10 Reasons Why Kids Should Visit New Orleans #FollowYourNola

In case you haven’t already considered New Orleans as one of your future family destinations, you may want to start adding it to the list!! The city’s history, great food, and family activities won’t disappoint. We’ve got 10 Reasons Why Kids Should Visit New Orleans to inspire your itinerary for a trip down South.  Last week, I went down to New Orleans to see what all the buzz was about, and now I can’t wait to visit again in June for the iRetreat conference to share some of these memories. I have always considered New Orleans as a grown-up trip, but boy was I wrong. Here are just a few reasons why kids won’t want to miss out…

10 Reasons Why Kids Should Visit New Orleans

  1. Mardi Gras is for families! This was the biggest surprise on my trip. I found out that local kids get the week off of school, they ride on the floats, and school fundraisers surround the festivities. The key to remember is that it’s all about where you are located. I wouldn’t recommend hanging out too much on Bourbon Street with the kids, but nearby areas are extremely family-oriented — even during Mardi Gras!

  2. Tours for Kids: One of the first items on my agenda when I arrived in New Orleans was to enjoy a 90-minute kids walking tour with French QuartTour. Kids ages 5-13 are welcome and prices are $25 per person (kids and adults are same price). A local teacher dressed in old-fashion attire walks the kids around town teaching history and geography with treasure maps and fun props. The tour is definitely a creative way to fit a history lesson in during vacation. The kids may not even notice because they are having so much fun.

  1. Audubon Nature Institute: This place has a zoo, splash park, aquarium, butterfly garden and insectarium. I only had time to visit the zoo and peek at the splash park, but the zoo was a nice size. Not too overwhelming but definitely had a lot of great animals – including giraffes, tigers, and very rare white alligators that your kids will go crazy over. Zoo tickets cost $14 per child and $19 for adults. There’s also combo packages that you can explore if interested in checking out the other exhibits. My recommendation would be to visit the zoo and then spend a few extra dollars to enjoy the splash park and Gator Alley (new lazy river coming in April). That seems to be the most cost effective and fun option. If you’re there for the summer, they do really cool park-after-dark activities including hide-and-seek and sleepovers!!

  1. Jazz music at Preservation Hall: If your kids are older and into music, this may be the perfect spot for them! Their motto is “No smoking, drinking. All ages.” The rustic vibe of the venue makes you feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1940s and are listening to some of the greatest jazz musicians. The band is funny and very personal with the intimate crowd. Highlights for me were when the trombone musician played without taking a breath for about five minutes (seriously unbelievable) and when the lead singer pulled people from the crowd to dance with him. Show times are 8,9, and 10 every night. Inside tip: Get your tickets early, and get there early. It is a tiny room with limited seating. You may be standing for the show, so people start lining up an hour in advance to get a good seat. However, there isn’t a bad spot in the place since the venue is about the size of my living room.

  2. Boat cruise: Board the authentic Natchez steamboat down by the Mississippi River for a relaxing time with the family. The trip that I took was about two hours, and it includes a free drink. Tickets are $30 for adults, $13 for kids, and free for 5 and under. I enjoyed the trip, but I do think that younger kids may get bored quickly. If you are looking for a chill afternoon and your kids enjoy sightseeing, this would be a good option. Dinner and brunch cruises are also available.

6. City Park and Beignets: When visiting New Orleans, you MUST eat beignets. I like to call them the cooler, more sophisticated sister of the doughnut. Many people like to go to Cafe du Monde, but the line  there can be extra long. My recommendation for a family is to visit Morning Call right at the entrance of City Park. You’ll likely avoid the lines and get just as memorable a beignet experience. After that, you can explore the park for no charge. An interesting fact about the park is that almost every week you can see a movie or tv show being filmed. Keep an eye out for exploding objects. This park is one of the few places that movie sets can set things on fire, so you may be in for an unexpected treat if you have lucky timing!
7. Storyland: Right beside the park, Storyland is a quaint area full of larger-than-life story book characters. Kids can slide, climb and play on these characters all afternoon. Cost is only $4 per person (kids under 36″ get in free). You also have access to the Botanical Gardens and Amusement Park with your ticket purchase. However, you do have to pay extra per amusement park rides.
8. Antique carousel: In the Amusement Park, the highlight attraction is the wooden antique carousel. There are not many of its kind, and I learned that many of the ride’s horses are actual time capsules filled with notes or memories from its builders.
9. Riding the streetcar: Kids love EVERYTHING that move, and the iconic Streetcar is no exception.  Sadly, I didn’t get to experience the streetcar during my trip, but I heard that it is a kid favorite and a fun way to get around. A trip around town is only $1.25 per person, and you can also buy extended passes if planning to ride frequently during your trip.
10. Jackson Square in the French Quarter: Take your kids down to the park to enjoy street vendors, head down to the Mississippi River, and watch talented kid musicians perform on the street.

Best of luck on your travel plans. New Orleans may just be that surprise trip that will put a smile on everyone’s faces!

Travel and accommodations were kindly covered by New Orleans Travel. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

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