While New Orleans undergoes its Phased Reopening Plan, it can be difficult to know what is and isn’t open. We’ve rounded up a list of family-friendly attractions that are currently open and operating in reduced capacity, which means advanced reservations are required. Keep the kids entertained with a visit to one of the museums, parks or attractions listed below, and don’t forget: adults and children over the age of two are required to wear a mask or face covering when out and about.
When it comes to kid-friendly activities in New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium are two of the best. Head outdoors to see the lions, orangutans, ocelots and flamingos at the zoo, or keep cool with a visit to the penguins, jellyfish, sharks and stingrays at the aquarium. Reserve your ticket in advance.
Let the little ones burn off some energy at Storyland in City Park. Children will delight in exploring the playground filled with miniature houses, life-sized animals and storybook characters. Advanced ticketing is required. Afterwards, cool off with a sno-ball flight on the Great Lawn or treat your kiddos to beignets at Café du Monde. Older children will enjoy renting a bike to ride around the park or exploring Big Lake via boat. It’s never a dull day at City Park.
With a plethora of online resources, children can tune into virtual storytime led by a team of children’s librarians or check out an ebook. If you’d like to browse the books in person, New Orleans’ public libraries are currently open for 45-minute reservations.
Go behind the scene of the greatest free show on Earth at Mardi Gras World. Take a tour of the warehouse where many floats are designed and decorated and learn the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Kids will love getting up close to the magic.
The New Orleans Boulder Lounge is a rock climbing space in the Bywater open to children and adults. Currently, they’re operating at a reduced capacity, and everyone must wear a face mask and book their reservation online.
Editor's Note: The Louisiana Children's Museum is currently only open on the second Saturday of each month. Admission is free courtesy of The Helis Foundation.
Located in the lush greenspace of City Park, the Louisiana Children’s Museum is a treat for children of all ages. Kids will love learning about the Mighty Mississippi through the river exhibit and exploring the great outdoors on the museum grounds. Tactile exhibits have been suspended and cleanings are done between sessions that you can book online in advance. You can also grab lunch at Acorn Cafe, the super kid-friendly restaurant located on site.
Keep the kids entertained with a family-friendly flick at a local theater. The Prytania Theater has classic films for all ages on the schedule, including Beauty and the Beast and The Karate Kid. Make sure to book your tickets in advance and wear your face mask. The Broad Theater is also back open and screening various new and older films.
There are plenty of kid-friendly outdoor spaces to be explored in New Orleans. Follow the bike paths through one of the many parks of New Orleans, or cruise in a kayak down Bayou St. John with the kids in tow. The New Orleans Recreation Department is a great resource for finding playgrounds, public pools, and other green spaces for the whole family to enjoy.
At the end of the day, there’s really no better way to cool off during the summer than with something sweet and chilly. From traditional New Orleans sno-balls to ice cream parlours, there are tons of options for ending the day on a perfectly sweet note. Here are a few of our favorites.