When traveling with multiple generations, it can be difficult to find activities that appeal to all. Luckily, New Orleans is a city where all ages are welcome to visit and experience the culture. From exploring the French Quarter to going beyond the city limits, we promise that this multigenerational itinerary won’t disappoint. Whether planning a family reunion or simply traveling with grandma and the kids, see below for ideas on planning your next group getaway to New Orleans.
Start your day in the French Quarter at none other than Café du Monde. Beignets, chocolate milk, coffee…everyone looks good with a powdered sugar beard. Across the street is Jackson Square where St. Louis Cathedral lies. Take a stroll and visit the iconic landmark after breakfast.
The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Historic Cruise is an all-ages affair. With cruises departing at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, you’ll sail downriver from the French Quarter to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and the historic Chalmette Battlefield for a guided tour. With the option to include lunch for both children and adults, this 2.5-hour tour is a relaxing and educational way to spend time with the family. Fill up on red beans & rice, New Orleans-style shrimp pasta, Creole jambalaya, and bread pudding while taking in views of the mighty Mississippi River.
A great post-cruise activity for the whole family is Vue Orleans. Located at the foot of Canal Street in the Four Seasons Hotel, take the elevator to the 33rd floor and experience the only 360° panoramic riverfront view of New Orleans. The experience also includes an outdoor observatory deck and an interactive cultural exhibit indoors.
End a busy day with dinner at Deanie’s Seafood. The family-friendly atmosphere is perfect for multigenerational groups. The Giant Seafood Platter—which comes with a bounty of fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft shell crab, crawfish balls, and French fries—is meant for sharing!
New Orleans is bursting with museums that appeal to all ages, so this section of the itinerary is choose your own adventure—cater it to your group.
Backstreet Cultural Museum is a wonderful small museum dedicated to sharing the traditions of Mardi Gras Indians. With colorful, hand-beaded suits on display, visitors young and old will marvel at the exhibit. Learn about New Orleans’ culture from culture bearers themselves at Backstreet.
As the only museum of its kind in the country, The National WWII Museum rises to the top of many travelers’ lists. Exhibits include “The Arsenal of Democracy,” “Bayou to Battlefield,” and others that highlight the everyday men and women who found the strength and courage to accomplish the extraordinary. Watch a 4D film in the Solomon Victory Theater, have a meal at The American Sector, or attend the immersive new outdoor attraction, Expressions of America. Perfect for visitors of all ages, there’s so much to see and do at the WWII Museum.
Foodies will appreciate the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which includes exhibits on the food, drink, and culture of the American South. There’s a Popeye’s exhibit, there’s a bar…there are even cooking classes specifically designed for children, as well as adult classes. Come to New Orleans, learn to make gumbo.
Speaking of cooking classes, New Orleans has several options for both demonstration and hands-on cooking classes. The Mardi Gras School of Cooking stands out because children can sign up for class alongside adults. See what they have on the schedule and encourage the family to cook together.
Both children and adults can enjoy learning about New Orleans’ most famous cocktail, the Sazerac, at Sazerac House. Known locally as New Orleans’ greatest free attraction, guests can sign up online for visitor slots and tour three floors of cocktail history. Samples are only open to adults 21+, but children are welcome as guests of the museum.
You can spend an entire day in New Orleans City Park and never get bored. Little ones will love the Louisiana Children’s Museum, while those with a more refined palate may prefer the New Orleans Museum of Art or Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
For lunch, enjoy a picnic with adult- and kid-friendly bites from Acorn Café (think hot dogs and pizza for the kiddos and grain bowls, blackened fish tacos, and fried chicken sandwiches for adults). After, let the kiddos burn some energy on the playground or at the park’s hidden secret: Storyland. Tweens and teens will love the New Orleans-themed mini golf course at City Putt. You can also ride the miniature train through the park, just stop by the Visitor Center for tickets. The ultimate family activity within City Park is Wheel Fun Rentals, where mom, pop, junior, and sister can all hop on a Double Surrey and pedal their way around Big Lake.
After a busy day spent in the park, wind down in family-friendly Lakeview at Café Navarre, Reginelli’s Pizzeria, or the Velvet Cactus.
Have a nice quiet day exploring Uptown New Orleans. Audubon Zoo is a family favorite, home to 58 acres of animals in their natural habitats. Go give the flamingos, giraffes, and baby Roux the orangutan a visit. During the summer months, visit Cool Zoo, also known as New Orleans’ only waterpark.
Go for a ride on the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar. See a flick at the Prytania Theater. Shop ‘till you drop and grab a bite to eat on Magazine Street. Relax in Audubon Park. The options for exploring Uptown are endless!
Families will enjoy the kid-friendly atmosphere of Dat Dog on Freret Street. Pizza Domenica is also a family favorite, especially with their happy hour from 3-5 p.m. that features half price wood-fired pizzas, draft beer, select wines, and specialty cocktails.
Why not make it a date night and have an adults-only evening? Tipitina’s is a hub for live music in Uptown New Orleans. Indulge in handmade pasta at Avo or hummus and lamb kofta at Saba. Many hotels should be able to provide information about babysitters, or you can download Wyndy, a national app with a New Orleans presence that allows you to find background-checked local college students (complete with reviews from other parents) to watch your little ones for the evening. You name the price and the hours, post the job, and can pick from the applicant that makes the most sense for your family.
You could spend a week in New Orleans and still not see it all but venturing outside the city limits is recommended for maximum fun. Exhibit A: Most who visit New Orleans don’t think about ziplining over a swamp…but 30 minutes outside of the city lies Zip NOLA, one of the area’s best new attractions. Face your fears and strap on in—children and older adults can all participate, as long as they’re between 45 and 285 lbs. Strike a pose upside down while flying high above the gators.
Another nearby activity perfect for a multigenerational group are swamp tours! Less athletic but still plenty thrilling, airboat and pedal-barge tours are available just outside the city limits (most provide transportation from downtown New Orleans). Pick your adventure and don’t be scared to pet the baby gator.
Other day trips from New Orleans include the Infinity Science Center in Pearlington, MS, the state capitol in Baton Rouge, and Chalmette Battlefield in Chalmette.
For complimentary group travel planning assistance, visit https://www.neworleans.com/groups/.