Favorite Things to Do in New Orleans With Kids

When people think of New Orleans, they may think of Mardi Gras madness before a family vacation comes to mind. On our recent, way-too-quick visit to this city, though, we found that there we were too short on time to even scrape the surface of all this city has to offer families with small children through teenagers. We selected a few of our favorite things to do in New Orleans with kids and decided to plan a return trip soon to check out more.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Kids Play Area at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
The kids play area is a great place for little explorers to become sea creatures as they climb on a giant clam or turtle.

Within a leisurely five-minute stroll from Hilton New Orleans Riverside, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas offers three floors of underwater greatness. From touching sting rays to feeding parakeets to seeing penguins have breakfast, the exhibits are first-rate. With a nod to their Gulf of Mexico home, the Gulf exhibit transports you into the depths near an underwater oil rig to see the fantastic fish that inhabit the area. The Audubon Nature Institute also has a Zoo, Insectarium, and IMAX theatre which area all on our “next-trip” list.

Feeding the Birds at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
What a surprise! One of our favorite activities at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas was feeding birds.

Café du Monde
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a trip to Café du Monde for an order of their scrumptious beignets. These French “donuts” are coated in powdered sugar. Coffee drinkers are required to have theirs with a cup of Chicory or Café Au Lait, but those of us who don’t care for coffee can ask for a Coke for a complete sugar high. Enjoy the open air seating while looking out on the French Quarter. Keep your eyes open for celebrities, too. Shane from The Walking Dead was enjoying his New Orleans morning two tables away from us and graciously greeting fans.

Beignets at Cafe du Monde
There’s nothing like your first bite of beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans…except for the second and third bites!

French Quarter
Shops, restaurants, and entertainment are the hallmarks of the French Quarter, but just walking down the street and being in this iconic part of New Orleans is an activity. Admittedly, I recommend visiting earlier in the day to avoid some of the nightlife that this area is famous for, but it should definitely be on the to-do list. Local artists display their wares, foliage hangs from the balconies, street performers show their skills, and smells of fresh-made candy and Cajun creations waft out from open doors. Consider a horse and buggy tour of the French Quarter for a unique way to learn and see a little more. When the kids need a grassy area to run off steam, venture into Jackson Square. While the kids play, the adults can people watch which is entertainment by itself.

New Orleans offers many more great things to do with kids which we are hoping to explore on our next trip including a riverboat tour, the Audubon Zoo, IMAX theatre, Insectarium, Louisiana Children’s Museum, plantation homes, and Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World. The culture, history, and entertainment in the Big Easy make it a great destination for families.

My family was thrilled with our choice of Hilton New Orleans Riverside for our accommodations in the Big Easy due to its great location, hospitable staff, and welcoming, relaxed Executive Lounge.

More Inspiration:

Know Before You Go

  • New Orleans is known as “The Big Easy.”
  • The National WWII Museum is one of the top-rated museums in the country. Don’t miss checking it out!
  • The famous Café Du Monde is open 24 hours a day to get your beignet fix.
  • If you plan to go during Mardi Gras, pack comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Robyn D. Are you interested in traveling to New Orleans? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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