From the outside, New Orleans Louisiana, in the United States, seems like your typical concrete jungle. Roadways and railways intersect the city in a way that can lead to confusion. Tall buildings loom over older architecture. It is a city crammed full of people and businesses.
The hustle and bustle of the city is one of the many things that add to the appeal of City Park. This 1,300-acre plot resides just outside the hustle and bustle of the older parts of the city. Just a few miles away from the ever popular French Quarter and Jackson square lies and area of peaceful green spaces.
Families can spend the day playing and enjoying one of the many open areas, many with tables and grills available for a cook out. Impromptu soccer and football games take place; kids climb on one of the many jungle gyms or just enjoy the freedom to ride their bikes along the trails.
While simply enjoying a day outdoors with the family is a great way to use the park, it is far from the only amenity families. There are many fun activities to enjoy while on the grounds.
City Putt the Only Miniature Golf Course in New Orleans United States
City putt is a 36-hole miniature golf course perfect for even the smallest putter. Each of the two courses has a full 18 holes and information about the area for visitors to learn about. On the Louisiana course, players get to learn about different cities and cultures found around the state. Each hole is named for one of these famous icons and has a plaque with a small description. On the New Orleans course, each hole is named for a historical site or street found within the city limits. Like on the Louisiana course, there is a small description explaining the significance.
Sadly, you don’t get to choose the course you play. The attendants who hand out clubs and balls and take payment for the game tell you which side to play. They do this so that one side won’t be over crowded with players allowing everyone to finish their game without a great deal of hold up. Larger groups may be split into two in order to keep the games playing through.
Little ones get to play free. Children ages four to twelve only cost $6 for a round. Teens and adults have to pay $8 a player for each round. If anyone in the group wants to play the second course after finishing the first, the cost is only $4 a person as long as game is played during the same visit.
Carousel Gardens Amusement Park
Across from the only miniature golf course in the city are a few other areas families may enjoy. Carousel Gardens is a small amusement park perfect for the little ones to enjoy. As they only have a few rides and none of them would be considered extreme, kids over the age of nine probably will be bored after the first couple of times around the campus. However, preschool aged through early elementary will find the sixteen rides quite enjoyable.
Despite not being geared towards the thrill seekers, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park does have a few height restrictions. For most of the five rides geared for preschool and younger, a minimum height of 36 inches. For some of the faster rides, children under 42 or 52 inches may have to have a parent to ride with them.
Of course, the smaller guests can visit Story Land, an area filled with pint-sized activities styled after famous fairy tales. When we visited, we passed by the area, but sadly my son is just a little too big for that area so he didn’t get to enjoy it. Instead, he headed off to the roller coaster, which is perfect for the older kids in your family.
If you are planning to spend the day at Carousel Gardens, it is best to purchase the wristband, which currently costs $22 and includes the cost of admission. This gives you unlimited rides on all the rides in the park, including the train, which tours around City Park. Of course, those who only want to ride one or two rides, tickets are available for each ride. If you ride more than five, however, you’ll be better off purchasing the wristband, as the tickets are $4 each plus a $4 admission fee.
Taking in Some Culture: Sculpture Garden and New Orleans Museum of Art
Letting the kids have some fun is the whole idea of spending a day there as a family. You don’t have to chase a colored ball or ride endless rides to have fun. You and the family can walk through a free sculpture garden. Of course, the kids can’t clime all over the sculptures, but there is lots of room for them to run while you enjoy a little culture. One sculpture begs to be sat on. This bench looks like someone is sitting on one end. Patrons are invited to get a picture with this still life and take a break as you make your way on the winding path.
If your family likes art, the New Orleans Museum of Art is located right across from the Sculpture garden. This three level institute has a wide variety of art some older more traditional pieces others more modern. NOLA Museum of Art (NOMA) even has specialty exhibits that are only available for a limited time. During our visit, the artist, Tim Youd, displayed his latest works from his 100 Novels project. The five novels he chose to perform at NOMA were chosen because of New Orleans history with these pieces. During his project, he would run doubled paper through a manual typewriter repeatedly until each word of the novel was typed. These pages were then mounted in the museum to represent the reflection of the relationship to memory, history, and creativity. Sadly, this exhibition is now over, but the museum welcomes new special exhibits several times a year. Before planning a trip, check their website to see which artists are joining the collection for a limited time.
Of course, there are many other exciting things to do in the park. The big lake is available for fishing and paddle boat rides. There is a splash pad for the kids to enjoy during the summer and a beautiful botanical garden available year round. A new full golf course is coming to the area soon.