A trip to New Orleans can make for an unforgettable family vacation. This Louisiana city is a creature of its own, a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines that has transformed over the years into a uniquely delightful city. Whether you’re there to experience one of New Orleans’ many annual festivals, indulge in the local Cajun and Creole cuisine, or soak up the rich history found throughout the area, it’s hard to have a bad time when you’re here. Still, visiting New Orleans as a family is a bit different than checking out the city as a single adult, and you’ll want to come prepared.
Here are a few useful tips to help you and your loved ones enjoy a family-friendly vacation to New Orleans:
STEER CLEAR OF MARDI GRAS.
New Orleans has a bit of a reputation for being a little rowdy. While you can usually escape the chaos of the New Orleans after-hours scene, you’ll have a hard time shaking the party atmosphere if you choose to visit during Mardi Gras, when the chaos spills off of Bourbon Street and into the rest of the community.
WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS OF A RENTAL CAR.
If you plan to spend most of your time in the French Quarter, you might not want to deal with a vehicle. Parking is extremely limited and can get expensive fast, and you’ll likely find yourself lost at least once or twice trying to navigate the city’s notoriously confusing streets. Consider walking, riding the streetcars, and taking Ubers.
PACK THE BUG SPRAY!
Mosquitos are a well-known enemy in the South, and you’ll find them out in droves in New Orleans. If you’re going to be out toward twilight or after dark, you’ll definitely want to apply a layer of insect repellent before leaving your hotel room. Pack your favorite brand before you go or pick some up at any convenience store or grocer in the city once you’ve arrived.
DON’T SKIP CAFE DU MONDE.
This well-known spot is loved by locals and tourists alike, and it’s a treat your whole family is sure to enjoy. Cafe Du Monde is known specifically for their beignets, pillows of fried dough topped with powdered sugar and served alongside chicory coffee (for the adults) and chocolate milk (for the kiddos). They don’t accept reservations, so you should come prepared to wait for a table if you arrive during the busy morning hours.
HAVE A PLAN B FOR OUTDOOR PLANS.
If rainy weather dampens your outside plans, you’ll want to have a backup in place to keep you and the kids entertained. Fortunately, you have plenty of options! The Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Palm Tree Indoor Playground, and the Audobon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium are all great ways to spend a few hours when it’s raining, storming, or simply too hot and humid to stroll around outdoors.
From passing on the car rental to planning ahead to check out Cafe Du Monde while you’re in town, there are definitely a few things you and your family can do to make your New Orleans visit a little easier! These are just a handful of tips to get you started.