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Family Fun: French Quarter Festival

French Quarter Festival is one of the world’s largest displays of Louisiana music. The Fest starts this Thursday and will end Sunday. Four days of the best music, food and fun!

Each year we try to go for at least two or three days. There is so much to see it’s easy to fill the days with completely different events, food and stages. This is the second year I will be covering the event as media and first year we have VIP passes.

We love going just the two of us and also with the kids. This festival is very family friendly and again, free! Just a few things to know before you go.

Locate the bathrooms.

Unlike festivals like Jazz Fest that are contained in a certain area French Quarter Festival is throughout the entire French Quarter. If you are going with adults bathrooms aren’t as much of a priority but with kids you need to locate them. Some business are cool with you using their bathroom but some aren’t so it’s good to keep an eye out when you are walking around. We try to remember to visit the ones at the riverfront by the main stages before venturing out into the rest of the quarter.

Chevron STEM Zone.

Chevron is once again putting on their STEM Zone on the Natchez Warf at the foot of Toulouse Street on the river for two full days of family fun! We were able to take the boys last year to see all of the STEM exhibits and they had a blast. This year we are looking forward to seeing the team present the “STEM World’s Fair.” If you are looking to take a break from the music or just hit up something fun for the kids before walking in the quarter this is the place to be! You can find more information on last years trip to the STEM Zone here.

Stages.

There are stages all over the French Quarter. In years past we have really stayed mostly at the riverfront stages because it was the easiest place to manage all the kids, close to the food and the bathrooms. When we walk around the quarter we use the French Quarter Festival App to help find the stages we like. One of our favorites that it always exciting and fun is the Zydeco Stage which is located on Decatur. This is one of the kids favorite stages. There is always a lot of action and dancing!

Parking.

If you want to park close to the action come early and expect to pay a premium. I like parking close when we are there with the kids because it is easy to have an escape plan if you need to leave. It’s also easy to park a distance away and take an uber or a pedi cab down into the quarter.

Food and Drinks.

Another helpful reason to download the app. There are food stations on the river front, in Jackson Square, down Decatur and many more. Downloading the app will let you know where to start and what you need to get. No matter where you go I always suggest Muriel’s Goat Cheese Crepes to everyone I know and they are always in Jackson Square.

Finding Shade.

There is more shade than you think at FQF. We love to lay on the grassy embankments between the river and the quarter. Also, ducking into the STEM Zone for a bit or down into the Jackson Square area. You may have to just sit on a stoop or the ground but it’s always good to find a litte shade.

Having a plan.

Anytime we are in a public place or crowded event we discuss the “plan” with the boys. The “plan” is this. If something happens and we are separated you look for a person in uniform first, if you cannot find one you go to an adult who is not scared and ask them to help you. Tell the person your name, my name and our phone number. We talk about this before any big event or when we went to Disney too. A lot of crazy things happen so it is good to be prepared.

Supplies.

It’s important to have some essentials but not to overpack either. These things are always in my festival bag.

  • diapers and wipes
  • water
  • sunscreen
  • extra sunglasses
  • a blanket or towel to sit on
  • snacks
  • lip balm
  • Band-Aids
  • stroller or wagon

The best thing about FQF is there really is everything at your fingertips from food booths to music to stores and restaurants and so much more. Come hungry and ready to have a good time!

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