New Orleans is known for its festive Mardi Gras celebrations, jazz music and flavorful cuisine. While these are some of the best things to experience in the colorful city, there are many more things to do and see. NOLA is home to many fun and educational attractions, making it a great destination for those who want to travel to New Orleans with kids.

Families will enjoy exploring and learning about the Big Easy’s vibrant culture and history, and marveling at its beautiful, French, Caribbean and Spanish-inspired architecture. If you’re planning to visit Louisiana’s Crescent City, here are seven great things to do in New Orleans with kids.

Enjoy a Carriage Ride

A mule-drawn carriage ride is a fun way to see and learn more about the French Quarter. During the tour, you’ll pass iconic locations, like St. Louis Cathedral, Bourbon Street, the French Market, Napoleon House and Faubourg Marigny. Your guide will share stories and facts about each landmark. Tours leave from Jackson Square, and it is a good idea to book your time slot in advance.

Cruise Down the Mississippi River

Enjoy the sights and nature along the Mississippi on a leisurely ride aboard a historic boat. The two most popular cruises are the Steamboat Natchez and the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler. Both offer jazz cruises that allow you to enjoy the sounds of a live jazz band while dining on authentic creole cuisine.

Take a Black History Tour

Discover New Orleans’ rich Black heritage with a guided history tour. Experienced and knowledgeable guides will share stories dating from the slavery era to the present. Visit areas, like Tremé and Bayou Road, which is home to many flourishing Black businesses. You’ll see famous sites, like Congo Square and the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Two highly recommended companies are Tours by Judy and All Bout Dat Tours. 

Eat Your Way Through New Orleans

The whole family will enjoy trying some of New Orleans’ amazing culinary delights. Kids will get their sugar rush from sweet treats, like beignets, king cake and bread pudding. Family members, who fancy a little spice, will love gumbo, jambalaya and red beans and rice.

The city is home to many Black-owned restaurants for you to support, including Lil Dizzy’s Cafe, Cafe Sbisa and Dooky Chase.

Go on a Swamp Tour

Hop on a boat and get ready to become acquainted with the creatures of the bayou. Children will learn about the unique flora and fauna of the swamplands. They’ll be thrilled to see alligators, frogs, snakes, racoons, crabs, turtles and more in their natural habitat.  

Visit Mardi Gras World

Get an up-close look at the magic that goes into making New Orleans Mardi Gras the spectacular occasion that it is. You and your family will visit a workshop where artists create stunning, colorful floats for the Mardi Gras parade. You’ll learn the history and origins of the festive holiday.

Louisiana Children’s Museum

With a massive 8.5 acres of space to explore, learn and play, kids are bound to have hours of fun at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. There are exhibits where little ones can learn about nature, food, art, STEM and culture. They can get creative making art or enjoy the interactive outdoor space.