Best Places to Beat the Heat in New Orleans

Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall is a New Orleans landmark. © Phil Roeder / Creative Commons via Flickr

It's no secret that Summer in New Orleans can be hot and humid, so what better place to go for some air-conditioned fun. We know heat and we know how to beat it.

Beat the Heat

New Orleans has several world-class places to avoid the heat and have a great day with your family. Here are the best.

The Aquarium of the Americas has a 30-foot-long water-filled tunnel and see tropical fish of all shapes and sizes, immersed in 132,000 gallons of water. The Amazon Rainforest gets misty but the tropical birds love it. Sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays are among the many species swimming in the Gulf of Mexico exhibit, displayed in an illuminated tank. Our favorite part is the Jellyfish exhibit.

The Insectarium is a one-of-a-kind attraction that everyone in the family will love. The Museum occupies 2300 square feet in the U.S. Customs Building on Canal Street. It has interactive exhibits, a Japanese butterfly garden, and a "den" where people are reduced to the size of insects. Scary! There's a scorpion pit, 200 million-year-old fossils, and a lab. How about visiting the Trap Door Spider in the Life Underground? Are you hungry? The museum has a cooking show featuring a chef preparing and serving insect delicacies, featured at the Tiny Termite Cafe and Bug Appétit.

Yummy!

The Louisiana Children's Museum has been rated the top-rated children's museums of all surveyed by the U.S. Family Travel Guide in 2004, and it has only gotten better since. There is a miniature grocery store where the kids can shop, an area where kids can learn the architecture of New Orleans, a cafe where they can play waiter or guest, a towboat to pilot down the Mississippi, and many more hands-on activities. At Eye to Eye, they can learn to understand the concept of vision when they step into a giant eyeball.

Then they can be the doctor or the patient at the eye clinic.

Entergy I-MAX Theater is located right on the Riverwalk next to the Aquarium of the Americas. It's a great idea to combine an I-MAX movie with the aquarium for the perfect day.

Preservation Hall is dedicated to the preservation of New Orleans Jazz music. Preservation Hall is not only a venue for music, it is an art gallery and photo studio. On the walls are portraits of all of the New Orleans Jazz greats who gave New Orleans and the world this unique musical experience. It's also family-friendly. There's no drinking or smoking, so it's great place to bring the kids to introduce them to the American music form on New Orleans Jazz

The Riverwalk Marketplace is an air-conditioned mall that runs along the riverfront. It's not your usual mall, although it has some of the usual stores. There's also specialty shops, music and a food court with a view of the Mississippi River.

The National World War II Museum is a great way to spend the day. With the new expansion that includes a 4-D movie, lots of planes and more, it's fun for the whole family.

Embrace the Heat

Want a place outside to splash and cool off? Go to the Audubon Zoo's Cool Zoo waterpark. This animal-themed park features three areas with a large alligator water slide and giant monkey water dump. This is a great place for the family, with dressing rooms, lockers, snack shop and more.