2022 Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans

The 2022 Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans With Kids 

There are so many things to do with kids in New Orleans this summer! Below are over 100 of our favorite ideas for every budget, interest and age for entertaining kids in New Orleans. A huge thanks to New Orleans Public Library  and Metairie Park Country Day School for sponsoring this guide.

About our Summer Fun Guide Sponsors ::

New Orleans Public Library

SUMMER FUN at the New Orleans Public Library is back. Libraries across the country host summerSummer Reading Program New Orleans reading programs as a way to encourage reading as a lifelong habit, maintain reading skills that children and teens have achieved throughout the school year, and increase interest in libraries, and because it’s just plain fun. This year, we are thrilled to be back in person while continuing to offer virtual options. From Audubon visits to 3D printing, Ogden Museum puppet shows to music workshops and more, we have something for everyone at the Library. Don’t forget to track your reading or your child’s reading for prizes using our reading tracker and BINGO card. Join in the SUMMER FUN by signing up at summerfun.nolalibrary.org beginning Wednesday, June 1.



Metairie Park Country Day School

Established in 1929, Metairie Park Country Day School is a coeducational, independent Pre-K through Grade 12 School where care and cultivation of each child comes to life with exciting and innovative approaches to teaching. Our uses of advanced technology and our expansive, rigorous curriculum open the world to our students.

Private Schools New OrleansMetairie Park Country Day School enriches the lives of talented young people in a dynamic learning environment, building strength of both intellect and character within a community that is simultaneously challenging and supportive. Our students learn to be flexible, to be adaptable, and to face the challenges of life with honor, optimism, confidence, creativity, and a sense of humor.

If you are interested in learning more about Metairie Park Country Day School over the Summer you can do so HERE. Please do reach out to learn more about on-campus visits and open houses.

Tips for Visiting New Orleans With Kids

Tips for Traveling to New Orleans With KidsWhether you are traveling to New Orleans for vacation, or are moving to New Orleans, New Orleans Mom is the ultimate website for having fun with kids in the city.

Now let’s get started, and be sure to show us YOUR New Orleans summer adventures by using the hashtag:


Please note, we do recommend that you check each event/business website for the most up to date information.

New Orleans Summer Fun for the Whole Family

  • Head to Lakeside Shopping Center where there is something for everyone :: shopping, eating, and an awesome Kids’ Castle play area for the littlest members of your family. (The Kids’ Castle play area is open via reserved times.)
  • Spend a day at City Park :: visit Storyland, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, or play a round of miniature golf at City Putt. Rent a paddleboat for a ride across Big Lake or rent a bike from the boathouse to trek across City Park’s natural wonders. Wheel Fun Rentals has bikes available to rent including surrey bikes, cruisers and bikes with trailers. They also have different boat options including canoes, kayaks and even swan boats! And did you know you can enjoy an authentic Venetian gondola ride through City Park’s Big Lake? Check out NOLA Gondola for details! There is so much to explore at City Park for every member of your family. 
  • Ride the Street Car and hop off for some shopping and dining. Some of our favorite restaurants along the Streetcar line include Camellia Grill, Superior Seafood and brunch at the Columns Hotel
  • Explore the French Quarter :: eat Beignets at Cafe Du Monde, shop at the French Market, take a tour of the Cabildo Museum while enjoying the a/c and take a family selfie in front of Jackson Square. 
  • Put on your bathing suit and check out one of the city’s hot spots for water fun. Cool Zoo opens for weekends only on May 7th and daily beginning May 30th through July 31st.. (We encourage you to check each splash pad/water park as each one has their own individual Covid restrictions and protocols.)
  • Cool off in one of free public pools. Check your local recreation department website for locations and hours. 
  • Escape the heat by catching a movie at one of the local theaters. The Broad Theater and Prytania Theatres are open and ready for business.
  • For some more kid friendly ideas in New Orleans, make sure to check this post out.

New Orleans Summer Fun for the Littles:

  • Ready to learn to swim? Here’s our handy guide to swim lessons.
  • The Kids’ Castle at Lakeside mall is the perfect place to beat the heat with your littles and it’s free! 
  •  Looking for free enrichment to enjoy with your child, then head to one of New Orleans public libraries to read some books and enjoy story time.  Check your local branch for story time and hours of operation. 
  • Let your little one reach for bubbles and take a ride on a parachute at a Gym Rompers class where they can explore childhood through both independent play and group engagement. The Summer 2022 session begins on June 4th.
  • Visit The Louisiana Children’s Museum and enjoy the variety of indoor and outdoor hands-on play and learning areas. Timed-entry tickets are required for both the public and members. They are open Wednesday – Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • For the really hot weeks, head to an indoor play place like NOLA Kidsground and Luv 2 Play. (both require advanced reservations to play)

NOLA Summer Fun for the Bigs (School Age Kids and Beyond):

New Orleans Summer MSY Love:

  • Take a stroll along Julia Street to check out the art galleries.
  • Take a Swamp Tour and see if you can spot an alligator.
  • Shop the Crescent City Farmers Market  or explore other local farmers markets and stock up on supplies to make your favorite New Orleans recipe. (All Crescent City Farmers Markets are offering different options for each market, please check here for more details.) 
  • Marvel at the creativity of our locals and purchase something for yourself or loved one at the Palmer Park Art Market. Stop by City Park on the second Saturday of every month and Marsalis Harmony Park (formally Palmer Park) on the last Saturday of every month to shop for local art. The market takes place from 10AM – 4PM.
  • Enjoy the Sculpture Garden at City Park. The garden is open and is following these guidelines.
  • The Music Box Village is made up of structures such as phone booths, houses, and Japanese pagodas that play music.  It’s a hands-on experience during public hours, and hosts musical concerts as well.

New Orleans Summer MSY Eats:

  • Put the kids to bed for 30 seconds, then run in and tell them it’s time to get in the car and go get ice cream :: we particularly love Creole Creamery.
  • Even the name Picnic Provisions and Whiskey screams summer. Come enjoy a casual family dinner of summertime fare, and some outdoor games for entertainment. 
  • Saturday mornings are made for donuts. District Donuts is currently offering takeout and delivery so you can enjoy their assortment of gourmet food and beverage options.
  • You can’t let the summer pass without eating a Snoball. Head to Hansen’s for a truly historic and delicious New Orleans treat. 
  • Summer is synonymous with burgers, right? Check out some of our favorites :: Company Burger,  Lakeview Burgers & Seafood and Camellia Grill
  • It’s iced coffee season! There are so many options, visit one of New Orleans local coffee shops!
  • Enjoy a beer at one of New Orleans family friendly breweries (as of 6/24/21 all breweries are open.) :: Urban South, Port Orleans, Second Line Brewing, NOLA Brewing, Parleaux and Faubourg Brewing Company.

New Orleans Summer Outdoor Adventures:

  • Get moving at a favorite local park :: team favorites include Audubon Park, Lafreniere Park and City Park
  • Get up close and personal with the wildlife at the Audubon Zoo
  • Float down the Bogue Chitto River. At the Bogue Chitto Tubing Center, you can choose your means of transportation- tube, canoe, or kayak. 
  • Rent a kayak for some water adventure with Bayou Paddle Sports in Mid-City or Canoe and Trail Adventures on the Northshore. 
  • Go fishing. You can catch and release in City Park or rent a boat from one of the many local fishing charters.
  • Go berry picking all over Louisiana
  • The Barataria Preserve offers a taste of Louisiana’s wild wetlands. Take a self-guided tour on their boardwalks and dirt trails or enjoy the exhibits in their visitor center. (The Preserve is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30am – 4:30pm. The Visitor Center is open year-round and closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras.)
  • Visit the Lafitte Nature Trail on the Westbank
  • Bring a picnic dinner and catch a gorgeous Louisiana sunset at The Fly on the Southshore or the Mandeville Lakefront on the Northshore.
  • Go camping at a park, or have a backyard camp-out at home.
  • Spend the day at Fontainebleau State Park and enjoy their trails, beach or explore the lake on kayaks or canoes. (The campgrounds are open to the public but due to damage from Hurricane Ida, the cabins remain closed.)
  • Explore 10 acres of cultivated gardens at The New Orleans Botanical Gardens

New Orleans Summer Worth the Drive:

Getting sick of New Orleans? The good news for you is several New Orleans moms have put together their best travel tips whether you like camping, cruising, the beach or the mountains

  • Take a day trip to Avery Island home of Tabasco! Visit the factory or restaurant. Take a guided bird tour or take a self guided tour through the Jungle Gardens. Are you a foodie? Then sign up for one of their cooking classes or guided culinary tours through Cajun country. 
  • Take a drive to Mississippi to visit the Infinity Science Center and tour the Stennis Space Center. 
  • Enjoy an animal encounter at Global Wildlife. This wildlife sanctuary, located in Folsom, LA, includes zebras, giraffes, camels, and more! Feed these free-roaming animals located on over 900 acres of farmland from your own guided wagon ride. 
  • Looking for something to do in the Hammond area, then take a look at our handy guide.
  • Share a day at the lake making memories at White Sands Lake Day Beach. Enjoy an aqua park, boat rentals, volleyball and more. (2022 season begins 4/30/222)
  • Located a short ferry ride from Mississippi’s coast, you can find some of the last undeveloped barrier islands in America at Ship Island. Now booking Dolphin Cruises
  • Spend a day at the Mississippi beaches. Choose from Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Long Beach or Gulfport, all are within a 90 minute drive and offer your family hours of free Summer fun. Each beach offers free public access complete with bathrooms, outdoor showers for rinsing off, and free parking. Pack a lunch or check out one of the restaurants in the area. 
  • Go for a hike at the mini Grand Canyon, Red Bluff, in Mississippi
  • Pack the family up and take the short trip out to Sugar Roots Farm to pet the animals, ride horses, and taste some of the deliciousness produced on the farm. (The farm is currently open.)
  • Want to swim with the dolphins? Pet Stingrays? Kiss a sea lion? Take a drive to Gulfport, Mississippi to make special memories at Ocean Adventures Marine Park.
  • Scale the colossal Climbing structure at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
  • Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge was named “Louisiana Museum of the Year” in 2020,
  • Visit Gulf Islands Waterpark for a day of water fun in the sun. (The park re-opens for the season on 5/21/22)
  • Swim over to Blue Bayou Waterpark located in Baton Rouge. (Park reopens at the end of May, 2022 for the summer season)
  • Plan a getaway to OWA Parks & Resort in Foley, Alabama
  • Splash and slide over to the indoor water park at the Kroc Center in Biloxi

New Orleans Summer Learning Fun:

  • New Orleans is home to the #3 museum in the country according to Trip Advisor! Our WWII Museum is a must-see attraction that really can’t be missed if you live in this city. They offer children’s programming, a wonderful camp, movies in their Stage Door Canteen and volunteer opportunities for  children aged 13-17. (Advance ticket reservations are required at this time.)
  • Check out the Ogden Museum for art exhibits and events for kids, click here for their programs for kids! (Advance ticket reservations are required at this time.)
  • Take a look at the New Orleans Public Library‘s summer events.
  • Instill a love of reading and literacy in your children while you sing songs and play games together in New Orleans READ program.
  • The Backstreet Cultural Museum celebrates  New Orleans’ masking and processional traditions.  It houses a large collection of Mardi Gras Indian costumes and even gives children a chance to learn to sew the costumes themselves. (The Museum is currently closed due to damage caused by Hurricane Ida)
  • Learn all about marine life at the Aquarium and enter an underwater world full of penguins, stingrays, and seahorses. 
  • Visit the St. Tammany Children’s Museum and build your own rollercoaster. 

New Orleans Summer Sports and Fitness:

  • The New Orleans Boulder Lounge is New Orleans premier indoor climbing facility.  They offer kids only hours on Sunday morning and youth climbing teams for children aged 5-12. 
  • Sign your littles up for Soccer Shots at one of their many New Orleans locations. For children ages 2-8. 
  • Take a bike ride along the scenic Tammany Trace that spans from downtown Covington, through Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and ends in Slidell. 
  • Summer means slowing down and taking some time to breathe. Lolo’s Youth Yoga specializes in Children’s yoga. 
  • Go for a run along Crescent Park, a beautiful urban park along the riverfront. 
  • Enjoy hitting some balls at Big Easy Sportsplex.

New Orleans Summer Date Night (or Date Day): 

Summertime can be difficult to carve out one-on-one time with our partners but it is important that we try! Set aside some time this summer to go on a date with your partner. We have you covered for nights where you just want to laugh, the amazon order you need to make, and a list of 25 date night ideas

  • Hit the town and enjoy a show at Saenger Theater. 
  • Take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Book a demonstration class or hands-on class.
  • Go for a wine tasting at Pontchartrain Vineyards. You could even make a night of it and stay at the Southern Hotel, then enjoy brunch at Hambone the next day. 
  • Spend the evening painting the town at an adult class with Painting with a Twist.
  • Looking for a location that gives you all the laid-back romance vibes, then Bacchanal Wine is the perfect place to spend some one on one time with your love. Good food. Good Wine. Great Ambiance. 
  • Leave your cell phone in your bag and spend the night catching up over doberge cake, champagne, and board games at the Bakery Bar. If you are in the Metairie/Kenner area, check out their newest location in Rivertown at Debbie on the Levee
  • Spend an evening out listening to music on Frenchmen Street. (Please check individual jazz clubs for updates.)
  • Grab your girlfriends for a girls night out on the Northshore.

New Orleans Summer Fun at Home:

Do you find it too hot to leave your home? Or just need some ideas for when you are stuck inside on a rainy day? Whether you enjoy cooking, crafting or cleaning to pass the time, we have a ton of indoor ideas to last the entire summer.

  • Make homemade popsicles.
  • Plant a vegetable garden.
  • Have a water balloon or squirt gun fight.
  • Roast marshmallows for s’mores.
  • Have a lemonade stand.
  • Build a fort in your living room.
  • Let the kids cover themselves in shaving cream in the backyard then hose them off.
  • Send letters or pictures to friends and family.
  • Make root beer floats.
  • Play in the sprinkler.
  • Make tie dyed t-shirts.
  • Make homemade ice cream (use this easy ice cream in a bag if you don’t have an ice cream maker).
  • Do some youtube kids exercise videos. We particularly like Cosmic Kids Yoga and Moovlee.

Still Need More Ideas?

2021 New Orleans Summer Camps
The ultimate guide to New Orleans summer camps, programs and activities for all ages, schedules and budgets!

10 Places for Water Fun In & Around New Orleans 
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10 Boredom Busters to Prime Right Now
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Things to Do When it Rains
Stormy weather have you feeling gray? Are the kids crying and saying that they are bored? Plan your days activities with our guide to New Orleans on a rainy day!

Family Fun in Hammond
With its active downtown, many parks, events, and businesses, it’s easy to see why people are having fun in Tangi. This welcome guide to the Hammond area showcases over 60 things to do when you’re here.

25 FREE {or almost free} Date Night Ideas
Carving out time with your partner or spouse is so important but it can also be hard on the budget! Here are 25 FREE {or almost free} date night ideas in New Orleans.

Explore the Outdoors on the Northshore
The Northshore has a ton of outdoor activities to keep you and your family busy!

Play Tourist In Your Own City
Pack up the kids and go play tourist in your very own New Orleans! Here are our top tips and tricks for visiting New Orleans with kids. Have anything to add?

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