Whether you are coming to New Orleans with kids for vacation or moving to New Orleans with your family, we are glad you found New Orleans Mom. There are tons of things to do with kids in New Orleans, from Mardi Gras to the holiday season and everything in between. Below are just a couple ideas of what makes New Orleans kid friendly, but if you are looking for more, we have tons of resources for enjoying New Orleans with kids here.
Visiting New Orleans With Kids at the Holidays? Use our guide to family-friendly holiday events in New Orleans! After your visit, take a road trip to one of these great destinations within a few hours of our city.
Is New Orleans Kid Friendly? Well, We Sure Think So!
Travelers around the country love the idea of visiting New Orleans, but often wonder: Can I bring my family there? Is New Orleans a kid-friendly place? As New Orleanians, we sure think so! New Orleans offers a vibrant culture, enchanting music, bountiful events, and a wide range of activities that appeal to families. The weather in New Orleans tends to be mild, although summers are admittedly VERY hot. Because of the generally mild climate, most attractions and activities are available and open year-round. There is almost always a festival happening in the New Orleans area, and it’d be almost impossible to eat at every restaurant in the city even if you tried. Regardless of how you spend your time, we can assure you that New Orleans is extremely kid friendly!
The holidays are a wonderful time to visit New Orleans with kids. There are dozens of family-friendly holiday events in New Orleans. If you love great Christmas lights, New Orleans has some spectacular holiday light displays at businesses and homes alike.
Is Mardi Gras Safe for Kids?
Speaking of the holidays, New Orleans is home to one of the best holidays on Earth: Mardi Gras. If you have ever considered bringing your kids to New Orleans or Mardi Gras, we highly recommend it! Yes, it is a lot of work and somewhat exhausting, but so is Disney, right? Mardi Gras is safe for kids, and you will see kids all over New Orleans enjoying a really good time. Below is a link to dozens of resources we’ve compiled over the years about celebrating Mardi Gras with your family.
- Tons of things to do! Check out this great list of fun activities for little ones or a comprehensive list of summer activities here. At the holidays, you’re also in luck with holiday themed things to do with kids in New Orleans.
- Culture! Culture! Culture! There aren’t many other places in our country where you can expose your children to so many cultures intermingling in one place. They do call us “the melting pot” for a reason. The Louisiana Children’s Museum features the music, food, economy, and history of our Crescent City in colorful, engaging, interactive exhibits that are enchanting for kids and adults! Live music – from jazz to blues, cajun folk and zydeco – can be experienced all around the French Quarter, French Market, and our many festivals. And many of our restaurants feature live music entertainment – Commander’s Palace Jazz Brunch is a family favorite!
- Day trips: New Orleans is a one to two hour drive from many other attractions, interesting towns, and site seeing adventures. You can stay at a hotel in the city, but enjoy a beach day, a swamp tour, or a cajun fete on a day trip, then return right back to your hotel room the same evening. Not far from New Orleans is the Avery Island Family experience, home to Tabasco!
- The Neighborhoods: New Orleans is characterized by its very diverse, high-personality neighborhoods with varying architecture, dining hot spots, and local favorites. You could literally spend each day of a ten-day trip soaking up a different neighborhood.
- The Outdoors: People probably don’t immediately think of outdoor adventures when they picture a trip to New Orleans! But with a little preparation, even the summer months can be great for NOLA travel. Pack a lot of water and some bug spray if you’re exploring nature at the Lafitte Trail or Barataria Preserve. I’ve always been a fan of the Audubon Zoo (and the other Audubon venues), which has been consistently ranked as one of the country’s top-ranked zoos and definitely worth a trip! The streetcar is really fun for families. Walking through the French Quarter (in the day time and not on Bourbon Street) is a great time and very appropriate for children. The artists on the Square, strolling down Royal Street, and Cafe DuMonde for beignets are some family favorites. We also have a ton of playgrounds to visit and a lot to offer just across the lake on the Northshore too!
- Festivals: there’s a shirt for that! Seriously, our festivals are hands-down some of the best eating, dancing, partying times that we enjoy as locals. From Crawfish Fest to Seafood Fest, French Quarter Fest to Jazz Fest, Friend Chicken Fest to Alligator Festival… well, we pretty much have a festival for everything (and a shirt to go with it!). If you have the great fortune of attending one of our many festivals, you are sure to eat well and spend the day hanging out with locals (and their kids too)!
- We talk to each other (and we can’t stop). This isn’t one of those places where you wander around aimlessly hoping to get some directions or find a good place to eat. New Orleanians, by nature or by genetics, just can’t help themselves. They want to tell you where to get the best boiled crawfish, Bloody Mary, or roast beef po-boy. Whether you want to know (or you don’t), there is probably someone nearby who is willing to inform you just where you need to go to get this or that. We’re a friendly people, and we want everyone to love our city just as much as we do!
- The Food, of course! My kids love dining in our beloved New Orleans restaurants. They love the fancier places and the casual spots. They love the pizza and the beignets and the specialty creole cuisine. They love peeling crawfish and cooling off with snowballs. They love it all! There is so much to celebrate and enjoy with casual and fine dining all across the region and most places are very kid-friendly.
If you aren’t quite sure how to plan your trip to New Orleans, there are some fantastic suggestions on our Resources Section. Please consider introducing your family to the sights and sounds (and tastes) of our beloved New Orleans!
Parents Notes: When visiting any major city or urban area, there are certain parts of town that are best avoided for safety reasons, lack of parking access, or experiences that aren’t kid-appropriate. We don’t suggest you take your children anywhere that isn’t child-appropriate. We know that there is a great misconception that Bourbon Street is all-consuming and sadly defines our great city in the media. But, literally it’s one 13-block street in an entire metropolitan area, and such a small portion of New Orleans that locals tend to forget about it. Mostly, the Greater New Orleans area is fantastic city for kids!