A Mardi Gras tribute guide to your next great family trip
Hate partying? Detest jazz? Have I got the place for you!!
It’s NEW ORLEANS! Ya heard?!
No duh. It’s the coolest mom spot there is. And fun for whole fam!
My crew has gone the past two years, with my siblings and their kids tagging along last year. It's such a great warm-weather destination, especially if you aren't big beach-goers. The people are friendly and upbeat. The food can't be beat.
My #1 tip: Stay away from the French Quarter.
You hear locals say it all the time. It's true, the rest of the city is just so much better-- less crowded, quieter, and, like, where real people live, so just all-around more interesting. Of course, Jackson Square is beautiful and it's a good trolley hub, but, beyond that, it's just. too. much.
I put together a few lists of places and things I've loved doing with my fam that steer us clear of the Bourbon Street revelry.
What to do WITH KIDS:
1. Steamboat Natchez- Two hour boat ride along the Mississippi with music, snacks, and great Bloody Mary's.
2. Audubon Zoo/Park- One of two huge (like blocks-long huge) parks in the city. Visit the Zoo, see ducks and turtles in the ponds, stop at the playgrounds, etc. Take the trolley down St. Charles Street to get there.
3. City Park- The other of the two huge parks. This one's huge-r, with SO MUCH to see and do. Get beignets at Morning Call, take a train ride around the park, check out the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, have a picnic and smell all the good smells.
4. Walk down Magazine Street from Coliseum Square Park west FOREVER... Stop at Defend New Orleans for the obligatory t-shirt purchase (this place somehow avoids the super-cheesy tourist vibe).
5. Rainy day? See a movie at the old Prytania Theater.
6. Run/Stroller around Tulane and Loyola University's Campuses-- beautiful gardens, Live oak trees, and lots o' snack spots.
(I haven't been to the following 2 but want to check out next time around...)
7. Ogden Museum of Southern Art- it gets rave reviews and has kid-friendly areas and activities
8. Crescent Park- Riverside park with arts venues and "kickabout" greenspace
Where to Eat WITH KIDS:
1. Turkey and the Wolf- Insanely good salads and sandwiches (rated #1 new restaurant in the US by Bon Appetit!)
2. Morning Call or Cafe Du Monde- Beignets galore.
3. Mr. B's Bistro- yes, it's in the French Quarter, but worth it
4. Stein's Deli- wild n' crazy Jewish deli with zillions of sandwich options
5. Mulate's- Dance to some Zydeco in between bites (the food is so-so but the atmosphere is top notch)
6. Creole Creamery- Old timey ice-cream in a great neighborhood
7. District Donuts- If you're willing to sacrifice a beignet day, these donuts are TDF
8. Parkway Bakery- Po' Boy shop that's been around for ages
9. French Truck Coffee- local franchise with great pastries and superb coffee
Where to stay WITH KIDS:
1. We’ve Air B&B’d both times— one good place, one not-so-good (I didn’t really vet it). I’d recommend finding one in Garden District or Uptown/Carrollton for good strollering around some of those old, stately mansions. The closer to Magazine Street, the better.
2. Hotels abound! But then you’re dealing with the French Quarter.
There you have it, mom! I hope you go for it sometime soon!
I'm sure I missed a lot of great stuff! Please comment below and I'll include at the end of this post.