There are many things to do in New Orleans when traveling with children. It is also a great destination to visit when you only have a few days or a short time frame for a getaway, I personally believe 3 nights/4 days is the perfect amount of time to visit the area. It is a destination packed full of genuinely nice people, great music, culture and beautiful yet scary history!
We stayed at the newly renovated Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans which is amid the beating heart of the legendary French Quarter on the corner of popular crossroads Bourbon and Canal Street. For the most part we were able to walk everywhere we needed to be during our time sight seeing since we were right in the middle of the French Quarter. The hotel is also right in front of the Canal Street stop for their famous St. Charles Streetcar line that is the oldest and longest route on the Streetcar line. We utilized the Streetcar to visit the The National WWII Museum and when we finished the museum we enjoyed riding the Streetcar to the end of the route to witness the different neighborhoods in the area. Not only is riding the Streetcar fun for the kids, it is also a very inexpensive way to utilize transportation.
We also enjoyed spending the afternoon one day on the Steamboat Natchez sailing on the Mississippi River. You can opt for a river cruise that includes lunch or dinner which was a nice way to tour the area via the river for us while having lunch. We were even able to walk to the Steamboat area from our hotel and on the way back we even stopped for some shopping at the new Outlet Collection at Riverwalk which is also home to the New Orleans cruise port. Pretty neat shopping in a mall and seeing a cruise terminal by the food court!
One of our favorite activities that we did while visiting was the cemetery tour with Free Tours by Foot - New Orleans. The tour was only a $2.00 registration fee per person and we left a large tip because our tour guide was so passionate and knowledgeable about the graveyard, the history and Nola itself. Not only did we see graves from hundreds of years ago but also enjoyed seeing and hearing all about Nicholas Cages unnamed tomb in the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, home to the grave of another of New Orleans' supernatural legends Marie Laveau we learned all about during our time at the tour. Participating in the tour in the morning made it more doable and would be suitable for older children. I would make sure to bring lots of water if you go in the summer since there is no shade in the cemetery.
Since some of us are into the paranormal we decided to take it a step further and partake in a French Quarter Ghost Tour headed by Haunted History Tours which has been endorsed by Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures. We met our group at 8pm and for two hours we walked through all of the French Quarter learning all about the juicy haunted secrets in this very scary area of the United States (Those of you who are American Horror Story fans should take this same tour since they feature the Lalaurie Mansion and was also used for the exterior shots of Kathy Bates' character in American Horror Story: Coven) It's said to be the most haunted house in New Orleans. The Lalaurie Mansion is located in the French Quarter, is massive, uniquely beautiful, and was home to actor Nicholas Cage at one time. Although this tour takes place completely outside and does not stop inside any of the homes/hotels in the area, the stories can be graphic and would be more suitable for your older children 13 years and older.
Lastly, people visit Nola from all over the world to enjoy their amazing food. There is no short of food you either love or love to hate here (such as their famous Turtle soup). They are well known for their Oysters as well as Po' Boys and Gumbo. While visiting the area you want to make sure a good portion of the trip is centered around their food. Introducing your children to different local cuisine when traveling is not only educational but it also expands their palates.
There are many other great activities for families visiting New Orleans with children. Make sure to reach out to your Starstuff Travel planner for more information on where to stay and what to do during your next Nola trip!
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