For how good this zoo is I would have expected to pay a lot more in entrance fees. We arrived at zoo opening on a Friday. Zoo was not busy at all. We had the panda exhibit to ourselves. We were able to see keepers feeding lots of the animals so they were all very active. This zoo really is laid out well. You are able to see everything with minimal doubling back. Free sea lion training show. Like most zoos there are additional add on experiences (camel rides, giraffe feeding, sting rays, carousal, train) but all of the actual exhibits were completely free including the aquarium and petting zoo. We ate lunch at the Cat Cafe. It was pricey but that's what you expect at a zoo. Food was fairly good though. They do have a splash pad and a giant wading pool for kids. So if you come in warm months bring a swimsuit, fast drying clothes or a change of clothes. Additional $5 to park but if you come early there is lots of free parking in the park around the zoo but you are going to have a further walk.
Be prepared Vicksburg is a big park and the terrain is very rough (why the siege lasted so long). Plan several hours for the stop. We stopped on our way back north from New Orleans. Unfortunately Confederate Ave is closed due to road problems which means to see the whole park you have to double back on parts you've already seen. To complete the Jr Ranger book you have to drive the entire park. It took us about 3 hours to see everything and help the kids answer all the questions. Video at the Visitors' Center is very good. Second Visitors' Center at The Cairo is worth checking out as well.
We arrived just in time for the Ranger talk. Ranger walked us through the history of Jazz music and Jazz influence on the city. Ranger was a talented artist and he played the pieces on the piano for us. Talk was informative and engaging. Plus 45 minutes of free A/C in the summer in New Orleans can't be beat. Our girls did the Jr Ranger books. Ranger was very interactive with them. Great stop
We came here based on a suggestion from our carriage diver on our tour. Excellent choice. Less busy than other restaurants (it was an early dinner) which is great when you have several young kids. Food was very good. My husband and I split an appetizer and main dish and it was more than enough food. Kid's meals were easily big enough for two kids to split. We also enjoyed their seasonal beer and the local favorite the Pimm's Cup. Both were very good. Live jazz band started around 6. The kids enjoyed watching the band preform as we were leaving.
We arrived at Jackson Square a little early for our tour so we decided to check out the interior of St Louis Cathedral. The inside is beautiful and they have little brochures for self guided tours. We only had about 15 minutes. We looked around at some of the very beautiful artwork. Adults could probably spend an hour or so looking around but the kids were done after about 10 minutes. We went ahead an left before they could get noisy.
For $3 (you need cash) you can get a day pass good for all the streetcars and buses on the system. We stayed in the Superdome area and used the Canal Street and River lines to get back and forth to the French Quarter multiple times. Kids had a great time riding the trolleys. Most the time there was plenty of seating only had to stand on two of the rides (midweek, weekends I"m sure are more crowded). Trolley's were clean. Canal street line had A/C which was big plus. Trolley's came about every 15-20 minutes. Drivers were always very helpful. Highly recommend taking RTA to get around vs driving.
Was suggested by the hotel staff as a family friendly dinner within walking distance. Food was very good. Service was good. Nice mix of burgers, salads and Cajun. Kids loved that their food was served on Frisbee's they got to keep. Great casual dinner.
We did the 1 hour tour at 10:00 in the morning. I would suggest touring the Quarter either early in the day or late in the day as heat and humidity are serious business. We had 4 kids in our group (ranging from 1.5-7 years old). Our tour guide did a good job keeping the tour interesting for them but still informative for us. She also did a great job of explaining the more torrid parts New Orleans history without me having to explain things with a 7 year old that I'm not ready to explain. The cemetery tour was very cool. Recommend bringing water with you as the cemetery was very hot even in the morning. Tour guide said the cemetery gets very full some days so again an early tour is probably better as it was just us and one other group in while we were there. I would highly recommend this as a way to see the quarter. Guide let the kids give the mule a treat after our tour. We had a great time.
I was expecting maybe more local artists but this was more like the flea markets we have in Indiana just with New Orleans themed items. Things were a little cheaper than the shops on Decatur but not by much. We still had fun walking among the stalls seeing what there was. Kids got a snow cone and they really enjoyed that with the heat. Wish we would have came down to the market to eat though a lot of items at the food court looked really good.
We did an afternoon trip with Captain Rene. This trip was the highlight of the vacation. Everyone loved it (ages 1.5-34 years old). Rene was very knowledgeable about the animal and plant life that live in the swamp. He was funny and engaging for all ages (he played peek a boo with my 1.5 year old around the other passengers when she started melting down toward the end of the trip). We saw lots of alligators. He managed to get several mid sized ones to jump out of the water for us. He did a great job making sure both sides of the boats saw the alligators. They had a nice little gift shop with indoor restrooms (get there early to check in and use the restroom). Prices at the gift shop were very reasonable. Overall we had a GREAT experience.