Take a scenic trolley ride from downtown New Orleans and head uptown through the pretty Garden District, ending at the Audubon Nature Institute, the city’s zoo. This historic zoo was established in what was originally Audubon Park, where John James Audubon painted his “Birds of America” in Louisiana. Parents will appreciate the zoo’s impressive history, and kids will enjoy peering at the hundreds of animals that live at the zoo — including jaguars, elephants, white alligators and orangutans.
Located across from the giraffes in the African Savanna is the Kamba Kourse, a four-story ropes course where families can test their agility and balance on the rope ladders, cargo nets, swinging beams, and other fun features. The full-sized course is open to those over 48 inches; there’s also a scaled-down version for ages 2-7. Admission is not included with your zoo ticket, but Audubon Nature Institute members do receive a discount.
There’s also a colorful carousel in the zoo (tickets cost $2 for non-members), as well as a fun Swamp Train that runs from the carousel to the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit (tickets cost $5 for non-members). Don’t miss the scheduled alligator feedings that take place in the Swamp Exhibit. Tickets to the zoo cost $13.50 per adult and $8.50 per child (ages 2 to 12), but families can also purchase Audubon Experience Tickets, which include admission to the zoo, aquarium, IMAX theater and insectarium for $34.95 per adult and $19.95 per child.