It’s not all about Mardi Gras in The Big Easy! New Orleans is actually a pretty kid-friendly city! This New Orleans itinerary will show you plenty of things to do in New Orleans with kids!
I have been in love with New Orleans since I was 13.
There is no other city quite like it and every last bit of it has my heart.
If I had it my way, I’d whisk away to The Big Easy at least once every month or so. They do call it The Big Easy for a reason and it just seems like every little worry on my mind melts away when I’m there. Maybe it’s also the abundance of alcohol. I don’t know and I don’t care either way.
Needless to say, I was most definitely the most excited person about our recent family trip to New Orleans. It had been far too long since I’d set foot in my beloved city and I was super pumped to get to introduce the Circus to NOLA.
While there are obviously NOLA things you aren’t going to do with the family when you’re there, say like bar hopping along Bourbon, there are so many more wonderful things here that are family friendly.
And really, to me anyway, New Orleans is so much more than Bourbon Street. In fact, it’s not even near the top of my list of my favorite things to do in the city.
We were able to spend three full days in the city. For our trip, I set down and planned out each day – something I’ve never done before when it’s just me and Grunt. I think creating itineraries when traveling someplace like this with kids is key though. You know your kids best and know when they might need downtime factored in somewhere or how long they may or may not last at a museum. Having a schedule – a flexible one preferably – always a good idea with kids.
Another thing to note specifically about our itinerary: We have one kid and she was seven at the time of this trip. She’s proved herself a great traveler countless times. I knew she could do New Orleans without any problems. I say all that, so you know the factors I considered when planning out our itinerary. Obviously, if you’ve got more than one kiddo and/or younger or older kiddos, you may want to change this up a bit.
And all that being said, this itinerary and most all the things we did in New Orleans this round are things that are great for both kids and adults. Even Grunt Labor said he discovered new things he hadn’t previously.
Family Fun in New Orleans
Where We Stayed
While I adore the French Quarter, we didn’t want to stay there with the kid in tow. If you’ve ever stayed in the Quarter before, you know how noisy it can get at night. I wanted the kid to be able to sleep well each night so she would have enough energy for the next day. Therefore, we went with a hotel in the Central Business District – The Troubador.
The Troubadour is a boutique style hotel, so the decor was gorgeous and there was a touch of NOLA in every room. It was about a 20 minute walk to the French Quarter or an 8-10 minute Uber/cab ride depending on the traffic.
We went with the Troubie room, which was plenty for us. There were two queen size beds and the bathroom was spacious. We also ate at Jayne, the restaurant located inside the hotel, the night we arrived since it was so late, and it was delish! They also have a great rooftop bar that overlooks the city. We didn’t get to enjoy that since we had the kid in tow, but it looked amazing.
We flew into New Orleans and took an Uber from the airport to our hotel. We did the same thing when leaving out. Throughout the trip, we walked or took an Uber if our destination was out of walking distance or the weather wasn’t cooperating.
You can of course rent a car if you’d like, but it’s really not all that necessary if you do the things we did or similar ones. Even if you want to go out to River Road to tour a plantation or take a swamp tour, most of those tour companies provide transportation.
New Orleans Kids Activities
On to the fun! We had three full days in New Orleans. I’m going to break each day’s activities down into individual posts to keep from writing a book on our trip. 😆 I’m also going to include the timelines for our days, but of course when you go to plan your own trip, you can change those up to your liking! FYI – New Orleans is on Central Standard Time.
Day 1 – Swamp/Bayou Tour & City Park
7:00 am CST
Wake up and get ready.
7:30 / 7:45am-ish
Breakfast at Cafe du Monde in the French Market.
You can walk or Uber, but either way, one simply cannot go to New Orleans without eating beignets at Cafe du Monde!
The Circus’ exact words were, “Oh my gosh! You guys weren’t kidding about how good these were!”
There’s usually some live jazz going on outside of Cafe du Monde, so be sure to take that in as well!
Head to the Gray Line Tour Lighthouse Office to take a swamp tour!
On the walk there, enjoy the sights of Jackson Square. It was rainy this first day there, but a rainy day in New Orleans is still better than a sunny day anywhere else! P.S. Early morning is the best time to get pictures around the city – there’s hardly anyone else around blocking your shots!
On your way to the Lighthouse office, you can also walk along the Mississippi River and enjoy the sights there as well…
Depart for a Swamp and Bayou Tour.
We did the early bird Swamp and Bayou tour through Gray Line Tours. There are other tour times throughout the day, the early bird just worked best for us. Gray Line will drive you out to where the tour will start, so no need to worry about transportation.
Everyone in my crew really enjoyed the swamp and bayou tour. There weren’t a whole lot of people in our boat, so everyone could get up and move around to see better – and yes, there were alligators!
And did you know they eat marshmallows?
The Circus loved that of course, and all the scenery was just really beautiful.
The boat captain even had his baby alligator on board and while the Circus didn’t care to hold it, Grunt did.
Arrive back in the French Quarter from the swamp tour.
12:45pm – 1:45pm CST
Have lunch in the quarter.
We had lunch at Cafe Maspero, which was just about a five minute walk from where the Gray Line bus dropped us off. It was yummy! We highly recommend the Fried Alligator to start with – the Circus loved it as well! Grunt and I split the Roast Beef Po’ Boy and it was great too. It was a great little lunch spot!
Uber or Taxi to City Park.
2:20pm – 5pm CST
Enjoy City Park!
Oh City Park, we love you and there isn’t a kiddo out there who won’t love City Park! City Park is huge and there are lots of things to do here for both adults and kids, but we stuck to the main attraction for kids – Storyland and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
Storyland is a playground filled with storybook sculptures.
Kids can go and play on/in these sculptures.
Dads may also find their magic slipper. 😆
Storyland was truly a magical little place – we loved seeing all the classic stories come to life!
We also had lots of fun in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park which is within the same area as Storyland.
There are 17 rides in the amusement park ranging from little kiddie rides to a roller coaster. The roller coaster is a smaller scale one and the Circus was easily able to meet the height requirements for it.
We all enjoyed the rides here!
Before you leave City Park, you must have a Snoball. Just like with beignets, not having a snoball in New Orleans would be a sin! These at City Park were delish!
Uber or taxi to dinner.
If you’re eating someplace nearby City Park, obviously you might not need transportation. For dinner on our first night there, we ate at Brennan’s in the French Quarter.
Brennan’s has been on my “eat at” list for a while now. We’d never made it there on any of our other trips to New Orleans, so this time since I was killing it in the trip planning department, I made reservations ahead of time.
Brennan’s is on the higher end when it comes to restaurants. It’s not super fancy – the kid went there wearing what you see in the picture above and I wore what I had on at the park too. Men can’t wear athletic shorts though, so take note. If you’ve got more than one kiddo or younger kids, this might not be a good choice for you. The Circus has been to nice restaurants before, so she knew to be on her best behavior.
I have to say, absolutely every single thing at Brennan’s was wonderful. From the maître d’, to the servers and of course – the food! Everyone was so sweet to the kid. The maître d’ had her go out to the courtyard as soon as we got there so she could see the turtles and then they had a whole conversation about it while we waited on our table.
When one of the servers went to go feed the turtles later, he even stopped at our table to take the kid to feed them too!
And the food! 😋 I had duck, Grunt had rabbit and the Circus had grilled chicken. It was all divine. The Circus ate all of her’s, a good bit of mine too and then asked if I could please add duck to our menu at home! 😆 Keep dreaming, kid. We had the signature dessert here as well – Bananas Foster. Brennan’s is the original creator of the dish!
After dinner, everyone was pretty tired, so we walked back to the hotel and called it a day. What a day it was though. 💜
Day Two New Orleans Itinerary HERE!
Day Three New Orleans Itinerary HERE!
Are you planning to visit New Orleans soon?
Looking for more ideas for your next adventure?
Must Do’s in New Orleans – other things to get into in The Big Easy.
Our New York and Boston Trip – with the kid in tow!
The Whistle Stop Cafe and More – yep, a Fried Green Tomatoes road trip!
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LOVE IT! I saw the picture of Jackson Square in my email and immediately thought of Cafe Du Mond, omgosh, the AMAZING coffee! And the street musicians and artists in Jackson Sq., LOVE. Altho, there probably weren’t any that early.
I’d love to take a swamp tour next time we’re there, we didn’t get to do one last time. Everything looks SUPER fun!