On our roadtrip this summer to visit family, we needed to get from Dallas to Orlando. There is no way I would have survived a 16 hour trip between the two cities with two kids in tow. To break it up, we decided to pay a visit to New Orleans.
My husband was skeptical about how “kid-friendly” the city would be, but seeing as how I had never been there before and always wanted to go, I was determined to make the stop. I had heard so many things about New Orleans and I wanted to see for myself what it was like. In the end, I fell in love with the energy and style of the French Quarter, and I proved my husband wrong by showing him just how great it can be for kids. And being right, that was the cherry on top of our trip 🙂
When: A weekend in June 2017
Where: Hilton Riverside New Orleans
Weather: Highs in the 90’s and lows in the 80’s – HOT
Wear: We brought it all – swimsuits for the pool area, summer dresses for dinner, and shorts and sleeveless tops for the day. A good pair of cute walking shoes is a must!
Ages: Our son was 2 and our daughter was 5 (and a half! – that is very important to her)
Our hotel – Hilton Riverside
We stayed two nights at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans. The location of our hotel was outstanding:
- It was very convenient to be located right next to St. Charles street, as this is where a lot of the streetcars depart from.
- It was right on the river, giving us a great view from our room and access to walk up and down it at night.
- It was only a 2 stop ride on the streetcar to the French Quarter, or 10 minute walk. While I loved the French Quarter, it was very busy, so with young kids it was nice to stay in a quieter area of the city.
- It was one block from the Aquarium and two blocks from the Insectarium, giving us a short walk that morning in the stroller!
The rooms of the Hilton were very spacious, giving us lots of room to spread out. It was nicely renovated, and we had a great view of the river. We had executive floor access, which was a huge bonus as you had access to breakfast each morning, snacks in the afternoon, and water/coffee/soda anytime of day.
The hotel offers two pools, one right in the hotel and another a short walk through the convention area to a pool right on the river. While there is no pool service, you do have a great view of the river.
For a city hotel, this one checked all of our boxes. I would recommend this hotel to families for the spacious rooms and great location!
There was so much to do and see in New Orleans, and in our limited two days we packed in a lot. Check out my detailed post on Activities in New Orleans for Young Kids to find out how these went!
- Aquarium of the Americas
- Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
- Carriage ride through the French Quarter
- Steamboat Natchez
- Storyland at City Park
- Riding a Streetcar
- Beignet tasting at Cafe du Monde
We only had two nights in New Orleans to experience the local cuisine but we made the most of it!
The first night, we were exhausted from the drive in and wanted to stick close to our hotel so we walked to Mannings. This was a bar atmosphere, but we were here early enough (6pm) with our kids that no one seemed to mind. They had a great outdoor space, with cornhole and large Jenga that the kids played with. The drinks and food were good – typical bar food, but we enjoyed the laid back environment outside while the kids walked around and played.
On the second day, we stopped by Cafe du Monde to have a beignet before dinner and it was amazing! Everyone must try one of these babies. We let those settle in during our carriage ride through the French Quarter. After the ride, our guide recommended we try Original Pierre Maspero’s for dinner. And boy, am I glad we listened to him! The food was delicious! It was crowded and noisy so it was a perfect place for kids to blend into, but nothing much to entertain them. My husband walked around outside with Easton while we waited for our food. I got their pasta and shrimp dish and fell in love 🙂
New Orleans might just be the most kid friendly city to navigate we have ever visited, thanks to the street cars and close proximity of everything. Not once did we need to get in the car! Our hotel, the Hilton Riverside, was located right next to the main hub of streetcars. For $3 a day per person (2 and under free), you can ride as many times as you want in a day.
We took the streetcar all the way to City Park one morning, and then rode it the two stops from our hotel to the French Quarter. I even took our City Mini stroller with us, and just folded it up easily once we got on. The kids loved being able to sit freely without a carseat, and I loved looking our the window at everything that was going on around me and enjoying the view.
When you don’t have to load the kids into the car for every outing, it makes for a more enjoyable trip!