So – you get to go on vacation, but you are bringing the kiddos along? What to do, what to do! Here’s your guide for things to do, what to eat and everything in between in New Orleans. (disclaimer: this is mainly for the toddler age group – although most people enjoy a good aquarium, you can probably expand your options as the kiddies get older. Hell, I may even update this post as the kiddo grows).
What to Do in New Orleans With Kids
Audobon Aquarium – // Aquariums are a no brainer for kids. There is tons of stuff to look at – plus you’re walking around, so for those toddlers who refuse to be held or strolled, it’s perfect. The aquarium is open 7 days a week from 10am-5pm. They’ve got a walk-through tunnel, a giant tank filled with sharks and other sea creatures and even a tank to touch the sting rays. You can purchase a ticket to the aquarium and to the zoo for about $40 for an adult (do this – the zoo is next on the list!). Kids under 2 are free, and children from 2-12 are about $30.
Audobon Zoo – // What kiddo doesn’t love a trip to the zoo? And this is a beautiful zoo – definitely one of the prettiest I’ve been to. As soon as you walk into the zoo you are greeted by bright pink flamingos. Make sure you visit Monkey Hill – where you can find a giant slide, rocks and water to climb in, and a sno-ball stand at the bottom. Also be sure to bring your swimsuit, as they have the Cool Zoo – a fun waterpark for those hot Louisiana days. There’s also a carousel and two restaurants inside the zoo for your convenience.
Algiers Ferry – // A quick and short boat ride over to Algiers Point. I mean, boats and kids! And short – so those toddlers who have the attention span of a gnat can’t get cranky! Once you get to Algiers It’s $2 a person, and make sure to bring exact change (they do have a change machine, but it spits out dollar coins for your change). It’s a pedestrian and bike ferry, but with parking nearby. Also, it’s super close to the quarter, and will get you the most spectacular picture of Jackson’s square.
Louisiana Children’s Museum – // A Little Port of New Orleans, a little grocery store, learning about eyeballs and New Orleans architecture? Yes please! Something fun to do that will definitely keep the kiddos entertained for a few hours. They’re open 7 days a week during the summer months, always with a new fun program going. Tickets are $8.50 for kids and adults and kids under one are free!
Where to Eat with the Kiddos in New Orleans:
Café du Monde -// Yes, there will probably be a line, but yes, the line is worth it. They usually have some sort of jazz band playing, so it’ll keep the kiddos entertained while they’re waiting. Plus, look over to the left while you’re standing in line, and Jackson Square is right there. Beignets come 3 to an order, and make sure you get a café au lait.
Café Beignet -// If waiting just isn’t your thing, pop on into one of these. There are three locations throughout the quarter, and usually considerably less waiting time, however, the earlier you get there, the better. There are also more adult beverage options in these if you prefer a mimosa with your beignets, and they also have a more extensive breakfast menu, with eggs and more traditional breakfast food. The beignets come four to an order, and are a little smaller than Café du Monde.
District: Donuts.Sliders.Brews. – // They have several different locations, but the one we frequent is the location at 2209 Magazine Street. They have a rotating menu of doughnuts (my favorite ever was the Muses doughnut during Mardi Gras!), as well as biscuits and kolaches. They also have sliders, fries and salads if you want to put this place on your “for lunch” itinerary as well.
Dat Dog – // They also have several locations through the NOLA area (Frenchman Street, Magazine and Freret) so pick whichever works best for your plans! This place is full of hot dog goodness – any kind of topping you could imagine on a hot dog. Crawfish etouffee on a hot dog? YEP. Plus, they have the best cheese fries ever. There is also a full bar, so you can get an adult beverage while you’re lunching. They also do have plain hot dogs for the kiddos.
Big Cheezy – // Keeping in child friendly foods, what could be better than a grilled cheese? Nothing, that’s what. They have all sorts of grilled cheeses (from the plain with a bowl of tomato soup to the delicious with shrimp and a parm one, and oh the deliciousness), and they also do have some cheesy waffle fries that are the bomb diggity. They also do have salads in case you feel like you’ve just eaten way too much on your vacation, and need to have a green vegetable.
Acme Oyster House -// Oysters for the mom and dad, fried deliciousness for the kiddos. They’ve got an amazing French Quarter location, but I would suggest going earlier than normal to miss the humongous crowds that go here. They also have an amazing roast beef po’boy, in case you’re not a huge fan of the oysters.
Pizza Domenica -// Kids. Pizza. Done deal. It’s a little less fancy version of Domenica, and a little more family friendly. They’ve got your standard pepperoni and margherita pizzas, but also have pizzas for more adult tastes.
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz -// It may look like nothing, but don’t let the outside fool you. They have the fluffiest sno-balls and a million different flavor combos to choose from. They still use the original machine that they’ve had since 1939. Don’t cheat yourself – add the condensed milk on top.
Angelo Brocato -// Gelato, cannoli’s and more. I’m not sure what else you could ask for really. They even have a few things that you can get shipped to your home so you can take it with you.
Another favorite: Sucre
So there you have it: activities and eating! Of course, you can always just stroll through the gorgeous Magazine Street and do the French Quarter (Jackson square, the Market) just taking in the sights as well. New Orleans has a giant spot in my heart, and I think being able to share it with my kiddo has made the spot even bigger.