Visiting New Orleans with Kids: 10 Things To Do and See As A Family When In The Big Easy

I'll admit I was a little wary about taking my kids to The Big Easy- especially after the looks I got when I started telling my friends that we were planning to spend 5 days in New Orleans with our three kids ranging from 2-10. Me, I'm adventurous like that and want my kids to experience as much culture as humanly possible before setting off into the world. Sure, they might not remember it "as they say" but it lays the foundation for trying new things and being aware of the different cultures outside of our NYC bubble. Plus, New Orleans is one of my favorite places of all time and I just couldn't wait to share it with my brood.

So, there I was planning a trip to New Orleans with kids and not really knowing what exactly to do with them. Sure, I was there a couple years ago, but it was an entirely different type of trip, an adult sized trip. In the end, we did mostly wing it. But, I also had a little help from a few places that made our experience incredible and had the kids begging for more trips to New Orleans.
10 Things To Do and See As A Family In New Orleans
Love boats, music and food? Hop on! You're in a for a real treat as you ride along the Mississippi River in the last real Steamboat in New Orleans. Take in the sights from 3 levels aboard the Natchez riverboat. You can even take a peek at the engine room to see how it all works! I promise the kids will love it. Then head upstairs and treat yourself to a delicious buffet and live music. I dare you to try to resist the urge not to dance. You'll find your way up to the dance floor moving to some upbeat jazz classics no matter what. This was by far my favorite experience of our trip, every kid loved something different about their time on the boat. 
You're going to want to see all that New Orleans has to offer so grab a 1-or 3-day ticket aboard the Hop On and Off Bus. It will take you through the quarter, downtown and garden districts and then back again. There's plenty of spots to hop off and wander for an hour or an afternoon. I suggest hitting the Garden District for a stroll past some of the most beautiful houses in New Orleans. The 3-day pass comes with a free guided walking tour of the French Quarter and The Garden District. The guides are knowledgable and each bring their own special flavor to the tours. 
New Orleans City Park
You can't go to New Orleans without spending an afternoon at City Park. Aside from being a beautiful sight, there's so much to do and see while there, including beignets and iced cafe au laits from the Cafe Du Monde truck. Sit yourself under a shaded tree and indulge. We wandered a bit and found ourselves at Storyland, the Botanical Garden and walking along the water's edge. The amusement park wasn't open just yet but that will be at the top of our list when we head back that way...
Looking to run the kids in a quirky, fun environment? Take them to Storyland. They can spend hours climbing along the various story book characters and even slide down, er slay, a giant dragon. Go ahead, join in on the fun! 
Louis Armstrong Park
Our hotel was a block away from Louis Armstrong park so we routinely stopped by along the way to whatever we were doing at the time. During the summer they often have concerts and festivals that you should definitely check out. After all, it is the birthplace of Jazz. 
Lafayette Cemetery 1 Tour
I'll admit it: I'm an Anne Rice & Originals fan so I jumped at the chance to pop into the iconic Lafayette Cemetery. But I have to say, I think the kids were way more excited walking around in there than I was. They loved listening to what the guides had to say, looking at the names and dates and hunting for ghosts. 
Cafe Du Monde
Can you even go to New Orleans without having beignets at the world-famous Cafe Du Monde? The answer is NO. We definitely went every day for an order or three of beignets and a large iced cafe au lait. If you don't go for the mounds of sugar topped on fried dough, go for the people-watching. It's one of my most favorite sights in the quarter. 
The French Market 
Strolling through the French Quarter looking for something to do because Bourbon street isn't really the most inviting option for kids? Walk over to the French Market and do a little shopping from locals artist and vendors. I've made it a tradition to always buy a shirt for the kids from any destination and we happened upon some local artist styles that the boys went bananas over. 

Ride The Street Cars
Of course Street Cars have to be on your list- especially when they can get you to and from wherever you want to go. The kids will get a kick out of it, no matter their ages.
Wednesdays at LaFayette Square (Concert Series)
After overhearing our tour guide on the Hop on and Off Bus mention the concert series at LaFayette Square I knew we had to go catch some incredible local talent and indulge in some seriously amazing street food. Hello Crawfish Mac'n' Cheese and Crepes while listening to local bands play their hearts out! The series runs from March - May but I'm sure they have several other opps throughout the year. As one of our guides said: There's always something happening here.
Wander The French Quarter 
Not much for planning? Go ahead, grab a po'boy and wander around the French Quarter. The architecture alone is enough, but it's also a great opportunity to people watch and catch some incredible street performers doing their thing. You seriously never know what you're going to see- which also lends itself to some great teachable moments.

- Honorable Mentions - 

We're a zoo and aquarium family! I wanted to be a Zoologist and Marine Biologist growing up so I'm always fascinated by what each zoo and aquarium has to offer. 

Have a history buff in your brood? Take them for a stroll through WWII. The little guys will love all the tanks, vehicles and planes.