New Orleans likes to keep it spicy all year round with its activities and reputation for being an adults’ paradise, but we’re here to tell you New Orleans has loads of things to do in the French Quarter with kids. We love the children, and the children love our pralines. If you and your family are here on vacation, we’ve got just the spots to give those kids an experience fueled by soul.
The square is where it’s at, in the heart of the quarter, where you can find the action. On any given day, you can check out one of the many art vendors, typically providing their take on the city through their medium. Although art isn’t every kid’s favorite thing to enjoy, there’s more happening here, we promise. On certain days of the week, you can expect a talented brass band or other genres of musicians. In New Orleans, unlike other cities, nearly every street performer is more talented than shows you might pay to see. What’s more, there are magicians who come frequently – that’s right, a whole performance that you can watch for free just by walking up to the square. These performers work hard, and although their shows are free, they accept tips, and if you like what you see, show ’em as much by throwing a little cash their way.
You might have already gathered that we’re all about our seafood here, but fish are our friends too. If Nemo taught us anything, it’s that kids and adults alike love sea life. Here, you can expect to see your classics, like penguins, jellies, stingrays, and seahorses. They also have a whole exhibit dedicated to the Amazon – no, not where you get your packages from, silly, the rainforest, where you can find toucans! There is also everyone’s favorite, the shark exhibit! And because this aquarium is in New Orleans, that means there’s a section devoted to our bayou creatures. Head on to the place where you get to explore life underwater.
This now museum was designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo and was used commercially until 1843 when it became a courthouse, and then in 1911, it became a Louisiana museum. This museum has two main exhibits. One is dedicated to Mardi Gras and shares the history of its rituals. You can experience parade floats, costumes, and even historic throws. The other exhibit is dedicated to the hurricanes that have both devastated and brought the community of New Orleans even closer. This exhibit educates the public on the previous broken levee system. Overall, a historic gem to stop in and explore.
It’s a bug’s life at the Audubon Insectarium. If your children are ever found hoarding bugs in their pockets, or even if they’re not, it’s a great place to explore the science and evolution of the tiny critters that make up the swamp. The magic begins upon entering, where you’re immersed in a projection of the forest with daytime and nighttime scenes of moving butterflies and fireflies. When you get in, you can expect exhibits for ants, and honeybees, and if you’re feeling brave, they even have a section for eating bugs. Spend the day learning about some of the creepy crawlies we might see around the house and have a whole new appreciation for them.
This is a must, with or without the kids. Cafe du Monde is a New Orleans staple. There’s nothing like a handful of doughy powdery sugar and the aftertaste of your chicory-infused coffee. Cafe du Monde has been around since 1862 and was started by the Fernandez family. Originally, the classic spot only served coffee, chocolate milk, and OJ along with their famous powdered square donuts (AKA beignet). Today they also serve iced coffee along with soda, but aside from that, not much has changed, proving a profound business model and sticking to what works. See what makes this place so special, it’s existed for decades.
Let’s get some shoes! Or anything, really. Royal Street is known for its array of shops. Not to worry, it’s not all clothing, although there is some of that. There are plenty of little trinket shops for your touristy collection to bring back to all those who missed your NOLA trip. If you’re into antiques, they have that too. Trinkets might be enough to engage the kids, but Royal also has the Magnolia Sugar & Spice Praline Kitchen & Hot Sauce Bar because if nothing else, New Orleans knows how to keep your belly happy.
This one’s another classic with a bit of a loaded history that goes back as far as 1791. Needless to say, what started as an informal open-air facility now is home to hundreds of vendors. What can you find in this wondrous zone of treasure? Arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. If you’re worried about being hungry, remember where you are! It’s NOLA, baby – of course, there’s food involved here too. The French Market is one of those places you have to see to understand its charm.
After a day filled with these fun-fueled activities, your kids will thank you so much you’ll be thanking yourself. Come to New Orleans and enjoy the spirit and charm of the Quarter.
Looking to see New Orleans? Check out our New Orleans city tours.
New Orleans is here to give your life that hint of spice you’ve been missing. Whether it’s food, music, culture, or art, we make every day look like a party. With an abundance of options, who’s to say you won’t run into some saturated tourist trap? Don’t worry; we won’t let it happen to you. […]read more