Category Archives: BLOG

Fete Formula: Kids’ Party Planning Guide

Parties — they’re all fun and games until you have to plan and execute them yourself, right? Naturally, many aspects of planning a party for kids are quite different from planning one for adults, but the key to success for either one is, of course, organization.
In addition to budget and guest list, deciding on the location of the party is crucial to getting the planning process started. Whether you choose a DIY event at home, or find a party place with less heavy lifting for the host or hostess, we can help you out with some great local options.

 

RENTING A FACILITY

 

Having your event away from your house at a party facility means someone else does the prep work, keeps the party moving, and takes care of the clean up. Prices and packages vary, so be very sure you’re clear on exactly what the facility will and won’t provide, and if there’s additional cost per extra kid,  who didn’t RSVP, but showed up anyway!
Here are some cool local party places to consider:

 

Adventure Quest Laser Tag (Harahan)

1200 South Clearview Parkway
(504) 207-4444; www.lasertagnola.com

 

All-Star Gymnastics (Harvey)

2073 Bonn St
(504) 328-3838; http://allstargymla.com/

 

Art Time (Mandeville)

705 Asbury Drive
(985) 674-2023; www.arttime.biz

 

Big Easy Sportsplex (Jefferson)

800 Webb Street
(504) 733-0046; www.bigeasysportsplex.com

 

Bookoo Bounce (Elmwood)

Year-round indoor inflatable playground and party place
(504) 835-6424; www.bookoobounce.com

 

Brushworks Academy (Covington)

330 Falconer Drive
(985) 234-9354; www.brushworksacademy.com

 

Cindy Ory Dance/GlowParties (River Ridge)

9029 Jefferson Hwy
(504) 737-3345; http://www.orydance.com/

 

Creole Queen (French Quarter)

1 Poydras St
(800) 445-4109; www.creolequeen.com

 

Crescent City Gymnastics (Mid-City)

7800 Earhart Blvd
(504) 861-1740; www.crescentcitygymnastics.com

 

Elevation Station Indoor Trampoline Park (Covington)

250 Northpointe Court
(985) 791-9838; www.elevationstation.com

 

Elmwood Gymnastics (Harahan)

700 Elmwood Park
(504) 733-4496; www.elmwoodfitness.com

 

Gymrompers (Nola, Metairie)

5212 S Claiborne Ave
(504) 481-0835; http://www.gymrompersfun.com/

 

Ivanov’s Gymnastics Academy (Harahan)

800 Webb St.
(504) 889-9800; http://www.ivanovsgymnastics.com

 

Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours (Marrero)

6601 Leo Kerner Lafitte Pkwy
(504) 689-4186; http://www.jeanlafitteswamptour.com/

Kids Arena Inflatables (Mandeville)

813 Florida Street
(985) 626-1414; www.thekidsarena.com

 

Louisiana Children’s Museum (Warehouse District)

420 Julia Street
(504) 523-1357; lcm.org

 

Mandeville Sports Complex (Mandeville)

23052 LA-1088
(985) 727-7277; www.mandevillesportscomplex.com

 

New Orleans Baby Cakes Baseball Parties (Metairie)

6000 Airline Drive
(504) 734-7019; Cakesbaseball.com

 

NOLA Gymnastics (Garden District)

1725 Dufossat St
(504) 782-6462; http://www.nolagymnastics.com/

 

Ochsner Kidsports Elmwood (Harahan)

1200 S Clearview Pkwy
(504) 733-1600; www.ochsnerfitness.com

 

Pony Tales (St. Rose)

156 Bertucci Lane
(504) 469-0148; http://ponytalesbirthdays.com/

 

Posh Paint Pub (Metairie)

3218 Taft Park
(504) 835-4155; http://www.poshpaintpub.com/

 

Safari Quest Family Fun Center (Hammond)

200 Hewitt Road
(985) 340-5858; www.lasertaghammond.com

 

SkyZone Trampoline Park (Metairie)

6509 Riverside Drive
(504) 507-1677; www.skyzone.com/metairie

 

Spoil Me Too Spa (Metairie)

4521 West Napoleon Avenue
(504) 324-6726; spoilmetookidsspa.com

 

X Fusion (Covington)

1455 N Collins Blvd
(985) 705-2910; www.xfusionfitnesscenter.com

 

Yonsei Martial Arts Academy (Kenner)

2530 Florida Ave
(504) 465-5353; http://www.yonsei.us/

 

HOSTING AT HOME

 

Having a party at home allows you to add a personal touch and set your own pace, but it brings a completely different shopping list and set of tasks than having it at a separate facility. One of the major considerations is activities. You can certainly go old school with simple party games, or bump it up a little with entertainment for hire.
Here are some excellent mobile entertainment/activity/treat options:

 

About To Bounce

Inflatable bounce house and water slide rentals, plus laser tag, climbing walls, & more.
(504) 914-6489; www.abouttobounce.com

 

Art from the Heart Face Painting

Detailed cheek art and full-faced animals and masks, some with added glitter & jewels.
(504) 416-1430; artfromtheheartevents.com

 

Be Hooper Be Happy

Mobile hula hooping parties, including games, performances, music, and crafts.
(504) 957-2527; www.behooperbehappy.com

 

Bibbidy Bobbidy Bash

Costumed characters for hire.
(504) 432-3837; www.bibobash.com

 

Big Hungry’s Snoballs

Mobile unit that also includes hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn.
(504) 214-4626; https://www.facebook.com/Bighungryssnoballs/

 

Bounce World NOLA  

Outdoor inflatable party rentals including slides, games & bounce houses.
(504) 467-9424; www.bounceworldnola.com

 

Dreamy Tee Pee 

Indoor kids’ slumber party tent themes, with decorations and bedding options.
(504) 247-4960; https://www.dreamyteepee.com/

 

Family Time Inflatables

Bounce houses and wet/dry slide rentals, plus clowns, magicians, snoballs, and more.
(504) 858-8266; www.familytimeinflatables.com

 

New Orleans Rock Wall

A 24-feet-high portable climbing wall, suitable for ages 6 and up.
(504) 461-8550; www.aneworleansportablerockwall.com

 

Nola Amusements

Kiddie rides, inflatables, costume characters, and more.
(504) 905-6368; www.nolaamusements.com

 

Nola Wax Hands

Interactive craft that makes a mold of your hand using melted, colored wax.
nolawaxhands.com

 

Pony Tales

Pony & wagon rides, merry-go-round. They have a party facility, or can come to you.
(504) 469-0148; http://ponytalesbirthdays.com/

 

Porta-Puppets Players

Puppets, costumed characters, specialty acts & musicians
(504) 469-7019;  www.theatricana.com/portapuppets

 

Reptile Krewe

Interactive traveling animal show.
(504) 256-4731; reptilekrewe.com

 

Riverside Amusements

Amusement rentals, snoballs to go, characters, photography, party rentals.
(504) 347-7156; riversideamusements.com

 

Tumblebus / Gym on Wheels

Mobile gymnastics unit, housed in a fully padded, converted school bus.
(504) 621-4617; thetumblebus@bellsouth.net

 

Wee Bounce Inflatables

Bounce houses, waterslides, concessions, tables, chairs, & more.
(504) 352-7569; www.weebounceinflatables.com

 

Zoo 2 You (Both Shores)

Mobile petting zoo
(985) 796-8444 or (504) 756-1501; zoo2uparties.com

 

 

Beyond Team Sports: Cool Extracurriculars for Kids

While there’s plenty of debate over how much is too much, most people can agree that some sort of extracurricular activity is good for kids. Why? It cuts down on electronics, builds confidence, relieves stress, teaches time management (where homework is concerned), and it expands their horizons by allowing them to explore various interests.
There are certainly plenty of opportunities for kids to participate in team sports after school and on weekends, but what about the non-sports kids, or kids who want or need more variety?
We’ve put together a whole bunch of “beyond team sports” options to explore on both shores, including indoor sports, academics, performing arts, martial arts, and more. Be sure to check their websites for registration periods and deadlines — and don’t forget to check on holiday camps. That season is going to pop up quicker than we think!

Academics/Languages/STEM

Alliance Française de La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans)
http://af-neworleans.org/; (504) 568-0770
Casa de Espana (New Orleans)
https://casanola.com/; (985) 664-9793
Bricks for Kidz LEGO Activities (Various locations, both shores)
http://www.bricks4kidz.com/louisiana-covington-mandeville/; (985) 705-0805
IDIYA (New Orleans)
http://myidiya.com/; (504) 252-9327
Learning Etc (Harvey)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Learning-Etc/138406099540347; (504) 328-5535
Phillips Kids Tutoring (Kenner)
http://www.phillipskidstutoring.com/; (504) 305-2322
Spidersmart Learning Center (Jefferson)
https://www.spidersmart.com/; (504) 881-1788
STEM NOLA (New Orleans)
http://www.stemnola.com/;  (504) 391-0760
Sylvan Learning Centers (Mandeville)
http://www.sylvanlearning.com/; (985) 871-9771
Technology & Learning Center (Mandeville)
http://www.spidertechnologysolutions.com/; (985) 778-2828
Vamanos (New Orleans)
http://www.vamonosnola.com/; (504) 495-2345

Combo Facilities (Arts, Sports & Outdoors)

Lakeview Creative Arts (New Orleans)
http://www.lakeviewcreativearts.com/; (504) 288-3124
NORDC New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (Multiple Locations)
http://nordc.org/home/; (504) 658-3052
Pony Tales
http://www.ponytalesbirthdays.com/; (504) 469-0148
YMCA New Orleans (Belle Chasse, Metairie, Covington)
http://www.ymcaneworleans.org/; (504)392-9622 (BC), (985) 893-9622 (Covington), (504) 888-9622 (Metairie)

Cooking

National Food and Beverage Foundation (New Orleans)
http://natfab.org/kids-in-the-kitchen/; (504) 267-7490
Culinary Kids (Mandeville)
http://culinarykidsns.com/; (985) 727-5553

Dance & Performing Arts

Ballet Paetrei (Mandeville)
http://balletapetrei.com/wordpress/; (985) 624-3622
Body Expressions Center of Performing Arts (Mandeville)
https://bodyexpressionsdance.com/; 985-674-2174
Cindy Ory Dance (River Ridge)
https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Ory-Dance-Studio-140707789283020/; (504) 737-3345
City Park Movement & Art (New Orleans)
http://www.cityparkmovementandart.com/; (504) 390-7482
Conservatory Ballet Aviv (Mandeville)
http://balletaviv.wix.com/balletaviv1; (985) 727-4445
Creative Arts of St. Tammany (Abita Springs)
http://www.dramaandmusic.com/; (985) 276-9727
Creative Dance & Music (Harvey)
http://www.creativedanceandmusic.com/; (504) 390-2552
Dance Company, Ltd (Metairie)
http://www.dancecoltd.com/; (504) 415-6943
Dancer’s Only Dance Studio (Metairie)
http://www.dancers-only.net/; (504) 304-4589
Dancer’s Pointe Dance Studio (Metairie)
http://dancers-pointe.com/; (504) 455-5975
Dance Consortium of Louisiana (Covington)
http://www.thedcla.com/; (985) 234-9451
Debby Dillehay Dancers (Kenner)
http://debbydillehaydance.com/; (504) 468-3368
Drama Kids NOLA (Metairie)
http://dramakids.com/kenner-metairie-new-orleans-la/; (504) 383-5773
Encore Studio of Dance, Tumbling, Music, and Theatre (Harahan)
http://www.dancetumblemusic.com/; (504) 737-5977
Fusion Dance Center (Metairie)
http://fusionpac.vpweb.com/; (504) 461-4757
Himel Dance Conservatory (Marrero)
https://himeldanceconservatory.com/; (504) 298-4743
Lafargue Pianos, Ltd. (Metairie)
http://lafarguepianos.com/; (504) 831-3008
Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts (Covington, Harahan, Mandeville)
http://www.laapa.com/; (985) 590-4545 (Covington); (985) 674-2992 (Mandeville); (504) 738-3050 (Harahan)
Maureen Bersuder Academy of Dance Arts (Slidell)
http://maureenbersuderdance.com/; (985) 863-7048
Mini Art Center (Algiers)
http://www.miniartcenter.com/; (504) 510-4747
New Orleans Ballet Association (New Orleans – Multiple Locations)
http://www.nobadance.com/; (504) 522-0996
New Orleans Children’s Chorus (New Orleans)
http://www.neworleanschildrenschorus.org/; (504) 482-2883
Pembo Cieutat Academy of Dance (Mandeville)
http://www.pembocieutat.com/; (985) 778-6189
Upturn Arts (New Orleans)
http://upturnarts.org/; (504) 390-8399

Gymnastics/Cheer

All-Star Gymnastics (Harvey)
http://allstargymla.com/; (504) 328-3838
New Orleans Outlaws (Kenner)
http://www.neworleansoutlaws.com/; (504) 465-3311
Crescent City Gymnastics (New Orleans)
http://www.crescentcitygymnastics.com/; (504) 861-1740
Encore Studio of Dance, Tumbling, Music, and Theatre (Harahan)
http://www.dancetumblemusic.com/; (504) 737-5977
Ivanovs Gymnastics (Metairie)
http://www.ivanovsgymnastics.com/; (504) 889-9800
Mandeville Sports Complex (Mandeville)
http://mandevillesportscomplex.sharepoint.com/Pages/default.aspx; (985) 727-7277
New Orleans Cheer and Tumble Academy (Harahan)
http://ltcatigers.com/; (504) 733-7811
NOLA Gymnastics
http://www.nolagymnastics.com/; (504) 782-6462
North Shore Gymnastics (Mandeville)
http://www.northshoregymnastics.net/; (985) 624-8310
Kidsports at Ochsner Fitness Center (Harahan)
http://www.ochsnerfitness.com/; (504) 733-1200
 
Sky Zone Metairie Trampoline Park (Metairie)
https://www.skyzone.com/metairie;  (504) 900-9663
Spirit Professionals (Hammond)
http://www.spiritprofessionals.com/; (985) 345-4383
Tumblebus
thetumblebus@bellsouth.net; (504) 621-4617

Martial Arts

Art Monroe’s Taekwondo Plus (Mandeville)
http://trma282.tigerrockmartialarts.com/; (985) 624-3455
Iron Bridge Martial Arts Academy (Mandeville, Covington)
http://karatecovington.com/; (985) 778-2181
Just for Kicks Martial Arts (Mandeville, Chalmette, Covington)
http://just4kicksata.com/; (985) 224-3815
Louisiana Karate Association (Metairie)
http://www.lkakarate.com/; (504) 835-6825
Mike Storms Karate (Mandeville)
http://www.stormskarate.com/; (985) 674-7887
Shogun Martial Arts (Metairie)
http://www.shogunnola.com/; (504) 982-1371
Stephanie Haydel’s Northshore Taekwondo (Mandeville)
http://www.northshoretkd.com/; (985) 778-0750
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts of New Orleans (Metairie)
http://trma340.tigerrockmartialarts.com/; (504) 831-1110
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts of the West Bank (Gretna)
http://www.westbanktigerrock.com/; (504) 394-0008
Yonsei Martial Arts Academy (Kenner)
http://www.yonsei.us/; (504) 465-5353
XS Martial Arts Dojo (New Orleans)
https://www.xsmad.com/; (504) 558-9850

Swimming

Little Fins Swim Academy (Harahan)
http://www.littlefins.net/; (504) 416-0431
Mandeville Sports Complex (Mandeville)
http://mandevillesportscomplex.sharepoint.com/Pages/default.aspx; (985) 727-7277
Mr. Fish (Metairie)
http://www.mrfish.biz/general_information.html; (504) 455-4101
Northshore Swim (Mandeville)
http://www.northshoreswim.com/; (985) 626-9456
Ochsner Kidsports Elmwood (Harahan)
http://www.ochsnerfitness.com/; (504) 733-1200
Pelican Athletic Club (Mandeville)
http://www.thepac.com/; (985) 626.3706

Visual Arts

Art Time (Mandeville)
http://www.arttime.biz/; (985) 674-2023​
City Park Movement & Art (New Orleans)
http://www.cityparkmovementandart.com/; (504) 390-7482
Mini Art Center (Algiers)
http://www.miniartcenter.com/; (504) 510-4747
NOLA Wax Hands (New Orleans)
http://www.nolawaxhands.com; (504) 828-7567
Posh Paint Pub
http://www.poshpaintpub.com/; (504) 835-4155
St. Tammany Art Association (Covington, Mandeville)
http://www.sttammanyartassociation.org/; (985) 892-8650
String A Bead (Metairie)
http://www.stringabead.com/; (504) 780-7575
Studio Kids! At New Orleans Museum of Art (New Oreans)
https://noma.org/; (504) 658-4100
Upturn Arts (New Orleans)
http://upturnarts.org/; (504) 390-8399

Heat Relief: Fun Ways to Cool Off with the Kids

After an unusually mild spring, summer has finally arrived in Southeast Louisiana — with a vengeance. The kids are bored, but it’s so darn hot outside. What to do?
Well, whether your idea of relief from the heat involves water or air conditioning, we’ve got you covered. Here are some super COOL, family-friendly activities and attractions in New Orleans and on the Northshore.

 

ACTIVE INDOORS

Adventure Quest Laser Tag (Elmwood)

This family fun center is jam-packed full of cool activities, like mini-golf, an arcade, bumper cars, a 6,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, plus their brand new outdoor Climbing Challenge and  5,000-square-foot, two-level Adventure Maze, where maze runners compete to beat friends, family, and the clock in a dash through the hidden check-points of confusion. They also have party rooms for birthday parties and special events, and a snack bar that includes pizza, salads, tons of other snacks, and even adult beverages.

 

Area 51 Laser Tag (Gretna)

Boasting 10,000 square feet of fun, this facility offers not only laser tag, but video games and their newest attraction — The Drone Challenge. Area 51 specializes in exciting birthday parties that feature laser tag, arcade and PS3 gaming, food, drink, and of course, fun.

 

Bookoo Bounce (Elmwood)

This year-round indoor inflatable playground and party place is locally owned and operated. With 16,500 square feet of safe, clean, award-winning fun, it’s not only perfect for entertaining bored kids, but it’s also great for children’s parties and special celebrations of all kinds. They also have arcade games, they broadcast major network sporting events (including the Saints, LSU and Pelicans games) on their two big screen televisions, and walk-in play is available on weekdays and weekends.

 

Elevation Station (Covington)

This indoor trampoline facility boasts over 30,000 square feet of indoor sports and family entertainment. Highlights include giant jump areas, an obstacle course, gladiator pits, and dodgeball and basketball courts. There’s a even a Kid Zone with a host of options for jumpers ages six and under, and six spacious private event rooms to host special events. Plus, family and friends can view the entire facility from a second-floor viewing tower, which has comfortable lounge areas and big-screen TVs.

 

Kids Arena (Mandeville)

This family-owned and operated business houses 15,000 square feet of fun, which is always open for drop-in play, but also hosts birthday parties and other celebrations. The huge space contains 13 inflatables that allow kids up to about sixth grade to jump, slide, and play football and basketball to their hearts’ content. There’s also a ball pit and small play area for the smaller kids and toddlers. Up front, there’s a large arcade play center with over a dozen games for when the kids need a breather. Admission is good for the whole day, so visitors can leave and return, as needed.

 

The Little Gym (Covington)

This gym for little ones offers age-appropriate classes for kids ages 12 and under. They range from parent/child development classes for infants and toddlers to gymnastics and sports skills classes to the WonderKids Club, an enrichment program that features arts & crafts projects, story time, and creative play with LEGO DUPLO bricks. The facility is also equipped to handle birthday parties, and they host parents’ night out and camps during the summer and other school breaks.

 

The Monkey Room (Lower Garden District)

Their huge, custom designed play structure is for children of all ages. It features slides, climbs, obstacles, and other fun elements to explore. An adjacent toddler area for younger children includes play equipment sized just for the youngest monkeys. Light snacks are available at their snack bar, and  there are plenty of tables where parents and caregivers can relax, read, and visit with one another while the children play. They also offer wireless internet access and may show special events on our television.

 

Ochsner Kidsports Elmwood (Harahan)

The Harahan facility offers an array of programs that combine fun and fitness for children ages 6 weeks to 13 years. One highlight is their Adventure Challenge. Designed for age 6-13 years, this two-story, indoor maze features 100 yards of slides, tunnels, ropes, balls and more. Parents can take advantage of the childcare program for kids ages 6 weeks to 5 years while they work out. Camp participants get to enjoy fun and games, an obstacle course, Spacewalk, arts and crafts, our outdoor pirate ship playground, snacks and the Adventure Challenge.

Palm Tree Playground (Metairie)

Palm Tree’s indoor playground structure encourages whole body engagement and is specially designed for the children to not run into each other. It’s divided into three zones for different age groups. The area for big kids features four levels of physical challenges and fun, including two intertwining spiral slides, kid conveyor, wobble hopper, and wackyball arena. For toddlers, there’s a playhouse, rainbow climber, shape pit, small slide, giant caterpillar tunnel and much more. The zone for babies features softly designed play centers perfect for curious babies who are learning to crawl.

 

Sky Zone Trampoline Park (Metairie)

A high octane alternative to standard exercise, this all-walled trampoline playing court offers wall-to-wall aerial action. Highlights include freestyle jump, skyslam, ultimate dodgeball, skyhoops, lasertag, a toddler zone, and much much more.

.

X-Fusion Family Arena (Covington)

This family owned facility offers a range of fresh options for fun fitness activities. All ages are welcome to rock climb, run the obstacle courses, take a daring zip line ride and even try out the new Gladiator Zone simulating American Gladiator courses. They also offer private parties and camps during holidays, summer, and whenever school is out. Walk-in times are by appointment.

 

INDOOR LEISURELY FUN

Abita Mystery House Museum (Abita Springs)

You truly owe it to yourself to experience this must-see collection of bizarre curiosities, located just a block or two outside the little village of Abita Springs. Also known as the UCM Museum, this roadside attraction, which used to be an old gas station, is like stepping into another weird dimension, filled with odd collections, memorabilia, strange contraptions, random objects, old arcade machines, and crazy hybrid taxidermy pieces, like Bufford the Bassigator.


Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (French Quarter)

Perched on the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter, the aquarium is an excellent escape to another world. After walking through a tunnel that reveals the colors of a Caribbean reef, visitors can walk through a rainforest, check out some penguins and otters, feed parakeets, touch stingrays, visit the swamp, and marvel at sharks, sea turtles and lots of other animals in the 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit.

 

Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium (French Quarter)

It’s located so close to the Aquarium that we seldom visit one without visiting the other. North America’s largest museum devoted to insects and their relatives, this place is full of fun, creepy-crawly interactive exhibits. There’s also a big-screen, high definition film, multi-sensory show, the Bug Apetit Cafe, where you can test your courage by tasting some chocolate chirp (as in cricket) cookies and other insect delicacies, and, of course, there’s the peaceful, Japanese-themed butterfly garden, complete with tons of colorful butterflies, koi fish, turtles and birds.

 

Culinary Kids (Mandeville)

If you’re interested in turning your kids into little foodies (or maybe just expanding the horizons of picky eaters), this is a great way to start. They offer cooking classes, camps, and a variety of other programs designed to give kids and teens some control over their meals, challenge their palates, and learn to make healthy choices. They also raise awareness of childhood obesity and food allergens, offer programs for special needs kids, and host Parents’ Nights Out.

 

Infinity at Stennis Space Center (Mississippi)

Located on the Louisiana-Mississippi border, the complex is literally its own little town (it even  has its own zip code!), complete with a visitor’s center that houses tons of interactive exhibits delving into space, the Earth, and the ocean. Some of the many highlights include Neil Armstrong’s test space suit, multiple simulators, and a spacious Kidz Zone with climbing apparatus, reading area, and play areas. Be sure to get there early and sign up for the first first-come, first-served bus tour around the expansive site and actual test areas.

 

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum (Madisonville)

Louisiana’s extensive bayous, rivers, and lakes served as the pathways of survival for Native Americans, European explorers, and early settlers. This maritime history comes to life through this museum’s artifacts, photographs, documents, and oral histories. One of the very coolest features is the Civil War submarine. Special programs include boat-building, hands-on field trips, constructing underwater robots, restoration of the Tchefuncte River Lighthouse, and other exciting educational opportunities for people of all ages. There’s also its Wooden Boat Festival, held every October on the Tchefuncte River, featuring over 100 wooden and classic boats.

 

Louisiana Children’s Museum (Warehouse District)

Boasting 30,000-square-feet of space, this museum has tons of cool exhibits and programs for kids, plus a diverse set of activities that promote learning across many disciplines – from reading and math skills to architectural ideas and the nuances of grocery shopping – through interactive play. Children can take an active role in their own learning as they can test their strength with a cantilever, inclines, and ramps, learn what bones they use to ride a bike alongside Mr. Bones, or load up a cargo ship in the Little Port of New Orleans exhibit, among lots of other activities. The museum also offers regular storytimes and plenty of special events.

Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center (Hammond)

Located in historic downtown Hammond, this facility is designed for kids 10 and under, offering over 30 different hands-on, interactive exhibits and programs. Some of the many highlights include bubble stations, a versatile art center, a construction zone, and an area that challenges balance and dexterity, plus addresses nutrition. There are also special events, educational activities, and extracurricular programs that offer an even wider array of activities to engage older kids and teens, as well.

 

Movies for Kids: The Grand Theatre Summer Kids’ Flicks Series (Kenner, Slidell)

The Grand Theatres in Kenner and Slidell are doing their annual summer movie deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am. They’re not new releases, but they’re good, kid-friendly, and did I mention the discounts? For only $4, you get admission, plus popcorn and soda. Click here for the remaining schedule.

 

Movies for Kids: Prytania Theater (Uptown)

Ah, New Orleans’ beloved historic movie theater, built circa 1914. It’s got great ambience for classic, arthouse, and mainstream movies, but they’re also sure to remember the kids during holidays and the summer. They always select great new and classic movies for their kids’ series. Click here for the remaining schedule.

 

Movies for Kids: Regal Summer Movies Express (Covington)

Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am through August 2, Regal Covington Stadium 14 is hosting its Summer Movie Express, where admission is only $1
Click here for the remaining schedule.

 

National World War II Museum (Warehouse District)

With a staggering 220,500 square feet of exhibits, multimedia experiences, and a huge collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, the museum,  currently ranked #11 by TripAdvisor among museums worldwide, requires at least a full day to tour it all. Other highlights include live shows at the Stage Door Cantina, dining at the American Sector and Soda Shop, and “Beyond Boundaries” in the Solomon Victory Theater. This 4-D movie, narrated and executive produced by Tom Hanks, is an absolute must-see.

New Orleans Museum of Art (City Park)

New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution hosts an impressive permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects, including French and American art, photography, glass, and African and  Japanese works. Just outside, the five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA is one of the most important sculpture installations in the United States, with over 60 sculptures situated on a beautifully landscaped site amongst meandering footpaths, reflecting lagoons, Spanish moss-laden 200-year-old live oaks, mature pines, magnolias, camellias, and pedestrian bridges.  In addition to their popular summer camps, regular programming highlights include StoryQuest family storytime and activity), StudioKids art workshops, and Baby Arts Play.

 

Ogden Museum of Southern Art (Warehouse District)

This museum proudly houses what is touted as the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world. It represents the visual arts and culture of the American South from 1733 to the present through its events, permanent collections, changing exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and research. In addition to some seriously cool and sought-after summer camps, they host multiple kid and family-friendly events throughout the year.

 

Posh Paint Pub (Metairie)

This fun pottery shop offers painting activities for all ages, including birthday parties and art camps. Participants can choose a piece from their huge selection, pick paint colors, create a masterpiece, then leave it to be glazed and fired, and pick it up on a guaranteed date. You can bring your own snacks or order in pizza for the complete experience.

 

Rivertown (Kenner)

Kenner’s 16-block, cool little historic district offers a bunch of cultural and family attractions — many of which are indoors. The complex includes museums, Heritage Park (a quaint replica of an old village that includes a turn-of-the-century packing shed, ice house, a traditional blacksmith shop, and a 1930’s era gas station), MegaDome Cinema, Kenner Planetarium, Rivertown Space Science Complex, the Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, the Castle Theater, and LaSalle’s Landing. From lasershows to  live theater to outdoor movies and concerts, there’s always something to do. In addition, visitors can shop and dine in restaurants and gift shops in and around the area.  

 

String A Bead (Metairie)

This full service jewelry and bead supply store offers New Orleans-themed customizable jewelry, pendants, and charms. They also host classes and workshops for adults and kids alike, to teach the art of beading and jewelry-making. Participants are invited to bring their own snacks, drinks, or adult beverages to make it a real party.

 

OUTDOOR WATER FUN

Audubon Zoo’s Water Parks (Uptown)

In addition to having a truly picturesque setting and a super cool collection of animals, Audubon’s Cool Zoo and Gator Run make for a delightful summertime outing. An extension of the Cool Zoo splash park (which features a colorful splash structure, complete with slides, sprayers, ropes, tunnels, buckets), the adjacent, year-old Gator Run park is a delightful oasis with its own dining facility and both concrete and sandy lounging areas, which is centered around a three-foot-deep lazy river.

Fontainebleu State Park Beach & Splash Pad (Mandeville)

Super mellow (if any) waves and absence of traffic congestion make Fontainebleu State Park’s white sandy beach a delightful little oasis. Picnic tables and public restrooms are a short walk away, but no concessions are available, so you need to come fully equipped. Also adjacent to the beach is a fun little splash pad with water cannons, a spray tunnel, and overhead water-dumping buckets. Access to the beach and splash pad are free with park admission.

 

If you’re interested in serous waterparks, and don’t mind a bit of a drive, here are a couple to consider…

Blue Bayou Water Park (Baton Rouge)

Blue Bayou & Dixie Landin’ are popular tandem amusement parks located just south of Baton Rouge. Blue Bayou is the water park side, and it features over 20 attractions, including their newest, the Mambo — billed as the world’s largest upside down water slide. Other features include racing and plunging slides, a lazy river, a children’s play area, and tons of concessions. Access to both parks is included in the admission price.

 

Gulf Islands Waterpark (Gulfport, MS)

In addition to a wave pool, tube rides, racing slides, a lazy river,  an area for the younger kids, cabanas and pavilions to rent, and other cool attractions — this park also boasts celebrity meet-and-greets with Nickelodeon and Disney Channel stars, live bands, sea lion shows, frisbee dog shows, plenty of concessions, and more.