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Family-Friendly Fun in New Orleans

Courtesy of Steamboat Natchez
By AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens
October 31, 2022
When you think of New Orleans, images of raucous bars and late-night revelry may be the first to come to mind, but the Big Easy offers plenty of fun things to do that are perfect for a family vacation.
Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

1 Canal St.
(504) 861-2537
A 30-foot tunnel takes you beneath the surface of the Maya Reef to a mysterious underwater city where exotic sea creatures swim. Piranhas, rays and an anaconda await you in the rain forest, while sharks, rays and an endangered sea turtle inhabit the giant Gulf of Mexico exhibit. Watch penguins and sea otters play and feed the budgerigars in Parakeet Pointe, and don’t miss the rare white alligator in the Mississippi River exhibit.
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Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Zoo

6500 Magazine St.
(504) 861-2537
Located within Audubon Park, this attraction is home to a variety of creatures from alligators to zebras. Kids can ride the Swamp Train or a carousel, navigate a ropes course or escape the heat in the Cool Zoo splash park.
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Poula Hansen/iStockphoto.com

City Park

Esplanade Ave. & N. Carrollton Ave.
(504) 483-9402
You’ll find two AAA GEM attractions—the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden—at the entrance to City Park, but there is much more to explore here. The Botanical Garden holds a hidden treat: the Train Garden, with miniature replicas of streetcars and trains from the city’s past. Step into your favorite tales in Storyland, then ride the rides in the Carousel Garden Amusement Park. Rent a boat and paddle among the swans on Big Lake, rent bikes and explore miles of paths or wander the trails in the Couturie Forest, where you may see up to 40 species of birds.
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Jean Lafitte Swamp & Airboat Tours

6601 Leo Kerner Lafitte Pkwy.
(504) 689-4186
Looking for adventurous things to do? See alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat amid the moss-draped cypress trees of the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve. Experienced guides will share Cajun swamp lore as you view the fascinating flora and fauna from the comfort of a swamp boat or on a thrilling airboat ride.
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Christopher Futcher/iStockphoto.com

Louisiana Children's Museum

15 Henry Thomas Dr.
(504) 523-1357
Located in City Park, this museum includes more than 8 acres of outdoor adventures and two floors filled with interactive indoor exhibits. Little ones can learn about food as they shop in a kid-sized grocery store, make a Louisiana recipe in the Creole Kitchen and gather produce in a garden. Outdoor fun includes tunnels, a tree stump trail and viewing the park's wildlife through binocular stations around a lagoon.
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AAA/Lisa Hendren

Mardi Gras World

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl.
(504) 361-7821
This attraction offers a kid-friendly way to experience the city's renowned festival. Learn the history of the event, see the enormous studio where artisans design amazing parade floats, try on Mardi Gras costumes and even have a taste of king cake, which isn't easy to find if you’re visiting outside of Mardi Gras season.
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Courtesy of Steamboat Natchez

New Orleans Steamboat Company

400 Toulouse St.
(504) 569-1401
Travel back in time to the steamboat era aboard this authentic paddlewheel boat for a lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch cruise along the Mississippi River. The casual buffet offers something for everyone and is accompanied by live jazz music and spectacular views of the city.
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