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GoNOLA Top 5: Springtime Outdoor Activities in New Orleans

Springtime in New Orleans offers plenty to do outdoors, including yoga, miniature golf, horseback riding, kayaking and enjoying riverfront parks.

Spring is one of the best times of the year to spend some time outdoors in New Orleans. The weather is just warm enough to make things pleasant but not too hot. City Park and Audubon Park are full of people jogging, biking and playing with their kids, while Bayou St. John plays host to kayaks, paddleboards, and dog-walkers. Need some outdoor inspiration? Here are our top five picks for springtime outdoor activities in New Orleans.

new orleans recreation
Outdoor boot camps in City Park (Photo courtesy of Salire Fitness)

1. Work It Out – Springtime is the perfect time to shed those residual holiday pounds and get into shape for the beach. Getting fit outdoors is always more fun than the dreaded trek to the gym. Luckily, New Orleans offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fitness. While you can always go for a run through the park on your own, if you need a little extra push, Salire Fitness offers outdoor cross-training boot camps at City Park designed to whip your body into shape. Their award-winning program has won rave reviews from many New Orleanians, including Chef Susan Spicer. For something a little more low-key, try the weekly Yoga in the Sculpture Garden class, which takes place each Saturday morning at 8 a.m. in the scenic Besthoff Sculpture Garden at City Park.

2. Miniature Golf – One of the newest additions to City Park is the miniature golf course, City Putt. The complex features 36 holes across two courses: a Louisiana themed course highlighting iconic features from across the state, and a New Orleans course, with themes inspired by the city’s history. Located near Storyland, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and the new Morning Call cafe just off City Park Ave, there is enough to do in this small section of City Park to build a whole afternoon of family fun around.

3. Horseback Riding – New Orleans offers two great options for equestrian activities: horseback riding fans can choose from either Equest Farm in City Park or Cascade Stables in Audubon Park. Both stables offer riding lessons for all ages, from beginner lessons all the way through competitive training. Cascade Stables offers a two mile guided tour through Audubon Park, Fridays through Sundays, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Call (504) 891-2246 for reservations. In addition to a variety of lesson packages, Equest Farm also offers riding lesson parties, perfect for birthdays, as well as educational field trips.

4. KayakingBayou Kayaks offers paddling excursions around Bayou St. John Fridays through Mondays. Their kayak trips are an eco-friendly way to see the city from a unique perspective. The eight-mile round trip launches from the corner of Moss Street and Florida Avenue, across from City Park, and travels down the bayou to Orleans Avenue and back up to Robert E Lee Boulevard. Along the way you’ll want to keep a lookout for pelicans, egrets, herons, and ducks. Not only is it a great upper body workout, kayaking along the bayou is a perfect way to reconnect with nature.

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View of the Crescent Park and the arched walkway entrance (photo by Paul Broussard)

5. Riverfront Parks – Perhaps the most incredible natural resource we have in New Orleans is the Mighty Mississippi and we are lucky to be able to enjoy having it right in our own backyard. Woldenberg Park is a great place for a stroll, a jog or to bring your bag of beignets from Cafe du Monde and enjoy watching the steamboats chug by. A new addition to the New Orleans riverfront is recently opened Crescent Park in the Bywater with bike paths, a dog run, pavilions and more right along the Mississippi river levee.

Mallory Whitfield is an artist, speaker, and author based in New Orleans. In 2016, she was honored to be included in the 19th class of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, which salutes the brightest innovators, artists, and professionals in New Orleans. She currently hosts the Badass Creatives podcast, which features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs. During Mardi Gras, you can usually find her parading with Noisician Coalition in Muses or with The 501st Legion in Tucks.

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