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New Orleans Travel with KidsNew Orleans is a lively city full of many fun things to do and fun places to go, but not every location or event is suitable for the whole family. Consider these spots for the younger members of your group on your next vacation.

Under 13 A merry-go-round ride puts a smile on any child's face. Carousel Gardens Amusement Park 's (7 Victory Ave.) restored 1906 wooden carousel is a timeless classic with 54 hand-carved horses. Other grin-inducing rides include a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, Tilt-A-Whirl and miniature train.

The Louisiana Children's Museum (15 Henry Thomas Dr.) is full of fun for toddlers and preteens. Make a sculpture or painting, discover how the human body works, build a giant bubble around your body and view learn about caring for wildlife.

New Orleans is world-famous for its magical Mardi Gras parades. Get the Mardi Gras experience without the crazy crowds at Mardi Gras World (1380 Port of New Orleans Pl.), where many of the parade's floats are created. Watch artists paint giant court jesters and mystical creatures in explosive colors.

Teens New Orleans offers plenty of adventure travel spots teens will love. Venture into the wilds outside of the city for an exciting swamp tour. A shuttle bus picks you up at your hotel and soon you're drifting over glassy waters in a covered boat past shade trees, an old cemetery, and, of course, alligators. Native guides keep the entire family entertained with stories about swamp life, and you can even hold a baby alligator.

Cynthia Taylor/iStockphoto.com
Stroll around Jackson Square (701 Chartres St.) and ogle the scores of musicians, street performers, fortune tellers and human statues. Have your portrait painted by one of the street artists for a modest fee, or take in the scenery on a mule-drawn carriage ride.

If you're anywhere near the Garden District, stop at Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave.) for its heralded jazz brunch. Put on your Sunday best and introduce your brood to some fine cuisine; it's a little pricey but worth it. Brave kids can try the turtle soup; everyone will like the berry-filled black and blue pancakes topped with whipped Creole cream cheese.

All Ages No matter the time of day, a stop at Café Du Monde (800 Decatur St.), a New Orleans institution since 1862, is an absolute must. Just try to resist the light-as-air, smothered-in-confectioner's-sugar beignets. These fried squares of dough will have everyone covered in powdered sugar and begging for more, so factor in more than one trip to this café during your stay.

Introduce your family to the city's historic form of transportation on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar . The main boarding location is at Carondelet and Canal streets. Built in the mid-1920s, the streetcars will take you through the Garden District with its stately Greek Revival homes and canopies of magnificent oak and magnolia trees. Let the kids pull the cord to signal the conductor to stop at Audubon Park (6500 Magazine St.).

Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (1 Canal St.) is filled to the gills with aquatic life. Meet the aquarium darlings, Clara and Ruby, adorable sea otters whose antics will make everyone giggle. You also can pet surprisingly unslimy stingrays, walk through a tunnel of toothy sharks and tour an amazing Amazon rain forest.

All sorts of creepy-crawlies (live and mounted) are on display at Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium (423 Canal St.). Creep through a room swarming with human-size animatronic bugs or dare to try chocolate “chirp” cookies made by bug chefs. The gossamer-winged beauties in Butterflies in Flight will delight anyone whose skin crawls at the thought of an arachnid or centipede.

Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute
Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St.) is a sure kid pleaser. It's home to more than 1,500 creatures from all parts of the globe. There's even a re-created swamp complete with live, rare white alligators. Heat-fatigued urchins will be revived at the Cool Zoo splash park.

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New Orleans, LA

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Travel Information

City Population

343,829

Elevation

11 ft.

Sales Tax

Louisiana's statewide sales tax is 5 percent; an additional 5 percent is levied in the New Orleans metro area, and Orleans Parish has a .5 percent tax on food and beverages. The city has a 14 percent lodging tax, plus an occupancy tax of $1-$3 per night. The state's car rental tax is 3 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(504) 821-2222

Fire (non-emergency)

(504) 658-4700

Time and Temperature

(318) 324-8808

Hospitals

Ochsner Medical Center, (504) 842-3000; Touro Infirmary, (504) 897-7011; Tulane Medical Center, (504) 988-5263; University Medical Center New Orleans, (504) 702-3000.

Visitor Information

1221 Elmwood Park Blvd. Suite 411 New Orleans, LA 70123. Phone:(504)731-7083 or (877)572-7474

Air Travel

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is about 21 miles west of downtown New Orleans in Kenner and is served by nearly all major domestic and foreign carriers.

Rental Cars

New Orleans is served by several major car rental agencies. Arrangements should be made before you leave on your trip. Your local AAA club can provide this service or additional information. Hertz, (504) 568-1645 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

Amtrak uses the Union Passenger Terminal at 1001 Loyola Ave. Daily service is offered. Phone (800) 872-7245 for further information.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus terminal is at 1001 Loyola Ave.; phone (504) 525-6075 or (800) 231-2222 for schedule and fares.

Taxis

Cabs are plentiful in the main business and tourist areas. Average fare is $3.50 initially and $2.40 for each additional mile and $1 for each additional person. The largest companies are Carriage/Yellow/Checker, (504) 207-7777; Metry, (504) 835-4242; and United, (504) 522-9771. Information about taxi service also can be obtained from the Taxicab & For Hire Bureau at (504) 658-7176.

Public Transportation

Transportation by bus, streetcar and ferry is available in New Orleans.

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