Posted January 4th, 2009, 01:04 PM
Okay, here's my problem: we will get to New Orleans about mid-afternoon and have all of the next day as well, and we are traveling with our 7yo DS. We aren't interested in the French Quarter or any of the bars. The things we are interested in are:
Since we don't know what time we'll get in on Friday afternoon, there is very little we can see before everything closes (4:30-5pm this time of year). So we may try to see the botanical garden. If we want to ride the Natchez, the time options are 11:30 and 2 (having to be aboard 30 minutes before those times). The other things don't open until 10am. How long does it take to see the aquarium, keeping the attention span of a 7yo in mind? How large is the zoo? Should we do that if the weather is nice instead? If we did the 2pm Natchez ride, would we have time for both?
Are you set on riding the Natchez or just want a riverboat ride? There is one that goes from the aquarium to the zoo daily. I highly recommend the show 'Hurricane on the Bayou' at the IMAX. I'm not big on zoos or aquariums, but do enjoy both in New Orleans. The Aquarium usually takes us a couple hours to go throught with the kids (7 & 9) and they enjoy returning. The zoo can be an all day affair. It's a pretty good sized zoo. If I had to choose between the two I'd go for the Aquarium. There is also the Insectarium that just opened, which the kids LOVE. All 4 places (aquarium, zoo, IMAX and insectarium) are part of the Audubon Institute, so you can get deals if you go to more than one of them. http://www.auduboninstitute.org/
The IMAX is in the same building as the aquarium. The zoo is upriver and the insectarium is on Canal street.
One thing that you may enjoy is a ferry trip across the river. The ferry lands right by the aquarium and makes the trip across the river every 30 minutes. It's free for walk on travel. My kids love doing that - we don't even get off when we get across, just ride it across and back and then go get beignets. It runs from early in the morning (I wanna say 6am, but could be wrong there) and I think now runs until midnight (maybe later).
There is also a children's museum, but it would be pretty far down on my list of things to do in New Orleans.