Students of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts perform “Tommy.” (Photo: Joshua Brasted)
When you think of New Orleans, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. The city is so much more than that, especially when it comes to entertaining kids. There is plenty to do and see for the whole family, but if the stage is where your little one’s heart is, try these five activities on for size.
- Patchwork Players. You’ve heard the saying, “Out of the mouths of babes.” This theater troupe uses it as a source of inspiration by interacting with its young audience members. The responses they get are often unexpected and make for hilarious additions to the play’s dialogue. Performers sing, dance and tell jokes which are received with raucous abandon by the crowd. See them in their new home at Rivertown Theaters in Kenner, La., just 25 minutes outside New Orleans. They keep prices family friendly at just $8 per seat.
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Fest Kids Tent. Jazz Fest comes but once a year—the last weekend of April and first weekend of May. The festival is a massive display of musical talent big and small, local and world famous. Locals flock to it, but it has a national following as well. Devotees from across the country make their pilgrimage to this musical mecca each and every year. While ticket prices can seem steep for adults, remember all the talent you’ll enjoy in the course of just one day. Plus, ticket prices are just $5 for children 10 and under. Little ones will enjoy their own area devoted to kid-friendly music with performances highlighting local school choirs and bands as well as professional storytellers, puppeteers, musicians, and more.
- StoryQuest at NOMA. New Orleans Museum of Art offers a series of engaging classes, but for the your burgeoning reader, try StoryQuest. The hour begins with a tale read by a local talent, followed by a scavenger hunt through the museum. It’s a great way to explore the museum, and the class is free with admission. StoryQuest is offered on select Saturdays.
- Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. If you can bear one more rendition of “Let It Go,” then check out LPO’s Family Concert series. The performances incorporate familiar music for little ears such as songs from “Frozen,” “Star Wars” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Curious minds have a chance to interact with the musicians and their instruments before the start of each show. Tickets for children 12 and under are free.
- New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. New Orleans is known for a creative energy that’s always bubbling beneath its surface. It’s no wonder there is NOCCA, a thriving performing arts high school which boasts a very talented and ambitious musical theater department. These young performers are being groomed for a future in the dramatic arts, so the quality of their performances is impressive. Venues change based on availability. Tickets generally run $15 a piece.