Best Things to Do with Kids in New Orleans

Best Things to Do with Kids in New Orleans
Photo: Courtesy of Nick Zappia / Liz Vilardi

So you’ve decided to bring your children to New Orleans. Some people might call you crazy, but don’t worry. Your kids will love the festive atmosphere and the southern charm of NOLA. True, Bourbon Street at night might be too wild and risqué for children, but much of New Orleans is totally kid-friendly. There are families living all over town and many of them frequent the places I’ve listed below. It’s not hard to find things for children to do here; you just have to look in the right place. If you think your kids would enjoy spooky cemeteries, Mississippi River steamboat rides, or viewing zillions of fish at a world-class aquarium then bring the whole family. It can seem daunting at first, but if you try some of these great activities listed below, you can be sure that everyone will be thrilled to be in New Orleans.

Beignets at Café Du Monde

There is nothing more delicious than a big plate of beignets at one of the oldest coffee shops in New Orleans. Beignets, a New Orleans version of the doughnut, are sweet, airy, and covered in attire-ruining powdered sugar. Café Du Monde is very popular so plan to stand in line for your treats, but it’s well worth it.

Ice Cream at Creole Creamery

A family favorite for years, Creole Creamery is one of the most amazing ice cream shops in New Orleans. Come uptown and visit for some of the most outrageous flavors of ice cream like Green Tea and Apricot, Blueberry Mojito, and Grape Nerd. If you’re brave, take the Tcoupitoulas challenge, which is a sundae made with eight scoops of ice cream and toppings to boot.

Walking Jackson Square

At the center of the French Quarter, adjacent to the famous Saint Louis Cathedral, is Jackson Square. It spans about two square blocks and is one of the best places in the city for people watching. Brass bands routinely play for tips next to palm readers, and performers pose in costume so you can take pictures with them.

The St. Charles Streetcar

Starting on the corner of Canal and Bourbon, the St. Charles Streetcar takes passengers all the way uptown along historic St. Charles Avenue for only $1.50 one-way. It’s a great way to see the garden district, and the huge mansions that dot the avenue. Short of hiring your own limo to parade you up and down the street, the St. Charles streetcar is one of the best city tours around.

Audubon Zoo and the Fly

The fly is a great park that’s wide open, safe, and perfect for picnics when the weather is nice. The best part is that it’s right next to the Mississippi river and you can watch the ships go by as you relax in the grass. Right next to the Fly is the Audubon Zoo. Make sure to see the white alligators and take the Swamp train that takes you on a scenic tour of the zoo’s 58 acres.

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