2020 Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans … Virtually Anywhere!

Guide to Summer Fun in New Orleans With Kids … Virtually Anywhere!

With so many things to do with kids in New Orleans courtesy our New Orleans Summer Bucket List, it is positively impossible to be bored, even in the time of COVID-19. Below are over 100 of our favorite ideas for every budget, interest and age for entertaining kids in New Orleans. Special thanks to Children’s Hospital of New Orleans for sponsoring this guide. While we hope you don’t have any summer injuries or illness, our partners at Children’s Hospital are here to help should you need it.

As we are faced with so many changes in our world today, there is one thing that remains constant, and that is the quality of care we provide for our patients at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. Whether we’re mending broken bones, providing vaccinations for your child’s back to school needs, or offering a wellness checkup, the experts at Children’s Hospital stand ready to care for the children of Louisiana. We’re here for you both virtually and for in-person visits. Our goal is to offer your child a healthier and happier summer, because after all, summertime is the best time for a kid to be a kid.

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. (As of 6/24/20 the mall is open, but the Kids’ Castle play area is not.)
  • 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. There are 4 playgrounds within the park and so much to explore for every member of your family. (As of 6/24/20 everything is open at limited capacity at City Park except for the playgrounds, which remain closed.)
  • Ride the Street Car and hop off at one of your favorite shops or restaurants.
  • Explore the French Quarter :: eat Beignets at Cafe Du Monde, shop at the French market, take a tour of the Cabildo Museum (a/c!!!) and take a family selfie in front of Jackson Square. (As of 5/29/20 Cafe Du Monde is open for takeout and the French Market is open, with limited vendors slowly returning.)
  • Put on your bathing suit and check out one of the city’s hot spots for water fun. (As of 5/29/20 all area splash pads remain closed. Gulf Island Water Park opens as of 5/30/20, purchase tickets online in advance.)
  • Cool off in one of free public pools. Check your local recreation department website for locations and hours. (As of 6/24/20 all outdoor NORD pools remain closed.)
  • Escape the heat by catching a movie at one of the local theaters. The Broad Theater has a great variety of food and beverage options and is open again for business as of June 1.

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! (As of 6/24/20 the Kids’ Castle remains closed.)
  • Rock out to musical instruments and bond with your littles through online Kindermusik with Madeline.
  • 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. (As of 6/24/20 New Orleans public library locations remain closed, but books can be checked out through contact-less pick up.)
  • 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.
  • Dig in the dirt! Thursday mornings during May and August, Longue Vue House and Gardens will be hosting Toddler Time in the Garden. (As of 5/29/20 Toddler Time is not happening, but Longue Vue opens with these guidelines as of 6/1/20.)
  • Visit The Louisiana Children’s Museum and enjoy the variety of indoor and outdoor hands-on play and learning areas. (As of 6/24/20 the Museum is open, reserve your tickets online in advance.)
  • Get a membership to the Parenting Center! The parenting center is a play space designed for children 3 and under.  They offer independent play, music classes, water Fridays, and so much more. (As of 6/24/20 the Parenting Center is closed, but is offering several of their classes online, click here for details.
  • For the really hot weeks, head to an indoor play place like NOLA Kidsground, The Monkey Room, Palm Tree Playground, Bookoo Bounce, We Rock the Spectrum, and Luv 2 Play. (As of 6/24/20 NOLA Kidsground, We Rock the Spectrum and Luv 2 Play are open-make reservations online- however, The Monkey Room, Palm Tree Playground and Bookoo Bounce remain closed.)

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).
  • 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. (As of 6/24/20 Adventure Quest is open.)
  • Cool off and lace up the ice-skates at Penguin Ice Skating. (As of 6/24/20 the ice rink remains closed.)
  • Bowl a STRIKE at one of the city’s bowling alleys. Colonial LanesFulton Alley, Westside Lanes, and Rock N Bowl. (As of 6/24/20 all bowling alleys are open, call ahead to confirm hours.)
  • 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 Defy, SkyZone, Elevation Station and Surge. (As of 6/24/20 all trampoline parks are open, book tickets online in advance.)
  • Relive all of your best childhood memories at Airline Skate. (As of 6/24/20 the skating rink is open.)
  • Make a custom piece of jewelry with your kiddo at The Bead Shop. (As of 6/24/20 the shop is open at limited capacity.)
  • Get your craft on at NOLA Craft Culture and make something together! (As of 6/24/20 the space is not open to public, but they are doing drive through and online sales.)
  • Enjoy the mystery and challenge of a local escape room such as The Escape Game or Clue Carre. (As of 5/29/20 both businesses are open and operating, currently keeping all games private.)
  • Make a one of a kind piece of pottery at Posh Paint Pub. (As of 5/9/20 Posh Paint Pub is open to reservations or walk-in visitors.)
  • Play some arcade games at Dave & Busters. Note: children must have an adult with them to enter, and no more than 6 kids admitted per one adult. (As of 6/24/20 the arcade remains closed.)

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. (As of 5/29/20 Cajun Encounters is open.)
  • Visit Whitney Plantation to learn what life was like for the slaves who worked this plantation. (As of 5/29/20 the plantation is open for tours.)
  • Shop the Crescent City Farmers Market and stock up on supplies to make your favorite New Orleans recipe. (As of 6/24/20 all Crescent City Farmers Markets are offering drive through markets and home delivery boxes.)
  • Marvel at the creativity of our locals and purchase something for yourself or loved one at the Palmer Park Art Market, (As of 6/27/20 the monthly art market has returned.)
  • Enjoy the Sculpture Garden at City Park. (The garden re-opens 6/1/20 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. (As of 6/24/20 the village remains temporarily closed.)

New Orleans Summer MSY Eats:

  • The Backyard is currently serving family friendly takeout. Once their dining room and outdoor play area re-open, go grab a table and enjoy some outdoor play for the kids, food, drinks and watching your favorite sporting event on one of their 9 large televisions.
  • 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 who is currently open for takeout.
  • Even the name Picnic Provisions and Whiskey screams summer. Come enjoy a casual family dinner of summertime fare, and some outdoor games for entertainment. (As of 5/29/20 the restaurant is open for dine-in.)
  • Cool off with a milkshake from Shake Therapy or Camellia Grill (both of which are open for takeout).
  • 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. (As of 5/29/20 Hansen’s is currently open for takeout.)
  • Summer is synonymous with burgers, right? Check out some of our favorites :: Cowbell, Company Burger and Camellia Grill. (As of 5/29/20 each of these restaurants are open for takeout only.)
  • It’s iced coffee season! There are so many options, visit one of New Orleans local coffee shops!
  • Hit up one of the area’s amazing food trucks or head to Deja Vieux Food Park where you can sample from an assortment of food trucks, enjoy lawn games, and even catch a game on one of their televisions! (As of 5/29/20 the food park is currently open for takeout only.)
  • Enjoy a beer at one of New Orleans family friendly breweries (as of 6/24/20 all breweries are open.) :: Urban South, Port Orleans, Second Line Brewing, NOLA Brewing, Parleaux

New Orleans Summer Outdoor Adventures:

  • Get moving at a favorite local park :: team favorites include Audubon Park, Lafreniere Park and City Park. (As of 6/24/20 all parks are open.)
  • Get up close and personal with the wildlife at the Audubon Zoo. (The zoo will be re-opening June 3, 2020, but all admission, including members, must be reserved in advance.)
  • Float down the Bogue Chitto River. At the Bogue Chitto Tubing Center, you can choose your means of transportation- tube, canoe, or kayak. (As of 5/29/20 the tubing center is open.)
  • Learn how to horseback ride at Sunflower Farm and Ranch.  A short drive from New Orleans makes this the perfect way to spend a summer day. (As of 6/24/20 the ranch remains closed.)
  • Rent a kayak for some water adventure with Bayou Paddle Sports in Mid-City or Canoe and Trail Adventures on the Northshore. (As of 5/29/20 they each are open for rentals.)
  • Go fishing. You can catch and release in City Park or rent a boat from one of the many local fishing charters.
  • 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. (As of 6/24/20 the preserve remains closed.)
  • Bring a picnic dinner and catch a gorgeous Louisiana sunset at The Fly on the Southshore or Sunset Point from the Northshore (bonus points for this spot where you can spend the afternoon fishing before catching a beautiful sunset).
  • 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. You could even rent a cabin or reserve a camp site and stay the night. (As of 5/29/20 the park, beach and trails are open.)
  • Hop on a blue bike and explore the city you love!
  • Explore 10 acres of cultivated gardens at The New Orleans Botanical Gardens. (As of 5/29/20 the gardens are open at limited capacity.)

New Orleans Summer Worth the Drive:

  • 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. (As of 6/24/20 the factory is not doing public tours.)
  • Head to Mississippi for the day and stop at Coastal Ridge Farm to pick Sunflowers and Pearl River Blues Berry Farm to pick blueberries. (Both farms are currently open.)
  • Take a drive to Mississippi to visit the Infinity Science Center and tour the Stennis Space Center. (Museum re-opens as of June 1,2020.)
  • 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. (As of 5/29/20 they are open, but a reservation is required.)
  • 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. (As of 5/29/20 the beach is open.)
  • Located a short ferry ride from Mississippi’s coast, you can find some of the last undeveloped barrier islands in America at Ship Island. You can rent a chair and umbrella once you get there. (The Ferry and Island will be open as of 6/5/20.)
  • 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. (All Mississippi public beaches are open.)
  • 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. (As of 5/29/20 the park is open with limited availability, so make a reservation in advance.)
  • Scale the colossal Climbing structure at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. (The center re-opens 6/8/20).
  • Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge was named “Louisiana Museum of the Year” last year. (As of 6/24/20 the museum remains temporarily closed.)
  • Visit Gulf Islands Waterpark for a day of water fun in the sun. (The park re-opens 5/30/20, but you need to make reservations in advance.)

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. (The museum is currently open at limited capacity.)
  • Check out the Ogden Museum for art exhibits and events for kids that include Baby ArtsPlay (for 0-4 year olds) and Fine Art Fundamentals classes for students in grades 2-5. (The museum is currently open.)
  • Sign your little one up for the New Orleans Public Library‘s reading challenge and Summer Fun Program. (The library is currently closed to the public but is offering contact-free resource pickup.)
  • 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. (As of 6/24/20 the museum is open.)
  • Learn all about Insects at the Insectarium and then walk over to the Aquarium and enter an underwater world full of penguins, stingrays, and seahorses. (As of 6/24/20 the Insectarium and Aquarium remain temporarily closed.)
  • Visit the St. Tammany Children’s Museum and build your own rollercoaster. (As of 6/24/20 the museum is open.)
  • Check out one of the exhibits at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Free for Louisiana Residents on Wednesdays. While you’re there, checkout the outdoor Sculpture Garden. (As of 5/29/20 the museum is currently open and operating at reduced capacity.)

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. (The lounge re-opens 6/1/20.)
  • From babies to your 12-year-old, the Little Gym of Northshore offers something to keep all your kiddos active. Gymnastics, sports, dance, arts and crafts, legos…there really is something for everyone! (As of 6/24/20 the gym is open.)
  • Sign your littles up for Soccer Shots at one of their many New Orleans locations. For children ages 2-8. (Classes and camps resume 6/8/20.)
  • Take a bike ride along the scenic Tammany Trace that spans from downtown Covington, through Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and ends in Slidell. (As of 5/29/20 the trace is open.)
  • Summer means slowing down and taking some time to breathe. Lolo’s Youth Yoga specializes in Children’s yoga. (As of 6/24/20 the studio is open and also offering virtual classes, see their website for info.)
  • Go for a run along Crescent Park, a beautiful urban park along the riverfront. (The park is currently open.)
  • Enjoy hitting some balls at Big Easy Sportsplex. (As of 5/29/20 the facility is open.)
  • Do a warrior style obstacle course at NOLA Muscle Park. (As of 6/24/20 the facility is open.)

New Orleans Summer Date Night (or Date Day): 

  • Hit the town and enjoy a show at Saenger Theater. (As of 5/29/20 the theater remains closed, but on their website you can view a few events still taking place this summer.)
  • Take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. (Book a class on their website as of June 2020.)
  • 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. (As of 5/29/20 the tasting room at the vineyard is open.)
  • Spend the evening painting the town at an adult class with Painting with a Twist. (As of 5/29/20 all  the area locations are closed, but the Metairie location is offering kits for pickup so grab one and do a date night at home.)
  • 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. (As of 5/29/20 Bacchanal is temporarily closed.)
  • Leave your cell phone in your bag and spend the night catching up over doberge cake, champagne, and board games at the Bakery Bar. (As of 5/29/20 Bakery Bar is temporarily closed.)
  • Get a couples massage at Belladonna Spa. (As of 5/29/20 the spa is temporarily closed.)
  • Spend an evening out listening to music on Frenchmen Street. (As of 5/29/20 the jazz clubs are temporarily closed.)

New Orleans Summer Fun at Home:

  • 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.
  • Play with water beads.

Still Need More Ideas?

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Shannon Mangerchine
Shannon lives in Central City, New Orleans with her husband, Jeremy, and three sons, Noah, Eli and Zeke. She left a career in Human Resources to take on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she and her husband founded a non-profit called Bastion Resources with the purpose of inspiring others to live a life of intimacy with God. Shannon is passionate about creating community and engaging in meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Recently, she created The Intentional Daily Journal to help people live with more purpose and clarity, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In her free time, Shannon enjoys all types of fitness, trying new restaurants, reading and discussing books with her book club, coffee dates with friends and hanging at the park with her family. Shannon is constantly creating new healthy recipes and sharing them on her blog Dinner Done by 9am.


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