Keeping the Kids Happy
Youngsters like to be entertained and get involved in things that interest them. So we’re suggesting two spots that both you and your child will enjoy – and remember – long after you leave New Orleans.
TURTLES, OTTERS, PENGUINS: YOU NAME IT
The Aquarium of the Americas is part of the Audubon Institute and is located at One Canal Street. Its exhibits go beneath the surface of the Mississippi (the aquarium also overlooks the river), the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Amazon rainforest. There are 15,000 sea life creatures, representing nearly 600 species in this state-of-the-art facility.
Visitors of all ages can touch a stingray, feed a parakeet and marvel at the tarpons in the 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit. Or, one can view the new and impressive Great Mayan Reef and the 30 ft. clear tunnel running through a submerged Mayan city, home to exotic fish. This is truly a fascinating experience that a youngster will love.
Want to pet a shark? Here’s your chance. The shark touch pool allows visitors to touch a baby shark. Want to be entertained by sea otters, neon-colored frogs or jaunty penguins? You’ll find all of them here.
Plan to spend several hours looking at all these wonders of the sea. There’s a small café on-site as well as a gift shop. Need to take a rest? The adjacent IMAX theatre screens educational and commercial movies throughout the day.
The aquarium is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. To contact: call (504) 581-4629 or (800) 774-7394.
ART, MUSIC, SCIENCE AND MATH: THEY’RE ALL HERE
The Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans’ offers playful, hands-on experiences for children in more than 30,000 sq. ft. of fascinating interactive exhibits.
This educational museum lets your little one play, explore and learn. The Little Port of New Orleans spotlights five types of ships and lets kids serve a make-believe meal in the galley kitchen of a cruise ship, crawl through a barge, load cargo onto a big rig truck and pilot a towboat down the Mississippi.
Back on land there’s Eye to Eye that, unbelievably, will allow your youngster to step into giant eyeballs. Yikes! Then one can peek through magical masks for a look at how a catfish or hawk observes its surroundings. There’s also a special enclosed layscape for toddlers three and under to crawl, climb and explore. Come to First Adventures, every Tuesday through Friday, at 10:30 am.
And, let’s not forget the Talk and Play Center where a child can explore the world of books and literacy. Or decide to: dress up and perform, put on a puppet show, recite rhymes or even make music. There’s creative fun for everyone.
The gift shop is on the first floor and is filled with puzzles, games, science kits and party favors. This two-floor museum is located at 420 Julia Street and the hours are:
§ Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 am until 4:30 pm
§ Sunday, mid-August to May, noon to 4:30 pm
§ Monday to Saturday, 9:30 am until 5:00 pm
§ Sunday, June to mid-August, noon to 5:00 pm
You’ll see lots of smiling faces! Everyone’s happy at a museum that’s created for them and their friends.