Growing up in the South, New Orleans has always been on my list of most loved places. I traveled there throughout my high school and university years with friends, boyfriends and work. I loved the vibe of New Orleans. The architecture, the food and the PARTY atmosphere. Unfortunately, the things that made me love it, were also the things that kept it off my list of “must visit places” on our RV Roadtrip. After chatting with friends who take their kids to New Orleans all the time, I decided to take a chance. Boy, am I glad I did. There are tons of kid friendly things to do in New Orleans. Who knew!
Evan and I had such a blast that we stayed longer than our original plans. We can’t wait to go back again. Here are some of the things that we enjoyed the most while we were there!
Kid Friendly Things To Do in New Orleans
Audubon Zoo – While the New Orleans zoo isn’t huge, it has lots of great animals. The zoo grounds are pretty to walk through as well. You can see everything in an afternoon for sure. It’s fun to take the Street Car to get there too!
New Orleans Insectarium and Butterfly Garden – We purchased the combo pack with the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium and Insectarium. We loved the zoo and the Insectarium but we thought the aquarium was just MEH. If it is your only chance to go to an aquarium, do it, otherwise, skip it. It is too tiny for the money. The Insectarium, however, is super cool. It is all about insects. Evan thought it was fun and loved seeing so many critters up close and personal. One of his favourite parts was the cockroach exhibit shown above. You can stick your head into the bubble to come face to face with cockroaches. I giggled because kids and dads LOVED this exhibits and moms all looked like they might barf.
Cemetery Tour – New Orleans cemearies are all built above ground due to the high water table in the area. The crypts in New Orleans hold many historic figures and crazy stories to go along with them. We joined a Save Our Cemeteries tour of the St. Louis Cemetary No. 1. I chose this tour because they are a not for profit who uses the funds from the tour fees to protect and revitalize New Orleans cemetaries. Evan and I both enjoyed the tour (though he didn’t know who some of the people we discussed were). We learned about famous New Orleans residents, interesting crypt owners (Nicholas Cage owns the one shown above) and a bit of voodoo lore.
Sno-Balls – New Orleans is known for their Sno Balls. Some may say that these are just glorified sno cones but NOLA residents would disagree. Sno-Balls use fluffy shaved ice and it is much less granular. Either way, I guarantee that it will taste GLORIOUS on a hot and steamy New Orleans afternoon. We visited Sno-La and we were not disappointed. YUM!
Pralines – Make sure to stop by Southern Candy Makers in the French Quarter. They give out free samples of their delicious pecan pralines and you can watch them make them too! The store is TINY so this will be a quick stop but still loads of fun.
Street Car – Getting around New Orleans is totally doable by public transit. We stayed WAY outside of New Orleans and road the bus in and changed to the street car to get to the French Quarter. You can get an unlimited daily pass for $3! The street car also runs out to the Audobon Zoo.
City Park – While we toured New Orleans without Cooper for the most part, we decided that he needed to get to see the city as well. We took him to the City Park. He loved romping on the grass and Evan enjoyed the play area, watching the birds and getting beignets at Morning Call. There are also rides, etc within City Park for a charge. We decided not to do those since we had lots to do for free.
Beignets – You can’t visit New Orleans without trying Beignets. We may have eaten our body weight in the fried donuts covered in mounds of powdered sugar. Our favourites were at Cafe du Monde in the French Quater and Morning Call in City Park. Both are cash only and VERY busy. Don’t worry, though, they are worth the wait.
Muffaletta at City Grocery – Another New Orleans institution is the muffaletta sandwich (with layers of marinated olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella). Central Grocery is the home of the inconic sandwich and definitely worth a visit. Evan wasn’t sure he wanted olives on his sandwich. I ordered a half a sandwich (which was HUGE) and got the olive salad on the side. We both loved it and enjoyed eating while watching the hustle and bustle of this busy grocery.
French Quarter – Ok, I know that the French Quarter can be a party that can go a bit raunchy. However, I still think it can be a fun place to visit with your tween. You can’t beat the vibe and the MUSIC. Evan loved exploring there!
I know there are loads of things to do in New Orleans but these were our favourite 9. We can’t wait to go back and add even more to our list.
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