The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is truly special. Although the Big Easy is traditionally known for its grown-up fun and partying, the beautiful city also has much to offer kids of all ages. There are museums, aquariums, delicious food, music, incredible city parks, and lots more to explore. Here is a selection of 9 kid-friendly activities in New Orleans that will entertain the whole family.
New Orleans City Park
With an amusement park, a themed playground, a mini-golf course, and a museum, your family can spend days just exploring the amazing New Orleans City Park. Most of the attractions at this family-friendly park are quite affordable, which is excellent if you have multiple children or grandchildren.
The whimsical storybook-themed playground, Storyland, is a fun-filled recreation area with storybook characters, life-sized animals, and miniature houses. At the Louisiana Children’s Museum, kids learn about the Mighty Mississippi River, and at the New Orleans Museum of Art, they can boost their imagination and creativity.
The delightful Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is a must-see at City Park, which features a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, train, and an over 100-year old carousel. Other notable attractions in New Orleans City Park include City Putt miniature golf, Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Botanical Garden, a tennis complex, and trails for walking, jogging, and biking.
Audubon Zoo and Aquarium
Two of the most remarkable attractions operated by the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans are the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. On its 50 acres of land, the Audubon Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals and over 350 species. Highlights include black bears, flamingos, ocelots, bobcats, lions, Monkey Hill, and the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, the world’s only urban swamp. More than just a zoo, there are other exciting attractions for both grandparents and grandchildren like the Endangered Species Carousel, train ride, playground, and the Cool Zoo Splash Park with a Gator Run lazy river.
With schools of fish and other sea life, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas guarantees to excite all ages. Along with more than 500 species of animals, there are jellyfish, penguins, playful sea otters, and a rare white alligator. The aquarium also has a giant IMAX theater and Gulf of Mexico exhibit, which features a 17-feet deep tank filled with sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays.
The Audubon Nature Institute hosts a nature center, a planetarium, Audubon Park, and Entergy Giant Screen Theater. At the enchanting Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, kids and adults delight in getting near free-flying butterflies and other creepy-crawly bugs.
Historic French Quarter
With minimal walking, your family can experience so much in the historic French Quarter. Take a carriage ride around the French Quarter to one of the many family-friendly restaurants. As you stroll through the fanciful shops, children will find plenty of stores that catch their attention. Little Toy Shop has a charming selection of old-fashioned and new-fangled toys while Rocket Fizz offers an array of sodas in exciting flavors like bacon, cookie dough, butter, and pickle.
For a kid-friendly tour of the French Quarter, there is no better place to check out than French Quarter Kids. They host age-specific tours for teenagers to as young as four. Along with the incredible Twilight Tour and entertaining Music for Teens Tour, there is also a Tiny Tour with a scavenger hunt for the little ones.
Mardi Gras World
Celebrate Fat Tuesday as a family at the Mardi Gras World attraction. Mardi Gras World tours give you and the grandkids an up-close, behind-the-scenes experience of the historic and festive tradition. You explore Blaine Kern Studios, the creator of the breathtaking floats for Mardi Gras since 1947. Your family learns how floats are designed, decorated, and built from the ground up. This is an excellent place for fun and creative photo opportunities as guests are encouraged to dress up like float riders. To cap off your visit, everyone in the family will receive a free piece of King Cake, a classic Mardi Gras delicacy.
Music Box Village
You can’t visit New Orleans without experiencing live music, no matter what your age. The Music Box Village is an interactive sculpture garden with different creative and exciting instruments to play. Inspired by the music of New Orleans, these artist-made “musical houses” create a whimsical village where you can make one-of-a-kind music. Music Box Village also hosts a variety of live performances and events that are often very affordable.
While your grandchildren visit New Orleans, why not show them something distinct to Louisiana like swamp tours? People of all ages get a feeling of excitement when face to face with a real live alligator. You may even see other native species like egrets, herons, minks, wild boars, turtles, and bald eagles. There are a few different selections when it comes to swamp tours. Some people choose to go independently on a kayak or canoe. More family-friendly options are on an airboat or swamp boat, both of which come in various sizes and capacities. No matter what you decide, your family will enjoy a closer look at Louisiana’s remarkable wetlands.
National WWII Museum
Located in New Orleans, the National WWII Museum is one the most captivating tourist destinations in the U.S. Visiting this inspiring institution is an excellent opportunity for grandparents to teach their grandchildren about the history of the United States and how war changes a country.
With a combination of historical artifacts and poignant personal stories from those who fought in the war, the National WWII Museum is an unforgettable experience. The Museum features immersive exhibits telling the inside story of World War II, why it was fought, how it was won, and its impact on the world today.
In addition to the gallery exhibits, visitors have other interactive opportunities such as behind-the-scenes tours where your family can handle artifacts with the Museum curators. You also have the opportunity to ride on an authentic, restored PT-boat.
Children, adults, and seniors, everyone loves a steamboat ride. The majestic Mississippi River is a significant part of the New Orleans landscape. One of the best ways to experience this great body of water is a family outing aboard an awesome steamboat. Riverboat tours on the Mississippi are a wonderful way to spend quality family time together in a stunning natural setting. As your family floats along the Great River, they can enjoy a variety of entertainment options. Some cruises include live jazz music on board, and many serve brunch or have a lunch and dinner buffet.
A National Historic Landmark, Jackson Square is a lively place filled with curiosities to explore. Named after the seventh president of the U.S., Andrew Jackson, a beautiful equestrian statue in his honor sits in the center of the plaza. Another incredible sight to see in the square is the exquisite Cathédrale Saint-Louis, the oldest cathedral in the U.S.
In the center of Jackson Square is a fenced garden surrounded by local artisans, music, street performers, and fortune tellers. Buskers and musicians play their music while jugglers juggle and painters paint. New Orleans is a city that embraces the fantastic and the supernatural. Whether you believe it or not, it is fun to sit down with a psychic or fortune-teller and hear what they have to say. These psychic readers may use tarot cards or read palms or some other way of looking into your past, present, and future.
Senior Living in New Orleans
There is so much more to New Orleans than beads and parades. With an incredible history and vibrant culture, it is a city with fun for all ages. Grandparents that live in the Big Easy can be proud to invite their children and grandchildren to visit them. Spending time with family is so important. When they do come to visit, be prepared by having this handy list of family-friendly things to do in New Orleans.
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This article is written by our community partner, Peristyle Residences, which provides residential care homes throughout Louisiana.