New Orleans is a cultural hot spot in the United States. This southern city is known for its vibey nightlife, colorful carnivals, and rich history. But, finding things to do in New Orleans with kids can be a little tricky if you’re unfamiliar with the city.
Luckily, we’ve been around in the USA, and we know just the right spots to keep the whole family entertained during your tours through NOLA. Here’s a list of our favorite things to do with kids in New Orleans.
Family Things to Do in New Orleans
There are so many opportunities to enjoy this great city. This selection of family-friendly things to do in New Orleans is well suited for travelers of all ages and makes sure that you don’t miss out on any highlights.
See New Orleans by Carriage
Head down to Jefferson Square, where you can hop into a horse-drawn carriage for a unique tour of the city’s French Quarter. The French Quarter carriage tour is accompanied by a licensed guide that will talk you through 300 years of New Orleans’ history.
This tour is a perfect way to see New Orleans for kids. You’ll pass by some famous historical sites like Napoleon House, Saint Louis Cathedral, and Bourbon Street during the hour-long ride. There’s never a dull moment on New Orleans’ streets, and this tour captures it all.
Your carriage will take you through the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood on your way through town. This is one of the best places to experience the vibrancy of New Orleans. Here you’ll find the streets lined with live jazz musicians, artists, cafés, and bars.
The tour operates during rain or shine. All carriages have covered seating, making the ride more comfortable. Although the best time to visit New Orleans is during its festivals and parades, try to book your tour so it doesn’t coincide with road closures.
Bonus! If your tiny tourists are under the age of 3, they can ride the carriage for free.
French Quarter Food Tour
After seeing the best of New Orleans’ history and architecture in the French Quarter on your carriage ride, why not experience the best of its culture and cuisine through a walking food tour?
Sampling new flavors is exciting for all ages and might be just the right way to keep the hunger-fueled grumpiness at bay while you explore the city. Food tours are growing in popularity as they offer a different approach to experiencing a city’s history and culture.
This culinary journey begins on the banks of the Mississippi River for a classic New Orleans-style breakfast: a deep-fried beignet. Featured in Disney’s ‘Princess and the Frog,’ this national treasure is guaranteed to be a hit with every family member.
Next, your tour will guide you through the USA’s oldest public market. The French Market is a hub of activity and a popular tourist destination. Here you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the city’s colorful citizens and try out some local dishes.
After that, you’ll get to taste New Orleans’ most famous and most controversial dish. Gumbo has been a treasured dish in the city for hundreds of years. Because Gumbo has been around for so long, everyone in town has their own idea of what makes the perfect Gumbo.
Although this is one of the best family activities in New Orleans, it’s essential to be mindful of dietary restrictions and allergies before booking a tour. The good news is that kids under six can join the tour for free.
You’ll get a glimpse of New Orleans’ jazz scene as you wander through the city’s streets. At first, you might not think that going to a jazz club is one of the best things to do in New Orleans with family. But, you’ll be surprised at the abundance of family-friendly jazz shows and clubs in the city.
Pay a visit to these spots for an up-close and personal experience with New Orleans’ music culture.
First opened as a tavern in 1803, the Preservation Hall is now re-established as a non-profit venue that supports local musicians and youth. The hall hosts a few 45-minute shows every night, which start at 5 pm.
The musicians at Preservation Hall are passionate about their craft; they love visitors to get excited and get involved. At the show, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about rhythm and the roots of jazz. Visiting the hall is a great way to learn about the city from locals and give back to the community.
Tickets to the shows are available from the Preservation Hall website. Although snacks and drinks aren’t served at the hall, visitors are welcome to bring their own for the show. The Preservation Hall also has an awesome gift shop, where you can buy t-shirts, posters, CDs, and other tokens to remember your time in New Orleans.
All proceeds generated from tickets and the gift shop go back to supporting the beautiful community of New Orleans. The Preservation Hall offers free music lessons and a variety of other activities to help the community.
While you’re grabbing a hearty meal at Café Beignet, you can soak in the sights and sounds of New Orleans too. There are a couple of Café Beignet locations around New Orleans. This collection of cafés, started by a group of friends passionate about New Orleans’ food culture, has been going strong since 1990.
If you time your visit right, you might catch a live jazz performance by one of New Orleans’ local bands. The excellent food, paired with a powdery beignet and the smooth sounds of authentic jazz, makes for one of the best family-friendly activities in New Orleans.
Louis Armstrong Park
This city park is a great urban green space with plenty of things for kids to do in New Orleans. Dedicated to the jazz icon Louis Armstrong, this park features open spaces, historical monuments, beautiful fountains, duck ponds, and much more.
Just a stone’s throw from the French Quarter, the park is the perfect place to sit down for a Louisiana-style picnic. The Louis Armstrong Park is a welcome and peaceful escape from the city’s busy streets.
Admission to the park is free, and it’s open every day, from early till late. Restaurants, bars, and cafés surround Louis Armstrong Park. A visit to the park is the perfect way to end off a day of touring the city.
City Park in New Orleans
This massive park holds New Orleans’ Botanical Gardens, Museum of Art, and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. The park’s 1,300 acres are a hub of kids’ activities in New Orleans. City Park is one of the country’s largest urban green spaces.
This park is another perfect spot for a picnic. In fact, City Park also has a catering option so that you can order and pick up your picnic basket on your way in. While you’re there, you can challenge your team to a game of 18-hole miniature golf or get your hands dirty at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum is situated in the park and is a must-see if you’re looking for things to do in New Orleans for kids. The Museum is open every day, and it’s all indoors, so you don’t have to worry about the weather.
Cruise Along the Bayou
New Orleans’ bayou is teeming with life and activity. These marshy swamp areas are home to many creatures like fish, birds, alligators, and turtles. Although there are walking trails around the bayou for adventure seekers, taking a boat tour is the perfect way to include the whole family.
On your boat tour of the bayou, an experienced local captain will talk you through life in the swamp. This tour also offers a pick-up option from most places of accommodation in and around the French Quarter. You’ll have to book this in advance.
New Orleans’ bayou is not only one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions but it is also a vital ecosystem. The bayou’s wildlife helps to protect the city from flooding, and it encourages diversity of the area’s plant and animal life.
While visiting the bayou, your kids will learn all about this essential ecosystem, and you’ll help contribute to the protection of Louisiana’s swamps.
Final Thoughts on Seeing New Orleans with Kids
In New Orleans, things to do with kids are abundant. This vibrant city is packed with family-friendly activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained. There are so many ways to see the best of New Orleans’ culture, music, history, and wildlife.
If you’re planning on touring the USA, hopefully this list of our favorite New Orleans family activities will inspire you to spend a few days in the state of Louisiana.