There are several cities that scream “adults only”. Amsterdam, Las Vegas, New Orleans. But I say, “no way, Jose!” Nothing will hold us back from traveling as a family, usually, every place has something for everyone, you may just have to look a little harder sometimes.
New Orleans with kids is so much fun. It really is. This was our second time to New Orleans, both times specifically because of what they offer for children. As world schoolers, New Orleans is RICH in content.
Here are the things we did this time around!
The Aquarium – is located right on the Mississippi River and is adjacent to the French Quarter, odds are that your hotel will be within walking distance to the aquarium and regardless of the time of year, you will want an inside activity because it is humid!
The Insectarium is North America’s largest museum dedicated to insects and it is awesome. They have a cafeteria, which only serves bugs, so eat before! The Butterfly garden is incredible! Please note that the Insectarium is located in a federal building and you will have to go through security to enter!
The Zoo We love this Zoo! It has a wonderful variety of animals that we haven’t seen elsewhere in North American zoos, the sun bear, rhinos, lions (new in 2019), whooping cranes and spider monkeys (really fun for Eric Carle fans like ourselves) and white alligators! It’s a hot day, but they have little misters spread throughout the park that help you cool off and in the summer they have a little water park for the kids with a splash pad and a lazy river.
The National WWII Museum We have two boys who are incredibly interested in WWII and this was a fabulous stop! We spent hours here, much longer than I thought their attention spans would last for (ages 7 and 9), so that was a nice surprise.
Preservation Hall This live musical experience in a dark, beastly hot, carriage house is not to be missed. This was our second time experiencing the magic that is the Preservation Hall Band. You can read about our first time here It was a really special trip and absolutely what made us want to get back to New Orleans.
We wanted to do other things just outside of the city, but this visit we stayed right in the city proper the whole time. The above plus a visit to Lafayette Cemetery #1, trips for Sno-balls at Hansens’s and Imperial Woodpecker Beignets at Cafe Beignet and Cafe Du Monde
We have so many other things that we will be doing next time we go and yes, we are already talking about when we can go back!
Here is our list for next time!
- Since we have done a concert at Preservation Hall the last two visits, next time we will take a cruise on the New Orleans Steamboat Company
- We will also take time and teach our kids more about the civil war and plantation life by visiting these four sugar cane plantations. Oak Alley Plantation, Laura Plantation, Hoamas House, Whitney Plantation
- And a swamp tour, last time we visited we really enjoyed this excursion. I’m not sure which tour group we would go with, but last time we used Cajun Encounters and they were great!
The French Quarter can seem kind of seedy during the evening, so our best tip is to head there right before sunset; the city streets are already alive with the night’s events, but it’s a milder introduction to the raucous neighborhood! It’s just the perfect time for a quick stroll down Bourbon St., and then pop into a nice family friendly restaurant elsewhere.
Subjects you can study with your children before you head that way are:
Edgar Degas, Degas lived in New Orleans for a while and his home here is the only museum set up for him. Books on Degas | Edgar Degas (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)| Chasing Degas |Degas and the Little Dancer (Anholt’s Artists Books For Children)|Color Your Own Degas Paintings (Dover Art Coloring Book) |Edgar Degas: Coloring Book
John James Audubon, he spent most of his adult life in New Orleans and all of the Audubon Nature Institute is named after him. Books on John James Audubon that we love and use are |The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12) | Audubon’s Birds of America Coloring Book
Books on insects | My Best Book of Bugs | The Alphabet of Bugs: An ABC Book |1001 Bugs to Spot | The Usborne Big Book of Big Bugs: And a Few Little Ones Too… | Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies: Take-Along Guide | The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive | The Honey Makers | Ladybugs | Monarch Butterfly | A Butterfly Is Patient | The Beetle Book | Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World | and Eric Carle has several books on insects which we love, and you can even get them in My Own Very Hungry Caterpillar Coloring Book which the kids love! And our own collection of Geoworld Bug’s World Collection of 10 Real Insects has begun over at our house.