School is over for now, and it looks like we’re returning to some semblance of normalcy.
How can you take advantage of the weeks you’ll have with the kids at home, and have some fun, relax, and unwind from a stressful year?
To get you started, here are some of my favorite things to do around town with my grandchildren, and that I did with my son before him, and during my own childhood.
The Historic New Orleans Train Garden is located in the Botanical Garden, and with over 1,300 feet of track, this is a must see if you have a train enthusiast child. The garden has the same hours as the Botanical Garden, but the trains only run on the weekend.
Storyland is an amusement park, a carousel, and a miniature train all in one location. Make it a morning and visit all of these attractions together. I’ve got three generations of memories visiting here. A unique way to enjoy the day, and yes, you parties can be booked again here soon. While Storyland is open most days, some of the other attractions have different hours. You’ll want to confirm the hours before you head off.
Other sites to visit in City Park include NOMA, which has quite an inventory of art that will captivate your little one and their virtual art-making activities are fun for the whole family. Get out also to The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the bike and swan boat rentals, and the Louisiana Children’s Museum.
THE FRENCH QUARTER
French Quarter Kids Tours take families with kids from 4 to 18 years around the quarter. They offer Treasure Hunt Tours for 4–7-year olds, A Spooky Tour where 4–8-year olds search for ghosts, A Creole Kids Tour for 7–12-year olds, a Teen Tour for 11–18-year olds and a Twilight Tour for 8–12-year olds. Each tour lasts about an hour and a half.
Preservation Hall is back with shows starting as early as 5 pm. If your child is interested in music, what a great environment for them to learn about New Orleans Jazz! They do not serve food or beverages so be sure you eat before you get there and bring some water.
Other fun activities and sites to visit in and around the French Quarter include Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, The Steamboat NATCHEZ, trips across the river to Algiers and back on the Canal Street Ferry, The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the French Market, and carriage rides.
A FEW LOW-KEY THINGS TO TRY…
- The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar – what a great way to show your child the city!
- Storytime at Barnes and Noble – you’ll get to spend some quality time with the kids, in the air conditioning, while supporting your child’s love of reading.
- Barataria Preserve Wildlife Center – located in Marrero, it’s just a 30-minute drive from just about anywhere on the East Bank to a world full of wildlife, plants, and swamps. They even have a Junior Ranger program. If it’s been raining, be sure to call and make sure the trails aren’t flooded.
The list could go on and on.
We live in a city that is full of history and experiences for children and adults. So, take some time to recharge the batteries, reconnect with your kids and, if the opportunity to discuss finances and money presents itself, be sure to take advantage of it.
Robert Baer is a Vice President at Fidelity Bank. He coordinates Fidelity’s Financial Literacy initiative.