Best Things to Do With Teens in New Orleans: 12 Exciting Attractions in the Big Easy

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated July 3, 2024 tourism Dream Destinations
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Best Things to Do With Teens in New Orleans
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Discover the best things to do with kids in New Orleans in our comprehensive guide. We’ve handpicked a variety of activities that are perfect for teenagers, from thrilling adventures to cultural explorations. Get ready to explore the most exciting and teen-friendly spots in the vibrant city of New Orleans.

Ahh New Orleans! A unique place in Louisiana where the music dances in the air, the food is a celebration of flavors, and every street corner tells a story. It’s a place where history whispers from the cobblestones and adventure awaits around every corner. For families with teens, the Big Easy offers an exhilarating mix of culture, fun, and unique experiences that are perfect for sparking that sense of wanderlust in young hearts.

Imagine strolling through the vibrant French Quarter, where the past and present blend seamlessly. Here, the soulful melodies of jazz spill out onto the streets, inviting you to tap your feet and soak in the lively atmosphere. And let’s not forget the food – oh, the food! From the iconic beignets of Café du Monde to the spicy jambalaya that warms your soul, every bite is a journey through New Orleans’ rich culinary heritage.

Let’s dive into a journey that’s as colorful and diverse as the city itself, exploring the rich tapestry of things to do in New Orleans. From the soulful tunes of jazz to the enchanting streets lined with history, New Orleans is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

The top places to visit with teens in New Orleans right now

Best Things to Do With Teens in New Orleans

Exploring New Orleans for teens is an adventure filled with vibrant culture, exciting history, and unique activities. Our guide highlights the best spots and experiences that will captivate young minds and create lasting memories. Join us as we uncover the most thrilling and educational things to do in this lively city with your teenagers.

1. Explore the French Quarter

Embark on a journey through the heart of New Orleans by exploring the French Quarter. This historic neighborhood is a treasure trove of culture and history, making it one of the top things to do in New Orleans with teens. Wander down the charming streets lined with colorful buildings, each telling its own story. The French Quarter is not only the city’s oldest neighborhood but also a vibrant hub for artists and musicians.

As you meander through this lively area, you’ll encounter street performers and jazz musicians, bringing the soul of the city to life. The architecture here is a mix of Spanish, French, Creole, and American styles, creating a picturesque backdrop for your adventure. Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Jackson Square, where artists display their work and the stunning St. Louis Cathedral stands proudly.

For those interested in shopping, the French Market offers a variety of local crafts and souvenirs. This historic market, established in the late 18th century, is a great place for teens to find unique mementos. The French Quarter truly encapsulates the essence of New Orleans, making it a must-visit for families exploring things to do with a teenager in New Orleans.

Exploring the French Quarter is one of the best things to do with teen in New Orleans.
Explore New Orleans’ French Quarter—a historic hub bursting with culture and vibrant streets.

2. Savor Beignets at Café du Monde

Does your teen have a sweet tooth? Indulge in a sweet treat that’s a New Orleans classic by visiting Café du Monde. Known for its famous beignets, this café is a delightful spot for fun things to do with teens in New Orleans. These delicious, powdered sugar-covered pastries are a culinary icon of the city and offer a taste of local tradition that teens will love.

Café du Monde, established in 1862, is not only about beignets; it’s a place steeped in history. Located in the bustling French Market, the café provides a lively atmosphere where families can enjoy the open-air setting. It’s a perfect place to take a break, sip on their renowned chicory coffee, and watch the world go by.

This experience offers more than just a snack; it’s a chance to immerse in the local culture and create lasting memories. Visiting Café du Monde is a quintessential part of New Orleans teenager activities, combining the joy of sweet treats with the charm of historic surroundings.

Satisfy your teen’s sweet tooth at Café du Monde—a New Orleans classic famed for its irresistible beignets.
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3. Discover the National WWII Museum

Dive into history at the National WWII Museum, a must-visit for New Orleans fun activities. This museum offers an immersive experience that brings World War II history to life, engaging teens with interactive exhibits and powerful storytelling. It’s not only an educational journey but also an eye-opening experience into a pivotal time in world history.

The museum’s vast collection includes original artifacts, gripping personal stories, and dynamic multimedia displays. Teens can explore exhibits like the Road to Tokyo, which delves into the Pacific Theater, or the Road to Berlin, showcasing the European Theater. Each exhibit is designed to provide a deep understanding of the global impact of the war.

For a truly unique experience, the museum’s 4D film, “Beyond All Boundaries,” produced and narrated by Tom Hanks, offers a sensory-filled journey through the war.

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Visiting the National WWII Museum is a compelling choice among things for young adults to do in New Orleans. It combines education with a sense of adventure and discovery.

Discover World War II's immersive history at the National WWII Museum.
Discover World War II’s immersive history at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

4. Experience Live Jazz at Preservation Hall

Immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of jazz at Preservation Hall, a cornerstone of New Orleans’ music scene. For those pondering what to do in New Orleans, attending a live jazz show here is an unforgettable experience, especially for teens.

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This intimate venue, steeped in musical history, showcases some of the best jazz talents in the city.

Preservation Hall, established in 1961, is dedicated to preserving the traditional New Orleans Jazz style. The hall’s rustic and vintage charm adds to the authenticity of the experience. Teens will be captivated by the vibrant and energetic performances, making it a highlight of their visit.

This venue offers a unique opportunity for young visitors to connect with the city’s musical heritage. Experiencing live jazz at Preservation Hall is one of the most exciting New Orleans activities for teenagers, offering both entertainment and a rich cultural experience.

Savor the soulful jazz at Preservation Hall—a New Orleans music icon.
Savor the soulful jazz at Preservation Hall—a New Orleans music icon.

5. Venture into the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

Explore the mysterious and intriguing world of Voodoo at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. This unique destination is among the best things to do in New Orleans with teens. This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the Voodoo culture, which is an integral part of the city’s history and folklore.

Located in the French Quarter, the museum presents an array of Voodoo artifacts, paintings, and exhibits that explain the history and practices of this often-misunderstood religion. Teens will find the stories and legends captivating, providing a different perspective on New Orleans’ cultural diversity.

The museum also offers walking tours, including visits to the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where the famous Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be buried. These tours provide an immersive experience, combining historical facts with intriguing tales.

Visiting the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is a standout choice for places to go in New Orleans with teens. It offers both an educational and uniquely thrilling experience that delves into a lesser-known side of the city’s rich culture.

Discover Voodoo's mystique at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
Discover Voodoo’s mystique at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.

6. Join a Swamp Tour Adventure

Embark on an exciting Swamp Tour, a thrilling adventure among things to do for teens in New Orleans. These tours offer a unique way to explore Louisiana’s natural landscapes and wildlife, providing an exhilarating experience away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Swamp tours take you through the bayous and wetlands surrounding New Orleans, where you can witness the diverse ecosystem firsthand. Teens will be captivated by the sight of alligators, turtles, and a variety of birds in their natural habitat. These tours are not only about wildlife; they also offer insights into the region’s history and the importance of these wetlands.

Guides often share fascinating stories and facts about the area, making the tour both educational and entertaining. Whether by airboat or a traditional flat-bottomed boat, a swamp tour is an unforgettable way to experience the wild side of New Orleans with teens.

Discover the thrill of a Swamp Tour—a must for teens in New Orleans. Explore Louisiana's wild side away from the city's buzz.
Discover the thrill of a Swamp Tour—a must for teens in New Orleans. Explore Louisiana’s wild side away from the city’s buzz.

7. Visit the Audubon Zoo

Take a trip to the Audubon Zoo, a place where wildlife and fun meet. This zoo is renowned for its exotic animals and engaging exhibits, making it a fantastic destination for families. Teens will be thrilled to see animals from around the world, including rare white alligators, which are native to Louisiana.

Each exhibit is designed to teach visitors about the natural world and the importance of conservation.

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The Louisiana Swamp exhibit, in particular, offers a glimpse into the state’s unique wetland ecosystem.

For those looking for fun things to do in New Orleans for young adults, the Audubon Zoo is a perfect choice. It combines the excitement of seeing majestic animals with the opportunity to learn about different species and their habitats. It’s a highlight for anyone exploring New Orleans with teens, offering a blend of education, conservation, and fun.

Visit the Audubon Zoo—a wildlife wonderland perfect for families in New Orleans.
Visit the Audubon Zoo—a wildlife wonderland perfect for families in New Orleans.

8. Experience Mardi Gras World

Step into the colorful world of Mardi Gras at Mardi Gras World, where the magic of this famous festival comes to life year-round. This unique attraction offers a look at the craftsmanship that goes into creating the floats and costumes of Mardi Gras.

Visitors can tour the massive warehouse where these artistic creations are made and learn about the history and traditions of the festival. It’s a hands-on experience where teens can try on costumes and even help decorate a float. The tour also includes a fascinating video presentation about the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

For older teens, especially things for 18 year olds to do in New Orleans, Mardi Gras World provides a unique insight into one of the city’s most celebrated events. It’s an opportunity to understand and appreciate the artistry and effort that goes into this annual celebration.

Explore Mardi Gras World—a year-round celebration of the festival's vibrant floats and costumes.
Explore Mardi Gras World—a year-round celebration of the festival’s vibrant floats and costumes.

9. Take a Leisurely Walk Around the Garden District

Discover the charm of the Garden District, a neighborhood renowned for its stunning historic homes and lush greenery. This area offers a peaceful contrast to the bustling French Quarter, with its tree-lined streets and elegant mansions. Teens interested in architecture and history will find this area fascinating.

A stroll through the Garden District is one of the top New Orleans fun activities. The area is not only a visual treat but also rich in history. The famous Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, known for its above-ground tombs, is a must-visit. Guided tours are available, offering insights into the unique burial customs and the stories behind the historic homes.

For families, this exploration ranks among the best things to do with teens in New Orleans. It’s a chance to enjoy a leisurely walk, take stunning photos, and learn about the city’s history in a serene setting. The Garden District encapsulates the elegance and charm of New Orleans, making it a memorable visit for teens and adults alike.

Explore the charm of the Garden District—a serene haven with historic homes and lush greenery.
Explore the charm of the Garden District—a serene haven with historic homes and lush greenery.

10. Get Your Groove On at the New Orleans Jazz Museum

Immerse in the rhythms of jazz at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, a must-see for music enthusiasts. Located in the historic Old U.S. Mint, this museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of jazz in the city where it was born. Teens will enjoy exploring the extensive collection of instruments, recordings, and memorabilia.

The museum’s interactive exhibits make it a standout among things to do in New Orleans under 21. Teens can engage with the music through listening stations and hands-on displays. The museum also hosts live performances and educational programs, offering a deeper dive into the world of jazz.

Visiting the New Orleans Jazz Museum is not only entertaining but also an enriching cultural experience. It provides a unique opportunity for young people to connect with the musical heritage that has shaped New Orleans. This visit is a perfect blend of education, history, and entertainment, making it a highlight for any teen’s trip to the city.

Explore the heartbeats of jazz at the New Orleans Jazz Museum—a must for music lovers.
Explore the heartbeats of jazz at the New Orleans Jazz Museum—a must for music lovers.

11. Take a Creepy Ghost Tour

Embark on a ghost tour of the French Quarter, an experience that combines history with a touch of mystery. These tours are perfect for teens who enjoy a bit of thrill and storytelling. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tours delve into the haunted tales and legends of one of New Orleans’ most famous neighborhoods.

The French Quarter, with its centuries-old buildings and storied past, provides the ideal backdrop for ghost stories. Teens will be captivated by tales of spirits and unexplained events, all while exploring the historic streets. This tour is not only about scares; it’s a unique way to learn about the city’s history and folklore.

For families looking for fun things to do in New Orleans with teens, a ghost tour in the French Quarter is an excellent choice. It offers an engaging, slightly spooky adventure that teens will find thrilling and memorable. This activity is a great way to experience the city’s darker side while enjoying an entertaining walk through its most iconic neighborhood.

Join a French Quarter ghost tour, blending history with mystery—an ideal choice for teens who love thrilling stories.
Join a French Quarter ghost tour, blending history with mystery—an ideal choice for teens who love thrilling stories.

12. Challenge Yourself at New Orleans Escape Rooms

New Orleans offers a variety of escape rooms, each providing a unique and thrilling challenge. These interactive experiences are perfect for teens, combining fun, teamwork, and problem-solving in an immersive setting. Participants are placed in a themed room and must work together to find clues and solve puzzles. All tasks must be completed so participants can escape within a set time limit.

One notable escape room in New Orleans is The Escape Game, located in the French Quarter. This venue features four different themed rooms, including a prison break and an art heist. Each is designed to provide an engaging and memorable experience. The Escape Game is known for its detailed set designs and creative puzzles, making it a standout choice for an exciting adventure in the city.

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Escape rooms are an excellent option for families and groups looking for interactive and mentally stimulating activities. They offer a fun way to engage with each other and the unique themes of New Orleans, making them a must-try for anyone visiting the city with teens.

Explore New Orleans' diverse escape rooms—a thrilling mix of puzzles and teamwork for teens.
Explore New Orleans’ diverse escape rooms—a thrilling mix of puzzles and teamwork for teens.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Things to Do With Teens in New Orleans

Our FAQ section answers your top questions about New Orleans activities for teenagers, providing helpful tips for a fun and engaging family trip.

Is New Orleans good for 18 year olds?

Absolutely! New Orleans is a vibrant city with a variety of activities that cater to 18 year olds. From exploring the rich history and culture at museums like the New Orleans Jazz Museum to embarking on thrilling swamp tours, there’s no shortage of adventures. The city’s unique blend of music, art, and history makes it an ideal destination for all young adults.

Is it OK to take kids to New Orleans?

Yes, New Orleans is a great destination for families with kids. The city offers a range of kid-friendly activities, from the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium to interactive experiences like escape rooms. New Orleans is a cultural hub with plenty of history, music, and art. Plenty of destinations are educational and entertaining for children.

What are some of the best things to do with teens in New Orleans?

Among the best things to do with teens in New Orleans are visiting the historic French Quarter, exploring the Garden District, and experiencing live jazz music. Teens will enjoy the vibrant street art, the lively atmosphere of the city, and unique activities like ghost tours. New Orleans offers a mix of educational and fun experiences, making it perfect for families with teenagers.

Is Frenchman Street OK for kids?

Frenchman Street is suitable for kids, especially during the daytime. Known for its live music and art markets, it offers a family-friendly atmosphere where children can experience the city’s music culture. In the evening, the street becomes more adult-oriented, so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.

Is New Orleans fun under 21?

New Orleans is definitely fun for those under 21. The city’s rich history, diverse culture, and array of attractions like the Mardi Gras World and the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum provide ample entertainment for younger visitors. Plus, outdoor activities like swamp tours add an adventurous twist to the trip.

Voodoo Museum Artifacts: Display showcasing ritualistic objects and cultural artifacts
Voodoo Museum Artifacts: Display showcasing ritualistic objects and cultural artifacts

What is the best thing to do with teens in New Orleans?

The best thing to do with teens in New Orleans is to immerse them in the city’s unique culture. This can be done through music, food, and history. Taking them to see live jazz at Preservation Hall, exploring the vibrant street art, or learning about the city’s past at the various museums are all great ways to engage teens.

Can teens enjoy the culinary scene in New Orleans?

Yes, teens can definitely enjoy New Orleans’ culinary scene. The city is famous for its food, and there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants that serve local dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets. Food tours can also be a fun way for teens to explore the city and its flavors.

Are there educational activities for teens in New Orleans?

New Orleans offers many educational activities for teens. Museums like the National WWII Museum provide historical insights, while art galleries and music venues offer cultural education. The city’s rich history and diverse community make it an excellent place for teens to learn outside of a traditional classroom setting.

Final Thoughts on Exploring New Orleans With Teens

New Orleans is a treasure trove of experiences for families with teenagers, unveiling the city’s hidden gems. The city’s unique blend of culture and entertainment offers a variety of activities for young adults. From the vibrant music scene at Preservation Hall to the educational tours of the National WWII Museum, there’s something for every teen.

The best things to do with teenagers in New Orleans involve exploring the city’s rich heritage, indulging in its famous culinary delights, and embarking on adventures that are both fun and informative. Whether it’s wandering through the historic streets of the French Quarter or taking a thrilling swamp tour, New Orleans promises a memorable experience for teenagers and their families alike, encouraging them to stay in New Orleans to fully embrace the vibrant atmosphere.

The top things to do with teens in New Orleans for all types of travelers
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