I grew up in the Boston area, a place where people travel from all over the world to see unique tourist spots. But when it is in your backyard, it can be easy to ignore. The Freedom Trail, Salem witch stuff, Paul Revere’s Place, & The Boston Tea Party are things you either did on a field trip from school or took an out of town visitor to see, they weren’t things you did just for yucks.

If you are in the “there is nothing” to do here mentality, stop and think for a moment about all the hidden treasures around you. When you are experiencing something for the first time, it can be magical. Visiting nutrias at a dam is exciting to my kids (& me, a big kid), touring public libraries, running around new playgrounds & city parks is exciting, visiting an old gas station in Abita Springs to get a candy & coke a bottle candy can fill a day.

It is almost summer vacation – 9 more days (gulp, panic)! Every time we have moved (lost count), I like to come up with a master list of places we should check out. I hate to waste time deciding what we should do on a given day. This week, the list needs to happen, while the ten million “end of school” activities take place. I’ll let the kids take turns picking from the list. over the summer. A summer of sitting their butts in front of the TV & Playstation is not going to happen – promise you that! We have so much exploring to do in our new backyard, home, state.

Your Task for the day: come up with 3 things that you think my kids would enjoy doing that may be as simple as visiting all the fleur de lis statues around town and taking pictures of them or stopping some place for a unique pastry!

Let’s here it from you, the locals, the newbies, whoever…I need some ideas please…..

FWIW – 3 years ago when we moved to Tulsa, OK over the summer – we did a “penguin statue” tour. We had a printed sheet of the 100 or so statues around town and checked them off as we found them. Yes, I’m easily amused! (cross-posted at NOLA.com)

3 Replies to “Summer fieldtrips (help NOLA)”

  1. Here are a few ideas from someone who just moved here a few years ago and loved finding the quirkie and cool about the area.

    1. Take Rt. 22 into Madisonville. Once you cross the bridge, turn left at the flashing light. Keep following that road. You will come to some small bridges along the way. Stop the car on top and look down to see if you can find any alligators. Keep driving and you will come to Lake Pontchatrain. You can fish on the covered docks or just watch the locals fish and the boats come in and out of the channel. The thing that got me when I first drove out there is that it appears that the water is higher than you are! Weird.

    2. We love to go the Lynn Meadow’s Discovery Center in Gulfport, MS. (www.lmdc.org) The kids will love the huge tree houses out back. Pack a lunch and eat out under the live oaks and let the kids play in the treehouses.

    3. Take a bike ride through old Mandeville and check out all the different houses and the quaint streets. Go down the less traveled streets and check them out. Take the Trace to Fountainbleu State Park and then take a ride through the park. If you need to rent bikes and pull along carts, there is a bike rental place 1 street west of Gerard near the trailhead. I also suggest lunch at the Kickstand Cafe. My fav is the egg salad sandwich with avocado slices!

    4. Grande Isle. About 2.5-3 hours away. A great way to see the deep south living of Louisiana. Interesting scenery along the way. Hard to explain, but go.It is not a place of luxury, but there is a decent beach. You can fish or crab right from the beach.

    5. THere is a riverboat ride down the Mississippi that goes from the Zoo to the Aquarium. It is a great way to see the behind the scenes of the Mississippi and they tell you history and whatnot about the ships, docks, river, etc. Not too long and the kids just like being on the boat.

    6. A friend of mine gets a membership to a waterpark in Mississippi – just over the line. I don’t know the name, but she takes her son there and they enjoy it!

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