Fun Things To In New Orleans With Kids + New Orleans Itinerary

New Orleans With Kids Itinerary

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New Orleans is a city in the state of Louisiana that is best known for its iconic Mardi Gras festival, Creole food, and southern charm.

The heart of the city is the historical French Quarter which is notably known for its amazing French and Spanish Creole architecture as well as the colorful nightlife along Bourbon Street.

Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids

The city offers not just the usual boisterous party scene but there are many wonderful and magical spots that are great for vacationing families.

This was Aiden & I’s second time, and my husband’s first time in New Orleans. We spent a total of four days in New Orleans with kids and we were able to do a lot of things, but I do wish we had more time there.

Fun Things To In New Orleans With Kids + New Orleans Itinerary

2022 Update – We just visited New Orleans for the 4th time in 2022 and this blog post was updated with the things we did there. New Orleans is one of our absolute favorite cities to visit in the U.S.

Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids
September 2019

Look at how much Aiden has grown from our last New Orleans trip! Just WOW! They do really grow so fast. I am so thankful that we get to travel and explore the world together.

New Orleans trip
December 2022

The first time I visited New Orleans Aiden was three years old, and we spend Mother’s Day weekend there, which was the start of our Mother and Son “Mother’s Day Trips”.

You can see the other places we spent Mother’s Day below.

best mothers day trips
New Orleans Mother’s Day 2017

How Did We Get To New Orleans?

We flew to New Orleans from Los Angeles on United Airlines. We took a red-eye flight with a layover in San Francisco and arrived in New Orleans very early in the morning at about 6 am.

travel with kids

I love red-eye flights because for us that means we have one less night at the hotel to pay for, which also means when we get to our destination we have a full day to explore.

Getting From The Airport To The City

The airport (Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport / MSY) is about 13 miles from the French Quarter which is about a 30 to 45-minute drive depending on traffic when you arrive.

Limo Service – We were picked up from the airport by Limo Livery and someone was waiting for us in the baggage claim area when we arrived.

Airport Shuttle – There is a shuttle at the airport that offers transportation to various hotels in New Orleans. This costs $24/person for a one-way trip or $44/ person round trip. Check out Aiport Shuttle New Orleans for more.

Lyft/Uber – Lyft and Uber are both authorized to pick up passengers from the airport. You can find the pick-up location on the first floor of the short-term parking garage located by baggage claim 6.

French market New Orleans

New Orleans Neighborhoods

New Orleans has different neighborhoods, and before you book your trip it is important to map put the different neighborhoods to know where to stay, how to get around, and where all the attractions to plan to visit are.

  • French Quarter
  • The Garden District
  • Downtown ./ Canal Business District
  • Uptown / Carrollton
  • Mid-City
  • Ninth Ward
  • Esplanade Ridge
  • Treme
  • Arts / Warehouse District
  • Algiers
  • Marigny / Bywater
  • Lakeview
  • Gentilly
  • New Orleans East
New Orleans Neighborhoods map

Read more about each New Orleans neighborhood here.

How To Get Around New Orleans

We got around New Orleans by walking, taking Lyft as well as the street car.

You can rent a car in New Orleans and drive around, however, there’s a lot of traffic and parking is hard to come by. So I don’t recommend that you rent a car unless you want to.

planning a road trip with kids

Click here for a detailed list of ways to get around New Orleans.

Where To Stay In New Orleans

We stayed at the Jung Hotel & Residences in New Orleans. This hotel has a restaurant attached with yummy breakfast which we enjoyed every morning.

Hotel in New Orleans

Our hotel was right on Canal Street and it was an easy ride in the street car straight there. So we took the street car back a few times instead of paying for Lyft.

pool fun with kids
Rooftop pool at the Jung

When choosing a place to stay in New Orleans, make sure you access the location to ensure that it is close to public transportation, and also an easy walk from places you want to visit.

day trip excursions
Relaxing with the Husbae

Other Places To Stay In New Orleans

Places to stay in New Orleans

Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids

1. Be amazed at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

The Audubon Aquarium has four sea life habitats waiting to be explored which are the Amazon, the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, and the Mississippi River.

Kids can have an interactive experience where they can touch a stingray or even feed a parakeet. It also offers a different underwater world experience which the kids will surely love.

The Audubon Aquarium is located on the Mississippi River which is adjacent to the French Quarter. Click here for tickets and other details on Audobon Aquarium of the Americas.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

2. See the beautiful butterfly at the Audubon Butterfly Garden And Insectarium

The Audubon Butterfly Garden was one of our favorite things to do in New Orleans with kids. It is the largest museum in America dedicated just insects only. This place is amazing!

smiling child of color

SssHhh, I’m so scared of butterflies, and my husband captured this freak-out moment. Aiden was having a blast with the butterflies.

travel life with kids

3. Mardi Gras Experience

NOLA’s Mardi Gras may be notorious for its wild party scenes which usually happen on Bourbon Street. However, there are many family-friendly areas where you can enjoy the scenes of the Mardi Gras.

One of the best spots is at St. Charles Avenue just near the intersection of Third Street in the Garden District neighborhood.

Your kids will surely enjoy dressing up and catching all the beads and of course watching the parade of incredible floats. Read about Mardi Gras here.

Mardi Gras experience

4. Enjoy beignets at the world-famous Café Du Monde

One of the best things about visiting New Orleans with kids is their unique gastronomic experience. Beignets are French-style doughnuts that are covered in powdered sugar.

Your visit to NOLA will never be complete without indulging in one or two beignets. Café Du Mondein the New Orleans’ French Quarter has been serving up beignets since 1862.

Treat your kids to something delightfully sweet without spending a lot. And don’t forget to also try out their chocolate milk. Check our Cafe Du Monde here.

Café Du Monde
happy child
Café Du Monde New Orleans
December 2022

5. Explore City Park

The City Park is considered as one of the oldest urban parks and it spans 1300 acres and is a true oasis. The park is located within the city which is great since you do not have to travel that far.

You can hop on a Streetcar which would take about 45 minutes or you can also drive which would take up to 25 minutes. The story-themed playground called Storyland is City Park’s most popular attraction.

However, the park also offers other cool spots such as the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, biking paths, botanical garden and it is also the home of the oldest grove of live oak trees.

There are so many activities to enjoy at the park which can last the whole day. Click here for more information on City Park.

City Park New Orleans
City Park New Orleans with kids

7. See animals and splash at the Audubon Zoo

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is such a great activity when in New Orleans with kids. It is highly rated as one of the best zoo’s in the USA.

Audubon Zoo

This zoo not only has animals but also a mini splash water park for hot days. So don’t forget to pack your swimsuit if you’re planning to visit. Read more on Audubon Zoo here.

Audubon Zoo New Orleans

8. Stroll around the French Quarter

No other place embodies New Orleans than the French Quarter. Some people may think that the French Quarter is just for grownups but the magical vibe and old charm of the place can surely capture the attention of kids.

places to go with kids
French Quarter

The French Quarter is known for its colorful facades, unique architectural designs, cast-iron balconies, and rustic shutters. One of the best things about the French Quarter is the old feeling which is even magnified by horses and carts which navigate through the narrow streets.

French Quarter New Orleans
French Quarter

You can also enjoy the many street musicians playing jazz tunes which can certainly add to the overall ambiance of the place.

When in the French Quarter make sure to check out Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, the French Market, St. Louis Cathedral, and Jackson Square.

Jackson Square
Jackson Square

9. Learn something new at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Museums are cool because their main function is to impart knowledge to the visitor. The NOMA is considered one of the best museums in the country wherein they have exhibits and classic works of art that both kids and adults will appreciate.

There are child-focused art workshops, art classes, and storytime activities available to you and your family when visiting the New Orleans Museum of Art! Click here for details on schedules and upcoming events.

10. Pretend play at the new Louisiana Children’s Museum

The new children’s museum in New Orleans is one of the best children’s museums that Aiden and I have visited. Two floors of endless exhibits, as well as an outdoor play area.

Louisiana Children's Museum
children's museum

This children’s museum has a total of 8.5 acres for kids to explore inside and out. Expand to spend the whole day here!

Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids + New Orleans Itinerary

Kids can pretend to play in the kitchen as well as grocery store filled with pretend food. They can also dig into nature by getting an up-close view of bugs and more and even play doctor at the veterinary hospital.

engaging activities for children

11. Take part in the French QuarTour Kids Tour

The French QuarTour Kids Tour is designed for kids to learn about the rich history of New Orleans and the French Quarter. The tour takes kids to interesting places such as Jackson Square, Old Slave Auction House, and the Mississippi Riverfront.

This tour is the best activity for kids to learn the fascinating NOLA culture such as the French Creoles and Creoles of Color. The tour also shows how NOLA has played an important role in military campaigns and also in trade.

There are many tours to choose from such as the Spooky Tour which is the most popular option. Click here to book the French QuarTour Kids Tour.

French QuarTour Kids Tour
Tween Twilight Tour – New Orleans

12. Experience Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street is considered a very historic street and is located in the heart of the French Quarter. It extends thirteen blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue and is packed with bars and strip clubs.

Bourbon Street | Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids

A lot of people will argue that Bourbon Street isn’t very kid-friendly, and I agree. However, I still suggest catching a glimpse of it with your kids, especially if they are older.

Bourbon Street | Fun Things To In New Orleans With Kids

Do note that there are strip clubs on Bourbon Street and even during the daytime most people walking around there will be drunk and sometimes wild. So proceed with caution. Click here to read more about Bourbon Street.

plan to travel with kids

13. Spend the day on a Big Easy Bayou Kayak Tour

This is a great activity for older kids since paddling can be a bit tiring but an exhilarating experience. This fun and unique experience will let you see New Orleans in a different light with its beautiful bayous and iconic waterways.

The Big Easy Bayou tour is even great for first-time kayakers since it only lasts for 2 hours. Click here to book a New Orleans Kayak Tour.

14. Grab a ride on a Streetcar

The streetcar has been used by the locals since 1835 and is one of the best ways to get around the city.

Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids

The starting point is Canal Street and the ride costs $1.25. Be prepared to have the exact amount and enjoy taking in a piece of NOLA’s history.

streetcar ride | Fun Things To In New Orleans With Kids

15. See gators up close with the Swamp Tour

The swamp tour is one of the most touristy activities that you can do in New Orleans and you should never pass up to this experience. Many licensed operators offer swamp tours and do make sure to make a reservation.

The tour takes you to the famous New Orleans swamp where you can get up close and personal with alligators, egrets, wild boars, and snakes.

This is one of the best tours that can get you close to wildlife in their natural habitat and also learn about the Louisiana Bayou. Click here to book a swamp tour here.

16. Take a food tour

Go on a walking food tour in the French Quarter. One of the most popular is this half-day food tour of the French Quarter.

New Orleans dishes

You’ll be able to expand your palate by trying several Creole and well-known New Orleans dishes such as alligator and even turtle.

Other Things To Do In New Orleans

Things to do in New Orleans
New Orleans hop on hop off bus
top countries to visit
  • Go up to the top deck at Vue New Orleans for the beautiful view
  • Visit Studio B to see beautiful artwork
  • Check out Jam Nola to experience New Orleans culture
  • Explore Vue New Orleans
  • Take a French Quarter Tween Twilight Tour
Jam NOLA – New Orleans

New Orleans Plantation Tours

We visited the Whitney Plantation and it was upsetting, painful, and eye-opening to see the conditions that slaves lived in and everything that they had to endure without much of a choice.

Click here to read my article on The Best New Orleans Plantation Tours For Adults & Kids

kids tour slave quarters
Slave quarters, Whitney Plantation

If you are planning to take your kids on a plantation tour, I highly suggest that you start off by reading a book from this collection with your kids reaching them about slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and more.

Regardless of race, background, or ethnicity, it is important to talk to your children about slavery.

travel with children of color

If you haven’t talked to your kids about slavery yet, then you absolutely should, and while in New Orleans make sure that you also show them as well.

Where To Eat In New Orleans

Cafe Du Monde – when in New Orleans, this is an absolute must. I have tried beignets all over and they make the very BEST!

beignet dessert
breakfast for kids

Jung Hotel – we had breakfast here every morning and they had a really good selection of breakfast items. The lobster and crawfish benedict below was very yummy.

lobster and crawfish benedict
fun food for kids
travel with children of color
Breakfast time is perfect for schoolwork

Gris-Gris – really good food. Make sure to request a seat at the Chef’s table. The food is cooked right in front of your eyes.

tasty gris gris food
new orleans gris gris food
budget friendly family vacations

Domenica – this restaurant has really good Italian food. Aiden ate his whole pizza, I had the lasagna and my husband had the lobster squid ink pasta. Both were so good!

budget friendly family vacations

Central Grocery – this restaurant/grocery is well known for Muffuletta sandwiches. They are soooo good – this is a must-try!

plan vacation with kids

Brunch at Brennan’s – do not miss brunch at this restaurant. Lots of options and as you can see below my steak and eggs were cooked at my table with a fire display. So Yummy!!

steak and eggs
Brunch at Brennan’s
travel with kids | Brunch at Brennan’s

Galliano – this place has plenty of yummy Creole dishes. We enjoyed eating at this restaurant.

yummy Creole dishes
healthy meals

Acorn – this restaurant is located at the Children’s Museum and serves plenty of healthy meals.

healthy meals for kids
New Orleans food trip

Freezy Street – Aiden tried a snow cone for the first time and loved it! There are plenty of options in New Orleans.

snow cone

Willa Jean New Orleans – this place has the best brunch food in New Orleans hands down.

Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids + New Orleans Itinerary

Other Places To Eat In New Orleans

  • The Backyard
  • Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
  • Cochon Restaurant
  • Jacques-Imo’s
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House
  • Coop’s Place
  • Oceana Grill
  • Mother’s Restaurant
  • Flamingo A Go Go
Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids + New Orleans Itinerary

New Orleans Itinerary

When planning a trip to New Orleans with kids, it is very important to have a New Orleans itinerary in place so that you can visit all the sites on your list.

This New Orleans itinerary is exactly what we followed, so I hope it is as helpful for you as it was for us. You can always tweak it if you need to.

New Orleans Itinerary

New Orleans Itinerary Day 1

  • Arrive, New Orleans,
  • Visit Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter
  • Stroll around the French Quarter and enjoy the sights.
  • Visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
  • Dinner at Gris-Gris
Fun Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids + New Orleans Itinerary

New Orleans Itinerary Day 2

  • Sleep in
  • Enjoy brunch at Brennan’s
  • Explore the French Quarter. Below are a few sites in the French Quarter that you don’t want to miss when exploring.
    • Presbytère – Louisiana State Museum
    • Marie Laveau House Of Voodoo
    • Jackson Square
    • Royal Street
    • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
    • French Market
  • Visit the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium
  • Dinner at Domenica
New Orleans souvenirs
Make sure to buy purchase some souvenirs.

New Orleans Itinerary Day 3

  • Breakfast
  • Visit the New Orleans Children’s Museum in City Park
  • Lunch at Acorn located in City Park just around the Children’s Museum
  • Visit the Audobon Zoo
  • Dinner at Galliano
inspire kids to travel

New Orleans Itinerary Day 4

  • Breakfast
  • New Orleans Plantation Tour
  • Lunch at Central Grocery
  • Visit Mardi Gras World
  • Desert at Ice Cones
  • Flight back home
mother and child love

Tips For Visiting New Orleans For The First Time

  • Always have cash on you to tip street performers – They are talented, they work hard and they deserve it.
  • Purchase a New Orleans Pass – It offers discounts to plenty of attractions versus paying for each one at the door. But the pass online to save even more money.
  • Pack your most comfortable walking shoes – You will be walking a lot so make sure that your kids can handle it by getting them comfortable shoes. (Here’s my list of tried and tested shoes for our family).
travel with children of color

Homeschooling On The Go

Aiden is homeschooled, and when we travel I make sure to pack paper, pencils and some workbooks to keep him busy. On our ride to Whitney Plantation he was able to work on some math with my husband.

engaging activities for children

How To Homeschool Your Child – Best Homeschool Curriculum

Thoughts On New Orleans With Kids

New Orleans is one of our families favorite cities. If you’re looking for places to visit in the USA, I highly recommend that you plan a trip to New Orleans.

There’s just something about the atmosphere and ambiance that you’ll fall in love with. Your kids will too!

places to visit in usa with family

Our visit to New Orleans was in partnership with The New Orleans Tourism Board – Visit New Orleans. As always, all opinions are mine!

Kay, The Mom Trotter

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