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Audubon Nature Institute

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Audubon Nature Institute Audubon Nature Institute Photo by lsgcp via Flickr

Audubon Nature Institute’s mission is to bring nature to the people through educational entertainment and act as environmental guardians.

The Land that the Audubon occupies has been home to varied people and a place for varied purposes. Before New Orleans came to be the land was occupied by the native people of the area. Eventually it became the home of the city’s first Mayor, Etienne de Boré. After years as a sugar plantation the land fell into the hands of the public around 1850, when the land was given by a philanthropist.

In the years of the civil war the land was used at one time for a Confederate camp and at another time as a Union Hospital. It even was used as the starting site for the famed Buffalo Soldiers, and African-American troop that fought in the American frontier.

Eventually the land was used as the site for the first Louisiana World’s Fair, also known as The World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884. After the fair was over, the area was used for one of the first urban parks in the South. Eventually, the park would be named for John James Audubon, who famously portrayed the birds indigenous to the area in his work called The Birds of America.

Audubon ZooThe park as we know it to become was initially designed by Charles Olmstead, whose family played a large role in the development of another famous park in North America—Central Park in New York City.

Over the years since the parks inception there have been progressive changes to create a nature reserve for people to learn about the world around them in a nurturing and educational manner.

Audubon Nature Institute is open 7 days a week. Hours vary from one location or event to another so it’s a good idea to refer to the official website for up-to-date information regarding ticket prices. There are a variety of interesting things to see including:

Aquarium of the AmericasThey also offer several camp experiences for kids to enjoy and learn about nature. The Audubon land area also sports a great park and trail for outdoor activity and walks and there is a golf course for enthusiasts to enjoy.

There are several ticket packages and specials available. The most comprehensive one is the Audubon Experience Package, which includes all of the above areas of interest for $44.50 for adults, $14.50 for kids ages 2-12, and $31.50 for seniors (65+). These tickets are good for 14 consecutive days from the first day a ticket is used so that guests will have plenty of time to see everything they want to see and experience at the Audubon Nature Institute.

Local guests may find that a Full Membership that affords them plenty of time to visit everything again and again is a better deal for them. Visitors to New Orleans may find that the Experience Package is the right way to go for them. A full year membership provides free admission to the Zoo, Butterfly Garden, Aquarium and Insectarium. Admission to the IMAX Theater for full members is only $5 each.

Butterfly Garden and InsectariumIf your group or school is interested in group rates for a day of adventure, it is a good idea to set up reservations well in advance. The reservation office only takes reservation requests Monday through Friday from 10 to 4. Group rates are offered for 10 or more people. There are different rates for different types of groups. Visit the site to see if you fit into any of their group specs to get a great rate.


Open 7 days a week. Hours vary from one location or event to another
Address/Map:  6500 Magazine St New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone: (504) 581-4629
Website: Audubon Nature Institute – New Orleans
Audubon Experience Package
      • $44.50 for Adult
      • $25.00 for Child (2 -12)
      • $31.50 for Senior (65+)
Packages and group discounts available online