Our family ended up going to New Orleans last month so I could lead a session about CSS edits at iRetreat Conference, but Josh and I had never really been there before.
Forget the party reputation of Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street. There’s plenty of kid friendly adventures waiting for you in NOLA. Here’s five family friendly things you can do with your kids in New Orleans – go ahead and plan your own road trip now!
If you grab a hotel with off street parking in the French Quarter, you literally don’t have to drive anywhere during your stay. Pack your trusty double stroller so both kids can relax, and hit the bricks! Brick sidewalks, that is.
We walked so much during our trip, I want to say that offset all the tons of snacking we did.
It’s how I sleep at night.
A safety tip from Josh: When you’re visiting a new city, don’t make yourself look like a tourist or a distracted easy target. Know where you’re heading before you leave your hotel room, and study your map so you know how to get there. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone as you walk, and be aware of your surroundings.
1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
True story, the first time I mentioned to my friend Carolyn that we were headed on a road trip to New Orleans, the first thing she wanted to know is if we were going to the aquarium. I told her I didn’t know for sure yet, and she kept bringing it up, how gorgeous it was.
She was totally right.
420 Julia St, New Orleans, LA 70130
This place. Was. The Coolest.
The ground floor was kind of interesting, and scored major points for having one of those dark rooms where you stand in front of it, a light flashes and it captures your shadow on the wall. But the real magic was upstairs.
Get on up to the second floor and there’s a kid-sized port (with working river crane!) for kids to play with, a tiny restaurant, and a miniature Winn Dixie grocery store just the right size for your younger kids to shop in.
It was awesome.
Currently fare is $1.25 per person per ride – if you think you might use it for more than one round trip it makes more sense to spring for the passes. They’ve got em for 1 day, 3 day and 31 days and if you plan far enough in advance, you can order them online and have them mailed to you before you get to NOLA.
We took the St. Charles streetcar, and got off just outside of Adubon Park. There’s a shuttle that takes you from that stop to the entrance of the zoo, but we were suckers and walked the mile.
I promise you, on the way back we took the shuttle.
6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118
Our Adubon Zoo adventure was one of the best things we did on our entire road trip. It was also the hottest and sweatiest. It was like 90 degrees out, and it was all day long walking adventures.
So number one priority before you go: Drench yourself and your kids with sunscreen.
Also bring some sippy cups for the kids, so you can grab free ice water at any of the cafes. Every two animals you see, have the little ones take a couple of sips of water so they don’t get too crazy overheated. And you should probably drink some too.
Tons of awesome animal exhibits, and even a couple places for your kids to run around and be ridiculous (if it’s not too hot for that sort of thing). If you come prepared, the zoo’s even got a little water park called Cool Zoo during the summer.
If your kids are younger, you can probably skip the Dinosaur Adventure. Phil will be 5 in the fall and our little paleontologist was SUPER pumped to check it out. But once he and Josh got inside, the dinosaurs were juuuuust a little too intense for his taste.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids in New Orleans?
Did we miss something awesome? Share it in the comments!