Thomas Jefferson paid $15 million for the entire Louisiana Territory, or about four cents an acre. That means New Orleans went for about seven bucks. Almost 300 years later, New Orleans is still a great deal.
1. Get jazzed.
Stroll along Bourbon or Frenchmen, where jazz pours out onto the street or duck into a few clubs for the full experience.
2. Dive deeper into our musical heritage.
After you’ve heard your fair share of jazz, learn about its roots at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park (916 N. Peters Street).
3. Browse art throughout the city.
It seems like you can find art in every corner of New Orleans — the galleries on Julia and Royal Streets, the Mid-City and Frenchmen art markets, Jackson Square vendors and so much more.
4. Experience Our Parks.
Walk among the centuries-old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park or Crescent Park.
5. Take in a free festival.
Through free summer festivals such as Vieux-To-Do and Satchmo Summerfest, explore the history of New Orleans and understand the culture of this unique city.
6. Immerse yourself in New Orleans history.
Stop by The Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street for a crash course on the city’s history that spans almost 300 years.
7. Enjoy the neighborhood.
Spend an hour people-watching at a coffee shop in the Faubourg Marigny, voted one of America’s 10 Great Neighborhoods.
8. Bike along the levee.
Rent a bike and go for a ride along the levee while taking in the sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River.
9. Oysters at Le Bon Temps Roule.
Head Uptown to this Magazine Street club on Fridays for free oysters as you listen to the local sounds of native musicians.
10. Shop for mansions on St. Charles Avenue.
Come on! You don’t have to be in the market to appreciate these jewels on the Avenue.
11. View the architecture of the French Quarter.
I spy wrought-iron balconies, a cornstalk fence, a hidden courtyard.
12. Get in touch with nature at Jean Lafitte National Park.
Just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans and you can immerse yourself in Louisiana’s rich ecological treasures — swamps, forests and marshland.
13. Catch a free summer show at Tipitina’s.
This uptown venue pays homage to the jazz legend Professor Longhair with free shows on Fridays during the summer months.
14. Go see Fulton Street.
Stroll through the Fulton Street promenade, home to outdoor cafes, one-of-a-kind shopping, Harrah’s Hotel and open-air concerts and festivals.
15. Celebrate the ambiance of The Roosevelt.
The $145 million historic restoration added 504 rooms to New Orleans’ hotel inventory, along with 60,000 square feet of event and meeting space.
16. Hang your business card at the Old Absinthe House.
Leave your mark on New Orleans by adding your business card to the wall at one of Bourbon Street’s oldest bars.
17. Spend Saturday morning at the Farmers Market.
Learn a bit about the famous New Orleans cuisine with free cooking demonstrations at the Crescent City Farmers Market.
18. Check out the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with its multi-million dollar renovation, is a premier venue for major conventions and sporting events, including Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
19. Haunt our “Cities of the Dead.”
Visit our famous above-ground tombs at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District.
20. Take Yourself on a Literary Tour.
See where Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate’s Alley), Truman Capote (711 Royal), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon), Walker Percy (1820 Milan) and Anne Rice (1239 First) lived.
21. Jam at Wednesday at the Square.
During the spring and summer months, the Young Leadership Council hosts free concerts in Lafayette Square featuring some of the hottest local acts.
22. Jazz in the Park.
More free concerts on Thursdays in the spring are featured in Armstrong Park, also highlighting some of the hottest local acts.
23. Be Moved by Our Spectacular Churches.
The large Catholic population of New Orleans gave rise to breathtaking churches such as St. Louis Cathedral, St. Augustine and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
24. Discover the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
Located amid the beauty of City Park, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden features one of the most impressive collections of contemporary sculpture in America.
25. Be a “Voluntourist.”
Though New Orleans is thriving, there are parts of the city that could still use some help following Hurricane Katrina. Just a few hours of volunteering can leave a lasting impact on New Orleans.
26. Walk and Talk.
Network with thousands of your fellow colleagues in the world’s most walkable city.
27. Room with a View.
Soak up the views of the French Quarter, Warehouse District and Central Business District from your newly renovated hotel room.
28. Savor Your Senses.
Savor the smells of more than 1,400 restaurants as you walk the streets of the Crescent City.
29. Tour the Oldest Restaurant in the French Quarter.
Ask for a tour of the historic Antoine’s that has hosted dignitaries, presidents and notable historic figures in its 175 years. Make sure to peek into the endless wine cellar.
30. Unique Destination.
Listen to the rattle of the historic streetcar and know that you’re truly someplace different. Where else would you rather be?
Take that family reunion from uninspired to unforgettable in New Orleans, Louisiana with this family reunion itinerary, where grandkids, granddads-and everyone in between-can fill their days with Big Easy excitement. It starts in the heart of the famous French Quarter, where the city’s heart pulsates through intimate, European-style streets, and continues up to the city’s charming Garden District and out to the surrounding Louisiana countryside. You’ll find everyone in the family is quick to “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”-or, “Let the good times roll!”
Day One: A Big Easy Inauguration
Morning: Bustling Café Du Monde is the place to start in New Orleans, for a breakfast of melt-in-your-mouth beignets (sugar-dusted doughnuts), and chicory-infused café au lait, or OJ and rich hot chocolate for the little ones, all served al fresco on a shaded patio. Animated street musicians put a new spring in everyone’s step for a self-guided or expert-led walking tour of the Quarter. Then it’s time for a family photo on the steps of the Moonwalk or in iconic Jackson Square, where the St. Louis Cathedral makes a splendid backdrop.
Afternoon: Grab Muffalettas to go from Central Grocery and enjoy the classic sandwiches at Woldenberg Park, a green space and promenade on the banks of the rolling Mississippi River. Then it’s an easy stroll to The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, where an indoor shopping promenade offers a welcome break from the sun. Youngsters can scurry off to the adjacent Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and don’t forget to visit Parakeet Pointe while you’re there!
Evening: It’s mix-and-mingle time so that everyone can catch up: Congregate the fam at the hotel bar for a casual cocktail gathering (complete with Shirley Temples and sodas) and arrange for some heavy hors d’ouevres or an easy buffet dinner. After the little ones hit the sack, adults with energy to spare can head off to the live-music venues and bars on Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street; the brave will sing karaoke at Cat’s Meow and snag their first string of Mardi Gras beads on the street.
Day Two: Something for Everyone
Morning: It’s quick coffee and breakfast pastries this morning from a nearby café, then the family is off to Mardi Gras World, where a behind-the-scenes peek the colorful costumes and sparkling floats of carnival will make everyone’s eyes glow.
Afternoon: Board the Creole Queen or Steamboat Natchez right in the French Quarter for lunch and two-hour tour of the Mississippi River. After disembarking, NOLA’s famed attractions beckon: consider the National WWII and Louisiana Children’s Museums in the Arts/Warehouse District, or a visit to Tremé, the country’s oldest surviving African-American neighborhood where the Backstreet Cultural Museum details such local traditions as second line parades and Jazz funerals.
Evening: It’s a group celebration at Belle’s Diner – ’50s style diner that takes you back in time with classic food with a New Orleans flair, friendly service, and ’50s rock n’ roll. Specialties: chicken and waffles, Preston’s Patty Melt, and omelets. Other fun options include Dat Dog, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Hard Rock Café. Then it’s off to Pat O’Brien’s for (grown-up) late-night fun: The indoor-outdoor bar and music venue is a must-visit for a nightcap. Its famous Hurricane cocktail comes in a take-home souvenir glass.
Day Three: Uptown Fun
Morning: Get an early start today: Everyone is headed Uptown on N’awlins’ historic Streetcar-for just $1.25 each. The open-air vehicle journeys along St. Charles Avenue and through the Garden District, where exquisite Victorian-style mansions and towering Oak Trees make for a relaxing, scenic ride. Pull the string to disembark at Loyola and Tulane Universities, and visit the Amistad Research Center on African-American history. Then cross the avenue to Audubon Park and follow the walking path, cameras in hand: You’ll want to capture the kids’ excitement when you arrive at the Audubon Zoo, one of the top zoos in the country. While you are there, don’t forget to cool off at the “Cool Zoo” Splash Park!
Afternoon: A shady spot back near the park’s duck and turtle pond is perfect for a picnic lunch of Po Boy sandwiches (dressed-meaning, “with the works”), locally made Abita root beer, and Zapp’s potato chips. Hire a DJ, pack some Frisbees and footballs, and surprise the group with custom-made family reunion t-shirts for an afternoon that’s just plain fun.
Evening: Book a few lanes at Mid-City Lanes Rock ‘N Bowl, a funky, family-friendly live music venue that brings everyone together for some friendly bowling competition. Enjoy dinner and dancing there, too, and then head back down to the French Quarter, where you’ll all end the night on a high note: at Preservation Hall, a legendary jazz music venue where all ages are welcome.
Day Four: Classic Creole
Morning: Start the day slow with an unhurried wake-up and classic Big Easy event: an unforgettable gospel brunch at House of Blues (Sundays only), featuring favorite New Orleans dishes with a side of uplifting live gospel music. Walk off the biscuits and grits with a casual stroll along Royal Street, a veritable paradise for the antiques-lovers in the group. There’s also the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (offering free hourly tours with admission and a scavenger hunt for kids) and the Louisiana State Museums – The Cabildo (This elegant Spanish colonial building neighbors St. Louis Cathedral and houses many rare artifacts of America’s history.); The Presbytere (The Presbytère’s two permanent exhibits tell two sides of the ongoing Louisiana story—one of celebration and one of resilience.); The Old U.S. Mint (Housed in the historic Old U.S. Mint, the New Orleans Jazz Museum is in the heart of the city’s vibrant music scene.); 1850 House (The 1850 House offers a glimpse of upper-middle-class life in antebellum New Orleans, the most prosperous period in the city’s history.); and Madame John’s Legacy (One of the finest 18th-century building complexes in Louisiana and one of the best examples of French colonial architecture in North America.).
Afternoon: After such a big breakfast, a sweet praline is just the right tide-me-over for the afternoon’s adventure: a trip to the Louisiana Bayou for a thrilling Swamp Tour, featuring ‘gators, turtles, snakes and birds. Or, take a trip to Oak Alley or Laura Plantation or Whitney Plantation, where stately homes and perfectly-groomed grounds showcase the city’s Colonial era.
Evening: Dinner at Mulate’s Original Cajun Music Restaurant will bring out the Louisiana in everyone. Group menus include classic Creole-Cajun dishes like shrimp etouffee, red beans & rice and jambalaya, and both young and old will take to the dance floor when they hear the classic Cajun band start to play.
Day Five: The Finishing Touch Morning
No one will want to leave the city without another round of Café Du Monde beignets, and the morning is free today: It’s take-it-easy time in the Big Easy, as everyone revisits their favorite French Quarter haunts and stocks up on last-minute gifts and food stuffs at Decatur Street’s souvenir shops and the French Market District. Some may want to take the kids to the Audubon Insectarium, where they’ll get “bugged out”; a favorite exhibit will surely be Butterflies in Flight, an enclosed Asian-style garden with hundreds of butterflies soaring around. Any food lovers in the group may want to enroll in a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
Afternoon: Enjoy one last Streetcar ride to City Park, where an easy group picnic under the Louisiana sky will be a welcome respite after a busy week. Then it’s off to explore the nearby attractions, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, with an outdoor sculpture garden and fun interactive gallery for kids; amusement park with a popular miniature train ride and Storyland, a fairytale-themed playground. Alternatively, get in touch with the supernatural on a voodoo or ghost tour of New Orleans, whose above-ground cemeteries-“Cities of the Dead”-are one-of-a-kind.
Evening: Casual, kid-friendly dining is an ideal end to an unforgettable family reunion. The Crescent City Brewhouse has fantastic microbrews and something for everyone on the menu, with live jazz music to boot. Or, book a dining space at your hotel for a memorable banquet dinner and private religious service. For those who just can’t bear to say goodbye, consider an after-dinner carriage ride around the Quarter for one last chance to soak it all in.
It’s the sound of jazz, the taste of café au lait and those funny little donuts called beignets. It’s the European charm of the French Quarter and streetcars on the avenue. New Orleans is a vacation spot all of its own and a great place to start your cruise.
The following ships will depart from New Orleans:
4 & 5 Night Cruises – Year Round
7 Nights – Departing every Sunday
7 Nights – Departing every Sunday
November 2017 – April 2018
Queen of the Mississippi & America
Ports along the Mississippi River
American Queen & American Duchess
Ports along the Mississippi River
New Orleans is a wonderfully easy city for getting around. See some of the many options below.
This is the official transportation company providing shuttle service for the City of New Orleans to and from the airport. Upon arrival, at the airport, guests can purchase tickets for $24 one way or $44 round trip per person. Children under 6 are free. The first 3 bags per passenger are free. It departs every 10 minutes from airport. 866-596-2699.
One or two passengers from the airport is $36. For 3 or more passengers the fare is $15 per passenger, not to exceed 5 people. Taxicab Bureau: 504-658-7176.
Ride through the Crescent City on a national historic landmark, it only costs $1.25 (one ride, one way). You can also purchase a “Jazzy Pass” which entitles bearer to unlimited rides on all streetcars and bus lines. 1-Day Jazzy Pass can be purchased form the bus driver or streetcar conductor when you board. Only cash is accepted. The 1-day and 3-day Jazzy Passes are available from Walgreen’s in New Orleans, and various other locations (see the Regional Transit Authority website for a listing). You can also purchase Jazzy Passes directly through the website. Cost is $3 for 1-day and $9 for 3-days. Streetcars have been rumbling along St. Charles Avenue for over 180 years. Thousands of residents commute to work on the olive-green electric cars.
For $1.25, you can ride the traditional green or newer red streetcars. The two-mile route includes stops at all the right places: the Convention Center at Julia Street, Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, the Aquarium of the Americas, the French Market, and the Old Mint on Esplanade. Operates 7 days a week, 5:30am-11:30pm.
This streetcar line in New Orleans runs the length of Canal Street, and is the original “Cemeteries” line, which runs from the Mississippi River to the cemeteries located at the mid-city end of Canal Street. Along the line there is a Carrollton Spur, which will take you to beautiful City Park, home of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. This stop is also within easy walking distance to the Fairgrounds Race Course, where the world-famous New Orleans Jazz Festival takes place every April-May. The Cemetery Branch operates 24/7. The City Park / Museum Branch operates 5:30am-12:30am daily.
Rampart/St. Claude Streetcar:
Back on track for the first time since 1949, streetcars are operating along the North Rampart/St. Claude corridor, moving the City of New Orleans and the Regional Transit Authority into the future. This streetcar line is part of the French Quarter Streetcar Expansion, which started with the Loyola line that was completed in 2013. The red streetcars that serve the Canal Street and Loyola Avenue lines will also run on the Rampart/St. Claude Line, which will operate from the Union Passenger Terminal on Loyola Avenue to Elysian Fields Avenue. Operates 7 days a week, 6:00am-12:00am.
St. Charles Streetcar:
The line is open around the clock with less frequent service in the evening and early-morning hours, with stops along St. Charles and Carondelet Streets. Travels from the edge of the French Quarter all the way down beautiful St. Charles Avenue. The views of historic architecture beneath the shade of massive, ancient live oaks convey so much of New Orleans’ charm and character. The line passes by celebrated restaurants, shops and hotels; some destinations include the Garden District, Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo and Tulane and Loyola Universities.
Pedicabs are a new, green form of transportation to recently hit the streets of New Orleans. Eco-friendly, efficient and fun, a pedicab is a great way to get across the Quarter, go to and from your hotel, avoid traffic and parking frustrations, or just pop across town in style and comfort. Call NOLA Pedicabs at 504-274-1300 or Need A Ride at 504-488-6565 to Ride Now!
6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 – Phone: (504) 212-5420
A favorite spot for recreation, picnics or enjoying a beautiful day. Audubon Park is open to the public and also features Audubon Golf Club, a premier public Golf Course.
New Orleans City Park
1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124 – Phone: (504) 482-4888
This 1,300 acre park boasts ancient live oaks, 8 miles of scenic lagoons, historic wooden carousel and picnic shelters.
Congo Square/Louis Armstrong Park
700 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116 – Phone: (504) 658-3200
The park is located in the Tremé neighborhood, birthplace of many of New Orleans’ most famous jazz musicians.
100 N. Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Mississippi Riverfront, from Elysian Fields Ave. to Mazant St.) – Phone: (504) 522-2621
Crescent Park grants unparalleled views of the New Orleans skyline, Algiers, and the Mississippi River, creating an environment for locals and visitors alike to interact and enjoy new vantage points of New Orleans and recreational space along the riverfront.
The Fly at Audubon Park
Exposition Drive, New Orleans, LA 70118 – Phone: (504) 658-3000
Tucked behind Audubon Zoo across the Mississippi River levee, this waterfront portion of Audubon Park is a great spot to relax and take a breath from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans. Known to locals as ‘The Fly’, folks come out here to hang out, toss a frisbee, have a crawfish boil, barbecue, or watch the sun go down over the river.
3000 Downs Boulevard, Metairie, LA 70003 – Phone: (504) 838-4389
Located in central Metairie, this park features picturesque lagoons, seasonal boating, lots of ducks, several children’s play grounds, carousel, spray park, dog park, soccer/softball fields, covered shelters, a man-made swamp, a disc golf course, a two mile jogging path, and two outdoor recreation/exercise centers.
Claiborne at Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70118 – Phone: (504) 658-3200
Palmer Park is located at the uptown terminus of the historic St. Charles streetcar and is also easily accessible by the S. Claiborne bus route. The 5.6 acre park provides a home for annual festivals, home tours, concerts and filming. Families enjoy the mini-rock climbing wall, brand-new jungle gym, swings and slides, and ample green space to run around.
6920 Franklin Ave., New Orleans, LA 70122 – Phone: (504) 286-3100 – Orleans Levee District Police
A popular area that offers picnic, fishing and recreational space with public access to Lake Pontchartrain. Shelters are first-come/first-serve, so early arrival is suggested. Someone must stay with the shelter in order to keep the claim for the day. No rental fee. Space walks and sound systems with loud music are prohibited.
Woldenberg Riverfront Park
1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 – Phone: (504) 581-4629
Woldenberg Park is 16 acres of sprawling green space stretching between the Mississippi River and the historic French Quarter.
Here are just some of the attractions in the New Orleans area that are sure to entice kids of all ages.
When it comes to kid-friendly fun, a trip to New Orleans is a lot like a choose-your-own-adventure story. Kids and families have plenty of options for experiencing the city, so whether you have a house full of aspiring artists, action-loving daredevils or curious future scientists, just choose an interest and get ready for a day of exploration and discovery.
Engineers in Training
From bellowing, steam-powered whistles to clanging trolley bells, you’ll know you’re set for an adventure once you step aboard one of New Orleans’ historic methods of transportation. The Steamboat Natchez is New Orleans’ only steamboat, and its elegant furnishings and antique accents transport passengers to a bygone era. Visit the steam engine room to see the riverboat’s inner-workings, and listen to melodic tunes from the authentic steam-powered calliope, which even can be heard from the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. For a ride through the city, hop aboard one of New Orleans’ vintage streetcars, outfitted with brass accents and mahogany wooden seats. The St. Charles line is the world’s oldest continuously operating street railway and passes by notable areas such as Audubon Park and the Garden District.
The world is a fascinating place, and for inquisitive kids with an eye for science, there’s plenty to see and do in New Orleans. For one stop to satisfy them all, the Audubon Nature Institute has everything a curious kid could want—from insects to jungle cats to underwater creatures. Visit the Audubon Zoo to see exotic animals, play in a splash park, climb on a 4-story ropes course adventure, and ride a colorful carousel. At the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, you can walk through an underwater reef tunnel, feel the fear at the tropical shark exhibit, watch penguins play and get a hands-on experience with hundreds of exotic birds. And don’t forget the Audubon Insectarium for an up-close glimpse of creepy crawlers, butterflies and edible insects.
Little artists can turn to the greats for inspiration when they visit the New Orleans Museum of Art. From Degas to Picasso, this cultural institution showcases more than 40,000 pieces, as well as a beautifully landscaped sculpture garden for little ones to frolic in. Check the education schedule for upcoming workshops and age-appropriate art classes offered at the museum.
If gardens, flowers and the great outdoors sound exciting, take your kids to visit New Orleans City Park. This 1,300-acre green space has sprawling moss covered oak trees, lagoons, walking trails through Couturie Forest and plenty of opportunities to spot birds and wildlife. City Park also is home to the New Orleans Botanical Garden, a lush urban sanctuary filled with blooming flowers and exotic plants.
The Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is open with extended hours for the summer. Located in New Orleans City Park on Victory Drive, City Park invites your entire family out to enjoy the fun! With one of the oldest antique, wooden Carousels in the country, a Ferris Wheel, miniature Train, Musik Express and Bumper Cars, there is so much for the family to enjoy!
Spend some time in Storyland, a Mother Goose themed playground for children inside beautiful New Orleans City Park. Visit the Three Little Pigs, Cinderella’s Pumpkin, the Cheshire Cat and Snow White. Or try boating at Big Lake! City Park offers paddleboat and canoe & kayak rentals on beautiful Big Lake near the New Orleans Museum of Art on Lelong Drive. Or try hourly, half-day or day long bike rentals to enjoy the beautiful, scenic park with the largest collection of historic, live oaks in the United States.
For kids who like to stay active, New Orleans has a number of activities to keep the excitement level high. Take a tour specifically designed for kids with French Quartour Kids. They offer several tours for kids ages 4-18 years old to teach them what life was like in the New Orleans of yesteryear. Or how about a seek and find adventure? Turn New Orleans into a game board with the Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the Amazing Race with a fun city tour. Guided from any smart phone, teams see the sights and complete challenges while learning local history.
Second-line Street Parade Permit Information (updated 2/2014)
File an Application for a Parade Permit if the event will involve the use of public streets for a parade, jazz funeral, secondline, or other mobile street event.
Link to application with the City of New Orleans One Stop: Click here
After One Stop receives Parade Permit a notification of the event will be sent to the New Orleans Police Department, Special Events Division and they will contact the family reunion to finalize all details.
Contact: NOPD Special Events Division, 504-658-6201 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Charter a Red or Green streetcar for private events – a unique New Orleans Experience
Contact Ashanti with RTA 504-827-8325 or Click here
French Market Rental
Mardi Gras Indian Show – The Second Line Parade Package
has you and your family members dancing in the streets with the Mardi Gras Indians to the music of a New Orleans Brass Band. A tradition that dates to the 1940s, the Second Line Parade consists of the first line, the brass band, who leads the second line of people through the neighborhood. Following behind the brass band would be you and your family. That’s right! Everyone who follows behind the band dancing to the music is Second Lining. What is so special about this package is that we provide the complete Mardi Gras Indian Show. A traditional New Orleans Brass Band and the Mardi Gras Indians at one time! Put a handkerchief in your hand, and enjoy this exceptional New Orleans experience.
More information at wwww.mardigrasindianshow.com.
VR Arcade NOLA is a Virtual Reality (VR) entertainment provider that offers guests their first taste of high end VR. With a focus on private parties and events along with weddings, family reunions, and conventions, VR Arcade NOLA helps take events to the next level with fully immersive and interactive VR experiences customized specifically for each client to enhance their event’s theme. They are locally owned and operated, with experience providing VR Entertainment to groups as small as 10 and as large as 3000 while working with companies like Red Bull, Microsoft, The National WWII Museum, The Audubon Aquarium, and many more.
© New Orleans Family Reunions 2017