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The best kid-friendly attractions in New Orleans

New Orleans may be famous for its home-cooking, street parties and jazzy tunes, but this Louisiana city is also a perfect pick for a family vacation. The Big Easy is packed with nature parks, storytelling tours, and over 40 museums for the little ones to explore. And for when they need a runaround or an afternoon kip, New Orleans is filled with green parks and playgrounds for all ages.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure in the wetlands or an educational afternoon, you’ll be spoilt for choice in kid-friendly New Orleans.

Our favorite fun things to do in New Orleans with kids include:

  • Joining in the fun at Mardi Gras World
  • Meeting monkeys, sharks and more at the Audubon Nature Institute
  • A Louisiana swamp adventure
  • Spooky sightseeing in the French Quarter
  • And much more!

Get up close to the animals at Audubon Nature Institute

The Audubon Nature Institute is perfect for all your little animal lovers. The family of museums and nature parks includes a 58-acre zoo, aquarium and insectarium with its very own butterfly garden. As well as spotting gorillas, lions and alligators in the Audubon Zoo, kids can watch live feedings, shows and daily talks across the park. There’s also a walk-through tunnel where sharks and sharp-toothed piranhas swim overhead, plus eight themed galleries at the not so creepy insectarium.

Getting in: admission to the Audubon Zoo, Insectarium and Aquarium are included on the Go New Orleans pass.

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Ghosts and Ghouls

For kids that ain’t afraid of no ghost, why not book onto a haunted history tour in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Fun for all the family, this two-hour tour shares the tales of the ghastly ghouls who are said to haunt the city’s oldest neighborhood. Walk among various spine-tingling locations whilst you hear the legendary stories of New Orleans’ paranormal past.

Getting in: tickets for the French Quarter Ghost Legends Tour are included on the Go New Orleans pass.

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Explore Louisiana’s Swamplands

Don’t miss an adventure for all the family as you explore the famous swamplands of Louisiana. Hop aboard a small boat and float down the Manchac Swamp for a scenic experience among nature. You’ll spot alligators, fish, turtles and more on your journey whilst learning all about life in the wetlands from an expert guide.

Getting in: tickets for the Cajun Pride Swamp Tour are included on a Go New Orleans pass.

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Head to New Orleans City Park

The New Orleans City Park is more than green grass and wide-open space. Across 1,300 acres is a historic collection of activities, gardens, and landmarks that have captured imaginations since 1854. Kids will love the Botanical Gardens’ miniature train garden, boating around the lake and riding the antique wooden carousel. Various parts of the park open at different times throughout the year with even more seasonal family-friendly activities on offer.

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Photo by Jeremy Thompson

Get into the festival spirit at Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Festival is New Orleans’s biggest annual event, where every New Orleanian joins in the fun with street parades and festive celebrations across Fat Tuesday (the last day before Lent). Kids will love watching colorful parade floats and can also join in Family Gras with games, art activities and free concerts the weekend before the main event. If your trip doesn’t fall over the celebrations, don’t miss a visit to Mardi Gras World where the party never stops! Check out famous floats, flamboyant outfits and have a twirl in a costume at this fantastic museum.

Getting in: admission to Mardi Gras World is included on a Go New Orleans pass.

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Watch the performers at Jackson Square

New Orleans’s most recognizable landmark is a must-visit for all the family. You’ll find dozens of street performers, artists and musicians forming crowds around the central statue of Andrew Jackson. There’s also plenty of alfresco cafés where you can sit and enjoy the shows including Cafe Du Monde, famous for their delicious beignets. Sweet tooths won’t want to miss trying these sugary fried bites!

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Image by Sami99tr

Learn about the Second World War at the National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum is a tribute to the brave soldiers who fought in the war that changed the world. Discover seven permanent exhibition halls where families can learn about American life in the 1940s and understand how the war won in interactive exhibits. Displays include a P-40 Warhawk, a 4D screening war stories and an experience onboard the war’s most formidable submarine.

Getting in: admission to the National WWII Museum is included on a Go New Orleans pass.

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Louisiana Children’s Museum

This interactive museum features 8.5 acres of activities and exhibits to inspire children’s imaginations. Galleries include a giant space for toddler play, a story of the Mississippi River and various hands-on displays that celebrate the home of Louisiana.

Save on admission to New Orleans attractions

Explore the top things to do in New Orleans with the Go New Orleans pass. You’ll get access to a whole host of attractions as well as entry to museums, walking tours and art galleries.

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