Last weekend was filled with tons of incredible fun and free (or almost free) activities. The perfect weather was a motivating factor - we all wanted to be outside - but it was also nice to have so many different activities to choose from.
On Friday night we had drinks and dinner at Midway pizza, a fabulous new pizza place that opened on Freret Street. I know, we have many pizza places in Uptown NOLA, but they are all distinctly different and there is nothing bad about having too many pizza places. Incidentally, my least favorite pizza place is the one that is closest to our house - NY Pizza - go figure. Luz and Christian love and will always vote for Theo's, but I think the vote is somewhat skewed. Luz likes it because of the Miss Pac Man machine. For any ordinary family pizza night, Slice is my pick. Reginelli's is my favorite daytime pizza place and I like it best for takeout, but I cannot tolerate the crowds at night. My two favorite "night out without the kids" pizza places are Dommenica (hands down, the BEST) and Ancora (might actually end up beating Dommenica because of the convenience factor -yes, it too is on Freret). Back to Midway though, I think it is a great, family-friendly pizza restaurant. The pizza is good, the salads are good, the alcohol selection is perfect, and the vibe of the place is top-notch. I love that there were couples out on dates, friends meeting up for drinks after work, and families all packed in side-by-side. The noise level might be a bit tough for the older crowd but it is perfect for families who would like to disguise a toddler meltdown mid-meal. I highly recommend that you check it out of if you are looking for another reliable pizza destination in NOLA. If it is a weekend night and you do not want to hang around for hours, arrive early as there was quite a wait by the time we left around 8:00.
We woke up on Saturday morning and decided to take advantage of the already long ago paid for season passes to the City Park Carousel Gardens for a morning of rides. I am so glad that we purchased the passes at the beginning of the summer because they have more than paid for themselves. I will do it every year as long as the kids still enjoy the rides. Luz is now a champ and will go on all of the rides (with the exception of the music express as she is not tall enough and she watched it debilitate Christian for the better part of a day). She even convinced me to take her on the scrambler and conned Nana into a ride on the never-ending ferris wheel. It was crowded but manageable...there were not any particularly long lines for any of the rides, except the train and it would have broken James' heart if we skipped his favorite one! So, if you are in NOLA and looking for a great way to help the kids burn off some energy, consider a trip to the Carousel Gardens. The cost of rides and admission is not outrageous and if you plan to go multiple times, a family pass is a great option. Did I mention they sell beer there (Abita and Miller Lite)? You can also pack a picnic lunch (which I did on Saturday) to save on the overall cost of a day at the Carousel Gardens. There is ample seating throughout the park.