You might not think of New Orleans as a family friendly vacation as most things you hear about doing in New Orleans seem adult-centered. But the Big Easy is New Orleans is more than just an adult vacation spot. You can travel with your entire family to make a lifetime’s worth of memories that won’t be forgotten. Read on to find out about how to Planning a Family Trip to New Orleans.
No matter where you stay in New Orleans, there is a bit of something for everyone. Many people choose to stay in the French Quarter. The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in the Big Easy and probably the most well-known. There are numerous things to do there due to its central location. However, there is also the Garden District worth considering as it is home to many locals and extravagant houses there is also the underrated Bayou St. John. No matter where you choose to stay, there is ample public transportation and options to get where you need to go.
No matter where you stay in New Orleans, there is a bit of something for everyone. Many people choose to stay in the French Quarter. The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in the Big Easy and probably the most well-known. There are numerous things to do there due to its central location. However, there is also the Garden District worth considering as it is home to many locals and extravagant houses. No matter where you choose to stay, there is ample public transportation and options to get where you need to go. One place to visit is The French Market. This historic market, dating back to the 19th century, is more than a farmer’s market. There are numerous events and restaurants to eat at as well.
But once you find your hotel, it’ll be time to eat. Here are some family-friendly restaurant recommendations! One place to visit is The French Market. This historic market, dating back to the 19th century, is more than a farmer’s market. There are numerous events and restaurants to eat at as well. First is Oceana Grill, an excellent choice for fresh seafood in the French Quarter’s heart. There is something for everyone. Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant is another great place for some seafood; their crabcakes and gumbo are renowned and offer a delicious sampling of New Orleans’s cuisine. Southern Candymakers is an excellent choice to check out if you want something sweet. Southern Candymakers has a variety of sweet treats, including fudge, chocolate, and saltwater taffy. If you have a specific taste for pralines, then Leah’s Pralines is the place to go. Pralines are a fixed point in New Orleans’s food history; this establishment has been around for since 1944. This place can’t disappoint when it comes to pralines, they are open daily 10-5pm (except Tues) and offer free samples of their traditional Pralines if you’d like to try before you buy. Louisiana Pizza Kitchen French Quarter is great for grabbing a slice of pizza or a Creole dish. Ruby Slipper Cafe is an excellent place for brunch. Royal House and Mambo’s Cafe are two other places to grab a bite. Royal House is an icon in the French Quarter with cajun and creole meals from any time of the day. Mambo’s offers a variety of food to suit your taste.
Learning about history is one of the most exciting things to do and experience in New Orleans. Walking in the city just to catch the next bus or get to a place to eat is like walking in a living museum.
The first thing that is worth checking out is jazz. There are a few options. Often enough, street musicians and Second Lines can be found throughout the city. Louis Armstrong Park is one place worth visiting. The park is open throughout the year daily and has weekly jazz concerts. In addition to catching a weekly show, the park is a great way to explore some of Louisiana’s natural beauty up close. Another way to enjoy jazz in the Big Easy is by visiting Preservation Hall. Located at 726 Saint Peter Street in the French Quarter, Preservation Hall has been around since the 1950s and serves as a testament to the heritage of jazz and the city. Many jazz bars and venues typically are 21 and over, but Preservation Hall does not limit age, so it would be fun for the family. There are daily shows to check out. For the history, The New Orleans Jazz Museum is also worth visiting. Located at 400 Esplanade Street, the museum allows visitors to learn about the history of jazz and its various forms and has a lot of exhibits to view. No trip to New Orleans is complete without learning or experiencing jazz.
Music and jazz are just some aspects of the city’s history. There are also numerous museums to explore. If you go to Jackson Square, which is found in the heart of the French Quarter, two colonial buildings are now museums open to visitors, the Cabildo and the Presbytere. The Cabido celebrates the city’s and state’s history. The Cabido is a relic from Spanish colonial rule and has exhibits detailing the city’s 300-year anniversary, various artifacts, images, and exhibits celebrating the city’s people. If the Cabido is about the city’s past, then the Presbytere is about the city’s present and future, and as it is described on their website, the “ongoing Louisan story—one of celebration and one of resilience.” There are permanent exhibits titled Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana, talking about the history of the celebration along with The Living of Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond.
Music Box Village is a unique attraction that combines live experiments and museums. Located at 4557 North Rampart Street, this is a place where music experimentation in the city lives one. According to their website, Music Box Village is a place “where play, imagination, experimentation, collaboration, community, and hard work come together as a whimsical village of artist-made interactive ‘musical houses.’” It is home to many unique artistic collaborations and efforts. Visitors can experience a bit of everything, including exhibits and shows. Visit their website for the latest up-to-date information.
But these aren’t the only museums to visit in the city. The National WWII Museum should be at the top of your list of museums to visit. Full of numerous exhibits, it doesn’t just focus on the battles and things you learn in the history books but explores how America fought and won with war with its people. Another thing worth visiting is Louisana’s Children’s Museum, which has something for everyone. Mardi Gras World is also another fun experience that you do year around. New Orleans has a vibrant art scene as well. There are numerous art museums and galleries up in the Warehouse district. New Orleans City Park is a sprawling park spanning many acres, including botanical and sculpture gardens.
If you’re looking to get out of the city for a bit, check out the guide to day trips in and around New Orleans. One such place to visit is Stennis Space Center, and the INFINITY Science Center has many educational and fun activities for all ages.
Of course, one of the best ways to learn about New Orleans is to do a walking tour! Nola Tour Guy offers daily walking tours of the French Quarter, the Garden District, and the St. Louis #3 cemetery. This is an excellent option for older kids and families who are interested in history. For families with children under 10, the walking tours from the French Quartour Kids are a great choice. This walking tour specializes with kids in mind and unique tours for all age groups.
Besides history, the nature of Louisiana is another thing worth visiting that can be fun for the entire family. If you want to explore the wilds on your own, there are a few options! Consider taking a swamp tour. Numerous companies offer tours via airboat, kayak, or boat. There are also options for self-guided tours as well if you’re willing to make the trip.
If you’re willing to take a small trip, why not include a trip to Jean Lafitte’s Historic Park and Nature Preserve? Name after the 19th century Lousiana pirate, you can travel the same swamps and trails Jean Lafitte did, and it also provides another close-up of the state’s fantastic nature life. If you are not into swamps, consider making a small trip to Grand Isle to see the Gulf’s beaches and the wildlife there. The numerous nature preserves, Louisiana swamps, and Gulf Coasts beaches make a great family memory no matter where you go. For more day trip ideas, explore the article with some of the best suggestions for day trips while visiting the Big Easy.
There are also things to do in the Big Easy. Near the Riverwalk, there’s the Audubon Nature Insitute. Housed here are the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium. There are numerous animals and exhibits at the zoo. The aquarium includes exhibits about local wildlife, like the life on the Mississippi River, and animals from far away, like penguins. Also, the Audubon Nature Institute is the Nature Center that focuses on the wildlife found in Louisiana. Check out their respective websites for hours and details about tickets.
While staying local within the city, you should check out Bayou St. John, found near City Park. The Children’s Museum isn’t far from here, but there is a tranquil waterfront full of activities. Take a break from your vacation and enjoy one of the local picnic spots or take a trip out on the water. Unlike the thrill of the airboats in the swamp, you can rent a paddleboard or a kayak here for a more leisurely view of the Big Easy.
Lastly, if sports are more your thing, there are numerous professional sporting teams to check out for a game. The New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans are the major professional times based in the city. But if you don’t have the money or the time to catch a professional game, there are also numerous college sports to catch as well. This offers an affordable alternative to the pricer sports games. Watch an LSU game, or check out some of the baseball games at Tulane. Depending on the time of year and the sport, there is many college teams to pick from and go support.