The Audubon Nature Institute is a non-profit that is comprises of ten parks and museums devoted to nature, and located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It consists of an Aquarium of the Americans, Audubon Zoo, Park, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES), Entergy IMAX Theatre, Audubon Insectarium and Audubon Wilderness Park.

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The park changed its name to Audubon Park in 1886 to commenorate artist John James Audubon. A flight cage was introduced to the park wjocj lead to the launch of a zoo that was full scale thus establishing Audubon Zoological Gardens over 58-acres in 1916.

The Garden ranked among the top nation’s best zoo. The zoo was able to expand quickly through several private donations including that of the mammal exhibit and deer padlock. The very first elephants to have a home at the zoo was purchased by local school children in 1924. Merz Memorial Zoo was enabled by a local benefactor Valentine Merz in 1938 through a $50,000 donation.

The museum entered into a partnership with San Diego Zoo Global to form a program to breed disappearing Zoo animals of the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center. Audubon Nature Institute serves the community and the world as an environmental guardian, educational reserve, and location for family entertainment. It also acts as a leader in economic development.

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2.Animals and Exhibits

Animals and Exhibits
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Aquarium of the Americans is located along Mississippi River banks, administers the Audubon Zoo, Insectarium and Butterfly Garden. It also oversees Audubon Park situated in another part of the city. The exhibits origins are North and South American regions. It contains 100,000 animals with 530 species.

Mississippi River Gallery is home to paddlefish, owls, catfish and a leucistic white alligator.

Amazon Exhibit houses an anaconda, macaws, freshwater stingrays, piranhas, and other specimens native to the South American Amazon rainforest Caribbean Reef Exhibit houses angelfish and tarpon.

Gulf of Mexico Exhibit features 400,000 US gallons tank of sea turtles, sharks and stingrays.

Entergy IMAX Exhibits has exhibits that feature African Penguins and sea otters.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is an insectarium exhibit that showcases various insects and located in a Federal Building of the U.S. Custom House, so be ready to pass through a metal detector system. The museum is handicapped friendly and limited wheelchairs are available.

Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) was initiated to help the disappearing species by developing supported reproduction procedures.

Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center is a 1,200-acre sanctuary inaugurated in 1993 where endangered animals can breed and live peacefully.

Audubon Zoo shelters different types of animals. It has reptiles, sea lions, watoto walk, monkey hill, pelican’s nest, jaguar jungle, flamingo exhibit, bamboo village, frogs, African Savanna among others.

Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is a community resource center situated in New Orleans East of Joe Brown Park. It covers 86 acres of hardwood basin forest. The center opened on May 23rd, 1980 through a project by Greater New Orleans Junior League. From providing essential environmental education programming, it upgraded to become a community pride.

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3.Attractions at Audubon Nature Center

Attractions at Audubon Nature Center
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Audubon Park situated in historic Uptown New Orleans is a favorite place for picnics, recreation or relishing a lovely day. For centuries, people have delighted in this urban oasis with a Lagoon, a tranquil 1.8 mile, ancient live oaks picnic shelters, jogging path and playgrounds. The Park opens to the public while featuring riding stables, tennis courts, the Whitney Young Pool, soccer fields, Audubon Golf Club and Clubhouse Café.

Butterfly Garden is an Asian-inspired home to hundreds of butterflies. It is the work of Dorothy Dorsett Brown and Joe W. Foundation.

Golf Course features 18-holes with a par 62 on a 4,220-yard layout placed in the midst of hundred-year-old oak trees. This part of the Audubon Park is located just a few minutes from downtown New Orleans. The course features trimmed Tif-Eagle greens, Denis Griffiths design with outlined Bermuda fairways, and magnificent landscaping.

Audubon Clubhouse Café is a public café located within Audubon Clubhouse. The restaurant offers an appetizing menu with a culinary experience. Delight in lunch, brunch and dinner indoors or enjoy your meal on the café veranda while enjoying the fascinating view of the park. For parties of 6 people and more, make reservations.

Odenheimer Sea Lion Pool is a historic site built in 1928 and stands in the landmark of Audubon Zoo. It has an elegant Hygeia Fountain surrounded by a giant oak tree that makes the area captivating.

Woldenberg Riverfront Park is a perfect spot to unwind and was formed in the late 1890s to early 1900 and named after humanitarian Malcolm Woldenberg who assisted in funding it. It sits on a 16-acre green space and it’s placed along Mississippi Riverfront. The park contains Holocaust Memorial Sculpture of New Orleans.

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4.More Attractions at Audubon Nature Center

More Attractions at Audubon Nature Center
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Wilderness Park located on Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center campus, in Lower Coast Algiers. It consists of a natural and isolated green space that comprises of basic facilities housing the NALCO Visitor Center, picnic shelters, a loop trail and restroom amenities. The park entails educational programs that include Insect Identification, Geocaching, Introduction to Birdwatching, Merit Badge Clinics and more. The park closes on holidays like Memorial Day, Labor, Mardi Gras and Thanksgiving.

Entergy IMAX Theatre has giant 3-D screen theater that is high-tech powered by world’s greatest advanced motion picture technology for viewing films. It’s found next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and has a 4k digital projection that offers the finest motion picture systems. It closes during Thanksgiving.

Whitney Young Pool is opened during the summer season and located across Audubon Golf Course and run by New Orleans Recreational Department. The pool is open to public and caters for both adults and children; hence an excellent spot for family outings.

Cascade Stables is a horse riding stables that have been giving Equestrian instruction since 1981. It went ahead to open a new riding facility in September 2006. It provides full saddleseat riding lessons to horse fanatics from children of 4 years to adult. The rides are only on an appointment basis and not trail rides.

Audubon Tennis Courts is a world-class facility made of clay that includes ten courts located on Magazine Street Riverside off Henry Clay Avenue. While playing tennis, you enjoy the cool breeze experienced in the clay courts that defines true magnificence. The tennis instructors are certified by USPTA/PTR so be sure to be coached by experts.

Birdwatching experienced in the lower area at the Aquarium, and they’re friendly to visitors. In this space, you can also find eel, tortoise and a selection of fish in the ponds.

Audubon Shop carries an assortment of items that appreciates the wonders of nature. It contains items ranging from birds items, nature lover, gifts and kids items. The shop is a fragment of the Mass Audubon that is a non-profit body. The money collected from the sales is used to protect birds, other wildlife, and the land.

Riverside Jogging Path is an excellent place for jogging and popular with the residents. It includes artwork and sculptures.

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5.Special Events

Special Events
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Hoppy Thanksgiving gives people an opportunity to sample a broad range of traditional Thanksgiving delicacies: wax worm cranberry sauce, cornbread with turkey and mealworm filling and cricket pumpkin pie. The creative dishes are a statement of Audubon Nature Institute. The event takes place at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Holiday Film Festival has a variety of films that one can catch up on during the holiday season at the Entergy Giant Screen Theater.

The Water Feature is a 90-foot linear and a fun place complemented by 30 varying light shows set for evening events on the plaza. Moreover, a great place for kids to run through so as to cool off during steamy summer.

Penguin Backstage Experience gets you up close with the endangered African penguins. You will get to learn about how the Aquarium cares for the penguins and prepares food from the Aquarium husbandry team. You will receive a penguin painting made during the visit and take photos.

Snorkel Adventure or Maya SCUBA Dive gives you an adventure in the Aquarium's Great Maya Reef by bonding with the hundreds of aquatic animals.

Whitney Zoo-To-Do is the 40th annual event for awakening new wonder taking place in the Audubon Zoo’s Jaguar Jungle. The occasion will cheer a substantial expansion of the famous Jaguar Jungle at Audubon Zoo.

Jungle Bells Holiday Party will be held in Audubon Zoo Picnic Pavilion and will provide different activities to children: Visit with Santa, crafts, refreshments, rides on the Endanger Species Carousel, train, and an ornament photo.

Insect Adventure night experience brings you up close with the insects that fly and glow at night.

Audubon Tea Room is a prestigious official space with lofty ceiling, polished hardwood floors, and lavish silk draperies. It’s perfect for day and night events as it has a romantic Tea Room Garden.

Cajun Ballroom found at Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, holds more spectacular events that are fun. It has a dancing hall to make your occasion entertaining. It accommodates 800 guests.

Back to: 25 Best Things to Do in New Orleans

6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Lousianna,70118, Phone: 504-861-2573

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Things to Do in New Orleans: Audubon Nature Institute