Free Things To Do Around New Orleans with Kids

There is certainly no shortage of things to do with kids in New Orleans. There are festivals, Mardi Gras, the Saints and Pelicans, playgrounds and endless water fun … the list goes on and on. We know how to pass a good time in New Orleans, and there are year round family-friendly events. Here at the New Orleans Mom, we break down all New Orleans has to offer for families. We understand that with growing families comes a consideration for the financial cost of said activities. For those times when you can’t find anything to do, there are no holidays in New Orleans, or when you simply find yourself looking for budget-friendly activities with kids in New Orleans … check out our list below!

Favorite Free Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids

Barataria Preserve at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park

Kids can explore the swamps and wetlands at the Barataria Preserve. There are owls, snakes, alligators and tons of other critters just out and about. Kids can become official junior park rangers, complete with their own ranger badge. The boardwalk trails are an awesome opportunity to be in nature but stay mud free. The added bonus is that it is stroller friendly! Your visits are guaranteed to be a different experience every time, seeing new sights! If you find yourself on the Westbank, check out these other hidden gems as well.

Library activities

Our community is full of public libraries whether you are in Jefferson Parish, Orleans or St. Tammany. They are truly wonderful places. There are almost daily activities from story time, music time and weekend crafts. The craft hour will get you out of the house on Saturday mornings allowing your kids to create something and then you can grab some books for reading during the week. Kids absolutely love going to the library to craft hour. In addition to the activities listed above, the libraries host special summer programming that is worth checking out. This includes visits from magicians, musicians, and the Zoomobile just to name a few.

Audubon Louisiana Nature Center

Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is a cherished community resource located adjacent to Joe Brown Park in New Orleans East. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the facility but the Audubon institute, like the people of New Orleans, rebuilt. There are walking trails, an indoor interpretive center, a planetarium, and ranger chats. If you like the outdoors, also check out our guide to the best places to camp with kids in Louisiana.

Northlake Nature Center

The Northlake Nature Center is used for environmental education programs, hiking, and other nature activities. The Center offers visitors the opportunity to experience three different ecosystems: hardwood forest, pine-hardwood forest and pond-swamp.

Free Days at Local Museums

  • Longue Vue House and Gardens :: On the first Sunday of each month, Longue Vue offers free garden admission to all Louisiana families from 1PM to 5PM. Pre-registration is required.
  • New Orleans Museum of Art :: Louisiana residents receive free general admission on Wednesdays.
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art :: Louisiana residents receive free general admission on Thursdays.
  • Contemporary Arts Center :: Louisiana residents receive free general admission on Sundays.

Good Old Fashioned FUN

  • Check out a local playground
  • Throw rocks at the Bonnabel Boat Launch
  • Go “Sledding” down the levee with flattened cardboard boxes
  • Feed the ducks at City Park or Lafreniere Park
  • Pack a picnic lunch and head to the Fly to Fly Kites 
  • Go Geocaching with the entire family

What did we miss? What free activities do you enjoy doing with your family in New Orleans?

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Tara grew up all over south Louisiana and currently lives in Metairie with her husband Josh, and their 3 kids Dax, Dane and Delta. Tara is a buyer for a local food-service distribution company and Community Director for New Orleans Mom. During the week she can be found replying to emails, carpooling kids all around, giving out hugs and kisses, and looking forward to bedtime. Weekends are for family adventures, naps and cheering for LSU and the Saints. She loves trying new foods, travel, and she and her family love all things New Orleans, but especially Mardi Gras.


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