School is almost out and summer vacation is on the horizon. Soon it will be time to make family travel plans — but where to go? We have an idea. Named one of the 7 Best Family Getaways in America by TripAdvisor, the Crescent City boasts a ton of things to do that make it the perfect vacation destination for the whole family. We’ve put together our top kid friendly New Orleans spots to help guide you on your next NOLA adventure — with the kids in tow.
Just a few blocks from Loews New Orleans Hotel on Julia Street, this museum lets little ones’ imaginations run wild as they explore two floors of interactive exhibits and endless fun. They can: play chef at the Kids’ Café; stand inside a giant bubble; grab a basket and go shopping at the kid-size Winn Dixie Grocery Store; steer a cruise ship at the Little Port of New Orleans; or catch a special performance at the Times Picayune Theatre.
It’s always fun to “dive” with the fishes as you peruse the underwater tunnel of the Great Maya Reef or get your hands wet petting a stingray in the Touch Pool. Maybe feeding the birds at Parakeet Pointe would tickle your family’s fancy? It’s all only a short stroll away from Loews New Orleans, along the Mississippi Riverfront. Whether you’re taking a walk through the Amazon Rainforest or watching the otters at playtime, there’s plenty to see at this award-winning branch of the Audubon Nature Institute.
Located adjacent to Audubon Park, the Zoo features exciting animal encounters and countless exhibits surrounded by lush gardens, historic architecture, art and sculptures. You and the kids can explore the African Savanna or see the elephants and tigers of Asia, but don’t miss the alligators in the Louisiana Swamp or the five-level treehouse at Monkey Hill! If it’s particularly warm, definitely try out the Cool Zoo, a water park with three different splash zones and a specified area for toddlers and small children. To make the experience even more memorable, ride the St. Charles Streetcar (only a couple blocks from Loews New Orleans) all the way down to Audubon Park! From there, it’s only 15-minute stroll to the entrance to the Zoo.
Beetles, termites and caterpillars, oh my! Housed inside the 170-year-old U.S. Custom House, the whole family will love this museum, consequently the largest in North America devoted to insects. Just off of Canal Street, it’s a short walk from Loews New Orleans. Catch all sorts of winged creatures and fritillaries in flight inside the Butterfly Garden, find out the fascinating truth about termites, eat a REAL bug at Bug Appétit or explore the world of Metamorphosis from start to finish.