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 for Teens in New Orleans
See & Do
Swamp tours, steamboat tours, Mardi Gras World, the National World WarII Museum; all of these centrally located activities provide hours of fun-filled exploring. With these suggestions, they’ll be anything but bored.
Segway Tours — Teens might get jaded with your average walking tour, but a Segway tour around the French Quarter keeps things interesting.
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.
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!
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).
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 WarII Museum — Some history museums can get a little boring, but The National World WarII Museum ( the definitive World WarII museum for the entire nation) has interactive digital experiences that make you feel like you’re traveling back in time.
Lafitte Greenway — Another great way to let ’em enjoy the great outdoors is to rent bikes or hike the Lafitte Greenway, the path connecting Armstrong Park to 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).
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 have a snowball fight with these refreshing sweet treats that will put everyone in a good mood. It wouldn’t be a trip to New Orleans without one.
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 — Head to Mid-City for Cajun music, dancing, and bowling for the whole family. You can save a few bucks, too: Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. is “Family Bowling” — shoes are free!
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 theatre), or try these suggestions for live music under 21.