of New Orleans
There are so many things to do in New Orleans, but if you want to take a road trip, some exciting things are outside cities and towns in South Louisiana. Check out our whole blog post on getaways from New Orleans.
60. Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center
Located on the Northshore, the Children’s Discovery Center is a beacon of interactive learning and fun for youngsters.
Designed to stimulate both mind and imagination, the center offers an array of exhibits that cater to curious hands and inquisitive minds.
From pint-sized laboratories where little scientists can experiment to art studios where young creatives can paint and craft their visions, the Discovery Center ensures every child finds a niche that piques their interest.
There’s also a mock grocery store, teaching them about commerce, and a mini-clinic where they can play doctor, nurturing empathy and understanding.
61. Oak Alley Plantation
Many tourists come to New Orleans to explore the many historic plantations in the area. If your kids are mature, you can bring them here to soak up the beauty of the Plantation house and learn about Louisiana’s past with enslaving people.
Oak Alley is about an hour away from Downtown New Orleans.
62. Honey Island Swamp Tour
Head over to Honey Island Swamp for a unique swamp boat tour. You can paddle in a cane or take a traditional swamp tour.
63. Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk
Nature’s classroom in action! Kids can explore and learn about the local ecosystem while strolling the boardwalk, making it a fun and educational outing.
64. Global Wildlife
If you have an adventurous kiddo who wants to feed giraffes, zebras, camels, bison and more you may want to take a ride over to Global Wildlife. I highly recommend to take the private tour if you have a group of 4 or more so your group can get super close to the giraffes!
Kid-friendly Hotels in NOLA
New Orleans has hundreds of hotels and places to stay, but finding a kid-friendly hotel is necessary. Check out some of the below options.
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
The Hilton New Orleans Riverside is the perfect place to stay if your family is hanging around New Orleans or taking a cruise out of the terminal. Your kids will love watching the ships, barges, and cruise ships sailing along the Mississippi River. There is an Avis Budget Car rental on the premises if you want to take a few day trips out of New Orleans!
Loews New Orleans Hotel
Luxury meets family-friendly! Loews offers top-notch facilities with a focus on keeping the little ones entertained. Located in the heart of downtown, you are only minutes away from the French Quarter and the Convention Center. They also have an excellent pool for families.
Omni Royal Orleans
A blend of History and modern luxury! Kids will love the rooftop pool, while parents appreciate the central location and rich heritage. Book a kid’s breakfast and a King Cake when booking your hotel.
The lasting memories of a New Orleans family vacation
And there you go, a roundup of 58 things to do in New Orleans with kids.
Once the powdered sugar from the beignets has settled and the spooky stories fade into the night, you’re left with heartwarming memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Dive headfirst into the NOLA spirit! With its lively culture and captivating History, New Orleans calls out to families seeking adventure.
Trust me, every melody, every bite, and every magical moment you spend here will be one for the books!
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