Must Try! The Best Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids

Aug 15, 2023

Planning a family trip to New Orleans can be overwhelming, with so much to see and do. Did you know that The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas calls this vibrant city home, hosting over 10,000 animals? This blog post will offer tips on kid-friendly activities in NOLA, from thrilling swamp tours to indulging in local Creole cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the vibrant French Quarter with your kids, enjoy unique shopping experiences, admire the Joan of Arc Statue, and take a charming carriage ride to learn about the city's history.
  • Visit family - friendly museums and attractions like the Louisiana Children's Museum, Audubon Insectarium, Mardi Gras World, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, The Presbytère Museum, and National WWII Museum for interactive educational experiences.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities and parks such as riding a steamboat on the Mississippi River with the Steamboat Natchez, going on an exciting swamp tour to see alligators in their natural habitat, and exploring Carousel Gardens and Storyland theme parks within City Park.

Explore the French Quarter

In the French Quarter, families can enjoy shopping at unique shops, admire the Joan of Arc Statue, and take a charming carriage ride through the historic streets.

French Quarter Shopping

Strolling through the vibrant streets of New Orleans' French Quarter, you and your kids can enjoy a unique shopping experience filled with color, culture and history. Known as one of the city's most historic neighborhoods, it offers an array of boutiques where local artisans display their handcrafted treasures.

Make sure to check out the French Market during your stroll. This bustling bazaar is a haven for family-friendly shopping with trinkets for kids among many other delightful finds. From handmade toys to locally designed jewelry and clothes, every shop in this district tells a story, immersing both parents and children in the rich heritage of New Orleans.

Joan of Arc Statue

Situated near the bustling French Market in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, you'll find the striking Joan of Arc Statue. Glittering golden and catching eyes from far away, this statue offers a distinctive cultural touch to your family adventure.

Kids will be captivated by its radiance and parents can appreciate the artistic detail of this monument dedicated to the "Maid of Orleans". Beyond being a gorgeous photo-op, it's an interesting way to expose children to history and culture on their trip.

As part of your exploration around the artsy and vibrant French Quarter, do make sure you visit this remarkable landmark that stands as one of New Orleans’ unique treasures.

Carriage ride

Exploring New Orleans' historic French Quarter is a must-do when visiting with your kids, and there's no better way to do it than with a carriage ride. Not only will you get an up-close view of the vibrant streets and classical architecture that this district is famous for, but also gain insights into centuries-old stories of the city founded in 1718 by French settlers.

Your kids will be thrilled as they take in the sights from their royal chariot! The French Quarter carriage ride makes history fun and engaging - a perfect blend of learning and enjoyment for your little ones during their New Orleans trip.

Visit family-friendly museums and attractions

Louisiana Children's Museum

The Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans is a must-visit attraction for families with kids. Located in City Park, alongside other family-friendly destinations like Carousel Gardens and Storyland, the museum offers a range of exhibits and play opportunities that are both fun and educational. 

Kids can learn about the Mighty Mississippi and engage in outdoor exploration, gaining an understanding of the region's natural wonders. The museum also promotes the history, art, contributions, and culture of African Americans in New Orleans through exhibits featuring artwork by Black artists and hosting a monthly market showcasing Black-owned businesses.

With its interactive exhibits and convenient on-site kid-friendly restaurant Acorn Cafe, the Louisiana Children's Museum provides families visiting New Orleans with a memorable experience filled with learning and adventure.

Audubon Insectarium

The Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans is a must-visit attraction for families traveling with kids. Located near popular spots like the French Quarter and Jackson Square, this family-friendly museum offers an interactive and educational experience centered around insects.

As part of the Audubon Nature Institute, which also includes the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas, the Insectarium features informative exhibits that showcase the fascinating world of bugs.

Kids can interact with free-flying butterflies and moths in the "Butterflies in Flight" exhibit or get up close to real alligators in the Louisiana Swamp exhibit. For those feeling adventurous, there's even an opportunity to taste cricket cookies and spiced bug snacks at the Bug Appétit exhibit.

Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World is an absolute must-visit when exploring New Orleans with kids. This unique attraction offers an interactive and behind-the-scenes experience of the world-famous Mardi Gras parades.

Families can embark on a guided tour through the warehouse where the colorful floats are designed and decorated, providing an up-close look at the artistry that goes into their creation.

Kids will be captivated by the elaborate designs and intricate craftsmanship displayed throughout. They can even try on Mardi Gras costumes for a truly immersive experience. With its rich history and cultural significance, Mardi Gras World allows families to delve into the magic of this vibrant festival in a fun and educational way.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans is a must-visit for families with kids. This popular attraction has recently undergone a redesign and will be reopening on June 8th.

The new aquarium offers immersive experiences that showcase wildlife from around the world. One of the highlights is the special animal encounters, where visitors can get up close and personal with penguins.

There's also a hands-on touch pool where kids can safely interact with sharks and stingrays. Don't miss out on the behind-the-scenes access to the impressive 450,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit, which provides an incredible view of marine life.

The Presbytère Museum

The Presbytère Museum in New Orleans is a must-visit destination for families looking for the best things to do with kids. This family-friendly museum offers engaging exhibits and activities that cater to all ages, providing a unique educational experience for children to learn about the history and culture of New Orleans.

With interactive displays and hands-on experiences, kids can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of this vibrant city. Whether it's exploring Louisiana's traditions or discovering Mardi Gras secrets, The Presbytère Museum offers an entertaining and informative adventure for the whole family.

Make sure to add this stop to your itinerary when visiting New Orleans!

National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is a must-visit destination for families traveling with kids. This top-notch museum provides an immersive and educational experience, showcasing the bravery and sacrifices made by those who served during World War II.

With interactive exhibits, personal stories, and historical artifacts, the museum brings history to life in a way that is engaging and fun for children of all ages. Honored as one of the top museums in the country, it offers not only exhibits but also events and a 4D theater experience.

Make sure to take some time to explore this fascinating museum while visiting New Orleans with your kids.

Enjoy outdoor activities and parks

Experience the thrill of riding a steamboat on the majestic Mississippi River. Encounter fascinating alligators up close on an exciting swamp tour. Explore the beauty and serenity of City Park and Audubon Park.

There's so much more to discover in New Orleans!

Carousel Gardens and Storyland Theme Parks

Located within the expansive City Park in New Orleans, Carousel Gardens and Storyland are two must-visit theme parks for families with kids. Carousel Gardens boasts an impressive selection of 16 rides, including a charming antique wooden carousel, thrilling roller coasters, a delightful Ferris wheel, bumper cars for some friendly competition, and even a miniature ride-on train that will surely bring smiles to your little ones' faces.

Meanwhile, Storyland is a whimsical playground featuring larger-than-life sculptures inspired by beloved children's storybooks. Imagine exploring magical spaces adorned with characters from classic tales! In addition to these enchanting parks, City Park offers plenty of other activities for all ages - think sno-ball flights on the Great Lawn or indulging in delicious beignets at Café du Monde.

So be sure to add Carousel Gardens and Storyland to your itinerary for a memorable day of family fun in New Orleans!

Steamboat Natchez on the Mississippi River

One of the must-try activities in New Orleans for families with kids is a ride on the Steamboat Natchez. This iconic steamboat offers a unique and enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike.

Set sail along the mighty Mississippi River while immersing yourselves in live jazz music, creating memories that will last a lifetime. The Steamboat Natchez provides a family-friendly atmosphere, ensuring everyone has a fantastic time exploring its outdoor decks and taking in the breathtaking views.

As you cruise along the river, you'll be mesmerized by the natural beauty that surrounds you, making this attraction highly recommended among traveling parents.

Swamp tour to see alligators

One thrilling outdoor activity that families can enjoy in New Orleans is a swamp tour to see alligators. These tours offer an up-close and personal experience with these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

You can choose from different types of tours, including airboat swamp tours outside the city for a more exhilarating adventure. If you prefer something closer to the city, there are also guided boat tours available where you can explore the swamps and keep an eye out for alligators.

It's a unique opportunity for kids to learn about these impressive reptiles while enjoying the beautiful Louisiana scenery. Don't forget your camera – capturing breathtaking moments with alligators in the wild is sure to be a highlight of your family trip!

City Park

City Park in New Orleans is a must-visit attraction for families with kids. It offers a wide range of outdoor activities and attractions that are sure to keep everyone entertained.

One highlight is Carousel Gardens, an amusement park within the park that features 16 exciting rides, including a wooden carousel, rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, and bumper cars. Kids will also love exploring Storyland, a themed playground with larger-than-life sculptures from beloved children's storybooks.

City Park is not just about rides and play though - it also boasts the Louisiana Children's Museum which offers interactive exhibits on topics like the Mighty Mississippi and outdoor exploration.

And if you're looking for a peaceful retreat amidst nature, head to the beautiful New Orleans Botanical Garden within City Park where you can enjoy the abundance of flowers, trees, and fountains.

Audubon Park

Situated in the heart of New Orleans, Audubon Park is a haven for families seeking to immerse themselves in nature and outdoor activities. This expansive green space offers a plethora of attractions that are sure to captivate both kids and adults alike.

One highlight is the Audubon Insectarium, where children can discover fascinating exhibits on butterflies, alligators, and other creepy crawlies. For a dose of excitement, head over to Carousel Gardens, an amusement park within Audubon Park featuring thrilling rides like wooden carousels and bumper cars..

New Orleans Botanical Garden

The New Orleans Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis nestled within City Park, offering a delightful escape for families visiting the city. With its well-manicured pathways and vibrant displays of plant species, it's the perfect place to take leisurely strolls with your kids.

The garden provides an educational experience as well, with informative signage and guided tours that teach visitors about different plants and ecosystems. Families can also participate in hands-on activities and workshops focused on gardening, wildlife, and conservation.

Whether you're admiring the colorful flowers or joining in on a workshop, the New Orleans Botanical Garden is an absolute must-visit for families looking to enjoy outdoor activities while learning about nature together.

Indulge in local cuisine

Enjoy mouthwatering Creole dishes suitable for kids, indulge in delectable beignets and king cake, and savor the flavors of New Orleans' family-friendly restaurants.

Creole dishes suitable for kids

Creole cuisine in New Orleans offers a variety of dishes that are perfect for kids. From flavorful gumbo, with its thick stew of meat or seafood and vegetables served over rice, to classic red beans and rice that is both kid-friendly and nutritious.

Another tasty option is shrimp and grits, a combination of sautéed shrimp and creamy grits offering a unique flavor profile that kids will enjoy. And don't forget about jambalaya, a one-pot rice dish made with different meats, veggies, and spices.

These Creole dishes are not only rich in flavor but also provide a unique culinary experience for kids visiting New Orleans. So be sure to indulge in the local cuisine by trying these mouthwatering dishes – it's an essential part of immersing your family in the vibrant culture of New Orleans!

Beignets, king cake, and other New Orleans sweets

When in New Orleans with kids, indulging in the local cuisine is a must-do. Beignets and king cake are two of the city's most beloved sweets that you definitely don't want to miss out on.

Beignets are square-shaped deep-fried fritters generously dusted with powdered sugar, creating a heavenly combination of crispiness and sweetness. They're perfect for enjoying as a family while sipping on some coffee or hot chocolate.

King cake, on the other hand, is a traditional Mardi Gras treat filled with delicious almond cream and often adorned with colorful icing and sugar toppings. It's an exciting experience for kids to bite into this festive delight during their visit to New Orleans.

Family-friendly restaurants

  • Enjoy a family - friendly dining experience in New Orleans by visiting these restaurants that cater to both children and adults.
  • Indulge in the unique flavors and culinary traditions of the city while ensuring your kids have a memorable dining experience.
  • These establishments offer a wide range of local cuisine options, including popular dishes like gumbo, red beans and rice, shrimp and grits, and jambalaya.
  • Explore the vibrant food scene of New Orleans with your family at these family - friendly restaurants located in convenient locations.
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture while enjoying delicious meals that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
  • Whether you're looking for casual dining or want to try something more upscale, there are options available to suit every taste and budget.
  • Create lasting memories with your family as you savor the incredible flavors of New Orleans.

Experience the vibrant music scene

Immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene of New Orleans with live jazz performances at Preservation Hall, delicious dishes and great tunes at Arnaud's Jazz Bistro, and beignets accompanied by local musicians' melodies at Café Beignet.

Let the city's rich musical history fill your ears as you stroll through the streets and enjoy impromptu performances by talented street performers.

Live jazz at Preservation Hall

Preservation Hall is a must-visit venue in New Orleans to experience the vibrant live jazz scene. Known for its rich music heritage, this historic establishment has been showcasing traditional New Orleans jazz since 1961.

With its intimate and authentic setting, Preservation Hall offers an incredible opportunity for families to enjoy live jazz performances that truly capture the essence of the city's culture.

It's not just about listening to music but also immersing yourself in a unique musical experience that will leave you with lasting memories. So be sure to add a visit to Preservation Hall on your list of things to do in New Orleans with kids – it’s an absolute must!

Arnaud's Jazz Bistro

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Arnaud's Jazz Bistro is a must-visit venue for families looking to experience the vibrant music scene in New Orleans. With live jazz performances and a lively atmosphere, this bistro offers an unforgettable dining experience that combines delicious food with toe-tapping music.

Considered one of the top venues for live jazz in the city, along with Preservation Hall and Café Beignet, Arnaud's Jazz Bistro allows parents and kids alike to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of New Orleans.

Soak up the sounds of traditional jazz while enjoying a meal, creating lasting memories for your family during your visit to this unique city. And don't forget to take advantage of street performances that can be found right outside the bistro, adding even more excitement to your exploration of the French Quarter.

Café Beignet

Café Beignet is a must-visit spot for families exploring New Orleans with kids. Located in the vibrant French Quarter, this charming café offers a unique experience that combines delicious food and live jazz music.

As one of the recommended venues to experience New Orleans' iconic jazz scene, Café Beignet captures the essence of the city's culture and atmosphere. Besides its association with live music, Café Beignet is famous for its mouthwatering beignets - deep-fried square-shaped fritters topped with powdered sugar.

These delectable treats are a must-try when visiting New Orleans with your little ones. So head over to Café Beignet in the French Quarter and indulge in some tasty treats while enjoying live jazz performances – it's an experience you won't want to miss!

Street performers

Street performers are an essential part of the vibrant music scene in New Orleans, adding a unique and lively atmosphere to the city. As you explore popular areas like the French Quarter and Jackson Square with your kids, you'll come across talented musicians, dancers, and artists showcasing their skills on the streets.

From jazz to blues to Cajun music, these street performers offer a diverse range of genres that truly represent New Orleans' rich musical heritage. It's an experience not to be missed as they create a fun and engaging environment for everyone in the family.

Soak up the festive ambiance, let your kids dance along with the beats, and enjoy these unforgettable performances while immersing yourself in the cultural identity of this remarkable city.

Must-see attractions for kids

Don't miss these exciting attractions that are perfect for kids in New Orleans: St. Louis Cathedral, Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World, Audubon Zoo, Algiers Ferry, and Woldenberg Riverfront Park.

St. Louis Cathedral

Located in the heart of New Orleans' vibrant French Quarter, the St. Louis Cathedral is a must-see attraction for families visiting the city. As the oldest cathedral in the United States, it holds a significant place in both history and culture.

Standing proudly in Jackson Square, a lively plaza bustling with artists, street musicians, and fortune-tellers, the cathedral offers a beautiful and historic setting for kids to explore.

Founded by French settlers in 1718, this iconic landmark is more than just an architectural marvel – it's a symbol of New Orleans' unique heritage. So make sure to include a visit to St.

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is a must-see attraction for families visiting New Orleans. This unique experience offers tours of the warehouse where Mardi Gras floats are designed and decorated, giving children and parents a behind-the-scenes look at this iconic celebration.

The interactive exhibits and activities provide an engaging way to learn about the history and significance of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Kids will be fascinated by the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating these magnificent floats.

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is highly recommended for families looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of New Orleans, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

Audubon Zoo

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is a must-see attraction for families with kids. With over 1,700 animals representing over 350 species, including endangered wildlife like Amur leopards and whooping cranes, this zoo offers an incredible educational experience.

From the Louisiana Swamp to exhibits showcasing wildlife from around the world, there's something for everyone to enjoy. In fact, it was named the #7 most popular zoo in the US by USA Today Reader's Choice Award.

Convenient parking options and well-maintained facilities make it easy and enjoyable for families to explore. Don't miss out on this fun and engaging adventure during your visit to New Orleans!

Algiers Ferry

The Algiers Ferry is a must-see attraction for families traveling to New Orleans with kids. This unique ferry offers a fun and affordable way to explore the city while enjoying breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.

Operating between the French Quarter and Algiers Point, it's an excellent transportation option for families looking to discover different neighborhoods in New Orleans. Kids will love experiencing a boat ride and seeing the city from a different perspective.

The ferry ride itself is safe, well-maintained, and provides a comfortable experience for everyone on board. Once you reach Algiers Point, take some time to explore its historic architecture, charming streets, local shops, cafes, and parks.

Woldenberg Riverfront Park

Woldenberg Riverfront Park in New Orleans is a must-see attraction for families visiting the city. Situated along the majestic Mississippi River, this park offers stunning views and a serene atmosphere that both kids and parents will love.

With extensive green spaces, it's the perfect spot for picnics, outdoor games, and leisurely walks. You can also enjoy walking paths and bike lanes within the park, providing opportunities for exercise and exploration.

Don't miss out on visiting the renowned Audubon Aquarium of the Americas located here – it's a hit with kids! Plus, you can access the paddlewheeler Steamboat Natchez from the park for a unique experience on the river.

Keep an eye out for special events and festivals held in Woldenberg Riverfront Park too – they provide even more entertainment for your family to enjoy. Its convenient location near other family-friendly attractions like the French Quarter and Louisiana Children's Museum makes it an ideal spot to spend quality time together while immersing yourselves in all that New Orleans has to offer.

Pick Roami for Your Fun Family Vacation in New Orleans

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If your family is planning a trip to New Orleans, Roami should be your first choice. We've designed our places with lots of room and all the features you need to make your stay both comfy and fun.

We understand that family vacations are all about creating special memories together. That's why we offer something more than just a place to sleep. Roami is a unique, family-friendly spot where you can feel right at home.

When you book with Roami, you're doing more than just reserving a room - you're starting a journey you won't forget.


In conclusion, New Orleans is a fantastic destination for families with kids, offering a wide range of enjoyable activities and attractions. From exploring the vibrant French Quarter and visiting family-friendly museums like the Louisiana Children's Museum and Mardi Gras World to enjoying outdoor adventures in City Park and indulging in delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Don't miss the opportunity to experience the city's vibrant music scene with live jazz performances at Preservation Hall or Arnaud's Jazz Bistro. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in New Orleans!


1. What are some of the best family-friendly attractions in New Orleans?

New Orleans offers a range of family-friendly attractions, including the Audubon Zoo, the Garden District, the New Orleans Museum, Louis Armstrong Park, the Central Business District, the Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, City Park with its Carousel Gardens Amusement Park,  and the Louisiana Children's Museum.

2. Are there any kid-friendly tours or experiences available in New Orleans?

Yes, there are several kid-friendly tours and experiences available in New Orleans. Options include steamboat cruises along the Mississippi River, ghost tours tailored for families, and swamp tours where kids can see alligators and other wildlife up close.

3. Where can I find child-friendly dining options in New Orleans?

There are many restaurants in New Orleans that offer child-friendly menus and atmospheres. Some popular choices include Ruby Slipper Cafe for breakfast, Dat Dog for casual dining with unique hot dog creations, or Camellia Grill for classic diner fare.

4. What outdoor activities can I enjoy with my kids in New Orleans?

New Orleans has plenty of outdoor activities suitable for kids. You can take a paddlewheel boat ride on the Mississippi River, explore beautiful parks like Audubon Park or City Park which offers playgrounds and bike rentals, or go on a carriage ride through the historic French Quarter.