The wonderful, fascinating Aquarium has recently reopened after Katrina damaged it so badly. This is my favorite place to go and cool off and de-stress while in the downtown area. We've had a yearly membership for many years now and it comes in real handy. With it one can literally pop in just to visit some old friends (my personal favorites being the penguins, Buck and Emma - the great sea otters, jellyfish, seahorses and the tiny tropical frogs...) If you have children, they will be utterly fascinated and they will learn a lot during each visit. Do not miss the petting zoo - where else can you pet a shark or a sea star? The gift shop carries a nice assortment of educational and just plain fun things as well.
A place not to be missed for sure when you are in New Orleans!
More info to be found at www.auduboninstitute.org