Why the Newly Renovated Audubon Aquarium is a Must Visit for Families

Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by the Audubon Institute but all thoughts are my own. We hope this post gives you a sneak peek of one of the best things to do in New Orleans with kids AND provides some helpful tips for a pleasant visit, too! If you are a family visiting New Orleans from out of town, our tips for visiting New Orleans with kids is a must read guide! Additionally, there are 100+ kid-friendly things to do with kids in New Orleans all summer long if you need additional ideas.

Why the Newly Renovated Audubon Aquarium is a Must Visit for Families

Shark Tank at the AquariumI was so excited to visit the newly renovated Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium ahead of its grand opening, and my first thoughts were “Bravo!” The building is absolutely gorgeous; they did an amazing job of merging the two attractions into one and still leaving those nostalgic parts of the Why the Newly Renovated Audubon Aquarium is a Must Visit for Familiesaquarium that we have all grown to love. As a native who remembers visiting the aquarium for my very first field trip in kindergarten, it was so comforting to visit a place that still felt very similar to what I experienced at 5 years old.

As you enter the gorgeous two story foyer with a living wall, gift shop and large interactive screen, you know you are about to embark on a state-of-the-art experience. As you enter the insectarium you are immediately transformed into a colorful and welcoming exhibit that ignites all of your senses and encourages you to explore and touch everything around you. It feels much different from the original insectarium in the way that you don’t get that creepy crawly feeling as you move through. I didn’t think twice about petting the Eastern Hercules Beetle as soon I entered the exhibit.

The renovation really took advantage of the location on the river and it was so beautiful walking through the butterfly garden which now overlooks the Mississippi River. They also found a fun and educational way to show off beekeeping by including a working beehive Insectarium at the zoothat allows the bees to go in and out of the exhibit! Lastly, if you thought you had missed your chance to try freshly prepared bugs do not fret because the cafe still serves up bugs in a variety of options.

The seamless flow from the Aquarium and Insectarium married quite well; you honestly would think they had always been co-located. Many of the aquarium features are the same but what I noticed and loved was that the exhibits were re-imagined with the smallest visitors at top of mind. They opened the viewing areas of many of the exhibits to make it easier for smaller children and more visitors to enjoy at once. Even on a busy Saturday the renovation allows for an easy flow through exhibits and shorter wait times to get up close and personal with the sea creatures. One of my favorite expanded exhibits was the sting ray touch pool; it’s much larger and so beautiful, both kids and adults will love the new look.

The immersive experiences continued through the aquarium as you venture through the Amazon exhibit with birds flying freely above your head along with the humidity change you really feel like you are walking through the Amazon of South America. The aquarium wraps up with a fun play area for kids under 42″ tall and an interactive under the sea adventure. The interactive experience is an additional $9 per visitor but it is a great way to expand the learning experience of the deep blue sea.

A few notes to remember when visiting the newly renovated Audubon Aquarium:

  • First, check out this reel for a sneak peek!
  • Skip the line and purchase your tickets before you arrive or grab an Audubon Membership and enjoy all the Audubon attractions all year long.
  • The aquarium is handicap and stroller accessible. There are clearly labeled elevators to assist all visitors.
  • Parking validation is available at the Canal Place lot located at 333 Canal Street (You willneed your license plate number), 100 Poydras Street at the LAZ Lot (bring your parking ticket inside with you). All validation must occur at the guest services counter inside the Aquarium
  • Try the Canal Street ferry. Parking is free at the Westbank ferry terminal and tickets are $2 each for anyone over the age of 5, $1 for students in grades K-12. This may also be a great opportunity to explore Algiers
  • KreweCar – KreweCar is a family friendly car service that is great for visits inside the city where parking is difficult. The best part is you can pre-schedule your ride and they provide car seats!

Are you ready to visit the Newly Renovated Audubon Aquarium? Click here for more info! Let us know what you think if you go! 


Seleigh is a New Orleans native currently residing in Waggaman with her husband and two daughters. She stayed local and received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans and Master’s from the University of New Orleans. She currently works at a New Orleans charter school as a School Operations Leader. As a life long civil servant she has found her passion dedicating her days to NOLA’s youngest residents! Seleigh spends her weekends running between extra curricular activities for her girls, festival hopping and enjoying dinner at her favorite restaurants.


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