Hansen’s Sno Bliz – New Orleans


Snow cones, shave ice, shaveED ice, snoballs…these tasty, icy treats are served up differently in each part of the US.  If my kids see a snow cone stand on a hot day, they are usually begging for one!  In Hawaii, we ate our weight in the creamy shave ice that you can find all over the Oahu.  When I got home, I was lamenting to a friend (food does that to you, doesn’t it?) about how much I missed the shave ice and wished we had something similar for a cool treat on a hot, humid Florida day.  I am used to the chunky icy snow cones that don’t really pick up the syrup.  She said that I should try a New Orleans style snoball.  We actually have a place in Pensacola that serves up New Orleans style snoballs but it hasn’t opened for the summer yet so I was excited to come across Hansen’s Sno Bliz in my research for our New Orleans trip.

Hansen’s Sno Bliz has been in business for over seventy years and is a family tradition.  You will need a car or public transportation to get there if you are staying in the French Quarter as it is too far for the kids to walk.  We drove over there after a long, warm morning at the Audubon Zoo.  We arrived about five minutes before it opened for the day and there was already a line of people waiting for the doors to open!  Doors opened right at 1pm and we stared at the menu for about ten minutes.  Both kids got something blue (that was actually how they ordered!) and I tried the banana (my new favorite flavor!). 


The prices are reasonable and they have a number of different sizes from small to a large so big that I have no idea how anyone can eat it!  As I watched her pour the bright blue syrup on Little S’s snoball, all I could think was that I made a big mistake by letting her wear her frilly white shirt and said as much.  We were told that it doesn’t stain!  The only one that stains is the chocolate and we definitely put it to the test.  The blue came out of the white shirt without any problems thankfully!


Hansen’s Sno Bliz is located at 4801 Tchoupitoulas St in New Orleans. 

See what everyone else is eating at Wanderfood Wednesday!

New Orleans As Seen Through My Six Year Old’s Eyes

New Orleans is one of those cities where you are going to do a lot of walking.  You just can’t get around it.  Sure there are street cars and cabs, but you are still going to do a ton of walking.  Like I said the other day in my hiking post, my kids whine and whine and whine walking around the city even though they will run and play at parks and go for nature walks for hours.  Well, I think I might have found the cure for the whining…at least a temporary one!

After a long morning of trekking all over the city (and whining by two whiny children), we took a break to snap a few pictures.  My son took a picture of me and my daughter.


And then my daughter (the 4 year old) took one of me and my son:


Then they proceeded to fight over who was going to get the camera next.  You know these moments I am talking about…the ones where you start throwing treats or threats or promises at your kids because you just can’t stand to listen to it any longer?  Anything to make them stop what they are doing?  Oh wait…don’t you have those moments occasionally?  Despite my reservations, I was so over the whining and arguing that I decided to do something rash.

I gave my 6 year old son my camera.  My fancy Canon DSLR camera.

And then my daughter started to whine because she wanted a turn.

So my son suggested I give her my phone.

My “this is a big splurge because I had a cell phone that hardly even sent texts until the end of last year” Android phone.

And I did.  And then we continued to walk.

We walked from the Audubon Aquarium to the Audubon Insectarium.  We spent an hour exploring the Insectarium.  Then we headed towards the hotel by way of several detours.  All the while, my children were happily snapping pictures and I didn’t hear a single whiny word out of them.  The ENTIRE time we walked all over New Orleans. 

I call this series of photos New Orleans As Seen through my Six Year Old’s Eyes


This one is titled MOM!


His sister!

His sister!

Around the city:












Did I mention the Easter Bunny is bringing them each a camera on Sunday (just in time for our week long road trip!)?

Stop by Delicious Baby for Photo Friday!

Beignets in New Orleans


Sometimes there is nothing sweeter than a young one trying to eat a beignet from Cafe du Monde.  These famous French doughnuts covered with mounds of powdered sugar are so much fun to eat with kids.  Powdered sugar swirls around the air as they laugh over the top of their beignets.  You will only be able to smile as the other customers laugh out loud when they watch your daughter blow powdered sugar all over you.



Be sure to visit Wanderfood Wednesday over at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

Disclosure: Thank you to the New Orleans CVB for certificates for three orders of beignets.  This, however, was our third trip to Cafe du Monde!

Dreaming of New Orleans

If you visit this blog regularly, you will know that I have dreams of New Orleans often!  My husband and I honeymooned for a week in New Orleans and we love to return any chance we get both without and with the kids!  It is just a few hours away so it makes for a great place to take an overnight trip or even a very long day trip.  This week, the reason I am dreaming of New Orleans is because it is Mardi Gras time and for the first time in several years I am not in the South for it where we really know how to celebrate Mardi Gras!!  We have only been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans a few times, but my hometown has a huge Mardi Gras celebration that we try to attend.  I am having a blast in Virginia so I wouldn’t change a thing but I was looking at some friends’ pictures of Mardi Gras and was reminded of Mardi Gras celebrations from the past! 

 Head over to Travel Mamas to see my guest post, Family Friendly New Orleans on a Budget.  We have gotten our New Orleans budget down to about 300-350 dollars for a weekend and that even include gas and hotel! 

Follow My Mardi Gras Experience to read what other bloggers are saying about Mardi Gras 2010.

Shannon Hurst Lane lives in Louisiana and blogs about New Orleans often.

I really loved reading Guy and Girl Travels take on New Orleans.

Here are some of my other New Orleans posts:

See what other travelers are dreaming about over at Mother Of All Trips!

Dreaming of New Orleans…again!

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Today I am dreaming of New Orleans…again!  Only a short three hour drive away, New Orleans makes a fantastic destination for an overnight getaway.  Yesterday I saw a commercial for Miracle on Fulton Street.  Fulton and Poydras Streets in downtown New Orleans turns into a winter wonderland from November 27 to January 3.  It snows!  In New Orleans!  There is live entertainment, falling snow, a canopy of lights, movie nights and so much more.  We visit New Orleans on a regular basis but haven’t made it over for Miracle on Fulton Street.  Hopefully I will be able to talk my husband into the quick trip over!  Some of the things I am dreaming about doing while we are there.

And of course we will make some time for several stops at the Cafe du Monde to indulge in beignets!

See what other are dreaming about over at Mother of All Trips, host of Mondays are for Dreaming.

The Insectarium – New Orleans, Louisiana

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The Insectarium is part of the Audubon Family (the aquarium, the zoo, etc.) and is one of the few brand new attractions to open in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.  The Insectarium is just a short walk to Canal Street from the Aquarium.  I really liked the way the Insectarium was set up.  You walked in, paid for your ticket and started down a hallway.  In the hallway are tons of little creepy crawlies…millipedes, huge cockroaches, ants, etc. 

There are all sorts of the larger than life bugs hanging on the walls

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Look like a leaf to you?  It is actually a Walking Leaf Insect!  This was my son’s favorite bug!

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As you wander down the hallway, you come to the Underground Gallery.  Yuck!  It is like you are disappearing underground…there are gigantic bug statues that will make you feel like you are one of them.  Even the floor texture changes so you feel like you are actually underground!  From there you pass by the cafe…we avoided the cafe because bugs were not on the menu for us that day!  You can watch New Orleans chefs cook with bugs and even try some of the meals!  From there, you enter the Termite Gallery.  Then it is on to the Louisiana Swamp where you learn about the local insects.  They also have a few small gators for you to check out!

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I do not recommend standing on the alligator head…besides the fact that I am sure it is not allowed, we watched a kid fall into the open tank behind this gator.  Thank goodness the gator isn’t real and it is a tank full of fish.  From the Swamp, you enter the Success Stories Gallery where the kids can play with hands-on activities.  My son loved to “Build-A-Bug” where you got to choose all of the bug body parts from lots of different bugs and then choose a home for it.  The computer tells you if there is a chance that your bug would survive.  We couldn’t leave until he built a creation that had a high chance of survival!

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No one in my family dared to stick our hands in this hole…anyone out there tried it?  I would love to know what happens!

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There is a quick movie that you can watch called Awards Night that will make you jump out of your seat.  It has everything from moving seats when the bugs are around and mist that shoots out that it is sure to keep everyone entertained!  My son was not too thrilled with the moving stuff, but my younger child loved the movie!

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 As you continue to wander, you will see beautiful bugs, ugly bugs and you may even get to “pet” a bug.  My daughter’s favorite part of the Insectarium (and mine) was Butterflies in Flight, a beautiful tea garden with hundreds of butterflies flying all around. 

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The Audubon Family sells tickets to meet any of your needs.  Insectarium tickets are 15 dollars for adults and 10 dollars for kids.  Children under 2 are free.   The Audubon Experience package gets you into the Aquarium, the Zoo, the Insectarium and an IMAX for just 32.95 an adult or $19.95 a child.  Children under 2 are free.  They have several other combo choices to meet your needs.   If you have time, I recommend that you see all that the Audubon has to offer.  They are all worthwhile places to visit with your children.

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If you are driving, make sure to check out this list of parking lots that participate in discounted parking program.  Bring your parking ticket in with you to get validated.
New Orleans Things To Do

Dreaming of Beignets at the Cafe Du Monde – New Orleans, Louisiana

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Hot. Powder sugary. Doughy. Fried. Goodness.  

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New Orleans is only about a three hour drive from us.  When I get to about Biloxi, which is an hour and a half from NOLA, I start to count the number of times I think I will be able to convince my husband to go to Cafe Du Monde in our 24 hour trip.  Four or five times?  That might be excessive.  Definitely twice-once as soon as we get there and then another for breakfast the next day.  If we are spending more than just a few morning hours before we head home, I might even be able to make a third trip right before we go.  My husband is not a big sweet person…okay he is a big sweet person, he just doesn’t like sweets.  He would prefer a bag of chips or a box of crackers over sweet candy anyday.  Me on the other hand?  New Orleans just smells sweet (once you move away from Bourbon St!).  Divinity, pralines, beignets…all those tasty treats that I associate with the south that I wouldn’t touch in any other city but indulge myself with when I head to the Big Easy. 

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After attending many a beignet feasting session at Cafe Du Monde, here are some things we have learned:

1.  Don’t come back later.  The crowds will not thin out, the line for a table does not get much shorter.  If you are there, get in line.

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2.  If you don’t need the experience of enjoying your beignets at a table in the cafe, head to the take out window.  If you are lucky, a waiter will find you.  If he/she asks you if they can get your order for you, let them.  It will be quick and well worth the tip you should hand them!

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3.  Wear black.  I am just kidding.  Don’t wear black.  Don’t wear black especially if you are going to sit at one of the Cafe Du Monde tables.  You will walk out of there with a powder sugared booty.

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 Check out what other people are dreaming about at Mother of All Trips!

New Orleans Things To Do

Thursday Thirteen — Edition #4

Thirteen Things to do in New Orleans When Traveling With Small Children

1. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas — What a fantastic aquarium this was! It is a great place to get out of the hot (or cold) weather. See seahorses, white alligators, penguins and sea otters. You can also touch a stingray or a starfish. You can view an IMAX — our personal favorite–Hurricane on the Bayou or Bugs!

2. Zoo — After exploring the aquarium, head over to the zoo. If the paddle boat is running, buy a combo ticket and take the paddle boat to the zoo. It will drop you off at the back of zoo and take you back to the aquarium when you are finished. You will find river hogs, sea lions, jaguars, monkeys and rhinos!

3. The Quarter — The first place we always stop is to take a horse drawn carriage ride around the square! Make friends with the horse’s owner and your child might get to feed the horse a carrot!

4. Cafe du Monde — After you have walked around the quarter, take a rest at the cafe and have some world famous beignets. The kids will love them!

Have the wipes handy!

5. Streetcar — The kids will love a ride around town on a streetcar!

6. The French Market — A great place to pick up touristy items. Keep a close watch on your children and leave your stroller at home. During the peak season, it is crowded and hot. The aisles are tight, however this is not something you will want to miss! The deals are incredible.

7. Aunt Sally’s Pralines — Another great stop for a special treat. Watch them make pralines in the window and then go in and buy one for a quick snack! The gift shop is great and the divinity is divine!!

8. Swamp Boat Tour — Even though it is a little drive from downtown New Orleans, you will want to make the trip for a swamp boat tour. The kids will love seeing the gators swarm the boat and they might even get a chance to hold a baby gator!

9. The National World War II Museum — Great for the history buff! Meet with a volunteer World War II veteran!

10. Paddle boat down the Mississippi — The Steamboat Natchez is great for day cruises or dinner cruises. The boat travels up and down the Mississippi River while the captain points out various landmarks.

11. Riverwalk — Take the kids down along the Mississippi River to play in the grass, sit on a bench, or wander by the fountains. When you are finished go shopping in the Riverwalk Marketplace.

12. Bubba Gump Shrimp Company — This restaurant is kid-friendly, loud, and serves fantastic food! We love the shrimp!

13. New Orleans Ghost Tour — If your children are a bit older, they will love to take a spooky ghost tour. You will walk around the quarter while a tour guide tells you spooky stories about the different buildings and landmarks!

Cruising around New Orleans in style!

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