Alright, here it goes. Before I go any further, I just want to make sure you have my number –– 504-235-1726.
I work downtown, which is right next to basically everything on this list and generally have a very flexible schedule. We also live about 10-15 minutes away from all of this (closer for City Park). I could even possibly pick you guys up & drop you off places (nothing is really ever more than 15 minutes away in New Orleans… except maybe the airport).
Also, before you come feel free to call or text if you have questions or want to bounce anything off of me. I have to entertain people all the time and have coworkers and friends with kids I can chat with if I don’t have the answers. Let me know if you’re considering anything that comes with an admission fee and I can check on any potential discounts or passes (no promises, but you never know).
With all of that side, here are some ideas to do with Griffin (there’s more but had to start somewhere) ––
Walk through the French Quarter/Jackson Square/St. Louis Cathedral
Aquarium of the Americas
I’m going to guess that you can figure out what an aquarium is (https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/aquarium). I’d give it 4 stars –– not the biggest in the world but it’s definitely entertaining and they have some great exhibits I think he may like. This is on the edge of the French Quarter, near the ferry landing.
North America’s largest museum devoted to insects and their relatives (https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/insectarium). I personally haven’t been (it opened long after I was a child), but I’d imagine a 7-year old boy may like some bugs.
A 30,000-square-foot interactive museum with over 100 hands-on exhibits (https://www.instagram.com/louisianakids/). I used to friggin LOVE this place when I was a kid, but that was a long time ago.
A two-hour cruise along the Mississippi River uses a real steam-powered sternwheeler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natchez_(boat)) and provides great views of the city (every day at 11:30am). **NOTE: I have tickets to this, if you’re interested… FREE** There’s not a lot of “excitement” but it’s a ride on a steamboat.
City Park (note: we live 3 blocks from City Park) 1,300 acres of activities (bigger than Central Park in NYC). A few things they have:
I think you can figure this one out (https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo). I’d imagine since you just went to the zoo, this wouldn’t be the top choice –– but it’s a pretty great zoo.
Take a ride on the New Orleans Streetcar (St Charles Ave. – $1.25/person CASH only)
It’s the oldest continually operating street car in the United States (http://www.neworleansonline.com/tools/transportation/gettingaround/streetcars.html), and the ride along oak-lined St. Charles Ave. is pretty spectacular. If Mike stays in the hotel I arranged, this runs directly outside of the hotel.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Celebrating the art, history and culture of the American South, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans opened in 2003 in the historic Warehouse Arts District. The Museum is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world. (http://ogdenmuseum.org/)
Mardi Gras World
Kids love the tour of this massive warehouse where they’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the costumes, floats, and parade paraphernalia of Mardi Gras. Pro tip: don’t miss the dress up costume trunks. (https://www.mardigrasworld.com/)
So, my gut instinct is that this could potentially be a bit morbid for Griffin –– but the above-ground tombs we use here in New Orleans are just so unique that some people like to visit. I would go as a kid on occasion, but I would also see them regularly driving through town. (http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/attractions/cemeteries.html)
Two things that it sounded like Mike wanted to possibly be there for are an airboat swamp tour and a trip to the WWII Museum. Both of these are amazing things to do and would probably be the two must-do activities alongside walking through the French Quarter.