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Mardi Gras with Teens?

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Mardi Gras with Teens?

My wife and I along with our 3 girls, ages 15,14,and 11 are cruising out of Mobile Al. on Feb. 18th. We are flying into New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 16th. I am looking for suggestions on where to stay and what to do for a couple of days in New Orleans. I would love to experience the parades and festivities but I am concerned about the safety of the kids. Any ideas and suggestions would be appreciated.

Baton Rouge
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1. Re: Mardi Gras with Teens?

What time does your flight arrive on Mardi Gras Day? It's going to be tough to get downtown with parades starting early in the day and parade goers lining the streets before the sun comes up. Plus many streets are blocked off for the activities. Any possibility of coming in on Monday?

New Orleans...
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2. Re: Mardi Gras with Teens?

The parades are Tuesday morning. Depending upon what time your flight arrives, you may be able to catch the tail end of the parades, but I don't know exactly how you'd get to your hotel, check in, drop off your luggage and then get out to get a spot with so many streets closed. There will be no Mardi Gras festivities after Mardi Gras day.

chicago
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3. Re: Mardi Gras with Teens?

You may not want to get your heart set on parades. Zulu is the last, and it ends by noon. They block off the parade routes very early in the morning, which makes it hard to get anywhere. I live in Chicago...we know traffic...and I have never experienced traffic like that in NOLA on Mardi Gras.

I don't know if any of the suburbs on your way in from the airport have their own parades, but I'd check out that option.

As for kids, mine are 10 and 13, and I wouldn't dream of taking them on Bourbon on Fat Tuesday. But, hey, if you think it's high time they learn about flashing, body painting, stripping, drag queens, and how alcohol sometimes makes people puke in public....Seriously, I love it in all its seedy glory, but I think it would be too much for tweens and young teens.

I think I'd head out to the Garden District--way more family friendly and lots of cute restaurants, clubs etc. Just check that places will be open since lots of restaurants shut down for the holiday.

chicago
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4. Re: Mardi Gras with Teens?

Actually, if you can make it into town, your teens would love the area around Jackson Square with all the street performers and artists, then pyschics and palm readers at nigth. They'll also really enjoy the French Market, which has all kinds of artists with amazing masks and bands playing.

Royal Street is safe to wander with the teens, too.

I worry about where you'll stay. Most of the hotels book up, and many have a 5-night minimum form Mardi Gras. Those that don't often want upwards of $300 a night. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

New Orleans...
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5. Re: Mardi Gras with Teens?

KIds are fine uptown, but you're very late to be making reservations - many of the prime places will be booked by now. You need to call now. Metairie has big parades with a family focus if you can't book in the city by this point. BTW, Zulu is the first major parade of the day, not the last. The truck parades go on well into the afternoon so if you are a late arrival you could still catch some of it. Traffic is of course a nightmare with a million people in the street so be forewarned. Arriving Monday makes a lot more sense if you can, otherwise I'd wait until Ash Wed.

6. Re: Mardi Gras with Teens?

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