Ten families from our local homeschool group took a three-day field trip to New Orleans back in the spring; and in spite of the Crescent City’s not-so-nice reputation, we found lots of family-friendly fun.
Here’s a list of some of the things we found to do in the city:
1. Ride the streetcars. This one is fun, easy, and cheap. You can pay $1.25 per ride OR you can buy a day pass, called a Jazzy Pass, for only $3. This was our 5-year-old’s most anticipated activity since she’s been watching “Trolley” on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
2. Walk through the French Quarter. This is fun and FREE, as long as you don’t make any purchases at any of the local shops. If you enjoy architecture, music, and people watching, you’ll love the French Quarter. To keep it family-friendly, just be sure to stay OFF Bourbon Street. 😉
3. Walk through the French Market. Located in the French Quarter, this is an open-air market with vendors selling everything from pecan pralines and coffee to handmade works of art.
4. Eat beignets at Cafe du Monde. A trip to New Orleans is not complete without a stop at Cafe du Monde. Open since 1862, the cafe serves beignets and coffee 24/7.
5. Visit Jackson Square. Across the street from Cafe du Monde is Jackson Square, the number one tourist attraction in New Orleans. This historic landmark once served at the town square when New Orleans was newly established on the banks of the Mississippi River. It’s full of rich history, architecture, and beautiful gardens.
6. Visit the Louisiana Children’sMuseum. When rain spoiled our plans to go to the zoo, we found the children’s museum to be a wonderful indoor option.
7. Visit the Aquarium of the Americas. This is a great aquarium with well-maintained exhibits. We saw the penguins being fed and learned a lot from their handlers. We were also able to touch the sting rays. We spent an entire afternoon there ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over all there was to see and do.
8. Watch the steamboats on the MS River. This is one of my favorite things to do in New Orleans, or actually anytime I am near the MS River… or any river for that matter. I find the water peaceful and relaxing.
9. Visit the WWII Museum. This is family-friendly, depending on the age and maturity of your kids. The Mr. and JC18 went to the WWII Museum while I took the girls to the Children’s Museum. I felt that it would be too much for my little people, especially the already-overly-anxious one. But if your family enjoys American history, I’m sure you would love a trip to this museum.
10. Listen to jazz on the street (any street). I mean, it’s New Orleans after all!
And here are some things we’d like to do next time we visit:
1. Visit the zoo. We had a zoo visit scheduled, but the rain derailed our plans. We’ve been before, but it’s been several years, and the youngest in our family doesn’t remember it.
2. Visit the insectarium. This one has actually been on our list for several years, but it always keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list.
3. Take a carriage ride. Our 5-year-old is horse-crazy, so she would love this.
4. Visit City Park. I mostly want to go for the pedal boats and bike rentals, but there are lots of things to do and see here. The art museum, botanical gardens, and train ride look like things our family would be interested in as well.
5. Ride the ferry or a steamboat. We did this once many years ago when we only had one child. He was less than 2 years old at the time, so we’d like to go back and do this again now that everyone is old enough to remember it.
What about you? Have you been to New Orleans? What’s your favorite family-friendly attraction?