Sorry for the length of this post. We've got lots of questions! We're driving from St.Louis to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with our 8yo daughter. Please review our itinerary for age appropriate surroundings and suggest improvements. She's a trooper when it comes to long days with lots of walking. Our plan is to walk pretty much everywhere (except to the swamp tour), but please let us know if you think we should consider an alternate mode at any point. Also, our daughter has an adventuresome spirit and wants to try lots of new foods (eg, crickets, alligator, snake, turtle, and anything flaming!)
Day 1 Saturday: arrive @11a. Check into Country Inn & Suites in the CBD.
Central Grocery for lunch.
St.Louis Cemetery for 1pm tour. We'll have to cross Boubon St. so where's the tamest place?
Endymion parade spot near Loyola and Girod. Will we have any trouble getting across the Canal St. parade section? Where's the best place for us to watch Endymion? how long is the parade?
Dinner at P&Gs.
Pralines for desert - where to go?
Day 2 Sunday: 9a-10:30a Visitor Center tour of the French Quarter.
Insectarium for edible insects.
Recommendations for a jazz brunch @1p? Looking for a casual place that's moderately priced.
Tour the Mardi Gras exhibit at the Presbytere.
Watch the Bacchus parade at Poydras & Tchoupitoulas.
Dinner at Mother's.
Day 3 Lundi Gras: Honey swamp tour.
Lunch at either The Joint or Elizabeth's; which do you recommend?
Is there a way to watch the Prot & Orph parades AND see the meeting of Zulu and Rex? If so, where should we be & when? If not, which should we choose and where should we be?
Dinner at Cochon Butcher.
Day 4 Fat Tuesday: We really need help planning this day. Is it rare to find open businesses on MG? Restaurants included?
Should we choose the 8a Zulu parade or 8a breakfast with the Bone Gang at the Backstreet Cultural Center? Will we be able to see the MG Indians there?
Lunch at Casamento's. Will we be able to ride the StChas streetcar?
What to do / where to go in the afternoon? Dinner recommendations?
I wonder if we're too heavy on the parades and not enough on seeing the city. What are the "don't miss parades"?
We've heard about wearing costumes. What kind of costumes? Will we be out of place if we don't dress up?
We are SO excited about this trip! Any advice you offer is much appreciated. Thanks for your help!