NOLA with kids this time

Sep 21st, 2007, 08:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
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NOLA with kids this time

My husband and I first went to New Orleans in 1995 when I was 7 months preggers with our son, and fell in love with the city. We went back again in 2003 and again in the summer of '05 - where I proposed to him at Brigsten's (okay, so we bought a house and had two kids before getting hitched...).

We have so many great memories of the city, and of course, were just sick to follow the devastation with Katrina. This year, we're going to take the kids (now 10 and 12) down for the week leading up to Christmas. We'll do some of the obvious stuff (the Aquarium, IMAX, maybe a haunted house tour), but I'm wondering what you might suggest that would be really special. Apart from appreciating the unique magic of NOLA, we'd also like them to appreciate the impact and devastation that can happen in life - so we might see if we can spend a couple of days volunteering as well.

Any and all suggestions appreciated, as always.

mcburja is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 11:38 AM
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I think a carriage ride would be fun.

I have also heard about bon fires on the levies at Christmas time - I am sure a local can fill you in on that. When I heard about it though, it sounded really neat.

Look into live music venues that kids can go to - like Preservation Hall.
J_Correa is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 07:56 PM
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question for the NO "Christmas in the Oaks" (I think that's the name????) back on in City Park? My kids always loved that.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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Habitat for Humanity is here in N.O. helping lots of folks get back into homes. They are building in areas that were hard hit (ask about Lakeview and Gentilly). You may want to contact them about volunteer work for a day while you're here.
Something fun (and cheap) is taking a street car ride from downtown all the way down to the River Bend area on St Charles Ave past all the stately homes and ancient moss draped oaks. You may want to hop off at the corner of St Charles and Carrollton and stop in at the historic Camellia Grill for a quick bite. After lunch, you can take a stroll around the River Bend area shops. From there you can take a walk to the Mississippi River levee where you'll get a bird's eye view of the river and all the ships, barges and tug boats making their way up and down the river. As you head back up St. Charles Avenue, you will pass Audubon Park (just across the street from Loyola and Tulane Universities). A walk in the park would be quite enjoyable. If you have time you can also see the fabulous Audubon Zoo while you're there. There is a paddle wheel boat that can take you back to the downtown area from the zoo which would be a perfect finish for a perfect day.
LAkimmie is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Celebration in the Oaks (aka Christmas in the Oaks) will be happening again this year in City Park.
cheryllj is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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All wonderful suggestions.

I had to chuckle, LAKimmie, remembering the Camillia Grill. On a Chowhound recommendation, we went in last visit, and had the Fried (pecan) Pie. We didn't really believe it until we saw the grill cook through down a mess of butter, then grill both sides of the pie.

I checked the Habitat for Humanity site, and they have a sensible minimum age restriction - so we may not be able to involve the kids.

However, the other suggestions, especially the Celebration in the Oaks, sounds wonderful.
mcburja is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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The streetcar line down St. Charles Ave is not yet running. They are still working on the lines. Camilla Grill has reopened with new owners I believe, although I've heard that some of the old employees are still there. I have not been there since they reopen so I can't confirm that though.
be_6489 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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mcburja - I wanted my kids to do some community service work last summer when we were in NO and got hit with the age restrictions too (older son was okay, younger was not).

They ended up spending 2 days (about 3+ hours each) working at the Second Harvest Food Bank. The warehouse is located out toward the airport in the Elmwood area. They use kids from the age of 9 up. My kids helped to sort and box food that had been donated and was then going to be sent to distribution centers. Just an idea........
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 05:01 AM
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GRCxx3 - Second Harvest is a great idea - I'll check it out. Thanks for the information.
mcburja is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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The Second Harvest Food Bank was really great because at the end of the day (well, when they ran out of food to sort) - they told the kids how much food they sorted and how many meals it would provide. On my boys' second day - the kids (about 10 all together) sorted over 5500 pounds of food which they said would provide the equivalent of about 4400 meals. Made the kids feel really good about what they had done.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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You've gotten some great suggestions. I just wanted to throw in one bit of caution. You mentioned a haunted tour. I took one with our kids when we went in '01. They were 15 and 11 at the time. And we all really enjoyed the tour. But you should know that they take a break at a bar and the tours (at least the one we took) walk along Bourbon Street for a short distance. Had I known that in advance, I probably wouldn't have gone.

The funny thing was that the tour guide took me aside before we left to tell me that some of the stories might be a little much for an 11 year old. The stories were fine. Some of the people he saw on Bourbon Street...!

CAPH52 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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Oh - and another thing about the food bank....because so many kids need to meet required community service hours - they provide you with a letter to verify your time commitment.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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The Katrina Tour would be a good way for you and your children to see the impact of the Katrina disaster and how long it's taking to recover. Taking the free ferry across the Mississipi to see Mardi Gras World would probably be entertaining for them, as well. People on this board have said it's "cheesy", but even if so, I've enjoyed it on two visits and the people I've taken had fun. The World War II Museum is cool, with the exhibits, stories from veterans and real planes, boats, etc. Then finally, one of the day steamboat trips down river is always fun - takes about 2 hours. Have a great time! December in the French Qtr is always good - Papa Noel Days. I'll be there the first week in December, my 3rd trip in a year. Can't get enough.
nolaluver is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Check into Mid-City Rock n Bowl. My kids love that place.
uptowngirl2418 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Oh - haven't done Rock-n-Bowl in years....okay, haven't LIVED in NO in years either, but I'm going to have to put in on my list for next summer!!!
Grcxx3 is offline  

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