Little by little, and with an abundance of safety and special protocols in place to protect staff and the public from the COVID-19 virus, South Louisiana’s parks and attractions are cautiously opening back up for business. This is great news for families who have gotten a bit stir crazy under quarantine conditions — but it comes with a social contract to follow the new rules of physical distancing and other mitigating efforts to prevent another massive outbreak of the disease.
Here are some places in New Orleans & the Northshore that are (or soon will be) welcoming back kids and families. Please be sure to check each website for any required registration, new hours, and other special rules.
The Aquarium is welcoming back guests as part of Audubon Nature Institute’s phased reopening. A key part of the plan to safely reopen in compliance with State, City, and CDC guidelines is shifting to timed, advance ticketing. All guests MUST purchase their tickets in advance online for a specific date and entry time; Audubon Members must reserve their complimentary tickets online in advance as well. Follow this link for more reopening information: https://bit.ly/2TRZ03L Reserve your spot here: https://bit.ly/2H3uS1n
Now open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only. Vehicular traffic will not be allowed. Audubon Tennis will reopen Wednesday, May 20, with a limited schedule and appropriate social distancing measures. Planning is underway to reopen Audubon Zoo in early June.
The zoo is now open, but your visit will be a little different than in the past. Along with required reservations and attendance limits that support physical distancing, all guests will follow a one-way trail through almost all of the Zoo to see many of their favorite animals and wildlife habitats. Other safety initiatives include requiring staff to wear masks in public spaces, and stringent cleaning protocols. Also, all indoor animal exhibit buildings such as the Reptile Encounter and “Criaturas de la Noche Nocturnal House” remain closed. Cypress Knee Café and the indoor dining area of Zoofari Café will be closed, however, a limited menu of food and beverages will be available for purchase outside of Zoofari Café, and outdoor seating will be available. Visit the link above for more info.
Children’s Museum of St. Tammany is reopening their doors on June 20, with summer camps beginning on June 29. They’ve also implemented health and safety procedures such as modified operations, physical distancing, exhibit modification, contactless interactions, PPE, and best practices in hygiene and handwashing.
City Park has reopened some attractions such as non-contact sports and the Botanical Garden with limited admission, and they strenuously remind people to continue to follow the rules in place so the Park can continue to move forward in phase one. City Park Non-Contact Sports – City Park invites guests to use the attractions responsibly and continue to maintain the guidelines set by the CDC; City Park/Pepsi Tennis Complex: Open Mon.– Thurs. 8am to 7pm and Fri.– Sun. 8am to 6pm; reservations made over the phone at (504) 483-9383; limited admission; City Putt Mini Golf: Open Wed.- Fri. 3pm to 10pm and Sat. & Sun. noon to 10pm; last rental is 1 hour before close; purchase tickets on this link; limited admission; Bayou Oaks: Open Mon.– Fri. 7am to dark and Sat. & Sun. 6am to dark; clubhouse will close each day at 7pm; reservations made on CityParkGolf.com; limited admission; Sport Fields: Fields are available for rent for non-contact sports only; to rent a field contact Denise at email@example.com; Wheel Fun boat and bike rentals on Big Lake: Open Mon.-Fri. 10am to sunset and Sat. & Sun. 9am to sunset; details on this link.
City Park invites guests to use the attractions responsibly and continue to maintain the guidelines set by the CDC. Open Wed. – Sun. 10am to 4:30pm (last entry at 4pm); limited admission; tickets on this link.
Snoballs: Located on the plaza between the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn and City Putt; open Wed. – Sun. noon to 7pm. Café Du Monde: Open 7 days week, 10am to 5pm, take-away only. Acorn: Open Thurs. & Fri 11:30am and Sat. & Sun. 11am to 8pm; take-away and outdoor seating; order by phone or online: 504-218-5213 or acornnola.com
Heritage, Frtichie, John Slidell and Possum Hollow Parks are open with modified operations. Open areas include outdoor recreation areas, tennis courts, neighborhood parks (excluding playground equipment), Heritage Park boat launch and Raising Cane’s Camellia City Bark Park. For more information, click here.
Coquille Parks & Recreation (Covington)
Open with modified operations. Check website for updates.
The CAC is planning to re-open their galleries on a limited basis from June 1st to June 14. To ensure city and state-mandated public health requirements are followed, they are offering a limited number of time-ticked admissions each day. Tickets are available online only and must be purchased in advance of visiting the CAC.
The gardens are open during two time slots, 9AM-12PM or 2PM-5PM, and closed in between to be able to re-sanitize some areas and re-group. You can reserve a spot during the morning or afternoon slot and can come at any point during that time. The house is currently closed and will reopen for tours in the fall. Docent led garden tours will be available starting June 9.
LCM is open seven days each week through August 30th from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Advance online reservations for two-hour timed play sessions are required for general admission guests and LCM Members alike to regulate the museum’s capacity. Staff and visiting adults are required to wear masks, and the museum will be cleaned in between play sessions.
Our local state parks — Fontainebleau State Park, Fairview-Riverside State Park & Bogue Chitto State Park — are taking reservations for campsites, cabins, large capacity lodges, meeting rooms, and group camps. Louisianans are encouraged to get out and explore in a safe manner, respecting social distancing and the Governor’s guidelines for Phase 1, keeping within the 25% capacity for these facilities.
Museums have reopened with 25% capacity, including: The Cabildo, The Presbytère, The New Orleans Jazz Museum, 1850 House & Madame John’s Legacy. Each state park and state historic site will follow cleaning and hygiene guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) to ensure all areas are disinfected and safe for visitors.
Open for walking, biking, & jogging on the walking path only. Playgrounds are closed. No picnicking, chairs, hammocks or other forms of social gathering.
New Orleans Museum of Art plans to open the gates of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden to visitors on June 1 at 25% capacity. Hours: Wednesday through Sunday (closed Mondays and Tuesdays) Seniors and immuno-compromised only: 9:30–11 am; General public: 11 am–4 pm; Museum Members only: 4–6 pm. Visit site for admission prices and other info.
City Park invites guests to use the attractions responsibly and continue to maintain the guidelines set by the CDC. Open Wed. 10am to 8pm and Thurs.- Sun. 10am to 4:30pm; Wednesday is free entry for LA residents courtesy of The Helis Foundation; purchase tickets on this link; limited admission.
NORD’s playgrounds and other open spaces are available for residents, though the city asks people to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings. Other open facilities: Lafitte Greenway & Bike Path, tennis centers, skate parks, track stadiums, outdoor fitness parks, and walking trails. Indoor pools are open by reservation for lap swimming only. Visit the NORD site for updates, rules, and restrictions, and other info.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art will reopen its doors on Monday, June 15. Per City, State and CDC guidelines, new safety measures and timed tickets have been implemented to ensure limited attendance and adequate space for social distancing.
Pelican Park (Mandeville)
The park is fully reopened, but asks people to maintain social distancing, use sanitizing stations, and to limit the sharing of equipment.
The Prytania has scheduled some extra special movies for their return, while enacting special safety protocols. They’ve decreased capacity to 15% and prepared the auditorium to ensure proper social distancing; masks are MANDATORY to be allowed into the theatre; and no gathering in the lobby before or after shows. They’re featuring kid and teen-friendly movies, like Harry Potter & Batman. See link for schedule & showtimes.
Tammany Trace (Northshore)
Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Bayou Lacombe Bridge closes at 7 p.m. Restrooms will be cleaned throughout the day. Patrons should plan to exercise best practices for prevention when using these facilities, including: social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent hand washing.
The National WWII Museum will officially reopen to the public on Memorial Day, May 25. The Museum will operate at 25% of its total capacity while enacting new safety measures, including advance online ticket purchases, social distancing guidelines throughout pavilions and galleries, and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols.