This post will help you plan a fun trip to the Audubon Aquarium, including how to get here, the best times to visit, aquatic life on display, and describe the exhibitions.
Let's dive in!
This section lists tickets and prices. Don’t pay full price if you don’t have to - check out our discounts section below to find out how to get into the Aquarium for free.
General Admission Ticket:
This includes admission to the 4K theater.
- Adult: $30
- Senior: $25
- Child: $22
- Click here for more details or to purchase.
Audubon Aquarium and Zoo Combo Ticket:
This includes general admission to both attractions, and you can visit on different days.
- Adult: $40
- Senior: $33
- Child: $30
- Click here for more information.
This section details the multiple ways you can get discounts on your aquarium tickets.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
Discount passes work by allowing you to purchase admission to multiple attractions and tours upfront, which gives you a great bundled discount.
The Audubon Aquarium is included for free or a discount of up to 50% on most of the attraction passes available for purchase.
Tickets are included in these passes:
In addition to all the great Audubon locations you can visit for free, these passes also include admission to the following locations at no extra cost:
- Mardi Gras World
- Oak Alley Plantation
- National WW2 Museum
- Cajun Pride Swamp Tour
- New Orleans Jazz Museum
- Longue Vue House & Gardens
- San Francisco Plantation House
- Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Cruise
- And more!
Even if you only plan to visit a few of these attractions in addition to the Audubon Aquarium, chances are you'll be able to save a lot of money on tickets by using a tourist discount pass.
To read a full comparison of the tourist pass benefits you can get with a tourist discount pass, take a look at our full post.
Receive $2 off an adult ticket or $1 off a child ticket when you show your AAA card.
Active and retired military personnel receive $3 off adult tickets and $2 off child tickets with military ID.
Government Employee Discount
City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana employees get $2 off adult admission with ID.
Orleans Parish residents can receive free admission every Wednesday with valid ID to a rotating choice of Louisiana Nature Center properties - Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, or Planetarium.
Audubon Museum Library Partner Pass
The New Orleans Public Library has passes available for library cardholders to check out and use to get admission for 2 adults and up to 7 children. The pass is valid for a 2-week period.
Big Easy Deals
Audubon Nature Institute facilities are featured on Big Easy Deals throughout the year, sometimes at 50% off regular ticket prices.
Check coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial for occasional deals.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Audubon Aquarium is a pretty popular destination for families in New Orleans. As a result, it’s a good idea to plan your visit before heading out.
In this section, we will provide detail about how to get there, the best times to visit, and what to expect when you arrive.
TIPS: For the best experience, consider getting a New Orleans tourist pass for free and easy admission to the Aquarium.
If you’re looking for even more kid-friendly activities in NOLA, check out our family-friendly guide to New Orleans.
The Audubon Aquarium is located right next to the Canal Street ferry at 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130.
- Take a streetcar down to Canal Street Station. This stop services lines 2 and 47.
- The Canal Street stop services lines 10 and 16.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus:
- There is a hop-on-hop-off bus tour that provides a stop right across the street from the Aquarium at Harrah’s Casino.
TIP: This tour bus will also take you to nearby Mardi Gras World. If you plan on seeing a lot of attractions while visiting New Orleans, this is an excellent way to save money on transportation.
No matter how you choose to visit, use this map for directions.
Best Time to Visit
The Audubon Aquarium is open from 10 am - 5 pm every day of the week. Although they aren’t always busy, there are times when things can get pretty crowded.
If you want the best-unobstructed views of the animals, it will be important to think about when you plan to visit.
As with most popular attractions, this aquarium is at its busiest during the weekend. If you want to avoid the largest crowds, it will be important to make your trip on a weekday.
We recommend purchasing tickets on either Monday or Tuesday for the best possible results.
Additionally, you should also consider arriving either early or later in the day. The hours of 3 pm - 5 pm usually aren’t as busy, allowing you to enjoy your stay for as long as the aquarium is open.
Early birds who get there at 10 am can also beat most of the crowds, but you should expect things to get busy as early as 11 am on weekends.
This is a popular destination for school field trips and camping trips.
These groups tend to visit during the hours of 12 pm - 3 pm and Audubon Aquarium recommends coming either before or after these times for the best experiences.
Expect larger than usual crowds on event days and holidays. Fall and Winter are the slow seasons for this location, and you probably won’t have much trouble with crowds during the months of September - February.
How Much Time Should You Spend?
Most visitors recommend setting aside at least 1 ½ - 2 hours to explore the Audubon Aquarium.
Is the Aquarium Accessible?
The Audubon Aquarium is handicap accessible and they do their best to accommodate disabled visitors.
In addition to stairs, guests can also choose to take either an elevator or an escalator to reach the second floor. A limited number of wheelchairs are also available for those who might need them.
Families with younger children will be glad to hear that strollers are allowed inside the Aquarium. If you don’t have one, they are actually sold in the gift shop.
Budding photographers are also welcome to bring their cameras and perform flash photography of all the animals on display.
If you’re looking for more to do either before or after your visit to the Aquarium, there are quite a few fun activities and attractions in the area that you might want to consider:
EXHIBITS AT AUDUBON AQUARIUM
There are several different exhibitions on display at the Audubon Aquarium. Here is a handy list of the most popular attractions you will see.
Experience a rainforest in the middle of a dry season and get a birds-eye view of the area from their “tree-top loop” attraction. In addition to fish such as payara piranhas, pacu fish, and freshwater stingrays, you will also notice free-flying birds throughout the exhibit.
Watch as more than 20 African Penguins play and live their lives at the Audubon Aquarium.
These penguins are native to Africa and accustomed to a warm environment, so they are actually quite comfortable here in New Orleans!
If you can’t get enough of the birds flying around the Amazon Rainforest exhibition, head over to Parakeet Pointe and meet their Budgerigars.
This is an interactive exhibit allowing visitors to meet and even feed the birds. Feeding sticks can be purchased for an additional $1.50 ($1.00 for members). If you purchase 3 sticks, you get one free!
Living in Water
If you or your children are looking for Nemo and his friend Dory, this is where you can find them. This exhibit includes a variety of colorful fish such as clownfish, royal blue tangs, and lionfish.
Frogs! At the Aquarium
Take a break from all of the fish and spend some time with frogs of all shapes and sizes.
In addition to exotic animals such as milk frogs and poison dart frogs, there are also interactive attractions allowing visitors to touch some of the frogs at Audubon Aquarium.
Sea Otter Exhibit
These little guys may be some of the cutest animals on display at the Aquarium.
Their custom-made habitat gives them a lot to do while getting some exercise and having fun.
Mississippi River Gallery
Since you’re in the area, you might as well spend some time learning about the aquatic life that lives in and around the Mississippi River.
This gallery features a plethora of information and notable animals such as catfish, sturgeon, paddlefish, and alligators.
This is your opportunity to touch a cownose stingray and take a more hands-on approach to learn about them.
Visitors are even given the opportunity to help feed them during their feeding time.
This VR experience gives visitors the chance to dive into a 360° coral reef environment and help save the reefs from extinction.
Clean up the waters, feed the fish, and plant new coral branches in order to rescue the reef. This exhibit will cost another $6 per person ($5 for members).
Entergy Giant Screen Theater
Boasting a 4k digital projection system and state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos multi-dimensional sound, the Entergy Giant Screen Theater is often used to air special films and documentaries about aquatic life around the world.
Some of their screenings are offered in 3D, making the experience even more fun and interesting for viewers.
At any given time, they could be running 3 or more films at once, giving you a variety of entertainment to choose from depending on when you visit.
Your ticket for the Aquarium includes admission to the Entergy Theater, so you may want to consider planning your trip around the movie showtimes.
When they get a new film, you can usually expect at least 4-5 different showings per day. For more information on showtimes, check their Now Showing section.
EVENTS AT THE AQUARIUM
Throughout the year, the Audubon Aquarium will host special events.
Some occasions offer something as simple as a discount on tickets, while others encourage visitors to experience the Aquarium in a whole new way. Keep these events in mind while planning your trip.
During the month of June, the Audubon Aquarium celebrates all of the world’s oceans with Oceanfest.
They will have several hands-on activities prepared for this event with the goal of teaching visitors about how they can help keep our oceans healthy. These attractions will be available all month long.
Be sure to check out our post on things to do in June in NOLA.
Go 4th On The River
On Independence Day, nearby Woldenberg Park will be one of the best places to see the fireworks show taking place over the Mississippi River.
In honor of this event, you can get a $4 discount on all adult and children’s tickets for the Audubon Aquarium. You can also get the same discount at the nearby Insectarium.
Be sure to check out our post on things to do in July in NOLA.
Scales & Ales
On October 5th, the Aquarium will celebrate National Seafood Month with a wonderful party including live music, seafood, and an open bar.
Proceeds will help to fund education and conservation programs to try and make sure that we can keep enjoying this delicious food for years to come.
Check out other things to do in October in NOLA.
Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Bring your family to see mermaids swimming among the fish at Audubon Aquarium.
Taking place on the weekend of November 1st - 4th, visitors can head to the Mayan Reef tunnel in order to experience this wonderful event where the Weeki Wachee Mermaids will swim around and wave at the crowds.
Check out other things to do in November in NOLA.