Partying…Alcohol…Free Spirited Activities…Smoking. These are the reasons not to visit New Orleans with your child or children. I found myself being apprehensive about finding entertainment for my child without having him view the ‘Booze Traveler’. Like many parents in the world, my child gets bored real easy. I refused to spend money traveling to a destination, only to stay in the hotel. It is forbidden with my adventurous spirit. With selfishness aside, I viewed New Orleans from the perspective and characteristics of my child. Some of the things I learned:
- Focus on attractions outside the touristy areas of Canal and Bourbon Street. It was a big hit for my child and I didn’t have to deal with over crowdedness. There were many attractions geared towards family.
- Public Transportation is okay. I am quick to rent a car or contact a car transportation service to take me around the city. Besides, you will pay for parking at many locations around city. How convenient is that?
- Concentrating on the historical facts of the city and its architecture. It is the variations of the neighborhoods and symbolic culture that you can’t find anywhere else. Entertained through people watching and eating food was not an option.
New Orleans is an entertainment playground for all walks of life. In my short visit, I found many attractions for entertaining kids. I didn’t get a chance to visit them all. Some entertainment for kids that I experienced were:
This 30,000 square foot warehouse holds current and developing Mardi Gras floats. Learn the Mardi Gras history, float building processes, and parade participation of the floats. This warehouse offers tours, demonstrations from the artists, and a gift shop to explore. Tour allows you to try on costumes and sample king cake. You must purchase a guided tour to see behind the screen and developing floats.
The aquarium has approximately 10,000 animals representing over 500 species. It is located on Canal Street and accessible by public transportation. It includes an Imax theater, gift shops, food court, rainforest, an opportunity to touch a stingray and many animal exhibits. Don’t forget to get the times for the demonstrations given by the staff.
It is located in the historic uptown of New Orleans, accessible by Magazine Street and Saint Charles Avenue public transportation. The park has a 1.8-mile jogging path, golf course, a café, picnic areas, a lagoon, sporting activities, pool, and others. There are plenty of options to burn the excess energy that kids have.
This zoo is located within the large Audubon Park. For a nominal fee, enjoy the animals and their attractions. Highly recommend seeing the albino alligator and two-headed gopher snake. There is a free roundtrip shuttle at the Audubon Park entrance on Saint Charles Avenue. For those who don’t want to walk across the park, the shuttle stops at the zoo’s entrance.
- Louis Armstrong Park
It is a 32-acre park in the Tremé neighborhood. It has a history of where the slave population gathered. Read the informative plagues along its river walk. It is in need of repair, would recommend visiting in the daytime. Note, the park does not have a playground.
- Take A Self-Guided Tour of New Orleans
Visit the National Park Service’s French Quarter Visitors Center, located on 419 Decatur Street, to pick up a free tour guides. It has highlighted information about various neighborhoods and attractions around the city. Make your own adventure within your timeframe. The visitor center offers complimentary tour guides at designated times. It is a first-come, first-served basis. Contact them for times since no reservations are required.
- Take a Swamp Tour
It is hard to come to Louisiana without experiencing the bayou. Enjoy a boat tour to learn about the swamp life. Pick a company that fits your schedule and expectations. When making a reservation with a company, try to find a Captain who appeared on the History Channel’s show Swamp People.
- Visit Café Du Monde
Hot beignets and café du lait are staples. You can’t come to New Orleans without trying these satisfying treats. With powered sugar, the beignets are served within minutes of being baked. Milks and juices options are served instead of coffee for the kids. There are several locations around New Orleans with the French Market being the most popular.