Things To Do In New Orleans For Families

My husband and I try to take the family to New Orleans every year.  There is so much to do and it is a good weekend trip from most northern Gulf Coast communities.

We’ve been to the Audubon Zoo, the WWII Museum, walked around the French Quarter and more on past vacations to NOLA.  We always combine family activities with the pursuit of good Louisiana food.  Our family owns Dixiedining.com, an award-winning Southern food and culture review website.  We basically eat our way around the South, taking in the cultural differences in each location which could include festivals, art shows, concerts, shopping, museums, zoos and more.

The French Quarter offers so much that it is fun to return to often. The shopping, art gallery viewing, French Market and the artists, street performers and musicians around Jackson Square are always enjoyable. A walk along the Riverfront, Streetcar rides to the different neighborhoods nearby and horse-drawn carriage rides offer a different view of the area.  It’s all in the name of great family fun.

 

So once, again we made our pilgrimage for 2014. Here’s a list of what we did and what we recommend you and your family do on your next trip to the Crescent City.

8 Things We Did:

1. Shopping Magazine Street: food, historical music venues, art galleries and thrift shops

One of many pieces of art you will find around the Magazine Street shopping area.

One of many pieces of art you will find around the Magazine Street shopping area.

2. Art Galleries in the French Market: our favorites were The Art of Dr Seuss, Caliche & Pao, Rodrigue Studio, and Kezic GalleryCAM01389

3. Mardi Gras World: a guided tour of where Mardi Gras floats and festivities are made

 

4. Ogden Museum of Southern Art: check out their schedule for events (music after hours) and traveling exhibits

Outside the Ogden

Outside the Ogden

 

5. Street Car/Trolley Ride: under construction in places this year so check for information before you plan your ride.  Usually great fun

6. Crescent City Farm Market: Wow, what a selection.

7. Bowling at Mid-City Lanes/Rock n Bowl: bowling by day, bowling/dinner/concert venue by night

8. Lafayette Cemetery: be sure to follow the tours. The NOLA cemeteries can be scarey and dangerous on your ownwpid-cam01422.jpg

More family-oriented things we recommend to do: Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, Riverboat ride, horse-drawn carriage ride, Civil War Museum.

10 Restaurants We Tried:

1. Joey K’s: loved the Po Boys

2. District: Donuts, Sliders, Brew: Donuts were greatwpid-cam01353.jpg

3. Vincent’s Italian: great Italian food; the boys opted for Calamari and loved it

4. Old Coffee Pot Restaurant: try the Calas for breakfast.  Other items available, too.

5. Domilese’s: Po Boys

6. Hansen’s Sno Bliz: always a line; always yummyphoto (39)

7. Pascal’s Manale: Gary and I enjoyed their famous barbecue shrimp. Kids ate calamari again. Thumbs up.

8. Cochon Butcher: So good.

9. Cafe Beignet:  2 locations. Very good for breakfast.photo (91)

 

10. Elizabeth’s: family friendly, good food

For more dining information go to Dixiedining.com. The Louisiana restaurant page is filled with tried and true places we recommend as a family. Our blog contains more detailed information on some of them.  Also, check the festival listings so you can catch one on your vacation.

Audubon Zoo

We went on down to the Aubudon Zoo(c) eileensaunders

And they all asked for you.

The monkeys asked(c) eileensaunders

The elephants asked(c) eileensaunders

The alligators asked me, too.(c) eileensaunders

Not the exact song lyrics, but you get the point. You should have gone with us.  The weather was great (warmish and sunny) and the crowd was minimal so we could walk and see what we liked without that “herding” feeling you get sometimes just going along with the crowd.

The boys and I went with a group of about 100 homeschoolers from the area so we got a great rate. But even if you have a minimum of 10 in your group you can get in for $3/person. What a great deal!

It’s been years since I had been to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and my children have never been so it was time to go. Did they like it? Yes. How did it rank with other zoos we’ve been to? Well…they loved it. It’s up there at the top.

I think the Audubon Zoo is fantastic. The design was great and the animals were all out and fun to see (I took lots of pix) except for one small display being remodeled. That’s ok.  We saw:

Elephants, Porcupines, Lemurs.

Otters, Wildebeest, Zebra.

Monkeys, Orangutans, Giraffes.

Flamingos, Reptiles, and Cougars.

Lions and Tigers and Bears!

(c) eileensaunders(c) eileensaunders(c) eileensaundersWe also found fat unicorns, and millions of Whistling Ducks living for the season in the Zoo’s lake. The Swamp area was the best and just as I remembered. I loved seeing the white alligators again.(c) eileensaunders

There are other things to do: a children’s playground, Dinosaur Adventure, Carousel, and a splash pad for the summer to beat all.  It’s so big there’s a train you can purchase a pass for to take you around, drop you off and pick you back up for the next stop.

Last time Gary and I were at the Audubon Zoo, the Louisiana Swamp Festival was taking place on the grounds and we had a blast. The most memorable part, only because we still talk about it, was the Moss Man…a cutout of a swamp monster looking thing you can put your face through on one side, covered with Spanish Moss on the other side. Gary stood there and I took a picture. He had chiggers from the moss and was in horrible discomfort for a few days. Lesson to be learned: do not hang out with fresh Spanish Moss. But, we had a good time!

If you’re heading to New Orleans this summer, check out the Audubon Zoo so they can stop asking me about you.