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In our previous post Explore the Hidden Gems of Mississippi, we shared a number of family fun activities for you near and around Jackson, MS. We also took a day trip to visit New Orleans during that family vacation which was equally as enjoyable. We are all familiar with the spectacle of Mardi Gras, but the Big Easy has so many things to offer that are kid-friendly as well. Here is a look at some unique spots to visit as well as a week-long itinerary idea so you can truly discover the deep south.
Louisiana is known for its unique southern cuisine such as gumbo, shrimp etoufee and other tasty dishes. New Orleans is filled to the hilt with hole-in-the-wall to high end restaurants. The thing our family loves to do is find the fun food markets as they allow you to sample a variety of dishes all in one place.
So the Auction House Market was our first stop for lunch. The Market has an eclectic mix of options which is great for a family of six with different palates. There are sandwich, Indian, seafood, salads and dessert vendors so everyone found something they like. This market does cater more to foodies so the prices range from $7-$20 per plate. I’d advise this be a one-stop experience during the vacation versus a daily go-to. Here are some guides for great family friendly places to help make the vacation budget go further:
- Kid-Friendly Restaurants That Go Beyond Chicken Tenders and Free Crayons
- The 10 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants In New Orleans, Louisiana
An Eclectic Musical Experience
Music is the heartbeat of New Orleans where is it hailed as the birthplace of jazz. Those roots birthed numerous well-known musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Harry Connick Jr. And it continues to draw scores of artists who want to create new and innovative sounds the world’s never heard before. One unforgettable place where this fusion of creativity culminates is at Music Box Village at the edge of the city’s Bywater district. About a 15 minute drive from downtown New Orleans, Music Box is tucked in the middle of a nondescript neighborhood. The GPS made us pass over it so be mindful of your turns to get there.
Once you enter the scene, it is an amalgamation of rusted metal structures with all sorts of contraptions that make various sorts of noises. It’s like the leaders from Lord of the Flies and Peter Pan collaborated to create this funky Neverland. But kids and parents alike soon get lost in the fun of making music with various makeshift instruments the musicians have created for their guests.
Week of Southern Hospitality
There is so much to explore throughout the deep south that it would take many posts to explore. Here is a our take on how to explore New Orleans and Jackson, MS in one week:
Welcome to New Orleans!
Start your deep south family vacation flying into New Orleans. Depending on your departure location, you’ll want to take it easy for the day. Visit the French Quarter to see Jackson Square, try a beignet at world famous Cafe Du Monde and watch the entertaining street performances.
Explore the Offbeat
New Orleans is known worldwide for its unique style and culture. Visit New Orleans Jazz Museum and MusicBox Village. Relax with a walk through Garden District and/or City Park. And tour Mardi Gras World where artists work year-round to prepare for the big event.
Explore Nature Outside NOLA
The Louisiana swampland is just as intriguing as lively New Orleans so take a jaunt a few miles outside the city to experience it. Visit Barataria Preserve for alligator sightings or jump on a swamp boat tour to see the natural beauty by water.
Explore Deep South History & Culture
Take the 3 hour roadtrip and drop off your bags at the hotel. Then, head to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Mississippi Musuem of Art and end your day in the Fondren district for unique sights and good food .
Explore MS Nature
Consider taking in Mississippi’s natural wonders on the final day. Visit the Mississippi Petrified Forest, make stops around the Ross Barnett Reservoir to walk amongst the local swamps and along the Pearl River.
Heading Back Home from NOLA
Drive back to New Orleans and catch your afternoon flight back home reminiscing about your fun adventures discovering the deep south!