Things To Do In New Orleans For Families

My husband and I try to take the family to New Orleans every year.  There is so much to do and it is a good weekend trip from most northern Gulf Coast communities.

We’ve been to the Audubon Zoo, the WWII Museum, walked around the French Quarter and more on past vacations to NOLA.  We always combine family activities with the pursuit of good Louisiana food.  Our family owns Dixiedining.com, an award-winning Southern food and culture review website.  We basically eat our way around the South, taking in the cultural differences in each location which could include festivals, art shows, concerts, shopping, museums, zoos and more.

The French Quarter offers so much that it is fun to return to often. The shopping, art gallery viewing, French Market and the artists, street performers and musicians around Jackson Square are always enjoyable. A walk along the Riverfront, Streetcar rides to the different neighborhoods nearby and horse-drawn carriage rides offer a different view of the area.  It’s all in the name of great family fun.

 

So once, again we made our pilgrimage for 2014. Here’s a list of what we did and what we recommend you and your family do on your next trip to the Crescent City.

8 Things We Did:

1. Shopping Magazine Street: food, historical music venues, art galleries and thrift shops

One of many pieces of art you will find around the Magazine Street shopping area.

One of many pieces of art you will find around the Magazine Street shopping area.

2. Art Galleries in the French Market: our favorites were The Art of Dr Seuss, Caliche & Pao, Rodrigue Studio, and Kezic GalleryCAM01389

3. Mardi Gras World: a guided tour of where Mardi Gras floats and festivities are made

 

4. Ogden Museum of Southern Art: check out their schedule for events (music after hours) and traveling exhibits

Outside the Ogden

Outside the Ogden

 

5. Street Car/Trolley Ride: under construction in places this year so check for information before you plan your ride.  Usually great fun

6. Crescent City Farm Market: Wow, what a selection.

7. Bowling at Mid-City Lanes/Rock n Bowl: bowling by day, bowling/dinner/concert venue by night

8. Lafayette Cemetery: be sure to follow the tours. The NOLA cemeteries can be scarey and dangerous on your ownwpid-cam01422.jpg

More family-oriented things we recommend to do: Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, Riverboat ride, horse-drawn carriage ride, Civil War Museum.

10 Restaurants We Tried:

1. Joey K’s: loved the Po Boys

2. District: Donuts, Sliders, Brew: Donuts were greatwpid-cam01353.jpg

3. Vincent’s Italian: great Italian food; the boys opted for Calamari and loved it

4. Old Coffee Pot Restaurant: try the Calas for breakfast.  Other items available, too.

5. Domilese’s: Po Boys

6. Hansen’s Sno Bliz: always a line; always yummyphoto (39)

7. Pascal’s Manale: Gary and I enjoyed their famous barbecue shrimp. Kids ate calamari again. Thumbs up.

8. Cochon Butcher: So good.

9. Cafe Beignet:  2 locations. Very good for breakfast.photo (91)

 

10. Elizabeth’s: family friendly, good food

For more dining information go to Dixiedining.com. The Louisiana restaurant page is filled with tried and true places we recommend as a family. Our blog contains more detailed information on some of them.  Also, check the festival listings so you can catch one on your vacation.

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Nawlins Y’all

We made a trip this weekend to New Orleans. I don’t think we had been there since 1998.  We did drive through on our way from Houston to Sarasota back in 2007.  I remember it was a sad drive along I-10 through the city.  Blue tarps everywhere,  broken up homes, a rebuilt house here with a fence around it, an abandoned house there with a broken/partially missing fence.  Who shopping centers where abandoned.  I don’t know if this was a result of the storm or maybe they had closed before.    Needless to say they are still shut down and boarded up.

On the bright side, it looks like a lot of people got new homes.  There were sections of newly built homes surrounded by the damaged ones.    The new ones looked great and I’m happy for those people after what they went through.

There are “Katrina Trolly Tours” in the city but we didn’t take one.  In all the shops we stopped in, there were Katrina books and the unwrapped ones were fairly tattered from guests looking through them. 

There were sections of town, several different blocks, where the buildings were boarded up on the downstairs floor, broken on the top.  You see this in many cities but it made me wonder if they were Katrina victims or just victims of inner-city decay.

I’m not a fan of large cities but our trip to NOLA was fun.  We walked forever.  We started out near the French Quarter Market, parked the car and walked around.  First stop: Central Grocery for muffalettas.  

We walked on to Aunt Sally’s for pralines.  Cafe DuMonde was way too crowded and we’ve eaten there a ton of times so we passed it by and just made it back to the car before a heavy downpour.  We drove around for a little bit and went to check in at the Marriott (thank you Priceline.com).  When the rain let up we walked to Riverwalk, then took the trolley to Jackson Square, then back to Riverwalk and to the hotel; all between raindrops.

Musicians at Jackson Square

Musicians at Jackson Square

We made the trip to celebrate Gary’s birthday and to check out the food scene, since we hadn’t been there for a while.  We grazed all weekend…roasted oysters, gumbo, pralines, etc  We watched musicians at Jackson Square and looked at art hung on the fence posts.  We stopped in a few stores, not many, because we didn’t come to shop and we weren’t into the voodoo stuff they sold anyway.  We have lots of art from New Orleans from former trips. 

We stopped at the Southern Food Museum at Riverwalk.  My husband is all about Southern Food; I guess the whole family is.  It was a great museum to visit and I recommend you visiting.  The displays on food, old and new machines to whip up good eatin’s, and archived donations were well done and enjoyable especially for the boys.  After all, they are the heirs to the Dixiedining.com dynasty.   Travis likes to eat, try new foods, make food and Austin likes to film what everyone is doing.

at the Southern Food Museum

at the Southern Food Museum

Sunday was another grazing festival.  We took the street car to Camellia Grill for breakfast, drove to Brocatos for spumoni, and Parkway Bakery for poboys.  Thank God I don’t eat much.  If I did I probably wouldn’t have fit in the car after this trip.

Streetcar at the Camellia Grill

Streetcar at the Camellia Grill

Next time we go back to New Orleans, we’ll check out the Audubon Zoo.  The kids have never been.

Check out Gary’s blog: www.dixiedining.wordpress.com for his version of our weekend.

Snyder’s of Hanover

My sister-in-law works for Snyder’s of Hanover in Pennsylvania and had sent us a box of delicious stuff for Christmas.  I usually don’t do food listings or reviews (I leave that for my husband: www.dixiedining.wordpress.com) but I had to write about this because I just think its an awesome gift to recieve.  

Here’s the list of what we got (minus the items we already ate and that I can’t remember what they were): large bags or boxes of Pumpernickel & Onion Pretzel Crackers, Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Pieces, Hot Buffalo Potato Chips, Veggie Chips, Garlic Bread Pretzel Pieces, Pretzels Rods, Jalapeno Krunchers, Corn Torilla Chips.  Small bags included: Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Sandwiches, Chocolate Fudge covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches, Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces, French Onion MultiGrain Sunflower Chips, Milk Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzel Dips, Pretzel Sticks, Jalapeno Pretzel Pieces, Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips, and White Fudge covered Mini Pretzel Dips. 

Good heavens! They make a great variety of pretzels.  But of all their products  my all time favorite is still the plain ol’ pretzel rods good for dipping in mustard or really any kind of chip dip, although mustard is best.

Oh, and there was a Snyder’s football and mini-ice-scraper key ring  also in the box.  Can’t say we’ll ever use the ice scraper but we’ll use the key ring for the beach house key.

Thanks, Cathy.

They have even more products than she could send me.  Check out www.snydersofhanover.com to order your box of goodies.