100+ Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids This Summer

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School's out, and summer vacation is officially here! Let's ditch the boredom and make this summer the most epic one yet for your family in New Orleans. I've rounded up over 100 awesome things to do in New Orleans with kids. I've got you covered whether you're splashing around, exploring nature, or trying new foods. Get ready for a summer you and your kids will never forget!

spring in new orleans

Explore New Orleans' Rich Museum Scene

Discover the diverse cultural and historical treasures of New Orleans through its many museums.

Art & Culture:

  • New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA): Visit NOMA in New Orleans City Park to immerse yourself in world-class art. Louisiana residents enjoy free admission on Wednesdays.
  • Contemporary Arts Center (CAC): Experience cutting-edge contemporary art at the CAC, free for Louisiana residents on Sundays.
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art: Explore the rich artistic heritage of the South with a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
  • Mardi Gras World: Step into the magic of Mardi Gras as you witness the creation of elaborate floats and costumes.

History & Heritage:

  • The National WWII Museum: Delve into the history of World War II through immersive exhibits and artifacts.
  • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum: Journey back in time to the 19th century as you explore the tools and techniques of early pharmacists.
  • New Orleans Jazz Museum: Celebrate the city's vibrant jazz heritage with exhibits dedicated to legendary musicians and their instruments.
  • Arnaud's Mardi Gras Museum: Located within Arnaud's Restaurant, this museum offers a glimpse into the history of Carnival with a collection of costumes and memorabilia.

Family Fun:

Audubon Louisiana Nature Center

Beat the Heat: Fun Indoor Activities for Kids in New Orleans

Rainy days or sweltering heat got you down? Don't worry! New Orleans has plenty of indoor options to keep the kids entertained and you sane!

Get Creative and Playful:

Explore & Learn:

Get Your Game On:

  • Strike it Rich: Knock down some pins at local bowling alleys like AMF Kenner, Rock ‘N' Bowl, Colonial Lanes, Westside Lanes, Game On, or Fulton Alley.
  • Laser Tag Mania: Gear up for an epic laser tag battle at Game On in Kenner or Adventure Quest in Elmwood.
  • Arcade Adventures: Enjoy classic and modern games, plus delicious eats, at Dave & Buster's.

Other Indoor Fun:

  • Storytime & Crafts: Head to the Children's Resource Center at the New Orleans Public Library for engaging storytime sessions and creative crafts.
  • Roller Skating Fun: Lace up your skates and hit the rink at Airline Skate Center.
  • Shop & Play: Combine retail therapy with playtime at The Riverwalk Play Area or the Kids Castle in Lakeside Shopping Center.
  • Movie Magic: Catch a family flick at the Grande Theater in Kenner or AMC Clearview.
Storyland City Park New Orleans

Get Outdoors and Play: New Orleans Parks & Playgrounds

From picnics to playgrounds, New Orleans offers plenty of outdoor spaces for family fun and adventure.

Parks with Playgrounds:

  • New Orleans City Park: Spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch before hitting the playground. Don't forget to stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets!
  • Lafreniere Park: Challenge the family to a round of disc golf or explore the scenic trails.
  • The Fly: Overlooking the Mississippi River, this park offers a new playground, sports fields, and stunning views.
  • Palmer Park: Watch the iconic streetcars roll by as the kids play in this charming neighborhood park.
  • Kenner's Heritage Park: Step back in time at this unique park featuring historical structures and a charming chapel (open Saturdays).

Natural Escapes:

  • Audubon Park: Bike or stroll beneath majestic oak trees in this picturesque park.
  • Woldenberg Park: Take in the sights and sounds of the Mississippi River as you stroll along the waterfront.
  • Crescent Park: This 20-acre park along the Mississippi River boasts bike paths, a dog run, and scenic views.
  • Lakefront Park: Enjoy breathtaking sunsets over Lake Pontchartrain and watch the sailboats.
  • Couturie Forest: Explore the hiking trails in this serene forest located within City Park.
  • Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge: Discover the diverse wildlife of Louisiana in this vast natural habitat.
  • Barataria Preserve: Immerse yourselves in the beauty of Louisiana's wetlands as you hike through this unique preserve.

Additional Activities:

  • Jazz National Historical Park: Let the kids earn their Junior Ranger badge while exploring the history of jazz in the French Quarter.
  • Neighborhood Playgrounds: Explore the numerous playgrounds scattered throughout New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and Kenner.
  • Kenner Skate Park: Show off your skateboarding skills at this popular park located in Wentwood Playground.
  • Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden: Explore unique art pieces, run, and play inside this beautiful sculpture garden located behind NOMA in New Orleans City Park.
Lafitte Swamp Tour

Experience Animal Adventures in New Orleans

These animal encounters and educational experiences offer unique opportunities to connect with nature and learn about the diverse wildlife and agricultural practices in the New Orleans area.

Animal Attractions:

  • Audubon Zoo: Explore a diverse collection of animals from around the world, with exciting exhibits and engaging educational programs.
  • Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium: Dive into the underwater world and discover fascinating insects at this newly renovated attraction.

Unique Animal Encounters:

  • Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour: Embark on an unforgettable journey through the Louisiana swamps, encountering alligators, birds, and other wildlife up close.
  • Global Wildlife Center: Get hands-on with exotic animals like giraffes, zebras, and camels, and even have the chance to feed a giraffe.
  • Cascade Stables: Saddle up for a horseback riding adventure and explore Audubon Park in New Orleans.

Educational Farms:

  • Sugar Roots Farm: Learn about sustainable farming practices and connect farm animals!
  • Grow Dat Farm: Discover the importance of urban agriculture and explore the farm's diverse gardens and educational programs.

City Putt at City Park

Get Outside and Explore: Family-Friendly Outdoor Adventures in New Orleans

With so much to explore, New Orleans offers endless opportunities for outdoor family fun. Whether you're seeking thrills, nature, or a taste of history, you're sure to find the perfect adventure for your family.

Parks & Gardens:

  • Jackson Square & French Quarter: Stroll through historic streets, admire local art and street performers, and soak in the unique atmosphere.
  • New Orleans City Park Botanical Garden: On Wednesdays, Louisiana residents can enjoy free admission to this garden, which includes a world of plants and flowers and the City of New Orleans train garden.
  • Longue Vue House and Gardens: On the first Sunday of each month, Louisiana residents can explore stunning gardens and a historic mansion for free.
  • Storyland: Immerse yourself in the world of make-believe and fairy tales at this enchanted New Orleans City Park playground.

Waterfront Fun:

  • Lake Pontchartrain: Cast a line and try your luck at fishing, or enjoy a scenic walk along the levee in Bucktown or Bonnabel Boat Launch.
  • Mississippi River: Take a leisurely bike ride or stroll along the levee path, offering stunning views of the river and the cityscape.
  • Bayou St. John: Rent paddleboards from Bayou Paddleboards and explore this scenic waterway.
  • Manchac Swamp: Embark on a kayaking adventure through the enchanting Manchac Swamp.

Thrilling Adventures:

Unique Experiences:

  • Music Box Village: Discover a whimsical world of interactive musical sculptures and instruments.
  • New Orleans City Park Rentals: Rent bikes, paddle boats, or canoes to explore the park and paddle around the Big Lagoon.
  • Creole Queen: Take a relaxing boat ride on the Mississippi River and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline.
  • French Quarter Carriage Rides: Embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic French Quarter for a classic New Orleans experience.
  • Chalmette Battlefield: Step back in time and visit the site of the historic Battle of New Orleans.
  • City Sightseeing New Orleans: Hop on a double-decker bus for a guided tour of the city's iconic landmarks and neighborhoods.
  • Ghost & Cemetery Tours: For a spooky adventure, explore New Orleans' haunted history with a variety of kid-friendly ghost and cemetery tours.

Hurricane Shelter In Place Tips

Foodie Fun for Kids in New Orleans

These foodie adventures offer a delicious way to explore New Orleans with kids, combining fun, education, and tasty treats!

Sweet Treats & Frozen Delights:

  • Café Du Monde: Indulge in the iconic New Orleans beignets, pillowy fried dough dusted with powdered sugar, at this historic French Quarter institution.
  • Creole Creamery: Sample unique and classic ice cream flavors at this local favorite, known for its generous portions and creative concoctions.
  • Snoball Stand Crawl: Embark on a weekly snoball adventure, discovering new flavors and combinations at different stands throughout the city.
  • Southern Candymakers: Watch candy being made and satisfy your sweet tooth with various handmade treats in the French Quarter.

Interactive Cooking Experiences:

  • The Pizza Shoppe: Let the kids unleash their inner chef as they create their own personalized pizzas.
  • Acorn Cafe's Kids Table Cooking Series: Join a fun and educational cooking class designed specifically for kids, where they can learn to make pizza and ice cream.

Culinary Exploration:

Audubon Zoo

Budget-Friendly Family Fun in New Orleans

Explore the Big Easy without breaking the bank with these free and affordable activities for kids:

Historical & Cultural Experiences:

  • St. Louis Cathedral: Take a free tour and learn about the history of this iconic landmark.
  • French Market: Browse local art and crafts, sample fresh produce, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
  • French Quarter & Garden District: Wander through these historic neighborhoods, marvel at the unique architecture, and create your own scavenger hunt to discover hidden gems.

Scenic Views & Transportation Adventures:

  • St. Charles Streetcar: Hop on this historic streetcar for a scenic ride through the city.
  • Ferry Ride: Enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline from the water.
  • Mississippi River: Stroll along the riverbank and watch the ships go by.
  • Spanish Plaza: Make a wish in the fountain and marvel at the massive ships on the Mississippi River.

Outdoor Exploration:

  • Audubon Nature Center: Explore the natural beauty of Louisiana with trails, exhibits, and educational programs.
  • Lake Pontchartrain Levee: Take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the levee with stunning views of the lake.
  • Gretna Observatory: On clear nights, gaze at the stars and planets through telescopes at this free observatory.

Local Flavors & Shopping:

  • Magazine Street: Browse unique shops, grab a bite to eat, and soak in the local atmosphere.
  • Farmers Markets: Explore farmers markets in Old Metairie, Gretna, and New Orleans for fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious snacks.
Woldenberg Park New Orleans

Make a Splash: Water Fun for Kids in New Orleans

Beat the heat and have a blast at these awesome splash pads and water parks near New Orleans:

Water Park Adventures:

  • Blue Bayou Water Park: This popular Louisiana destination offers thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool.
  • Gulf Islands Water Park: Splash around in the wave pool, race down slides, or relax in the lazy river at this Mississippi attraction.
  • Cool Zoo at Audubon Zoo: Explore animal exhibits and cool down in the lazy river at this unique zoo attraction.
  • Buccaneer Bay: Head to Waveland, Mississippi, and enjoy this family-friendly water park's wave pool and water slides.

Refreshing Splash Pads:

  • Lafreniere Park Spray Park: Cool off and play in the interactive water features at this spacious park.
  • Ormond Spray Park: Located in Destrehan, this is a great spot for a fun water day with friends.

Other Water Fun:

  • Woldenberg Park Fountains: Splash in the interactive fountains in front of the Aquarium at Woldenberg Park.
  • NORD Pools: Take a dip and cool off at one of the many public pools operated by the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD).

Exciting Road Trips for Families Near New Orleans

With diverse attractions and destinations just a short drive away, New Orleans offers endless opportunities for family road trips filled with fun, adventure, and learning.

Adventure & Nature:

  • Fontainebleau State Park: For just $3 per person, you can hike nature trails, cool off at the splash pad, and enjoy beach access.
  • Tickfaw State Park: Explore nature trails, visit the nature center, and let the kids splash around on the splash pad.
  • Northlake Nature Center: Hike scenic trails and immerse yourselves in Louisiana's natural beauty.
  • White Sands Lake Day Beach: Relax on sandy shores, swim in the lake, and soak up the sun.
  • Zip N Fun Adventure Park: Older kids will love the thrill of ziplining through the trees in Gulfport, Mississippi.
  • OWA Tropical Falls: From thrill rides to an indoor waterpark, OWA has fun rides and experiences for all ages!

Museums & Learning Experiences:

Historical & Cultural Sites:

  • Whitney Plantation: Gain a deeper understanding of Louisiana's history and the impact of slavery at this powerful museum.
  • USS KID (Baton Rouge): Step aboard this WWII battleship and learn about its fascinating history as the “Pirate of the Pacific.”
  • Rural Life Museum (Baton Rouge): This open-air museum allows visitors to travel back in time and discover 18th—and 19th-century Louisiana life.
  • USS Alabama (Mobile): Step aboard the “Heroine of the Pacific” and learn about her history as a WWII battleship.

Unique Experiences:

  • Ride More Berry Farm (Covington): Pick your own blueberries at this family-friendly farm.
  • Abita Brewery: Take a tour of this local brewery (kids are welcome!) and enjoy lunch at the Abita Brew Pub.
  • Avery Island: Discover the secrets of Tabasco sauce production with a tour of the factory and island.
  • Ship Island: Take a boat ride to this beautiful barrier island in Mississippi for a day of swimming, sunbathing, and exploring.
  • Grand Isle: Relax on the beach, visit the butterfly dome, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this Gulf Coast island.
  • Blue Angels Practice (Pensacola): Watch the awe-inspiring Blue Angels perform aerial maneuvers during practice sessions.
  • Ocean Adventures: Meet and interact with dolphins at this marine park.

With so many amazing things to see and do, you're sure to have some fun and memorable summer adventures with your kids in New Orleans.

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