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Best Local Things to Do

Things to Do with Teens in New Orleans

Under 21? No problem. Check out our list and have fun with the whole family.

Lost Lands Kayak Tour
Paddle through Shell Bank Bayou toward Lake Maurepas during a Lost Lands kayak swamp tour. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

With its legendary music, nightlife, and laissez-faire atmosphere, New Orleans is where adults go to rediscover their youth. And, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sacrifice your “big kid” plans to accommodate for the real kids in the family. There are tons of things to do here that are available to anybody — teens, tweens, and everyone in between. Take a look at things to do in New Orleans that the whole family (even the hard-to-please) will love. 

Things to Do with Teens in New Orleans

See & Do

Swamp tours, Mardi Gras World, the National World War II Museum; all of these activities provide hours of fun-filled exploring.

Segway Tours  Teens might get bored with your average walking tour (although it’s hard to get bored in New Orleans), but a Segway tour around the French Quarter keeps things extra interesting.

Riding bikes through the French Quarter. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Riding bikes through the French Quarter. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Bike Tours  If you’ve been to New Orleans, you may have come across a group of cyclists cruising the night away on light-up bikes. Biking is a great way to explore the city. Check out NOLA City Lights for more.

State Museums at Jackson Square  Jackson Square is a great jumping-off point, where the Cabildo and Presbytère museums are just steps away.

Ghost Tours  New Orleans has plenty of ghost stories that will make you quiver, but some tours are more educational than paranormal in nature. There are lots of family-friendly options for ghost tours, so don’t be afraid to check them out!

Steamboat Natchez. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Steamboat Natchez. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Riverboat Tours Teens can stroll over to the Mississippi River and take a ride on the Creole Queen or Steamboat Natchez, a fun way to see the city skyline.

Mardi Gras World  This massive warehouse takes teens behind the scenes of our world-famous party without the stress of the crowds (and need for adult supervision).

Getting deeper into the bayou now.
Ample swamps around New Orleans are ideal for teens to explore by airboat or kayak. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Swamp Tours  Take a day trip and jump on an airboat or swamp tour to get up close and personal with Louisiana wildlife. Because who doesn’t want to pet an alligator? Teens with a budding interest in ecology will love the Lost Lands Environmental Tour.

The National World War II Museum  Some history museums can get a little boring, but The National World War II Museum (the definitive World War II museum in the country) has interactive digital experiences that make you feel like you’re traveling back in time.

Lafitte Greenway  Another great way to enjoy the great outdoors with the kiddos is to rent bikes or hike the Lafitte Greenway, the path connecting Armstrong Park to City Park.

oak tree
An ancient oak tree in City Park. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

City Park  With the Botanical Gardens, the mini golf course City Putt, bike paths, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, teens could spend all day at City Park.

Fulton Alley Located right in the heart of downtown, Fulton Alley is the coolest bowling alley in town. Engage the whole family, get your game on, and get ready to have some serious fun.

New Orleans Boulder Lounge For those who are looking to get in a little workout during their trip to New Orleans, New Orleans Boulder Lounge is the place to go. With two locations (Tchoupitoulas Street and St. Claude Avenue) and special kids hours, the whole family can have a good time scaling the walls.

Eat & Drink

Teens and tweens can be picky eaters, but these restaurants are guaranteed crowd-pleasers (even if that crowd is finicky). 

Beignets from Café Du Monde   One of the most iconic spots in the city and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. Café du Monde is a must — just remember it’s cash-only.

praline bacon
Praline bacon at Elizabeth’s. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Elizabeth’s  Praline bacon. Need we say more? What’s more delightfully decadent than that?

New Orleans School of Cooking  The whole family can take a cooking class at this famous French Quarter spot.

Snowballs  Let the kids delight in these refreshing sweet treats that will put everyone in a good mood. No trip to New Orleans is complete without one.

dat dog
Order your Dat Dog hot dog with a side of crawfish etouffee fries. Trust us. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Dat Dog  Dare your teen to order a crawfish sausage dog. It’s extremely delicious, uniquely New Orleans, and very Instagrammable.

Mocktails  NOLA has mastered the art of the cocktail — with or without the alcohol. While mom and dad sip the real deal, teens and tweens can feel oh so sophisticated with a mocktail at the Columns Hotel or the Windsor Court.


Preservation Hall  All ages are welcome at this famous French Quarter spot, where you can find local jazz legends playing on any night of the week.

Rock n Bowl
The whole family will enjoy bowling at Rock ‘n’ Bowl in New Orleans. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Rock ’n’ Bowl  Head to Mid-City for live music, dancing, and bowling for the whole family.

Concerts  Some of the most popular venues around town open up their doors for prepaid concerts. Teens can still get that quintessential New Orleans music experience. Check out the schedule for the New Orleans Jazz Market (my favorite family-friendly theater), or try these suggestions for live music under 21.

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