New Orleans has plenty to offer for all age groups. From delicious food and world-class museums to alligators and ghost tours, a trip to New Orleans will always be unique. Use these recommendations to discover the magic of and give you and your teenager a dream vacation you’ll both enjoy.
The history of New Orleans becomes even more exciting on wheels. Pedal your way through the city on a bike tour, or grab a pair of Blue Bikes and make a tour of your own. If your teen is interested in history, dive deeper into the historic French Quarter with a walking tour or hop aboard the paddlewheeler Creole Queen for a trip to the Chalmette Battlefield.
Family-friendly Mardi Gras can be found year-round at Mardi Gras World. See first hand where the floats are made and taste some king cake as you learn about the traditions and history behind the festivities. Find Mardi Gras artifacts at the Presbytère in Jackson Square and the Historic New Orleans Collection, or plan a trip to the big event itself–there’s tons of family fun to be had during Carnival season in New Orleans.
Airboat tours can be found on the outskirts of the city and are a thrilling change of pace. Learn about life in the swamp and see alligators and other swamp wildlife in their natural habitat. For the those who want an even closer look, consider a kayak swamp tour, and thrill-seekers will love Zip NOLA, the first and only aquatic zipline in the world! This adventure is fun for the whole family.
The National WWII Museum is a must-see on your trip to New Orleans. The state-of-the-art museum grounds and exhibits continue to grow and provide an educational and enthralling experience for visitors of all ages. Teenagers may especially like Beyond All Boundaries, which is a 4-D movie experience, as well as Final Mission, The USS Tang Submarine interactive experience.
Take a haunted tour of the French Quarter and get spooked by vampires, pirates, and more. During the day, visit the City of the Dead with a cemetery tour or dive into the true history of one of New Orleans’ most famous and often misunderstood spiritual traditions, Voodoo, at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
It’s no secret that New Orleans offers mouth-watering food. Top restaurants to enjoy with your teenagers include Elizabeth’s, Willa Jean and District for breakfast, Dat Dog and Mahony’s Po-boys for lunch, and Mr. B’s Bistro and Galatoire’s for dinner.
When it comes to cooling off in New Orleans, a sno-ball is a must. The refreshing treat is its own food group down here and can be made with dozens of flavors. If you want to get on the water, Bayou Paddlesports offers fun and affordable kayak rentals. Or hop in your hotel pool!
As the birthplace of jazz, music and New Orleans go hand-in-hand. Preservation Hall is open nightly to all ages. It is the premier place to hear traditional jazz. On Frenchmen Street, check out Three Muses. The restaurant hosts local musicians daily and is open to all ages.
New Orleans is the festival capital of the world and celebrates everything from fried chicken and tomatoes to zydeco and blues. Check out our festival calendar to see what’s coming up.
New Orleans fans are unlike any other sports fans – between the tailgates, the costumes, the cheers, and the spirit of community, getting caught up in the game-day hype is nearly impossible. Check out the schedules for the Saints, Pelicans, NOLA Gold Rugby, Jesters Soccer, or any of the teams from our local universities to get your tickets. Just don’t forget to bring your game face! Want to get in on the action yourself? Head out to NOLA Motorsports and put the pedal to the metal on the fastest karting track in the South.
For more recommendations, see our family neighborhood itinerary here.