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Laura LaChapelle

Joppa, Maryland

MY KIDS

My Travel Style

We love to travel anywhere and everywhere, from simple beach vacations to cross-country trips. As a family, we frequently do weekends away to surrounding states, as well as longer trips farther afield. While we haven't traveled internationally with the children yet, we would like to do so someday soon!

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City Of New Orleans

Anywhere!, New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-20 02:13:20.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Bus tour of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana

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In an attempt to give the kids a break from walking throughout the city, we signed up for a bus tour (air conditioned!) of New Orleans. They promised to tour all the sites, from the views along Decator to the French Quarter and from the remnants of Hurricane Katrina to a traditional New Orleans cemetery. Well, they delivered! We definitely got a well-rounded tour of the city, places you would normally not see as a tourist. Plus, the information shared by the tour guide was riveting. The stories about Hurricane Katrina alone and hearing individual stories of how people survived the storm were worth the trip. At New Orleans Cemetery No. 3, with the infamous Chef's Corner, the kids' attention wandered and they amused themselves by picking up shells from the path of crushed shells. When we got back onto the bus to continue on our trip, both kids fell asleep. So, the tour wasn't as interesting for them as it was for us, but it did give them a break from all the walking tours and sightseeing.

Tips for Families

The bus tour of the city of New Orleans was a great little break for the kids - they didn't have to walk all over the city and complain of being tired. However, the three-plus hour tour didn't hold their interest like it did ours, and our kids fell asleep. They needed it, though, and we loved the bus tour so much that we didn't mind.

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New Orleans Riverwalk

500 Port of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-20 02:05:10.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Intended to just walk through - stayed for hours

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We just planned to do a quick walk through Riverwalk, but were hooked and ended up staying for hours. The kids are normally not into shopping, but the design of the mall invited fun. There were ramps versus stairs and different paths to choose to get to the same spot. The shops, at least the ones we chose to stop in, also attracted the kids. The one we all loved was a New Orleans souvenir shop. Rather than walking in and out of all the stores along Decator Street, this one store had it all. We bought some potholders with traditional Louisiana recipes (using them now makes us smile with our memories of our trip) as well as some recipe mixes - Hurricane mix and Beignet mix. The kids loved looking at the different apron designs.

Tips for Families

Stick to stores that are unique to you - this will help to keep the kids' interest. Try the souvenir shops - they're wonderful!

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Mardi Gras

831 Chartres St, New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 01:24:28.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Mardi Gras can be kid-friendly!

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We were very worried about taking the kids to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. You always hear stories of the craziness that goes on during this time, and think that it would be the last place you would want to take your kids. However, that couldn't be further from the truth! The kids LOVED the parades! There were tons of kids there, and we all loved collecting the beads that the people on the floats throw out into the crowd. In fact, we collected two bags worth of beads and had to pay extra to get them home on the plane, so be warned! The kids loved Mardi Gras so much that they're talking about it to this day. In fact, they wonder why all parades aren't like the ones they saw in New Orleans. One caveat is to know that the Mardi Gras parades get VERY crowded, more so than you may have ever experienced before. You definitely want to keep your eyes if not even your hand on your children at all times. You'll also want to get to the viewing areas early to get a prime spot alone the street to ensure you can collect the maximum amount of beads and trinkets.

Tips for Families

The parades are very, very crowded and very, very loud, so it is likely not a place for very young children. Our kids loved collecting the beads, and their rooms are still decorated with the beads they took home from the trip. Of course, I would definitely recommend not taking your kids down Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, because they'll certainly see some craziness if you did.

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Garden District New Orleans, La

New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-04-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 01:14:52.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Walking tour of the Garden District

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If it was must my husband and I, this walking tour would have been great. However, with the two kids, it was a nightmare. To start with, the kids did not have any interest in seeing the houses of the Garden District - in fact, they didn't want to get off the trolley that we took to get there. Our walking tour was peppered with complaints such as: "My legs hurt," "I'm tired," "Can we go back to the pool?" We followed a walking tour from an older guide book. It was a longer walk than we thought, and you couldn't see much of the houses as they're all surrounded by tall fences or hedges. You're basically getting a walking tour of the surrounding sidewalks, with a peek here and there at a rooftop. We could see more of the houses from the trolley than we could on foot.

Tips for Families

If you have kids younger than 10, I'd suggest skipping the walking tour of New Orleans' Garden District. While the houses are beautiful and the trolley ride is a fun experience, the walking tour is long and you really don't get much of a 'tour.'

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The National Wwii Museum

945 Magazine St., New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 01:02:51.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

National WWII Museum - plan to spend a day here!

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We were shocked by how big this museum actually was. We kind of tacked it on to one of our days, so only arrived in the afternoon. We wished we had planned a whole day around the museum. Typically, kid and museums don't really go together, but ours loved this one! We started with the movie, which may have been a mistake as the movie is very graphic with photos of casualties, etc. I'm not sure our kids realized what they were seeing, but I wish we had known or realized beforehand the graphic nature of the film. They both loved walking through the exhibits. They particularly loved the World War II and Sports exhibit in the lobby of the entrance building. Of course, they enjoyed seeing the various guns and life-sized planes, as well as the period costumes in the gift shops. Be aware that there are multiple buildings to go through, and they are building more!

Tips for Families

Just be aware that the movie is somewhat graphic, with pictures of casualties, etc. Plan to spend a large portion of or a full day at the museum, as there are multiple buildings and plenty to see. Though we didn't visit it, there is also an on-site restaurant. The gift shops (and there are a few of them) are filled with unique items like period clothing and items.

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St. Louis Cathedral

615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 00:50:41.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

St. Louis Cathedral - a New Orleans must-see

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Due to its history, the St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square in New Orleans is a must-see during a visit to the city. However, be aware that there's not much to capture the interest of little and big kids (well, at least my little and big kids) - instead, you'll be more likely to be hissing at them to stop running up and down the aisles of the church. The Cathedral is beautiful. We tacked ourselves onto a tour already occurring, so I'm not sure if there's normally a price for the guided tours or not (though there is a box for donations right inside the front doors). I knew the kids wouldn't last more than five minutes on a guided tour, and I was right. They just wanted to do a quick walk around the inside of the Cathedral to see what it was like and then they were done.

Tips for Families

Like a visit to Jackson Square, don't expect the kids to be enthralled with this attraction, though it is something you don't want to miss when you're in New Orleans. Expect to do a quick walk throughout the inside of the Cathedral and that's about it.

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Jackson Square

Decatur St, New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 00:42:00.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Jackson Square - a quick visit if you're with kids

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Personally, I love going to Jackson Square. It's a beautiful small gated park, with lines of quaint shops on each end, St. Louis Cathedral on the back end and the main street on the front end. The outside gates are lined with artists and musicians, and the horse and buggies are lined up in the street on the front end. However, the kids were not as enamored with Jackson Square as the adults were. They could care less about the artists and the small park - there isn't a playground - though they did like looking at the horses. The musicians, too, were a slight attraction. However, while I could spend a few hours roaming the shops outside the gates and looking at the artists' wares, my kids didn't want to spend more than 10 minutes doing so.

Tips for Families

Jackson Square is something to see, whether it's for 10 minutes or 60. It's a pretty little park, but the real action is outside the gates - the shops, artists, musicians and horse and buggies. Plus, Cafe du Monde is right across the street, so you can always bribe the kids with beignets (French donuts, fluffy pieces of dough covered in powdered sugar) in exchange for an extra 15 minutes in the shops.

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Steamboat Natchez Mississippi Tour

2 Canal St # 2500, New Orleans, Louisiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 00:21:06.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Fun family activity with classic New Orleans flavor

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This steamboat ride was so fun that even the wait to get onto the boat was an event! They had a classic New Orleans real-life jazz band playing while you waited, so the kids spent their time dancing rather than whining. Honestly, we were a little leery of taking our youngest on this, with it being a steamboat ride with the potential for either falling over or boredom. We were so wrong to be worried - both kids absolutely loved it! We went in the early afternoon and, thankfully, it was a beautiful, sunny day. We chose to go to the very top deck and were able to get a table right by the railing, so we had a perfect view throughout the whole trip. We could see everything as well as hear the tour description over the loudspeaker as well as the jazz music. The tour wasn't too short or long - it was the perfect length to keep the kids' interest throughout. They also loved walking through the gift shop.

Tips for Families

Head to a less-crowded area of the ship like the top deck. Good seating is key - you definitely want something on the edge so the kids will be able to see. We purposely didn't do a night-time dinner cruise because we wanted to be able to see everything we were passing during the day.

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Omni Royal Hotel New Orleans

621 St. Louis Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Sleeper sofa
  • Kids stay free
  • Pet friendly
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Kids' menu in restaurant
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool


Average user rating (25 Reviews)

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)

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$110

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Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-13 00:10:24.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Super kid-friendly plush hotel in the heart of New Orleans

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Yes, this hotel was gorgeous and had a great location in the heart of New Orleans. However, I have NEVER seen such an excellent level of customer service towards children as I did at this hotel. I've been raving about it to everyone. We arrived late afternoon on Easter Sunday. Apparently, the hotel had held an egg hunt for children in the morning, which we obviously missed. The bellhop somehow realized this and took it upon himself to get about five full-size candy bars for each of my two children to make up for the fact that they had missed the egg hunt. I was amazed - it was so thoughtful, and made the kids feel so special. On top of this, the hotel has special pre-packed backpacks they give each child filled with snacks, an activity and a refillable balloon-type water bottle. Want more? Housekeeping left cookies and milk in our room for the kids each night, and delivered a special treat for them on the one night we ordered room service. Like I said, I have NEVER come across this exceptional level of kid-focused service. Forget five-star, it was 10-star! On top of that, there's an on-site restaurant and rooftop pool.

Tips for Families

If you're looking for a very nice hotel in the heart of the city, a hotel that will provide a memorable experience for your children and make them feel special, this is the hotel for you!

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Hotel Monteleone New Orleans

214 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Kids stay free
  • Smoke-free property
  • Pet friendly
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool
  • Video game system in room


Average user rating (50 Reviews)

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)

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  • Cleanliness
  • Customer Service
  • Comfort
  • Location
  • Value
  • Pool
  • On-site/nearby restaurants
  • Other kids' amenities

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Visited: 2013-04-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-12 23:59:59.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Gorgeous hotel in the French Quarter

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This hotel is GORGEOUS. It's an iconic, four-star luxury hotel at the foot of Royal Street. There's a heated pool on the roof (for those days the kids are tired of sightseeing) with a stunning view, and the hotel also offers in-room dining (which the kids love doing at least once every trip). In addition, they have an on-site restaurant as well as the Carousel Bar and Lounge. The kids walked into our room and both said, "Wow." It is certainly different than the hotels we normally stay at. Our room was very fancily decorated with gold striped wallpaper, colorful tufted seating and floral curtains. The kids absolutely loved it and were in awe. Plus, for being as close as the hotel is to the French Quarter we were afraid it would be a little loud at night - but we couldn't hear anything outside, which was lovely!

Tips for Families

This hotel is in the heart of the French Quarter, so it's central to most attractions. You can walk through the French Quarter, obviously, but also to Riverwalk and Jackson Square.


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Cleanliness
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Comfort
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Other kids' amenities

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly attractions

This hotel is near most things - it's in the French Quarter, and you can walk to Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, Riverwalk, the outdoor market and more.

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