The Ultimate Guide to the Best Playgrounds in New Orleans

Please note: this list is not inclusive of all playgrounds, but represents what local moms have expressed to be their favorite playgrounds in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. This will be an ever-evolving list, so if you have more information on any of these playground or your favorite neighborhood spot isn’t represented and you think it should be, please email me at [email protected] Thank you!

BEST PLAYGROUNDS BY CATEGORY *

*More details about some of these playgrounds can be found in the Neighborhood section below. 

BEST COVERED PLAYGROUNDS:

Kids Konnection (Mandeville), Little Farms (River Ridge), and Palmer Park (Uptown) all have sunshades covering the playground equipment, making them ideal for rainy days and days when you don’t feel like slathering on sunblock.

Nola-Playground-Guide-PinBEST PLAYGROUNDS FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Bonnabel Boat Launch (Metairie), Miracles to Milestones Playground (Destrehan), and Kids Konnection Koop Drive (Mandeville) were cited by local moms as being their favorite options for children with special needs.

BEST PLAYGROUNDS FOR SMALL TODDLERS:

Cleary Playground (Metairie), Danneel Playground (Uptown), Pontiff Playground (Metairie), and Mike Miley (Metairie) are our favorite playgrounds with toddler-friendly features (wide stairs, small slides, etc.).

BEST PLAYGROUNDS FOR ACTIVE MOMS

Audubon Park (Uptown), City Park (Mid-City), and Lafreniere Park (Metairie) all offer large walking/biking tracks, fields for group sports, and additional fitness features.

BEST PLAYGROUNDS WITH WATER FEATURES

Lafreniere Park (Metairie), Ormond Park (Destrehan), East Lakefront Children’s Park (Mandeville) are all well-maintained splash pads where you can take the kids to beat the heat. A splash park is also slated to open in City Park in the future. For more places for water fun in and around New Orleans click here.

BEST PLAYGROUNDS FOR SWINGING

Pontiff Playground 1521 Palm St, Metairie, LA 70001: Pontiff Playground has two play areas both with excellent swinging options. The larger of the play areas has a row of baby swings and several special needs swings. The smaller play area has 2 swings for bigger kids or moms (a rare sight these days!), a baby swing, and a special needs swing.

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Munholland Church

City Park 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124: You will find a long row of swings for kids of all ages an abilities in the play area next to Morning Call. In the field across from City Putt there are also rows of porch swings for those who want to swing in groups.

BEST PLAYGROUNDS WITH GATED PLAY AREAS

Bonnabel Boat Launch (Metairie), Confetti Kids (Algiers Point), Daneel Playground (Uptown), Munholland (Metairie), Lafreniere Park (Metairie), Williams Playlot (Metairie) are all excellent playground with gated play areas so you don’t have to worry about your kiddos running into the parking lot.

BEST INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS

Riverwalk New Orleans 500 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130: The Riverwalk has been a haven for both local and visiting moms who need respite from the heat on hot and humid days. The play area is located past the food court and is a circular structure lined with cushioned benches. The floor is soft and padded. The swamp-themed play equipment mainly consists of foam climbing pieces that are geared towards younger children. The play area is free, but if you drive you will most likely have to pay for parking.

Palm Tree Playground 3011 N. I-10 Service Road, East in Metairie, LA 70002: Palm Tree Playground in Metairie is open on most weekdays for open play, but is sometimes closed for events so it is best to check their calendar before planning a trip. Admission is free for adults and infants under 6 months and then $6.00-8:00 depending on the child’s age. Palm Tree has a large toddler area on one side to keep children under the age of three entertained for hours. On the other side is a small basketball court and a climbing structure for those four years and older. In between is a playhouse, building blocks and cars, puzzles, and ride-on toys. With a concession stand and plenty of tables for snack time, Palm Tree Playground is a local favorite for play dates.

Monkey Room 1501 Religious St, New Orleans, LA 70130: The Monkey Room is a large, indoor playground located in the Lower Garden District. They have a huge climbing structure with slides and obstacles, as well as a padded toddler structure with blocks, slides, and other things for the little ones to climb. Admission is free for adults, $7.00 for just the Toddler area, and $9.00 for full access to all equipment. Like Palm Tree Playground, the Monkey Room is available for private parties and it is best to check their calendar before planning a trip.

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Palm Tree Playground (Left and Center); Riverwalk Play Area (Right)

BEST PLAYGROUNDS BY NEIGHBORHOOD:

DOWNTOWN/FRENCH QUARTER/MARIGNY

Cabrini Playground Barracks St. & Burgundy St. 70116: Cabrini Playground is the first of its kind in the French Quarter, and I’m sure residents with children and tourists are grateful that there is finally a place close by for their kids to play. The playground is open from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm daily (8:00 am -7:00 pm during Daylight Savings).

Mickey Markey Park 701-799 Piety Street, New Orleans, LA 70117: Located in the Bywater section of Downtown, Mickey Markey Park underwent an extensive renovation in 2013 and is now a great place for families to take their kids. It has a full, modern play set including swings. Neighborhood moms love it for the large grassy area for picnicking and soccer and the sidewalk that is perfect for riding bikes.

GENTILLY/NINTH WARD

Oak Park Playspot 5134 Perlita Street, New Orleans, LA 70122: This is sometimes referred to as the Arthur Ashe Playspot because it is next to Arthur Ashe Charter School.  Designed for kids from ages 2 to 12, this is a great spot for play dates because there is a little something for everyone. There are two play structures (one with smaller slides and stairs and one with larger slides), swings for big kids as well as special needs swings, a large, jungle gym climbing feature, and a bouncy motorcycle. The playground is surrounded by lots of trees providing welcome shade.

St. James Playspot 2400 Filmore Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122: Kristi, one of our Gentilly Mombassadors recommends St. James Playspot and not just because she helped build it! St. James is a Kaboom playground. The play equipment is low to the ground and excellent for toddlers. It also has an area for older kids, swings, and a grassy area with picnic tables.

HARAHAN/JEFFERSON/RIVER RIDGE

Harahan Playground 6601 10th Street, Harahan, LA 70123: Located in a quiet neighborhood, Harahan Playground offers an excellent play area flanked by two picnic pavilions and surrounded by a walking track.

Jefferson Playground 4100 South Drive, Jefferson, LA 70121: Jefferson Playground was my favorite place to play as a child. A lot has changed in the past 20+ years. What once was a skating rink is now a parking lot and the playground equipment with the long row of “big kid” swings and the metal roller slide (so much fun, so much danger!) has been replaced by a new (and probably safer) set of equipment. The updated playground includes two slides, a jumpy bridge, a ropes wall, a rock climbing wall, two baby swings, and a wheel-chair accessible ramp with interactive games. There is a small set of fitness equipment next to the playground and a covered pavilion with picnic tables about fifty feet away.

Little Farms Playground 10301 South Park, River Ridge, LA 70123: Little Farms has two play areas. One is an older, metal play area that is gated and next to the tennis courts. The second play area is on the left side of the gym across from the baseball field. The equipment has a cool pirate ship theme with cannons, slides, a steering wheel, and is covered by a large sunshade making it perfect for hot and/or rainy days.

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Harahan Playground (Left); Jefferson Playground (Center); Little Farms Playground (Right)

LAKEVIEW/MID-CITY

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City Park

City Park 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124: Does any other park in the city even compare to City Park? What New Orleans childhood is complete without days spent climbing the live oaks in City Park? There are so many fun things to do for families of all ages. Older kids will love renting bicycles and pedal boats at the Big Lake and playing miniature golf at City Putt. Younger kids (and those young at heart) will love stepping into their favorite fairy tales at Storyland and running around the playgrounds. And everyone will love Carousel Gardens Amusement Park (open seasonally) and grabbing beignets and milk at Morning Call after a fun morning with family and friends. For rainy or unbearably hot days, spend a few hours strolling through the New Orleans Museum of Art where children 6 and under get free admission. NOMA also offers monthly programming for kids.

Desmare Playground 3456 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119: Desmare Playground, located next to Cabrini High School, is an ongoing love project for the residents of Bayou St. John. The playground is a neighborhood favorite because it is small and gated. It currently has a climbing structure, slides, picnic tables, and a small field for playing, but residents are raising money to update the equipment.

Lakeview Playground 5501 General Diaz St, New Orleans, LA 70124

Lakeview Presbyterian Church Playground 5914 Canal Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124: Lakeview Presbyterian is a favorite spot for the Lakeview/Mid-City Community group to meet for play dates.

METAIRIE/KENNER

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Map Courtesy of lafrenierepark.org

Bonnabel Boat Launch  1599 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, LA 70005: Although the Bonnabel Boat Launch doesn’t have swings, it is still a favorite among moms in the New Orleans. The entire play area is gated to keep kids from wandering into the parking lot. There are a good number of picnic tables and lots of slides. The ramps make it wheelchair and toddler accessible, and it still has plenty of climbing features to keep the older kids interested. The best part about this playground is that it is practically on the water supplying parents with nice views and cool breezes. Bonus: there is a nearby bark park for your fur babies!

Lafreniere Park 3000 Downs Boulevard, Metairie, LA 70003: What City Park is to New Orleans, Lafreniere Park is to Metairie and Kenner. This expansive park offers so many options for family entertainment. At the center of the park is a beautiful carousel that is $1 per ride when open to the public. (It can also be rented.) There are well-maintained playgrounds throughout the park and large fields for team sports or just running wild. The best part about Lafreniere Park though is the large pavilion and the lagoon where you can feed the ducks.

Miley Playground & Stadium 6716 W. Metairie Avenue, Metairie, LA 70003: Mike Miley playground on West Metairie Avenue is one of the best options in the city for parents with children of various ages. It has two, new play areas – one with high slides and a rock climbing wall for older kids and one with smaller slides and musical elements for toddlers. The best part is that the play areas are right next to each other so parents can easily keep an eye on their 2 year olds and their 6 year olds at the same time.  Across from the play areas is a set of swings with two baby swings and two special needs swings. On either side are covered picnic tables and the gym with restrooms is right across the parking lot. Some moms might not like that the playground is off of such a busy street, but it is gated and the kids get a kick of seeing all of the different cars pass.

Munholland Church Playground 1201 Metairie Rd, Metairie, LA 70005: Located off of Metairie Road in Old Metairie, Munholland Playground is a gem for local moms. Its gated play area is shaded by trees and perfect for toddlers. Please note: it is open to the public on weekends, but it is only open to the public after 2:00 pm on weekdays during the school year since Munholland Church utilizes the playground for its Kid Day Out program.

Wally Pontiff Jr. Playground 1521 Palm Street, Metairie, LA 70001: Formerly Metairie Playground, Pontiff Playground has two play areas. The larger of the play areas is located to the right of the gymnasium. It has four sets of play equipment for children of various ages. Across from this play area is a long row of swings. The smaller play area is across from the gym, in between the running track and the tennis courts. This play area is a favorite among the toddler mom set for its easily accessible toddler equipment (including a small slide set that looks like a bulldozer). The smaller play area has a clear view of the train tracks so it provides excitement for tiny Thomas the Train fans. Surrounding the play ground is a walking track that is largely shaded.

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Bonnabel Boat Launch (Left); Miley Playground (Center); Pontiff Playground (Right)

UPTOWN

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Audubon Park

Audubon Park 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118: Though some moms think that its playground areas may have seen better days, you can’t overlook the splendor of Audubon Park. The largest play area is located at the front of the park off of St. Charles with public bathrooms nearby. The 1.8 mile walking/jogging trail is canopied by Spanish moss covered trees and it is great for people watching. Do your kids like feeding the ducks? Well, then bring your stale bread and Cheerios with you when you visit Audubon because there are plenty of ducks to feed in the pond. Those driving can access parking through the Magazine Street entrance. Streetcar access is on St. Charles across from Loyola University.

Danneel Park 5342 St. Charles Avenue, 70115: Located on the iconic St. Charles Avenue, Danneel Park seems to be the overwhelming favorite neighborhood play spot for our Uptown moms. The equipment is clean and well-maintained and, though there is no covering, the beautiful trees around it provide ample shade. The one downside? There is no bathroom nearby.

Palmer Park Claiborne and Carrollton Avenues: As mentioned earlier, Palmer Park has a sunshade covering the play area making it one of our favorite Uptown spots to play. In addition to the modern jungle gym, Palmer also has a rock climbing wall and a large field for picnicking or having your kids let off steam. Its convenient location makes it easily accessible by bus or streetcar.

RIVER PARISHES

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Miracles to Milestones

Miracles to Milestones 9762 River Road, Destrehan, LA 70047: Located in East Bank Bridge Park, Miracles to Milestones Playground was created by a local mother with the United Way of St. Charles Parish as a play spot where children of all abilities can have fun and play together.

Monsanto Park 12501 River Rd, Luling, LA 70070: Monsanto Park is a favorite in the River Parish area for large get-togethers. It has lots of large grassy patches for running around, picnic tables, and new play equipment to entertain the kids.

Ormond Park 1901 Ormond Blvd, Destrehan, LA 70047: Ormond Park is a favorite of River Parishes moms for many reasons. Not only does it have a FREE spray park, it also has new playground equipment, a walking trail, and a covered area bathrooms close to the play area. It just underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in 2014.

ST. BERNARD

Sidney D. Torres Memorial Park Jean Lafitte Parkway, Chalmette, LA 70043: According to the moms we asked from St. Bernard, Sidney Torres is by far their favorite park. There are several covered pavilions where you can host parties and play dates. There are two sets of play equipment – one wooden, one metal. There are plenty of grassy areas for running and sports. And there is a small lake where you can feed the ducks and rent pedal boats. 

WEST BANK

Heritage Playground

Gretna Heritage Playground (Photo Courtesy of Gretnala.com)

Confetti Kids Park 451 Pelican Ave, New Orleans, LA 70114: Located near the ferry, Confetti Kids is the favorite neighborhood spot for play dates in Algiers Point. Although it is small (you won’t find large areas to run around in the grass here), the playground equipment provides lots of climbing and sliding fun, and there are swings for babies and older kids, picnic tables with painted chess and checkers boards, and ride-on toys.

Gretna Heritage Playground 1035 Huey P Long Ave, Gretna, LA 70053: Built in 2013, Heritage Playground has a lot going for it. There are three sets of climbing/sliding equipment that are covered in sun shades, swings for various aged children, and a merry-go-round. Add picnic tables and space to run wild and you’ll see why moms on the West Bank love taking their children here.

Mel Ott Park Playground 2301 Belle Chasse Hwy, Gretna, LA 70053

Oakdale Playground 650 Wall Boulevard. Gretna, LA 70056

BEST PLAYGROUNDS ON THE NORTHSHORE

KoopDrive1

Kids Konnection Koop Drive

Kids Konnection 21490 Koop Dr., Mandeville, LA 70471: Kids Konnection was overwhelmingly the favorite playground recommended by moms on the Northshore. It was created by parents of children with special needs to be a place where children of all abilities can have fun and play together. Featuring a gated play area, equipment covered by a sunshade, and a pavilion with picnic tables, it is easy to see why moms and kids alike love spending time here.

Paul D. Cordes Park 3101 E Causeway Approach, Mandeville, LA 70448: You would be hard-pressed to find a park where you would feel safer than Cordes Park, which is next to City Hall and the Police Station. The park has two play areas (one of which is a fenced in toddler area), tennis and basketball courts, and covered pavilions.

Heritage Park 1701 Bayou Lane, Slidell, LA 70458: Heritage Park features a huge children’s play area, a walking track, several public shelters and picnic tables. Heritage also has an amphitheater where it hosts free concerts.

John Slidell Park 105 Robert Rd., Slidell, LA 70459: The favorite among the Slidell moms we asked, John Slidell is a beautiful park with tons of trees offering shade. There are two playgrounds, multiple walking trails, a pavilion, and a lovely area with flowers.

 

3 Responses to The Ultimate Guide to the Best Playgrounds in New Orleans

  1. Dina L. October 15, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    I have to respectfully disagree about Cabrini Playground. There are very few children living in the area, and not many tourists bring young kids to NOLA so the park is usually empty or near empty, unless there are sketchy homeless people hanging out there. No restrooms, no functional water fountains, no parking. The gates to the park are chained open at all hours for some reason making it very easy for a child to dart out into the streets of the French Quarter where we all know the drivers are terrible. I have a 2-year-old and 5-year-old and we still trek over to City Park even though Cabrini is closer.

    • Sarah February 20, 2016 at 1:57 am #

      Without wishing to hijack this post, Cabrini is pretty dysfunctional as a children’s playground because it isn’t really intended to be used as such.The play equipment in there was paid for by private donors who happen to also have private access to the park and have the keys to the gates. They keep the gates open to prevent dog owners from letting their dogs off leash. The powers that be have repeatedly been asked to keep the gates unchained, fix the water fountain and broken lights, add fencing around the equipment to keep children safe, etc but all requests have been ignored. An official grievance has been filed and they’re supposed to be reviewing it this Monday, 22nd and a report will be made to the NORD Commission on March 1st. I would strongly advise anyone who uses this park to contact NORDC to complain about the facilities. It’s useless as a children’s playground and has stopped all FQ dog owners from having a place to safely let their dogs exercise.

  2. Mike Lewis January 7, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    For the northshore, don’t forget Coquille Park in Covington/Madisonville border off hwy 1085. It has two parks plus a water park, and a walking trail and a pond. Plus loads of soccer and baseball fields, basketball courts, etc.

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