Let me guess. When you think of New Orleans, you think of the French Quarter, full of late-night bars, fancy restaurants and t-shirt shops. Don’t get me wrong, we do have all those things, and plenty of ’em. But New Orleans is also a great place for family vacations. We have tons of fun and educational things to do that are fun for the whole family!
So if you’re looking for a place to drag (ahem, bring) the rugrats for summer vacation, New Orleans is your place. Here’s our Top 5 list of family-friendly places to hit while you’re here.
1. Audubon Zoo
Located just a short walk from the streetcar line, the Audubon Zoo is always a favorite destination for the kids of New Orleans. They’ve got tons of not-to-be-missed exhibits like the white tigers, orangutans and the very rare white crocodiles with blue eyes! They also just opened Cool Zoo, a new splash park inside the zoo. So let the kids wear their swimsuits and bring the sunscreen! Admission: Adults $14.95 and children 2-12 $9.95
2. Carousel Gardens/Storyland at City Park
Ask anyone who grew up in New Orleans and they’ll have memories of going to Storyland and Carousel Gardens as a kid. Carousel Gardens is an amusement park with several rides for kids of (almost) all ages, including an antique wooden carousel, bumper cars and a tilt-a-whirl. Storyland is a playground filled with larger-than-life fairytale characters adjacent to Carousel Gardens. Come aboard Captain Hook’s Ship, meet the three little pigs or slide down a 20 foot dragon slide. City Park is a short ride from downtown on the Canal St. streetcar line. Admission is $3; ride tickets can be purchased for an additional cost.
3. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Located on the edge of the French Quarter, this family-friendly attraction should not be missed. Walk through an underwater tunnel, touch a sting ray and watch as the penguins and sea otters frolic and play. Admission: Adults $19.95 and children 2-12 $12.95
4. Audubon Insectarium
If you have sons, this is the place for you! No little boy can resist all the creepy crawlies on display. They even have a cafe where you can sample delicious dishes made with insects! Don’t worry though; the Asian garden, filled with thousands of free-flying butterflies, offers something for the more squeamish in your group. The Insectarium is on the edge of the French Quarter. Admission: Adults $15.95 and children 2-12 $10.95
5. Swamp Cruise
It isn’t every day that you get to see a grown man feed marshmallows to an alligator! But you can see this and more when you take one of the many swamp tours offered just a short ride from downtown New Orleans. There are tons of different swamp tours available and prices vary. Check out the neworleansonline website for a list.