• Charlsie Pecoraro

10 Things to do in New Orleans with Kids! In the Spotlight: Apollo's Paws

Living on the Gulf Coast means that I can venture over to New Orleans for the day! A friend of mine is planning to visit New Orleans in April and wanted some ideas about places she could take her children ages 2, 9 & 11. Having lived in Louisiana for years, trips to the City were frequent. Here is a list of some kid favorites! Thanks to my Louisiana friends for sharing their ideas with me!

#1 Storyland in City Park

Storyland has been in the historic City Park since the 1950's. It features a playground with larger-than-life storybook sculptures for kids of all ages to enjoy. There are wonderful photo opportunities for your family.

According to the website it is open with CDC protocol in place. Admission is only $5 per person with kids under 36" getting in for free! Visitors are welcome to venture over to the Carousel Amusement Park. This 100 year old marvel has been entertaining guests for years. Tickets are sold separately. The New Orleans City Park is one of the oldest urban parks in the country. It was established in 1854 and has moss-filled oak trees dating back 800 years! It is easy to spend an entire day at this gorgeous place.


#2 Louisiana Children's Museum

City Park has welcomed the Louisiana Children's Museum to its property. At one time it was located on Julia Street, flanked by iconic blue doors. LCM was a family favorite when my children were small. A friend of mine visited the current location and told me that it is incredible.

The unique museum covers 8.5 acres and offers many of the beloved features from the Julia Street property and some great additions. Your kids and grandchildren will enjoy the interesting outdoor experience. Inside, there are two stories of adventure waiting for them! Ticket prices are $14 per person 12 months and older. Senior $12.

Located on the property is The Acorn Cafe, part of the famous Dickie Brennan & Company eateries. There is something for everyone on the menu, even delicious coffee!

#3 The Camellia Grill

Your family will be in for a treat when you grab a bar stool at the famous Camellia Grill counter. This NOLA favorite has been serving fabulous food since 1946. Your bow-tie wearing server will help you navigate the menu.

You'll watch your food being prepared right in front of you at the grill. Omelettes are my favorite but I've had a tasty burger there too! Your kids will love the huge waffles, pancakes and made to order eggs. Deciding what to eat is the biggest challenge you will face! It is located on Carrolton Avenue in Uptown New Orleans.


#4 Audubon Zoo & #5 The Aquarium

The Audubon Zoo is located at the end of Magazine Street in historic Uptown New Orleans. It is home to hundreds of animals and offers daily chats, feeds and other interactive options for your family. Plan to spend several hours at this park.

Just a short drive from the Zoo is the Aquarium of the Americas voted one of the top 5 in the United States. It houses over 250 species with 3500 or so animals on the property. If I was visiting the city for a few days, I would certainly go to these parks on separate days. The Aquarium is located on the Mississippi River, so your kids will get to see huge ships and more from the outside area. Click here for ticket prices. A family of four will cost $90-$100 per location with kids, 2 and under free.


#6 Cafe du Monde

Travel tip: Don't wear a black shirt to this New Orleans legendary establishment. It has been serving coffee and beignets (French donuts) since 1862. Your kids can skip the coffee and enjoy chocolate or white milk with their beignets. Parents, understand that your little family, hubby included, will be covered in confectioner's sugar. That is part of the charm of this locally owned establishment.

Grab a box of Cafe du Monde beignet mix to take home and try! I make them all of the time for guests at my home.


#7 Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tour

This suggestion came highly recommended by a dear friend of mine from Covington. If you want to experience Louisiana nature up close, from the safety of a tour boat, this is a great option. You will travel deep into the Honey Island Cypress Swamp. Alligators and other wildlife are typically seen while you are out on the water. You will see native plants including Cypress trees with their "knees" rising up from the murky water. This is just a short drive east from the city. Adult $25 Child (Under 13) $15. There is also a hotel pick up option for a fee.


#8 Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery

If you happened to venture to New Orleans East then a visit to this incredible bakery should be on the list. Over 35 years ago, owners De & Huong Tran set out on a journey from Vietnam to New Orleans. They settled East of the City and opened Dong Phuong which means East.

This is a terrific way to introduce your family to authentic Vietnamese food and baked goods. Typically I stop in and pick up 4 or 5 boxes of their cookies to bring back to Mobile. I have never tasted anything quite like them.

Be warned, you are going to think you are lost since it is located in an industrial setting.

Stay on course, it is worth it!


#9 The New Orleans Street Cars

Riding along St. Charles Avenue aboard one is a wonderful way to see the historic mansions that New Orleans is famous for. The fare is only $1.25 per person, one way. In addition to St. Charles, visitors can ride on three other routes. They include Canal Street, Riverfront & Rampart. Visit the website for more details. This is a "don't miss" experience! Many a tired child has been known to fall asleep on the relaxing and hypnotic ride.


#10 The French Quarter

Spending some time in Jackson Square is usually on everyone's list of things to do in New Orleans. There are guided walking tours for folks who are interested in the history of this great city. Live music and entertainment will delight your children. This part of New Orleans' oldest neighborhood is family friendly.

#11 Lagniappe - A Little Something Extra!

I could have gone on and on with this list. Despite the fact that New Orleans is a very "adult" city, there are plenty of things to do as a family. If you are looking for an authentic Po-Boy, then head over to Parkway Tavern established in 1911. Another unique destination is Dorignac's Food Center. This Italian grocery story has been serving the city for over five decades. As soon as you step inside the delicious aroma from the bakery will have you salivating. Be sure and make your way around the store to see many specialty items. If you want to do some retail shopping, head down the street from the grocery to Lakeside Shopping Center. It is truly a wonderful mall experience.

 

In the Spotlight: Apollos Paws

Rebecca Bunkley


Rebecca Bunkley is the owner of one of the fastest growing grooming spas in Mobile, Alabama. Many of my boss partners are taking their fur-kids to her place for a shower-n-shave, pedicures and so much more! Do you want to know her secret? She truly LOVES animals and they love her right back!

In addition to canine grooming, Rebecca enjoys primping your feline babies too. My neighbor took her big ole orange kitty to the salon recently and was raving about the results! Cats need some sprucing up from time to time just like their doggie friends!

It is not surprising to see a bird or gerbil at her place when you drop off your pet. She is one of the few groomers in town that is trained to trim your bird's wings and more. Rebecca has taken appointment setting to the next level for your convenience. Her website offers online scheduling. Once you book your appointment you will get a confirmation and then a reminder text shortly before your scheduled date! In fact you can lay in an entire year of appointments if you want to! Frankly, I adore that feature.

Apollos Paws is spacious and tidy. The business is located on the corner of Grelot and Knollwood in West Mobile. Take a minute and read all about this amazing lady by clicking here.

“I really love pets. They’re like children. They know if you really love them or not. You can’t fool them.” – Donna Douglas
 

Book Corner #11 & In the Kitchen!


Some studies suggest that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. In fact, 75% of Americans consume much more than what is considered a healthy amount. Unfortunately it is hidden in so many processed foods.

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook is one of my favorites. It was written by Sarah Wilson and is not your typical recipe book. The glossy pages are filled with tips on food storage, cooking and seasoning.

I made a decision recently to monitor my sugar intake and keep it under 20 grams a day. That is made easy when you've got some great resources for tasty recipes like this one.

Honestly, this is the only recipe book that I have ever sat down and read over the course of two days. It is that well written and just beautiful to look at!


This Cauli Popcorn is on page 100 of the book. It is a yummy way to fix cauliflower that everyone will love!

Here is the quick recipe:

  • Preheat your oven to 400

  • In a large bowl mix 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

  • Cut up 1 large head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

  • Toss the florets in the oil mixture.

  • Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown and popcorny looking!

  • Serve hot!

  • You can substitute Parmesan cheese instead of cinnamon.

 

Last Saturday was a beautiful day so I decided to take a short drive over to Pensacola. I was hoping to get in some beach time however I found out that the beach bridge is closed. I opted for some local shopping instead. I was told that the new bridge won't reopen until Labor Day so everyone must take a detour to get to those sugary white shores.

In other news, the governor of Alabama announced that the mask mandate will not extend past April 9th. I know that everyone is looking forward to that since our spring temperatures are on the rise.

Go make it a great week, everyone!