This summer has been absolutely brutal with the heat! As the heat wave continues and as we move into the cooler months, knowing some places to bring your kids indoors to beat the boredom will be important. If it doesn’t hit the parent’s pocketbook TOO hard, that’s an added bonus!
If you are new to the area or maybe just haven’t been out and explored the city, there are lots of places around New Orleans to have fun, as a family, while gaining an educational experience.
Here’s a list of a few of my personal favorites:
1. Louisiana Children’s Museum
This activity does have a cost associated with it, but purchasing a membership upfront is worth it! General admission is $18.00 per person which can certainly add up. Memberships start as low as $130.00 and all the information on purchasing a membership can be found at lcm.org. The new location in City Park is perfect since it is centrally located no matter where you live in the city. The museum is great for kids of all ages and has a slew of activities for everyone. For toddlers and babies, there’s a separate section with soft blocks and age-appropriate toys. For the budding artists, there’s an art room where they can draw and be as creative as they’d like. There are also lots of hands-on activities from water play, to grocery store and kitchen for their little imaginations to create and explore. There’s even an outdoor obstacle course section for outdoorsy explorers. There are different activities throughout the week which include storytimes, water play-time, and much more. The Acorn Café, located next door to the museum, is a must for a lunch or snack break. The café has excellent prices and quality healthy food. I highly recommend a visit as a part of the museum experience. With indoor and outdoor seating overlooking City Park. it is definitely worth checking out.
2. Lakeside Mall Kids Castle
This activity is totally free! You must make a reservation online to reserve a playtime as
spots are limited. There are 30 minutes per reservation, but you are able to reserve multiple
time slots. If you have energetic kiddos, then this spot is perfect for running around and
exerting that energy in the large play castle jungle gym. This is a great rainy day activity and the plus is once you’re done playing you can peruse the shops at the mall. I recommend checking out the Lego store and playing with the display legos!
3. Nola Kidsground
This one is a hidden gem located in Elmwood! The admission is only $10.00. This is perfect for babies/toddlers and younger kids up to age 7/8. This activity has a soft play section for babies and toddlers and a large indoor play structure for older kids. The kids are able to actively explore and parents can keep an eye on them while enjoying a coffee or snack at the café.
4. Library Storytime
This activity is perfect for babies and toddlers as well as early elementary schoolers. Various locations have library storytimes, so you can check the schedules at jplibrary.net (for Jefferson Parish) or nolalibrary.org (for Orleans Parish). There are usually weekly themes for the storytimes and activities for the older kids that coincide with the theme. Most libraries also have books, puzzles, and toys for the kids to continue playing or reading once storytime has concluded.
5. Streetcar Ride
This is a fun and inexpensive way to be a tourist in your own city! This activity is the best of both worlds for indoors and outdoors. While technically indoors, as the streetcars are all enclosed, this is also an outdoor activity as you can get out and walk around and explore along the various routes. The tickets are as cheap as $1.25 per adult and .50 cents per child. You can download the RTA app to see the times and route locations. You can hop on and off given which route you take and sightsee whichever area of the city you choose. The main routes are St. Charles, Riverfront, Canal, and Rampart/St. Claude. I recommend grabbing some beignets from Morning Call, getting a snowball from Pandora, or exploring the shops on Canal St. If you are taking St. Charles the scenery and history of St. Charles Avenue and the Garden District is absolutely picturesque. You can visit HERE to get recommendations for each route.