When the opportunity arose for a 5 day trip to New Orleans, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn just how kid-friendly this Mardi Gras town turned out to be! Here are seven kid-friendly activities that we enjoyed while traveling to New Orleans with two energetic little boys:
My favorite way to get acquainted with a new place is to take a city tour. This allows me to get a grasp of the layout, and scope out any attractions or eateries that weren’t already on my radar. In order to do this, we hopped on the St. Charles Streetcar for an authentic New Orleans experience.
The boys loved having great views out of the windows and hopping around from seat to seat to get different perspectives. We marveled at the beautiful homes and interesting scenery. The kids were enthralled by the sites, the homes, and mostly, the mechanics of the streetcar itself.
We had planned to take the St. Charles Streetcar all the way to the end, and then back again. However, there was a little glitch in our plans when a car suddenly hit the side of our streetcar. Luckily it was just a little dent, and no one was harmed, but it made for a memorable introduction to the city. This is a great introduction to the city and a good way to give your feet a rest!
2: CITY PARK:
City Park is not to be missed if you have children under the age of 8! Just allow the whole day for this excursion. Boarding the St. Charles Streetcar once again, we took it all the way to the end, where it stopped across from the New Orleans Museum of Art. Next to the Museum was its Sculpture Garden, which was a free stroll, and right along the route to our destination.
Storyland was the highlight of my kids day, and I must say it was mine too! This fairytale playground features more than 20 storybook themes, and has plenty of shady trees for parents, too! Adjacent to that is Carousel Gardens, which offers a reasonably priced lunch, and a handful of rides to thrill the little ones.
I would also recommend the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and the Train Garden at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. Time and energy, did not permit for us, but if you have the whole day free, it looks worth checking out.
4. AUDUBON ZOO :
A full day can easily be spent at this beautiful zoo, located right off the St. Charles streetcar route. Children of all ages would enjoy this zoo…clean, pleasant, easily walkable, with the Monkey Hill tree house, and even the Cool Zoo, water splash park area for hot days. It was a fantastic way to spend a day in New Orleans.
I cannot more highly recommend the Louisiana Children’s Museum. It was AWESOME! The fact that we were in town during the school year and attended in the afternoon also added to the experience. We were practically the only ones in the Museum by mid-afternoon.
My little ones spent hours captivated with everything, from riding a streetcar to building magnetic cities to running restaurants and grocery shopping, to blowing the biggest bubble I’ve ever seen! This is at the top of my list and a great way to spend a few hours out of the rain (or heat).
The Audubon Butterly Garden and Insectarium is nice stop for bug or butterfly loving children. It is a nice compact little museum, with an opportunity to watch the butterflies flutter around the garden and view all sorts of creepy crawlies.
Jackson Square is the perfect place to relax with the kids, listen to street musicians, peruse the work of local artists, or just rest your legs while the kids have a snack. Take in views of the Saint Louis Cathedral, or opt for a horse and carriage ride. Finally, do not pass up a chance to stop for beignets at nearby Cafe du Monde. You will not regret it!