Summer seems to have gone by so fast. Not sure if it was that we didn’t finish homeschooling until early June, but it went by super fast. But one thing I like to do is travel in the offseason. When kids are back in school and people are not scheduling vacation as much in the offseason. That’s what I did for a weekend trip to New Orleans.
It was planned around fun things for kids to do and good food. I wanted to make this an educational trip as well for Charmingly CJ, so the activities we did double as a school field trip. Of course, living in Tennessee, getting fresh Gulf seafood, is just a dream. So, I had a list of places or food that had to be eaten during this trip. Here’s a kid-friendly guide to enjoying New Orleans.
Where to Stay
Hilton New Orleans Riverside – This was our second time staying at this hotel. But it had been years, I mean years since staying here. Like the name says, it’s on the riverside. I recommend getting a room with a river view, you will not be disappointed. I didn’t get any photos or video of the room. I always forget to take them. But rooms are a very good side.
For Charmingly CJ it was great! She was able to see the boats, including a cruise ship. She’s seen and been on US Navy ships, but she had not seen a cruise ship (at least one that she remembers seeing). If you are little one is into boats, being able to see them from the room will be exciting. There are two outdoor pools, but since it was raining, we didn’t check out the pools.
Dining options inside the hotel include Drago’s Seafood, Le Croissant, Marketplace, Public Belt, River Blends Cafe, Spirits, and room service. We did eat lunch at Drago’s on the day we arrived because it was convenient. It was ok. We’ve eaten at one of the other locations and it was good, so thought it this one would be good. But the service was lacking and the food was just blah. We did eat breakfast at Le Croissant and it was not bad. There was plenty for a picky eater like myself to select from, as I did the breakfast buffet.
One bonus to staying at this hotel is you don’t have to leave to go shopping. Rain or cold weather, you are steps away to shopping. You can walk through the hotel to a corridor to enter the Riverwalk Mall. Shops and restaurants include Coach, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Café du Monde, Guess, Fat Tuesday, and more. The Café Du Monde here tastes just as good as the one in the French Quarters.
Many popular things to do are within walking distance of the hotel. The French Quarter (4 blocks away), Canal Street shops (4 blocks), Aquarium of the Americas (3 blocks), Jackon Square (6 blocks), and Arts & Warehouse District (3 blocks). Harrah’s Casino is across the street from the hotel. With easy access to the streetcar lines.
Café du Monde – Located in the French this is must, especially if you have never had a beignet. This was Charmingly CJ’s first time having one. I could eat a dozen of these by myself. I kid you not!
Deanie’s Seafood – There are three locations. One is conveniently located in the French Quarters, but we decided to go to the Bucktown location. If you are wanting to eat, I mean eat – large portions of delicious fried seafood, this is the place. The number one reason for going is for the crab claws. That has to be the best appetizer in the world. If I see them on a menu anywhere, you can believe I will order them. Because the portions are very large, we shared all the food ordered. We ordered two crab claws, a cup of gumbo, and the half seafood platter. It was plenty of food for 2 adults and one child. The food was delicious!! The crab claws – out of this world amazing.
Felix’s Resturant & Oyster Bar – There are three locations. We ate dinner at one of the French Quarter locations (Iberville St). The reason for checking out this restaurant – CRAB CLAWS! Yes, this was the sole purpose of checking this restaurant out. It did not disappoint. On the menu, they are called crab fingers.
Audobon Aquarium of the Americas – Charmingly CJ loves going to the aquarium and sadly where we live there is not one. She was excited to check out a new aquarium. It was raining the day we went so we rode in a bicycle taxi to get there. This is a great place to take the little ones on a trip to New Orleans. It’s located on the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarters.
The exhibit that was currently taking place was sculptures made from plastic pollution.
Carriage Ride around Jackson Square / French Quarter – This was the first time Charmingly CJ and myself have done this. It was great to learn history about the French Quarters and see the French Quarter in a different way. The carriage ride was pricey, everyone pays the same price. A child pays the same as an adult. But it was a good adventure and worth the price.
There were a number of carriages in front of Jackson Square, across the street from Café Du Monde. It’s easy to find one to get on and ride.
Audubon Zoo – We did not go to the zoo, but it’s worth mentioning if you are planning a trip with kids or even without them. The zoo is located in historic Uptown. I haven’t been since I was a kid, but I remember it being a good zoo and have good memories of going there.
Have you visited New Orleans? What’s your favorite place to eat at or explore when there?
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