January 17th is Kid Inventors’ Day. (Not just a random day! It’s Ben Franklin’s birthday. Franklin invented the world’s first swim flippers at age 12!)
This got us thinking a lot about how the children of New Orleans have a very unique perspective on life than anywhere else in this country.
(Hello! I didn’t know Mardi Gras wasn’t everywhere until 8th grade!)
The idea of “kid inventors” far surpasses the immediate thought of a child with a science experiment. This category should include art, music, nature, and anything thought-provoking to our future leaders.
Check our list below for places to bring your little ones to get their creative juices flowing!
Just a little building located in Gretna, behind Gretna Junior High School, you can bring your kids every Monday and Wednesday night (as long as the skies are clear) to check out the stars above us. Opened in 2004, the Gretna Observatory wanted to bring awareness to astronomy. On a given night you can see such far away planets as Saturn and Jupiter. You and your kids can learn about double stars, constellations, and more!
Winter hours are dusk to 10pm and during the summer they operate from dusk to 11pm.
Located on 86 acres in New Orleans East, the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center has been delighting kids since 1980. (I went on a field trip there as a kid!)
There are walking trails, a planetarium, an interpretive center, and ranger chats! Schedule a field trip or check the hours for the best time to bring the kiddos by.
Walking trails are open daily from 8am – 4pm.
Thinkerella is a hands-on educational program for elementary and middle school girls and boys that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) experiments and activities. Through after-school activities, workshops, birthday parties, and scout sessions, each session tackles complex material by making it fun and exciting through interactive learning experiences. Created by local mom Cherie Melancon Franz, Thinkerella aims to inspire the next generation of makers, builders, shapers, doers, and inventors.
Contact Cherie via the website to get your kids involved!
4. Art Klub Kids Brass Jam
Hosted by Art Camp 504, Kids Brass Jam is a reoccurring educational program that teaches, mentors and inspires students through music instruction on trombone, trumpet, and percussion.
Info directly from their site: Thanks to partners Art Klub and their support from Threadhead Cultural Foundation and Preservation Hall Foundation, they are able to offer this unique music curriculum. They connect the music with the culture that birthed it. Students explore from where the music came and how it has evolved over time, paralleled with the cultural evolution of our fine city New Orleans.
This session kicked off Jan. 7th, but email them to see if you can slip in while it’s early or register for the fall edition! Reese.ArtKlub@gmail.com
5. ACME Studios
Owner Jennifer Lindsley genuinely enjoys working with children (and adults) teaching one on one out of her studio, or in group settings. She definitely believes each student has unique perspective, and that developing a love for art can uncover it.
Her curriculum is an excellent addition to social activities allowing students to experiment, discover and learn outside the classroom.
Your young one will have the opportunity to explore pencils, charcoal, pastels, watercolor, acrylics, oils, mosaics, murals, collage, papier-mache, decoupage, basic printmaking, and various craft techniques. Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of the day, there is no place like New Orleans. Take the kids to Preservation Hall for one of their daily shows, bring them to The Fly to watch the ships roll on by – just bring them somewhere and make them fall in love with their city every day.