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5 Family-Friendly Activities in Downtown New Orleans

June 15th, 2018 | Activities

One side of New Orleans is its reputation as “Mardi Gras City,” but the other more apt city nicknames is that of “The Big Easy.” Its laid-back atmosphere, easy-going vibe and overall inclusion makes the city fun for people of all ages in all sorts of groups, whether visiting for a bachelorette party or with family.

Looking for family-friendly activities around downtown New Orleans while staying at Andrew Jackson Hotel? Look no further -- whether its a streetcar or ferry ride, you and the family can enjoy activities together in The Big Easy.

1. Audubon Aquarium

The Amazon Rainforest, the Great Maya Reef, a haven for parakeets and a penguin exhibit, the aquarium is an excellent choice for any day, especially on a rainy day. Located near the Quarter at 1 Canal St., the center’s impressive and interactive exhibits are interesting for all ages. Let the kids test themselves with the stingray touch tank and observe jellyfish and other creatures of different sea environments. Pro Tip: If you’re looking for another indoor activity, the Audubon Garden & Insectarium is located just a block from the aquarium at 423 Canal St.

2. French Market

Let your kids browse the open-air French Market for souvenirs, complete with gator heads, jewelry, somehow-charming voodoo dolls, and more. Cool off with sweet shaved ice by ordering at the Snowballs stand; load up on more sugar at Café du Monde, and take in the sights and smells of the beloved and historic market. Food selections ensure that everyone in the family eats happy and leaves full.

3. Swamp tour

Alligators, boars, raccoons, turtles and birds make the swamps around New Orleans rather active, and booking a bayou tour of the famous Honey Island Swamp is always worth the trip. Take a sunset/night swamp tour for more action (and thrills)! Tours are available in 22-passenger boats, or even smaller, 8 to 10-seaters. Book with Cajun Encounters for a memorable experience for the family.

4. Explore the Mississippi River

Take a trip back in time aboard Steamboat Natchez, one of the last authentic paddlewheel steamboats on the Mississippi. A variety of tours are available. Make sure to take a trip to the engine room for a memorable look at steamboat engineering. Adults can enjoy a drink, kids can explore the decks of the steamboat, and everyone can enjoy live music. More info on your Mississippi River options here.

5. Streetcar ride

Generations have enjoyed New Orleans streetcars since the first half of the 19th century. The three operating lines allow you and the family to hop aboard and take a look around the city without having to worry about parking, traffic, or getting lost. The three lines all stem from downtown: the St. Charles, Canal Street, and Riverfront lines, respectively. The St. Charles line is most popular as the oldest continuously-operating streetcar in the world, with mahogany seats and fixtures of the past. Explore oak-lined streets, impressive mansions and historic references on the St. Charles streetcar. Streetcars accept cash only -- more info on where to board the streetcars at New Orleans Online.


Booking your stay in The Big Easy? Check out our affordable, colonial Andrew Jackson Hotel.