Beignets in New Orleans

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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.

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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!

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