Surviving Three Days in New Orleans with a Teenager

January 27th 2021
Mike Fisher
Surviving Three Days in New Orleans with a Teenager

You love your teenage son or daughter to the moon and back. But let’s admit it, sometimes they can be a bit… difficult. The Snapchat and Instagram generation would probably rather stay home with their friends or send pictures and chats than go somewhere with mom and dad. When you go on a family vacation, however, it should be about having fun with your loved ones, relaxing, and taking it slow!

Surviving a vacation to New Orleans with a teenager can be tough, but if you follow these steps, you have a great chance of not only making it to the end, but also creating a great atmosphere for everyone that decides to tag along for the trip! Keep reading and discover the best New Orleans things to do to survive three days in the Big Easy with a teenager.

Table of Contents

  • Family-Friendly New Orleans
  • Day 1: First Things First
    • Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly Garden, and Insectarium
    • Helicopter Tours
    • Classic Carriage Rides
  • Day 2: Louisiana Countryside Done Right
    • Visit Plantation Country
    • See the Swamps
  • Day 3: Going Out with a Bang
    • New Orleans Bus Tours
    • Roll Down the River



Family-Friendly New Orleans


New Orleans, LA, is so much more than beads and booze on Bourbon Street. You may be surprised to learn that despite the party atmosphere, NOLA is actually a city full of culture, history, beauty, and intrigue, that all ages and interests can appreciate.

With so many family-friendly things to do in New Orleans, appeasing even the pickiest of teenagers can be accomplished. With that being said, below are the top activities for kids and teens to make the most out of your next Cajun family vacation!


Day 1: First Things First


When first arriving in New Orleans, it can be a bit intimidating. With so many incredible sights to be seen from the second you arrive in the city, choosing where to start can be a challenge. We recommend spending your first day in the French Quarter with one of these memorable and magical activities:

Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly Garden, and Insectarium


audubon zoo in new orleans

Pictured above is the entrance to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, the perfect place to see lions, tigers, gorillas, and more, with your favorite people


New Orleans offers a ton of options for the whole family, both young and old. When talking about teenagers, however, it’s important to find engaging options to help keep their attention.

That’s why we recommend starting out the day early at the New Orleans Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly Garden, and Insectarium. Located in the heart of New Orleans, these parks feature stunning exhibits that are sure to captivate and bring smiles to everyone’s faces including:

  • Jaguar Jungle - Zoo
  • Watoto Farm - Zoo
  • Reptile Encounter - Zoo
  • Amazon Rainforest - Aquarium
  • Gulf of Mexico Exhibit - Aquarium
  • Stingray Touch Pool - Aquarium
  • Bug Appetit - Insectarium
  • Butterfly Garden - Insectarium

...and that’s just a few of the excellent exhibits you can explore at the Audubon parks. Watch the gorillas monkey around (pun intended) or observe sharks as they circle and swim around the massive aquarium, the options are endless!

{Read Reviews & Book New Orleans Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly Garden, and Insectarium Combo Tickets Online}

Once you leave the Zoo and Aquarium, you will be right next to the French Quarter, which is the perfect place to continue your New Orleans adventure! If you decide to explore the French Quarter by foot, below are a few popular landmarks to check out:


Top Sights to See When Touring the French Quarter by Foot


Helicopter Tours


aerial view of new orleans from a helicopter

Catch an awesome aerial view of New Orleans from one of the city’s high-flying helicopter tours


One of the best ways to see the French Quarter in all of its glory is on a thrilling New Orleans helicopter ride! See the Crescent City from the clouds on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Be sure to check out popular landmarks including:

  • French Quarter
  • Superdome
  • Jackson Square
  • City Park
  • Lake Pontchartrain
  • Mississippi River
  • and MORE!

Even the most hard to please teen won’t be able to keep the smile off their face when seeing incredible sights like the ones above from a helicopter.

Classic Carriage Rides


carriage tour with royal carriages

Trotting through the French Quarter on a mule-drawn carriage through Royal Carriages is a New Orleans tradition


It doesn’t get more NOLA than taking an old-fashioned, mule-drawn carriage ride through the French Quarter. An expert tour guide will lead you and your family up and down the streets and fill you in on everything you need to know. From the area’s rich history to the best restaurants and tourist attractions around, carriage tours are one of the best ways to get the inside scoop on this unique and wonderful city!

{Read Reviews & Book New Orleans Carriage Rides and Tours Online}


Day 2: Louisiana Countryside Done Right


Having hit the French Quarter on the first day, you and the family have limitless options from here on out. How does a little fresh air and scenery sound? Hit the Louisiana countryside and explore the massive and majestic plantation homes, and the wild and wonderful swamps and bayous!

Visit Plantation Country


front view of oak alley plantation

Pictured above is Oak Alley Plantation, a beautiful Louisiana plantation home, lined with majestic oak trees


A plantation tour will take you beyond the aesthetics and back in time, where you will learn about the history of the Mighty Mississippi. Hear stories about an enormous sugar agribusiness, the lives of the slaves that powered it, and the impact that plantations had on the growth of New Orleans.

Some tours even offer transportation to and from, which makes visiting a plantation super convenient and hassle-free! Below are the different types of plantation tours, so you can choose the one that’s best for you and your group:


different types of new orleans plantation tours


Historic Mississippi River Plantations are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire country. Add spectacular gardens, one-of-a-kind architecture, and some good old New Orleans cooking, and you’ve got yourself a real crowd pleaser. New Orleans Plantation Country is also the perfect place for your teen to snap some pictures to impress their friends and keep the “likes” rolling in!

{Read Reviews & Book a Plantation Tour in New Orleans Online}

See the Swamps


swamp and bayou tour from new orleans

According to a recent Traveler Story, witnessing an alligator jumping for joy on a New Orleans swamp and bayou tour is absolutely amazing to see


Another sweet New Orleans Plantation Country experience is taking a bayou and swamp tour! There are many reasons bayou and swamp tours are a great idea for families with teens. One, they’re on a swamp boat which is super cool. Swamp boats vary from pontoons, to small swamp cruisers, to high-speed airboats (learn more about airboats in a recent blog). Also, a tour of the bayou gets you up-close-and-personal with amazing wildlife including:

  • Alligators
  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Deer
  • Otters

Aside from these incredible creatures, the Louisiana swamps and bayous are also home to many birds of prey. Don’t forget to look out for these beautiful birds on your swamp tour:




The best way to see the swamps in New Orleans is on a guided swamp tour of New Orleans. We promise that both you and your teen will be pleasantly surprised by Louisiana’s wild side!

{Read Reviews & Book New Orleans Bayou & Swamp Tours Online}


Day 3: Going Out with a Bang


Bourbon Street and the French Quarter? Check. Plantation Country and the Mississippi Bayou? Check. Now it’s time to explore the Big Easy’s nooks and crannies and have some serious fun along the way!

New Orleans Bus Tours


new orleans bus tour

With so many New Orleans bus tours available, like the one pictured above, choosing the best sightseeing bus for you and your family has never been easier


One way to get a lot of excitement and even more photo opportunities for you and your teen is on a New Orleans bus tour. See a variety of popular districts, sights, and destinations across town including:

  • Mardi Gras World
  • St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
  • National World War II Museum

Even better, many of these buses run almost around the clock, all year long. So rest assured, the bus lines will get you where you want to be!

{Read Reviews & Book New Orleans Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours Online}

Roll Down the River


natchez dinner cruise in new orleans

Pictured above is one of New Orleans’ famous paddlewheelers docked at the Mississippi River


Finally, as the third day is winding down, we recommend going out in style and grabbing your family a seat on a dinner cruise down the Mississippi! An absolute New Orleans essential, historic paddlewheelers like the Natchez and Creole Queen will have you and yours dancing to world-class Jazz musicians, and stuffing your face with some of the yummiest Creole cuisine there is!

{Read Reviews & Book New Orleans Dinner Cruises Online}



As a fun, yet relaxing capper to your New Orleans adventure, we hope that as you and your teen cruise down the river, and the lights begin to shine throughout the city, you will look back over the last three days and think to yourselves, “when are we coming back!?” Remember, you can always find hundreds of incredible things to do online with New Orleans Attractions from



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