Before you go, download the Go
NOLA and New
Orleans Official Visitors Guide apps (both free) to know when
special events, festivals and performances are happening. You might
even catch a parade!
New Orleans has a reputation as being an adults-only
destination, but the city offers a lot more than just beads and
Bourbon Street. With plenty of family-friendly restaurants, tours
and museums, the Big Easy is the perfect destination for a long
weekend away from Chicago.
If you stay downtown, most of the city is walkable or just a
trolley ride away. We camped out at the Dauphine Orleans, which
has a great, central location for walking to most destinations. It
is a few blocks away from Bourbon Street but if you plan your visit
distant from Mardi Gras, the noise shouldn't be a problem. They
also have a nice courtyard with a pool for cooling off.
We were blown away by the Audubon
Aquarium of the Americas, where you can touch a stingray, walk
through a jungle and see a rare white gator. This is definitely an
aquarium catered to kids and families can spend hours can be spent
Right down the street you'll find the
Audubon Insectarium. Even if you're hesitant about creepy
crawlies, the Japanese butterfly garden makes it worth a visit.
The French Market is
a great place to spend an afternoon with kids. They'll love the
live music and virgin daiquiris, and there are always food
demonstrations happening between shops.
For a bit of history, visit the National World War II Museum,
where you'll see rare artifacts and see the big picture of life on
the battlefront and the home front.
I've never had a bad meal in New Orleans. Here are some of the
most family-friendly restaurants that will have you raving for days
about your meal:
Cafe Du Monde is a must
for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They're famous for their
outdoor cafe serving little beignet donuts and cafe au lait. The
kids will love that they get to eat a pile of sugar, and that it's
okay to make a mess!
After eating at Palace
Cafe for lunch, we all swore we could never eat again because
no meal could ever measure up. It also has a great location right
down the street from the Aquarium and Insectarium.
Restaurant is world famous for their Bananas Foster, which is
made right at the table for you. Brennan's is a little on the nicer
(and pricier) side, but we saw plenty of families while we were
there. There's even a beautiful garden courtyard for the kids to
play in while you're waiting for your food. This is definitely
worth the splurge.
For more ideas, visit
neworleansonline.com for a full family
New Orleans for Families in a larger map
Alaina is the digital content editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Chicago.
See more of Alaina's stories here.
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