Enjoy Summer With These Budget-Friendly Family Activities

Whether you're trying to stay cool, or parents, if you're trying to keep your cool, here are some ideas for family activities to beat the heat without breaking the bank.

Get Wet!

Get wet and wild to cool off this summer. The New Orleans Recreation Department gives options where you can jump in several pools around the area for free. Get soaked in Mandeville at the water playground inside Fontainebleau State Park. Pools at the UNO Aquatic Center are also open to the public. The facility also offers swimming lessons. Catch some waves on the West Bank at Bayou Segnette’s wave pool. Head to the North Shore to visit Land-O-Pines, a family campground that houses tons of water activities. Splash around to Metairie to enjoy the Lafreniere Splash Pad. Finally, cool off at the Cool Zoo and the Gator Run Lazy River inside the Audubon Zoo.

Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Walk on the Wild Side

Explore while learning about nature’s creatures at the zoo, aquarium or insectarium. Audubon Nature Institute offers several adventures at varying prices. Go birdwatching or take an insect adventure at Audubon Wilderness Park. Here’s another idea: Hop on a swamp tour for some great stories and a thrilling wildlife experience. Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Photo courtesy: Louisiana Children's Museum

Have Fun While Learning

Put a fun spin on learning even while your kids are on summer break. The New Orleans Public Library hosts plenty of free activities including story time, origami lessons, craft workshops and interactive hula hoop programs. The Louisiana Children’s Museum opens daily during the summer. The museum offers several programs and events in addition to regular exhibits. Photo courtesy: Louisiana Children’s Museum

Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Make Family Movie Night an Event

Take the kids along for a family-friendly movie at Audubon Zoo’s Dinner and a ZOOvie, a weekly series happening Friday nights at the zoo. Keep cool indoors at Prytania Theatre, New Orleans’ oldest operating movie theater. Immerse yourself in a a nature-themed larger-than-life 3D movie experience at the Entergy Giant Screen Theater. Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Run Free at City Park

Run wild at City Park — a great place for families to enjoy summer activities. The park has a day out with the kids completely covered. Choose from several activities like the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, Storyland, City Putt, playgrounds, boating and more. Photo courtesy: City Park

Cool Off with a Sno-Ball

Beat the summer heat with this special cooling treat. Here’s a list of awesome sno-ball stands around the New Orleans area. Some stands offer snack-sized sno-balls for as low as $1. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out a weird flavor like dill pickle.

Plan a Staycation

Consider a staycation if your budget won’t let your travel this summer. Here are five great tips to help you start planning. We found a hidden gem that might be the perfect spot for a great family weekend. Here are some local hometown bargains that will cost you no more than $5. Better yet, here are some free local attractions that also include some fun just for adults.