New Orleans on the Cheap

We’ve been to New Orleans a few times but this is our first time here with kids. We hadn’t been to any places during the daylight so we weren’t sure where to start. Lol We decided that we’d:

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Grab a balloon animal while waiting in line at Cafe du Monde. The balloon artists work on tips so let the kids get a little something. We only had $2 so he said he’d make the simplest thing he could make.  It turned out to be a really cool twisty balloon with two little balloons inside of it. After paying him, he decided to make something for our other kid too. I didn’t have any more money (though he didn’t ask) so I asked if he’d take Mexican pesos (we’ve been three times in the last 5 months) and he said yes! Lol

 

 

Grab a beignet at Cafe du Monde. Remember that Cafe du Monde takes CASH ONLY, at least in the to go line. Three beignets were around $2.75 for all three but they do not take debit or credit cards. My partner had to run across the street and grab cash from an ATM really quick.

After doing all that to get the things, it turned out no one in our merry band liked them! Lol They are kinda dry on the inside and there was waaaaay too much powdered sugar.

 

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Wander Jackson Square (so named for the Indian killer President). We didn’t actually enter the park (bad vibes) but we saw it from the canon platform across the street.

Take a carriage ride around the French Quarter (didn’t wanna wait for a 30 minute driver so we missed out). The carriages we saw lined up in front of Jackson Square (right across from Cafe du Monde) wanted to do 60 minute tours for $40. I wasn’t sure my two little ones would last that long though they loved looking at the horses prancing down the street.

 

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Walk the riverfront across the street from Jackson Square (a pretty, if muddy, view). There’s isn’t really anything to do here (it works as a way to reach the Aquarium) but it was nice to watch the boats cruise by and stare into the muddy water.

 

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Visit the oldest bar in the US (couldn’t go in but the sign was nice. Lol). Apparently, it used to be owned by the pirate Jean Lefitte.

 

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See the Benito Juarez statue (a gift from Mexico since Juarez lived here … twice). Had no idea? Me either! If you want to read the short version it’s available here. The long version, with lots of good details, is here.

 

Watch a 2nd Line for someone’s funeral. People drove by on bikes blaring music letting the people know that a second line was coming. There was about a 15 minute lag between the bike people and the actual musicians. Random people danced and smiled. Periodically, the musicians stopped and various men’s groups danced around a bit. After that, a carriage was pulled along the parade route with horses. Thought it was a funeral, everyone seemed in good spirits.

 

Swamp Tour on the Cheap

We wanted to go on a swamp tour but we had two problems 1) they lasted too long. The shortest one I saw was 90 minutes and with two toddlers in tow, it just seemed too long. 2) The cost was $29 per person (I saw a Groupon for $17) and I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit the funds. It wasn’t until we were back in our room that we saw that the National Park Service provides 30, 45 or 90 minute tours (perfect!) of Bayou Vermilion for $8 per person. Yeppers, that’s EIGHT American dollars. It’s all part of the six park system called the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve. The National Park Service really does have everything. I wish we had seen this information earlier because boats only leave from the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center Monday through Friday. Since we found out about it Friday night, we weren’t able to take advantage of the cheap swamp tours. It’s on our list for next time though.

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