The French Quarter is brimming with nightlife and entertainment, but there are plenty of family-friendly activities as well – most of which are within walking distance of our hotel. Hotel Monteleone has an on-site restaurant plus a pool to keep kids entertained, but there are a host of other activities right in the neighborhood. Here are a few suggestions on what to do (and how to stay cool) during your summer family vacation:
Watch a Movie at Canal Place
The Theatres at Canal Place are a memorable place to catch a summer blockbuster on a rainy or hot day. In addition to sumptuous seats and a luxury setting, the theaters offer full-service dining – you won’t even need to leave your seat! Kids will enjoy The Trifecta popcorn (popcorn with peanuts, bacon, and chocolate) and traditional movie theater candy, but adults can really indulge: choose from small plates, flatbreads, paninis, and a full list of cocktails, wine, and beer.
If you and the kiddos are of the “bigger is better” mentality, you might prefer the IMAX theater. Located practically next door to Canal Place, the Entergy IMAX Theatre is part of the Audubon Institute’s Aquarium of the Americas. The 3-D theater showcases films perfect for nature lovers. Find movies about great white sharks, humpback whales, the animals of Kenya, and more.
Admire Sea Life at the Aquarium
After you go to the IMAX (or even if you don’t) plan to work in time to explore the Aquarium of the Americas. Open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the aquarium is a great, family-friendly place to explore the wonders of sea life. A stingray touch pool and stingray feed session (check in advance for days and times) are sure to create lasting memories for kids.
Do Some Back-to-School Shopping
Outfit the kids in back-to-school fashion on a budget when you take them to the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. Retailers include outlets from Gap, Neiman Marcus, Gymboree, and Famous Footwear. If you can’t get the kids excited about this one, bribe them with beignets: there’s a Café du Monde inside.
Learn About Bugs and Butterflies
The Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium on Canal Street is a great venue for kids to learn about animal life in a fun way. Open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the insectarium features a variety of butterfly species (they are out in the open and just might land on your shoulder!) and educational activities. Even better? CNN voted it “A top museum for you and your kids.”