While New Orleans is famous for its adult entertainment, the city also offers attractions that cater to children. One such attraction is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. This aquarium showcases an impressive collection of marine life native to the Americas, with a particular focus on the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River. Many of the exhibits provide hands-on experiences for both kids and adults.

The Great Maya Reef

Your journey through the aquarium begins with a visit to the Great Maya Reef and a sunken Mayan city of the Yucatan peninsula. As you walk through an underwater tunnel, you’ll encounter various sea creatures, such as:

  • Lion fish
  • Moray eels
  • Spiny lobsters
  • Photo-bombing stingrays

Rainforest of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers

Next, step into the humid and lush jungle of the Rainforest of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers of South America. This exhibit is home to omnivorous pacu fish and their cousins, the notorious piranhas. Climb the steps leading to the Tree-top Loop for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest.

Penguins, Sea Otters, and More

From the Rainforest, you’ll enter the aquatic worlds of various sea creatures, including:

  • Penguins
  • Sea otters
  • Seahorses
  • Green moray eels
  • Stingrays (which you can pet!)

Parakeet Pointe

Don’t miss Parakeet Pointe, where you can visit with hundreds of friendly parakeets. But be careful not to let one (or more) of these energetic little birds leave with you; they have a habit of burrowing into jackets and pockets!

Mississippi River Exhibit

Take a trip down the Mississippi River and discover some unusual creatures, like the paddlefish and a blue-eyed white alligator (not a true albino). From this exhibit, you can also enjoy a view of the actual Mississippi from the observation deck.

Gulf of Mexico Exhibit

At ground level, the Gulf of Mexico exhibit offers a glimpse of life at the base of an offshore oil platform. This massive 400,000-gallon saltwater tank is home to schools of fish, sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks.

Entergy IMAX® Theater

Adjacent to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, you’ll find the Entergy IMAX® Theater. This state-of-the-art theater features educational and entertaining films that complement the aquarium experience.

Getting There

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street, approximately a 15-minute walk from Cafe du Monde along the New Orleans Moonwalk.

Ticket Information

Aquarium only:

  • Adult Admission: $23.95
  • Child Admission (age 2-12): $17.95

Aquarium + IMAX Theater:

  • Adult Admission: $28.95
  • Child Admission (age 2-12): $22.95

Audubon Experience Package (Aquarium + IMAX Theatre + Audubon Zoo + Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium):

  • Adult Admission: $41.95
  • Child Admission (age 2-12): $29.95

Additional Information

  • The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas opened in 1990 and has since become one of New Orleans’ most popular attractions.
  • The aquarium is home to over 10,000 animals representing more than 530 species.
  • The Great Maya Reef exhibit features a 30-foot-long underwater tunnel, providing visitors with a unique perspective of the marine life.
  • The white alligator in the Mississippi River exhibit is named Spots and is one of only a handful of blue-eyed white alligators in the world.
  • The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is part of the Audubon Nature Institute, which also manages the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and Audubon Park.
  • The aquarium is committed to conservation and education, participating in various research and conservation projects focused on protecting marine life and their habitats.

Tips for Your Visit

  • Allow at least 2-3 hours to explore the aquarium, as there are many exhibits and interactive experiences to enjoy.
  • Consider purchasing the Audubon Experience Package if you plan to visit multiple Audubon attractions during your stay in New Orleans.
  • The aquarium can be crowded during peak hours, so consider visiting early in the day or later in the afternoon to avoid the largest crowds.
  • Bring a camera to capture your favorite moments, but be aware that flash photography may not be permitted in certain areas.
  • The Rainforest exhibit is particularly humid, so be prepared for a temporary change in climate during your visit.
  • Take advantage of the aquarium’s educational programs, such as animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours, for a more in-depth experience.

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a must-visit attraction for families and anyone interested in marine life. While it may cater primarily to young people, the aquarium offers a fascinating and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. With its diverse exhibits, hands-on experiences, and commitment to conservation, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas provides a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of New Orleans while educating visitors about the incredible diversity of life in the waters of the Americas.

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