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The best summer activities in New Orleans all involve creatively beating the heat. The Cool Zoo at the Audubon Institute is the only waterpark-like site in the city where temperatures hover in the upper 90's. It's a family-friendly locale as most of the park's activities are kid-centric, but who doesn't like a mid-summer splash? Applaud back at the sea lion exhibit on your way out.
The Audubon collection of museums also includes the Aquarium of the Americas in the French Quarter. Cool off at the penguin feedings, watch the sharks circle in accurately recreated Gulf of Mexico exhibits, and expand your mind as you beat the heat.