New Orleans Travel with Teens can be a wonderful family experience full of music and LOTS of food. There are just a few things you should know before you go. We’ve been wanting to visit New Orleans for a long time, and this year we all finally have a good stretch of time of to take the trip. It’s close to Christmas and the city was decorated with more than the usually beads. It was unseasonably warm so along with garlands and wreaths there were lots of ferns on the balconies as well.
Our internet research warned us to stay away from Bourbon Street with kids, there’s lots of, shall we say, ADULT entertainment mixed in with great music and food venues. We thought it best to avoid it all together. You and your kids may still see a few “off color” t-shirts or Mardi Gras bead necklaces with ..um.. well lets say male body parts in other areas of the French Quarter but not as much.
Home for the next few days was the Drury Inn and Suites located close to both the French Quarter and the garden district. It’s also an easy walk from the Drury Inn to several street car stops.
The hotel is a beautiful building architecturally, it was originally the Cumberland Telephone Building constructed in 1917.
We stayed in a king size suite with a separate bedroom and living area. Since this is a restored building it has a lot of quirky spaces, the rooms can vary greatly in window sizes and architectural features. The first room we were assigned had small windows, we wanted a room with good views of the city so we requested to be changed to a room with larger windows. Both rooms were relatively large and well appointed.
Our bedroom had huge windows behind the television as well as on the side of the room.
The living room had a pull out sofa bed but the kids never want to use those, my daughter prefers to sleep on the sofa while my son slept on the floor on a blow up air mattress that we brought with us. There was plenty of room in the suite for all of us to be comfortable, the high ceilings add to the spacious feeling.
The Drury Inn New Orleans is a fantastic value and perfect for families. Breakfast is included at the Drury Inn so we started the day with fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. The DIY waffles were the biggest hit of breakfast, well it was supposed to be do it yourself but a staff member noticed we had already loaded our plates. He offered to make our waffles while we began eating the rest of our breakfast. The Drury Inn host a complimentary 5:30 Kickback in the evenings with salads, hot soups and pasta, WINE AND COCKTAILS TOO all available until 7pm! They also have popcorn and soda complementary in the lobby from 3 pm to 10 pm. Drury Hotels are family owned and operated, check out their website for more information on locations nation wide.
Once we got settled we called an Uber XL to take us down to Frenchmen Street for dinner and a show. We didn’t have any place planned to eat but we got a recommendation from a random stranger sitting outside a restaurant. Strangely, he didn’t recommend the restaurant he was sitting in front of but suggested we go to either The Praline Connection or Adolfo’s, both restaurants are on Frenchmen Street.
We chose The Praline Connection for it’s down home Southern and Creole menu. We had an assortment of dishes, pictured above-alligator sausage (DELICIOUS) fried chicken (really good, well seasoned and crispy skin), stuffed crabs (meh, a lot of stuff, not enough crab) crawfish étouffée (DELICIOUS, well seasoned not over seasoned), collard greens (ok, a little bland for my taste), macaroni and cheese (nice and cheesy) barbecued pork ribs (tender meat and very tomato-y sauce). Over all it was a good meal but we were surprised to find no pralines on the menu at the time of our visit which we found odd because, well it IS called The Praline Connection.
We wanted a family friendly music venue so we could hear some funky jazz music, our first choice was Preservation Hall. They were having a Christmas concert in addition to their regular shows. We should have booked our tickets weeks in advance because by the time we were ready to order, the Christmas Jazz show tickets were sold out.
After a little online research we found Snug Harbor (and it is snug) on Frenchmen Street. We bought our tickets on the phone for $15 per person, which was cheaper than the $25 price to purchase them online. Prices vary, be sure to double check prices before purchasing show tickets. Ages 13 and up were admitted to this show, but check this as well before you make a purchase, allowed ages may vary from show to show.
Snug Harbor has a dining room (we didn’t eat there so I can’t give you an opinion on their food) and separate music room with a balcony level where food is not allowed but drinks are served. We arrived abour 45 minutes before the 8 pm showtime to get good seats. All the seats on the first level are pretty close to the stage so there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. Singer Phillip Manuel and his band were performing some VERY JAZZY Christmas tunes, some you’ve heard before, some you haven’t but all with his velvet touch. We were very happy with this show the band was incredible, the bass player’s instrument was over 100 years old! Sorry, no pictures or video are allowed during the performances but above is a picture of the room before everything got started. Do yourself a favor and check out Phillip Manuel’s music. He’s a gifted vocalist and I am thrilled that the kids got to hear him sing live and in person. They both enjoyed the show and really appreciated getting to see professional musicians at work
After the show we headed across the street to the night artists’ market. Frenchmen Art Market is full of craftsmen and artisans, all sorts of fantastic hand crafted goods.
The market is open until midnight or 1 am depending on the day of the week. I think the kids really enjoyed the idea of being out on the streets of New Orleans late into the evening, not too late though, we were ready to tap out at about 10 pm. We called UBER for a ride back to our hotel.
We packed a lot into day one and it wasn’t even a full day. Day two brought more music and the most DELICIOUS… <<READ MORE>>