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Having started out as the nation's first sugar plantation, then an urban park, and finally renamed in 1886 as Audubon Park in tribute to John James Audubon who painted many of his famed "Birds of America" in Louisiana, the 340-acre Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo is a place one can truly and peacefully enjoy New Orleans's old-world charm: fountains, statues, gazebos, lagoons, giant oak trees, and the occasional horse-back riders and carriages. There are also a golf course, tennis courts, and a extremely popular 1.8-mile-long paved jogging track. Do walk along the outskirts of the park and be wowed by the historic buildings of Loyola and Tulane universities, as well as many elegant mansions.
Cajun Pride Swamp Tour is a fun and informative way to see a scenic swamp and wildlife refuge. You might see a whole zoo's worth of creatures including: alligators, bald eagles, waterfowl, owls, beavers, raccoons and even black bears. Tours generally last about an hour and a half.
About 50 miles from the bright lights and wild nightlife of Bourbon Street lies one of the best kept secrets in Southeast Louisiana. The Global Wildlife Center is this country's largest completely free-roaming wildlife preserve. It's an African safari in New Orleans' backyard. Visitors can take a short trip across Lake Pontchartrain for a guided wagon tour that gets up close and personal with some of the most exotic animals in the world, more than 900 of which call this preserve home. Kids and kids at heart can feed giraffes, bison, zebras, and camels in an experience of a lifetime.
In a world where the wooden carousel is nearly extinct, a century-old version is a sight to be seen and ridden. Under City Park's majestic oaks, the Hines Carousel continues to run after being painstakingly restored after hurricane Katrina. Children of all ages will enjoy a ride on the hand-carved horses of the last wooden carousel in Louisiana. After a spin on the carousel, ride the afternoon away on any of the other amusement rides in the collection including a Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, Bumper Cars, and 40-foot Slide. Finish the day with a trip around the park in one of the open-air passenger cars of the Park's miniature train.
It's just impossible to get bored of New Orleans' plush City Park. Sprawled over 1,500 acres, this welcoming oasis attracts hordes of people every day. You'll find lovebirds sharing some time together, children playing around, joggers doing their daily rounds and people absorbing the park's beauty. Camps, field trips and an amusement park are the facilities for children. Sports lovers can choose from golf, football, tennis and lots more. The park also provides the perfect setting for weddings, picnics, birthdays or other special functions. If you're a nature lover, you can volunteer to help protect this beautiful park.
From the critter-filled swamps of Louisiana to the grasslands of Africa, you can explore some of the Earth's most intriguing habitats and the creatures that dwell within them at this world-class zoo. Rated one of the top zoos in the United States, it features two rare white tigers as well as Komodo dragons.
Consisting of six sites spread across New Orleans, this historic site pays homage to the pirateering legacy of Jean Lafitte, and the historical events that unfolded in his wake. The visitor center has historic walking tours of the French Quarter and also sets the scene for other historic sites in and around New Orleans. The extensive Barataria Preserve is part of the site, and is sheathed in a tapestry of marshes, swamps and dense hardwood forests, while the Chalmette Battlefield has been the ground of many historic battles and wars. Characterized by a string of teeming bayous and inextricable Cajun traditions, the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is a stirring insight into the historical heart of New Orleans.
If you're looking for a high energy Broadway musical in the New Orleans area, then you will definitely want to check out Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts. Some big name shows that have graced the stage here include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Producers and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Rivertown also host many child and family-friendly shows, from The Wizard of Oz to Peter Pan and many more.
Louisiana Children's Museum offers a toddler area and children's drama, dance, and puppet shows. There are also art and science exhibits, as well as hands-on math and physics exhibits, and a reproduction of a television studio. Many of the exhibits are geared toward learning through doing. This style of learning makes it fun for both parents and kids alike. This is a great rainy day field trip and a good place for anyone trying to get away from the "adult" aspects of the city.
Mardi Gras World is where Mardi Gras is created. Here, you can catch the artists and builders of the world famous floats hard at work. There is a gift shop where you can buy Carnival memorabilia, so you can say you have seen Mardi Gras and have something to show for it. Mardi Gras World is a fun trip for children, as a chest full of costumes affords them the chance to dress in true Carnival style.
Located in Metairie, the Jefferson Performing Arts Center is home to the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. The theater was built in order to host all kinds of performing arts, from plays to opera, ballet, symphonies and more. The center also often hosts great children's programming, like plays and musicals.
The Audubon Nature Institute has a zoo, aquarium, insectarium and a theater and organizes educational and enjoyable events for children. All museums are available for hire for personal events. A great place not only for children, but also for adults to learn about nature, the Audubon Nature Institute is fun for the whole family.