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Sports & Recreation

Cool Off at the Cool Zoo

Enjoy the Gator Run Lazy River inside Audubon Zoo (Photo: Paul Broussard)

At the very end of Magazine Street is the back side of Audubon Park, and the fabulous Audubon Zoo. This year there is a new attraction for kids geared for summer visitors, a new splash park called Cool Zoo. It’s open Tuesday – Sunday from 10AM until 7PM (open late as part of the Twilight Zoo program).

At Cool Zoo, there are  jumping water spouts, a huge alligator water slide, a spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and more! There is also shaded seating for the adults watching the kids frolic, family restrooms, and The Cool Shop carrying a variety of summertime necessities. The splash park offers three different splash zones with one area specifically for toddlers and younger kids. Lockers are also available for a fee.

With the summer sun warming up in the late afternoon and early evening, Cool Zoo is the perfect place to take the kids for some refreshing fun. Extended summer hours have the most popular play areas open, but the entire Zoo will not be open. Blankets, strollers and wagons are welcome but they don’t allow outside food and beverages. You don’t need need to bring anything with the excellent Snack N’ Splash concession stand.

I love this New Orleans version of a water park because it is just the right scale. No long lines, and just the right amount of kids make for a local community experience. The slides and attractions are large enough for the older kids to enjoy, and the smaller ones are perfect for the younger kids which lets them enjoy a water park experience in a very nurturing, fun way.

Admission: $5/non-members, $4/members
Cool Zoo admission is an additional purchase to your Zoo ticket.

POP Wristband: $10/non-members, $8/members
Enjoy all-day, unlimited admission to Cool Zoo and Dinosaurs, plus unlimited Train rides and Carousel rides with the purchase of the Pay One Price (POP) attractions wristband.

Travel: Cool Zoo is located between the Gottesman Family Endangered Species Carousel and Embraceable Zoo in Audubon Zoo. You can take the Magazine Street bus (# 11) to the end of the line going uptown, which lets you off right at the zoo entrance. A taxi from your New Orleans hotel is also an option, and parking is available, too.

Valorie Hart is an interior decorator, stylist, and event designer. She lives in the Irish Channel just off Magazine Street where she loves to walk and shop. She relocated to New Orleans from New York in the year 2000, and is affectionately known as a New New. She writes the popular blog Visual Vamp.

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