10 Best Things to Do with the Kids in New Orleans

You might not think kids and New Orleans if you haven't been here before - or if your experience is limited to the adult scene rife with strip clubs and drunks on Bourbon Street.  But New Orleans is a city of families who just avoid the Bourbon Street scene with the kiddos. There is so much else to do around town, from more organized attractions to just soaking in the city's rich and vibrant culture.  

Exposing the kids to live music is a must.  Remember that bars don’t let in the under-21 set, and since most live music happens in bars, that’s an issue.  Not to worry though. Kids are welcome at Preservation Hall, the hallowed jazz venue that attracts fans from all over the world.  The sets are relatively short, so even the younger ones will have a great time.  Street music abounds on Royal Street during the day, and street performers of all ilks busk for bucks around Jackson Square.  A stroll down Frenchmen Street anytime after 5 pm or so will deliver street corner brass bands, as well as plenty of open doorways to catch some wafting tunes. Depending on the time of year, there are free concerts on Wednesdays and Thursday in Lafayette Square and Armstrong Park, all suitable for young ears.

Outside the city


Family attractions are plentiful on this side of Lake Pontchartrain, a world away from the excess of New Orleans. The Global Wildlife Center is the Northshore's answer to Disney's Animal Kingdom, an eco-friendly 900-acre predator-free animal...  Read More

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas


Located on the banks of the Mississippi River in the French Quarter, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas offers visitors a chance to pet sting rays, feed exotic birds, and ogle sharks in their 40,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit, which...  Read More



A 16-acre haven of green located between the French Quarter and the Mississippi, Woldenberg Riverfront Park is a perfect place to unwind after a jaunt in the Quarter. There is some interesting public art, a riverside promenade, busking musicians...  Read More



Often called the heart of New Orleans, Jackson Square is full of energy and activity. The Square faces the Mississippi River and is directly across from the St. Louis Cathedral. In the shadows of the Andrew Jackson statue, erected for his...  Read More

City Park


The largest green space in New Orleans, City Park boasts 1,300 acres featuring outdoor art, excellent sports facilities, the New Orleans Botanical Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art, all surrounded by picturesque lagoons and sprawling...  Read More



There was much hue and cry when new operators took over this formerly free ferry in 2014, but it's still only $2 to take this scenic ride, and kids 2 and under ride for free. Although the ride across the Mississippi only lasts five minutes, the...  Read More



The New Orleans Streetcar is the preeminent mode of transportation in the Crescent City. Traveling through the middle of major streets such as St. Charles, Canal and Carrollton, the streetcar is an affordable method of transportation that allows...  Read More



The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is located inside the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street. It is the largest North American museum dedicated to insects. Adults and children alike will enjoy learning about the insect's contributions...  Read More



Audubon Zoo, located in Uptown New Orleans is a great place for a family visit. Home to over 2,000 animals, the zoo is open year round, from Tuesday through Sunday (seven days a week during the summer). Learning the eating habits of a Komodo...  Read More



Hands on learning equals hands on fun at this spunky children's museum, where kids are encouraged to discover a world of wonder throughout 30,000 sq. ft. of learn-by-doing exhibits. Head upstairs where role-playing rules, at the Little Winn...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth