2024 Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans

The 2024 Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans With Kids

Summer fun New Orleans

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 Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Love Swimming, Doris Schutte – REALTOR, and evamor artesian water for advertising in this guide.

SUMMER FUN SPONSOR FEATURES:

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Best Airport in North America

Experience seamless travel through the Best Airport in North America according to Airports Council International World’s Airport Service Quality program (2021, 2022, and 2023).

No matter where you are travelling this summer, be sure to take advantage of the many helpful amenities at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). At least 24-hours in advance of your travel, reserve your airport parking online in any of the four parking facilities at MSY. The Economy Garage offers a low-cost parking option and baggage check-in so you can skip the ticket counters and go straight to security. Valet parking provides a convenient, hassle-free experience if you are running late or prefer a curbside arrival.

Once you get to the airport, find everything you need by searching the interactive facility map including Mother’s Rooms, restrooms, shops and kid-friendly restaurants. Be sure to grab a bite to eat or get a last-minute travel accessory from one of the award-winning concessions before you fly out.

Five PRO Mom Tips for Flying Out of MSY This Summer! 

evamor artesian water

stay hydrated this summer with evamor

Perfected by nature in a rare alkaline artesian aquifer and bottled right at the source, in Covington, LA, evamor artesian water delivers a consistently smooth taste and a naturally occurring pH of 8.8-9.1. Grab a bottle of evamor in the water aisle and taste the difference for yourself.

Stay Hydrated This Summer!

Find a Store. 

Love Swimming

Love Swimming

At Love Swimming, we have a passion for teaching students of all ages in a way that is FUN and builds confidence. With safe, small classes, we strive to provide swimmers with a strong foundation for a lifetimeof love and respect  for the water. We believe that swimming is the best exercise for babies, kids and adults, and strive to teach in a way that always encourages individuals to explore beyond their fears and expectations.

Our facility uses heated pools to create an ideal learning environment where swimmers are always warm and comfortable. This is key to accelerating the learning process and developing strong safety skills. Our facilities also offer changing rooms, storage cubbies, and a shower room.

Schedule your swim lessons TODAY! 

Doris V Schutte – 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗧𝗢𝗥

Summer Housing NOLA

Summer in New Orleans beckons with a wealth of opportunities to find your perfect home in this dynamic city. As your dedicated real estate professional, I’m here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a smooth and rewarding journey towards homeownership.

New Orleans boasts a thriving real estate market, with a diverse range of properties to explore. Whether you’re drawn to the historic charm of the French Quarter, the vibrant culture of the Marigny, or the family-friendly neighborhoods of Lakeview, there’s something for everyone in this unique city.

Partnering with me means gaining access to insider knowledge, extensive market expertise, and personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs and preferences. From conducting comprehensive property searches to negotiating the best deals, I’ll be your trusted ally every step of the way.

Together, we’ll navigate the intricacies of the New Orleans real estate market, ensuring you find a home that not only meets your needs but also exceeds your expectations. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and uncover the perfect home that reflects your lifestyle and aspirations in the vibrant tapestry of New Orleans.

Learn more about the services I can offer you HERE! 

The 2024 Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans With Kids

Fun For Littles Summer 2024
Summer Fun for Teens NOLA
New Orleans Summer Fun
Foodie Summer Fun
Outdoor Summer Fun iN NOLA
Daytrips for the Summer
Educational Summer Fun
Active Summer Fun in NOLA
Date Nights this Summer
Fun at Home this Summer

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 and closes daily from 3-3:30 for deep cleaning. Please check their website to reserve play times and for more details.)
  • Spend a day at City Park :: visit Storyland, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, wander through the Couturie Forest, 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! Don’t forget to wrap up your park visit with beignets at Cafe du Monde near the playground and Popp Bandstand. 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 the original 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. One New Orleans Mom contributor has the perfect French Quarter family day ideas here!
  • Put on your bathing suit and check out one of the city’s hot spots for water fun. Cool Zoo will open for the summer on May 4 through September 2 (Labor Day). It will be open only on the weekends until May 19 and then again August 4 through September 1. The other weeks, the Cool Zoo will be open on the weekdays. The Cool Zoo is closed 1pm – 2pm on the days it is open. September 2 will be the last day to attend.
  • 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 two great options!
  • Explore City Park’s Botanical Garden & Sculpture Garden.
  • Visit Audubon Zoo, one of the top 10 zoos in the country! See rare and endangered animals in award-winning natural habitat exhibits. Highlights include the Louisiana Swamp exhibit, lions, elephants, and orangutans. You can then enjoy a picnic on the grounds after!
  • Explore the Audubon Aquarium and reach into the ocean at the Shark Discovery touch pool, see colorful fish in the Great Maya Reef tunnel, and watch a colony of African penguins play.
  • Stop by and see the newly renovated Audubon Insectarium and experience the amazing animals that add beauty and diversity to our world! A must-see is the Butterfly Garden exhibit with breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and hundreds of butterflies.
  • Spend some time jamming on the bayou and watch all the fun in the water during Bayou Boogaloo in Mid-City during May 17 – 19. (Must have ticket to attend.) All children under 12 years of age are free to attend with a parent.
  • Did you know there are bowling alleys that offer free bowling for kids? Check out kidsbowlfree.com and see which bowling alleys are offering this amazing deal!
  • Both adults and kids can burn some energy with classes at Crescent City Ninjas. If you’ve ever wanted to train in this ninja sport, this is your place! Check their website for more info about your first FREE class.
  • 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! (The Kids’ Castle play area is open via reserved times and closes daily from 3-3:30 for deep cleaning. Please check their website to reserve play times and for more details.)
  • Looking for free enrichment to enjoy with your child? Head to any New Orleans public libraries to read some books and enjoy story time. Many libraries have a schedule of activities for children. Check your local branch for story time and hours of operation. 
  • Visit The Louisiana Children’s Museum and enjoy the variety of indoor and outdoor hands-on play and learning areas. Timed-entry tickets are suggested for guaranteed entry, especially on busy days. Open hours are 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.)
  • Make a summer “bucket list” of different playgrounds in your area to play on! Try to get to a new one each week and let your kids “rate” their favorite elements of each playground.
  • Head to the Riverwalk Outlets for Toddler Tuesdays in order to beat cabin fever. Getting the kiddos out of the house is a challenge, especially in the heat of the summer months. But every Tuesday in June from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Riverwalk Outlets is hosting Toddler Tuesday with games, story time, dancing and more for kids ages zero to five. The best part? Their favorite characters, including Elsa, Batman, Princess Tiana and Marshall from Paw Patrol, will be stopping by to say hi! This event will be located at the Children’s Play Area (by Nordstrom Rack and the Food Court) and is free to the public. ! Explore a world of enchantment with beloved characters, captivating story time, and interactive activities like song and dance or games with popular characters. Plus, enjoy hassle-free parking with validated parking for all attendees.
  • Grab your little and head to the Create and Play Club where your child can play, learn and meet other families. You can join as a member or drop in to one of their unique classes. Class options are listed on their website and include, but not limited to, art, sensory and movement.
  • Head to Rivertown in Kenner and explore your creative side Wren Works Art Studio.
  • On the weekend, take your kiddo to Life on It’s Side Studios for children’s art classes. They also offer an Art with Your Kid class for ages 5 – 15 on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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

  • Enroll in a summer camp or program (fun for all ages, schedules, and budgets).
  • Attend a Vacation Bible School at various locations throughout the greater New Orleans Area.
  • If you want to be a real MVP, take your crew to Adventure Quest Laser Tag where you can ride bumper cars, play laser tag, and battle it out in the arcade.
  • Check out Game On Social Hub with bowling, an arcade, laser tag, and axe throwing! Check out one Mom’s experience here!
  • Bowl a strike at one of the city’s bowling alleys, including Colonial Lanes, Fulton Alley, Westside Lanes, and Rock N Bowl. Check to see if any of the bowling alleys near you offer free bowling for kids.
  • If you’re really trying to get the energy out, then a trampoline park is a great destination, and New Orleans has lots of options. Visit SkyZone Metairie, Sky Zone New Orleans (Elmwood, formerly Defy), Altitude, Airborne Ex, and Surge.  There’s also a great spot in Livingston parish – check out Urban Air. 
  • Relive all of your best childhood memories at Airline Skate Center. 
  • Make a custom piece of jewelry with your kiddo at The Bead Shop. (Some activities offered by The Bead Shop require advanced reservations; check their website for more information.)
  • Get your craft on at NOLA Craft Culture and make something together! 
  • Enjoy the mystery and challenge of a local escape room such as The Escape Game or Clue Carre. Clue Carre offers locations in New Orleans, Metairie, and Kenner. You can also head to Escapology in Covington. 
  • Make a one of a kind piece of pottery at Posh Paint Pub
  • Play some arcade games at Dave & Busters
  • Have messy fun with no cleanup at The Makery 504! They have crafty projects, classes and events for all ages. Check their calendar for all the fun.
  • Tour Mardi Gras World and have some festive fun even outside of Carnival season.
  • Visit the New Canal Lighthouse in Lakeview for lots of science-rich fun. The lighthouse is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-4.
  • Take a tour on the Tchefuncte River! Louisiana Tours and Adventures offers customizable boat trips along the Tchefuncte River.
  • Bring the teens and tweens to The Hangout in New Orleans. They offer a private lounge space that includes pool tables, foosball and more. Check out their website for hours, location and special events.
  • Looking to get the kids out of the house and get a break for you? Check out the Summer Movie Camp June 24 – August 14 on Monday and Wednesdays in Elmwood, Westbank of LA and others throughout LA at the AMC Theatres.
  • Head over to Bricks and Minifigs starting on May 4 at 10 am in Old Metairie to rebuild, reuse and reimagine LEGOs!
  • For those tweens in your life who never know what they want to do, check out Vue Orleans! Vue Orleans gives both tourists and residents a chance to enhance their perspective of the Crescent City — from towering heights 34 floors above the Mississippi River.

New Orleans Summer MSY Love:

If you are visiting New Orleans from out of town, we have everything you need to know about visiting New Orleans with kids. Whether you are local to New Orleans and want to “play tourist” or are actually traveling to New Orleans with kids, there are a lot of “must do” local to Louisiana attractions!

  • 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, Gretna 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.) 
  • 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.
  • Try your hand at glass blowing (or other creative endeavors!) at New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studios.
  • Early risers? Catch the sunrise from the levees of Algiers Point.
  • Sample delicious tomato dishes during the Creole Tomato Festival in the French Market June 8th and June 9th.
  • The New Orleans African American Museum hosts a monthly event called Saturdays @ NOAAM featuring free museum admission. Check their website for more details.
  • Attend an immersive 360 degree art exhibit at The Monet experience in New Orleans. They will be here through the middle of June. Tickets are on sale on their website linked above.

New Orleans Summer MSY Eats:


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
  • Make a summer “bucket list” of different playgrounds in your area to play on! Try to get to a new one each week and let your kids “rate” their favorite elements of each playground.
  • 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. 
  • Want to go on a cruise close to home? Head to the Tchefuncte River Cruise.
  • Explore 10 acres of cultivated gardens at The New Orleans Botanical Gardens
  • Go geocaching (an activity similar to a worldwide scavenger hunt using coordinates!) and see where the game takes you around New Orleans!

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. They are open Thursday – Sundays 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. 
  • 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. (2024 SEASON STARTS  MAY 4, 2024)
  • 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.
  • Try out the local children’s museum in Gulfport with a day at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
  • Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge was named “Louisiana Museum of the Year” in 2020. Note: they are closed on Mondays!
  • Looking to get the kids out of the house and get a break for you? Check out the Summer Movie Camp June 24 – August 14 on Monday and Wednesdays in Baton Rouge, Houma, Mall of LA and Hammond at the AMC Theatres.
  • Other options for movies? Check out the Movie Tavern Summer Kids $3 Movies in Baton Rouge. Check out this link for times, days, movies etc.
  • Visit Gulf Islands Waterpark for a day of water fun in the sun. (The park re-opens for the season on May 22, 2024!)
  • Swim over to Blue Bayou Waterpark located in Baton Rouge. (Park reopens May 24, 2024 for the summer season). Note: Passes are only available online at this time.
  • Head over to the Church of the King in Mandeville for some indoor fun. Their tubes are open on Monday and Wednesday mornings this summer.
  • 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
  • Visit the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum in Gulfport– great for any kids (or adults!) who love trains.
  • Spend a day shopping at Tanger Outlets in Gonzalez.
  • Plan a “Reading Retreat” for you and your friends! 

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. 
  • Check out the Ogden Museum for art exhibits and events. 
  • Take a look at the New Orleans Public Librarys 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Visit the New Canal Lighthouse in Lakeview for lots of science-rich fun. The lighthouse is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-4. Note: there is an admission fee; however, children 6 and under are admitted free.

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. Starting in 2024 all of their camps will begin one hour earlier at 9 am! Registration is now open for Summer camps 2024!
  • Go for a run along Crescent Park, a beautiful urban park along the riverfront. 
  • Test your golf skills and have fun at Loft18.
  • Both adults and kids can burn some energy with classes at Crescent City Ninjas. If you’ve ever wanted to train in this ninja sport, this is your place! Check their website for more info about your first FREE class.

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


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.
  • Go for a neighborhood scavenger hunt.
  • Draw on the fence with chalk and then spray it clean with a garden hose.
  • Transform your water table into a rice table, beans table, or dirt table for trucks.
  • Try a new board game. Here are 13 suggestions.

Still Need More Ideas?

2024 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 
Pools, water parks, splash pads and more!

10 Boredom Busters to Prime Right Now
Have these items delivered straight to your door to provide your kids with hours of entertainment!

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?

Tips for Traveling to NOLA With Kids

Visiting New Orleans with Kids
Photo Credit :: Jillian Marie Photography

Whether 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:

#NOMSUMMERFUN

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

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What to do in NOLA this summer?
Erika Lockhart
My name is Erika Lockhart and I am married to my husband, Chris. We have two children - Zane (7) and Finnley (2). We also have one 4 – legged child - Nelson a mixed breed rescue and a tarantula named Twitch. I was born and raised in Harvey, LA but now live in Metairie. I am a full time employee for a healthcare consulting company where I lead the Primary Care Provider engagement efforts from my home office here in NOLA. My husband is the owner and director of Clockwork Performance - A strength and performance gym in Kenner, LA. Odd facts about me - I love watching Judge Judy, I want to be on jury duty as much as possible, I have an obsession with mayonnaise and my dream job is to be a private investigator!

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