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DreamWeaver2002
05-18-2010, 11:19 AM
Hello All! I am trying to plan an extended weekend family trip to New Orleans for this summer (prob. July or August--unsure of dates) and would love to hear good ideas to entertain my family while keeping budget in mind. Our family consists of myself, my DH, and our three girls which will be ages 5, 7, and 12. Please share any ideas--Hotel, activity, or restaurant. Thanks in advance!!:yay:

Tink-n-MrIncredible
05-18-2010, 03:24 PM
Some of the things for kids to do: the aquarium (by the river), Childrens Museum on Julia Street, the insect terium (not sure of the spelling), take a boat ride from the French Quarter to the Zoo. Go to Cafe DuMonde and have some beignets. For a good place to eat lunch try The Charter House Cafe (I think that was the name). There are neat things to buy at the French Market (some times you can name your own price on items). Try not to forget anything as there is really no place to purchase anything, no walmart near by, I think there is a walgreens and that is it. If you can bring some snacks and drinks with you to save some money I would do that.

CC12005
05-18-2010, 05:02 PM
Tink has pretty much listed most of the items to do with children in the French Quarter. Although I don't consider the Aquarium prices exactly budget for a family a five I do believe it is well worth the costs and your children will enjoy it. I've been to other Aquarium's and this is one of my favorite. Children love it.
Also want to emphasize that the Cafe Du Monde is really budget. A must do. The main location is open 24 hours. 3 Beignets are less than $2. We've also found Deanie's Seafood to be reasonable priced. They have several location's including the French Quarter. Muffaletta's at the Central Grocery Store in the French Quarter are reasonable. They claim to have invented the Muffaletta and normally I do not like those kinds of sandwiches, but theirs are great.
A word of caution. Do not take your kids down Bourbon street even during the day. You should be fine crossing it to get to another street, but do not walk the length of it. If you would like to check it out, do a child swap with your husband & see it independently. The graphic billboards will make your eyes pop out of your heads. :scared1: Many of the Vegas billboards pale in comparison. I've found this to be the only street in New Orleans wildly inappropriate.
Have a great trip. Let us know how the trip goes. I plan on taking my kids there later this year & want some new suggestions.

lulu71
05-18-2010, 05:46 PM
Are you sure you want to visit here in July or August? Don't get me wrong, we love our tourists, but it is going to be oppressively hot. I guess school schedules might make October tough, but it is so much more comfortable then.

Be sure to take a ride on the streetcar (it's like $1.25 or something) up St. Charles Avenue.

Deb & Bill
05-18-2010, 07:17 PM
Your other problem with August is that is prime hurricane season. Heat and humidity in July and August in NOLA is horrible.

take a boat ride from the French Quarter to the Zoo I think that is supposed to be trolley car ride from the French Quarter to the Zoo. No boats go between those two places.

One thing that we really enjoyed was a tour of the cemetary. Since most of NOLA is below sea level, you can't bury people in the ground. All burials are above ground.

Planogirl
05-18-2010, 07:51 PM
There used to be a boat ride/zoo package available before Katrina. Did they do away with it?

Strolling the Quarter is fun and free. The National Park Service used to offer free tours of the old cemetaries. I don't know if they still do.

cindycastle30
05-18-2010, 09:02 PM
We are going to New Orleans at the end of August this year with our four kids ages 14, 13, 12, and 8. This will be their second trip and our third. The Embassy Suites on Julia St is a great deal for families, you can book a room for about $100 a night for your whole family. Check hotels.com. The rooms have a seperate bedroom so you can have some room to spread out. A full breakfast buffet is included each morning so that can really help with the food budget. For two hours each evening they have free drinks for adults. This will be our third stay there and will stay here each visit. It is in a very centrally located part of the city. If you are driving parking is $30 a night but that seems to be the going rate everywhere.

We are going to buy a membership to the zoo and aquarium for $135 this will save us a little bit of money and we will be able to get into both places, you also get a discount for the IMAX and insectarium. Our kids loved cafe du monde but will not do the muffelata sandwich again, too bad cause it is so cheap! The kids also liked eating at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, so we will take them there again.

I would be interested in hearing about any more budget ideas, thanks OP for starting this thread.

Tink-n-MrIncredible
05-18-2010, 09:23 PM
Your other problem with August is that is prime hurricane season. Heat and humidity in July and August in NOLA is horrible.

I think that is supposed to be trolley car ride from the French Quarter to the Zoo. No boats go between those two places.

One thing that we really enjoyed was a tour of the cemetary. Since most of NOLA is below sea level, you can't bury people in the ground. All burials are above ground.



Boat is correct . I don't remember the name of the boat but it is a nice ride if they still do that. Try calling the company that owns the Steamboat Natchez or Cotton Blossom.

Deb & Bill
05-18-2010, 11:05 PM
There used to be a boat ride/zoo package available before Katrina. Did they do away with it?

Strolling the Quarter is fun and free. The National Park Service used to offer free tours of the old cemetaries. I don't know if they still do.

I couldn't find anything about Boat/Zoo packages. Grey Line does most of the official tours. But there are all sorts of tours available at night- not the best for young children, though.

diznynut
05-19-2010, 02:08 AM
There is a package for most of the things mentioned. At this time the steamboat Natchez does not go to the zoo. We are going the last week of June to visit my DW family.

Audubon Experience Ticket: See all 4 in 5 days!
Our best value! Visit Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium, Entergy IMAX® Theater and Audubon Insectarium for one low price. The Audubon Experience Ticket includes one visit to each facility; ticket expires five days after first use, excluding Mondays when all facilities are closed.


Adult $34.95

Child (2-12) or Senior (65+) $19.95

cajunmommy
05-19-2010, 07:56 AM
AAA offers discounts for the Audubon Nature Institute attractions (zoo, aquarium, insectarium, IMAX). Discounts are also given for the National WWII Museum (former D-Day Museum), but you would have to decide if it's age-appropriate for your kids.


People watching is free! Jackson Square has artists & street performers, or you could head to the Riverwalk to watch the ship traffic on the Mississippi River. The Riverwalk is basically a mall, but you can grab a cold drink or an ice cream cone & watch through the big windows (in the a/c) or head out to the back observation areas.

Mardi Gras World would be on my must do list as well. It's not within walking distance of the Quarter, however.

Do your research on hotel bookings. Don't know if you'll have a car, but parking is extremely limited in the Quarter, so parking fees are expensive (I've seen $30/night).

jsmla
05-19-2010, 08:56 AM
We like to go to New Orleans for the weekend at least once a month. If you're comfortable with Priceline you can get very good deals on their French Quarter zone 4 star hotels. In the summer we can usually get a room in the $50-$70 range. We get the Marriott on Canal about 90% of the time. You can check out the hotels on biddingfortravel.com

Parking is expensive. We usually park our car in the garage at Harrah's Casino (Canal St. near the river). If you play for 30 minutes on your Rewards card you get 24 hours of free parking. We're not casino people but hubby will drop me off and I'll play the nickle video poker for 1/2 an hour while he gets us checked in. The downside for a long trip (We usually only go for one night.) is that you have to exit the garage and repeat the whole thing every 24 hours.

The po-boys at Johnny's in the Quarter are cheap and decent. Verti Mart is also good and they will deliver to your French Quarter hotel.

No riverboat to the zoo at the moment. You can take the streetcar which is fun for kids. We did a lot of school trip swamp tours. I don't know how those are going to be affected by the oil spill though.



Jennifer

Deb & Bill
05-19-2010, 12:23 PM
...Do your research on hotel bookings. Don't know if you'll have a car, but parking is extremely limited in the Quarter, so parking fees are expensive (I've seen $30/night).

Most of the French Quarter hotels don't have self parking, so you have to valet park and I have paid over $30 a night. For some of the hotels that are on the fringe of the FQ, you might be able to self park for about $20 a night.

Yvette Q.O.D.
05-19-2010, 12:59 PM
My kids loved Mardi Gras World we went in 2008 (we did a staycation that year)! Until Aug 2010 I lived there all my life and had never been to MGW. You can take the ferry by the aquarium across the river and a van from MGW will pick you up. I would call them first to check their schedule. Also people watchig is my favorite thing to do & listening to the street musicians, some are quite good. If you're into art & shopping you might take a walk down Royal St. & Chartres St. My kids also love the French Market there are so many things to look at.

We really like Redfish Grill, it is on Burbon St. though. Cafe Maspero is pretty good too, Deanie's is also a good choice.

Another thing we really enjoyed was the horse & buggy ride. We got a discount on our tour because we walked up at twilight & it was the drivers last ride of the night, plus my husband said, "you can't charge us full price it's about to be dark we won't be able to see everything very well." Well we saw everything just fine. The kids thought it was a bit spooky which made it more fun and when we were done our hotel was a safe walk away.

We love the Royal Sonesta on the corner of Conti & Burbon. We usually get a room facing the pool and in the summer can usually get a reasonable rate. Just talk to them a bit and maybe they can find you a deal.

Good luck & have fun & be safe. We'll be there in July (staying with family they have the best rates)
Yvette
:thumbsup2

lovin diz
05-19-2010, 03:17 PM
check out this website:

http://brno.neofillstore.com/intro/brno/index.php?index_type=all

It is wjbo...They have 1/2 price discounts on different things...Im not sure if you can order since you live out of state...but i dont see why not...Goodluck:thumbsup2

Planogirl
05-19-2010, 06:13 PM
You can go to Expedia, do a search for New Orleans hotels and specify free parking as one of the requirements. There's actually a few places in the Quarter that provide parking for their guests. We stayed at one just before the storm and I can't remember the name but it was on Decatur.