There are many reasons to visit Audubon Park in New Orleans. First of all, it's a beautiful park filled with huge live oak trees and wondering lagoons. There's a great golf course designed by Denis Griffiths. There's a world class zoo for the whole family, and if you also consider all the great festivals, this is a place to add to the top of your list of must-sees in New Orleans.
(c)2006 Sharon Keating
Audubon Park contains a world-class zoo with a fine collection of exotic animals in nature habitats. Some of the best are the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, the Sea Lions, the World of Primates, Jaguar Jungle, the White Tigers, the Rhinos, the Dragon's Lair, and Monkey Hill.
The Cool Zoo is a great place to stay cool in summer and have fun with the whole family. It's a large water park with three different splash areas. One especially for toddlers and younger kids. There are jumping water spouts, a huge alligator water slide, a spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and much more. For the adults, the Cool Zoo has plenty of shaded seating areas, family restrooms, lockers, a consession stand for snacks and a store for anything you forgot to bring.
The public golf course was re-designed in 2001 and is a Denis Griffiths creation, with Tif Eagle greens around four lagoons on a par 62, 4,220-yard layout. The Clubhouse is open Tuesday through Saturday, serving breakfast from 8-11 am, lunch from 11-3, and from 3-5 pm, light snacks and beverages are available. There is also a buffet brunch on Sunday from 8:30-2:30.
4. Bird IslandOne of our favorite places in Audubon Park is Bird Island. It's in the middle of the lagoon that runs through the park and meanders next to the walking/biking trail. It's about mid-way between St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street on the downtown side of the trail. No matter what time of year it is there are many, many birds, swans, geese and ducks to feed and enjoy. There are benches on which to sit and enjoy the view. So, when you go, bring some stale bread to share with the feathered friends of Audubon Park.
5. The Festivals
Audubon Park is the site for many annual festivals showcasing the culture, food and music of New Orleans. There's the Swamp Fest
held in November for Cajun fun, Soul Fest
to enjoy African-American culture, food, crafts and music. Earth Fest
to learn about and appreciate our planet. And, every Mother's Day there's a special concert by Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans to celebrate mother's and family.
Audubon Park has ten clay courts that are available to the public. The courts are open 7 days a week and are $10 per hour to rent. Private lessons, group lessons and clinics are available for juniors and adults.
There are three playgrounds plus a swing set in various areas around the park. One is right off of St. Charles Avenue so it's easy to get to on the streetcar. There is also a great pool located across the street from the Audubon Golf Course. The Whitney M. Young Memorial Pool at Audubon is open to the public. The pool is great for both children and adults looking for a nice swim or a place to relax. It is operated by the New Orleans Recreation Department.