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New Orleans

How to Enjoy the Romance of New Orleans – Even With Kids in Tow

(Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock)

Did that little bundle of joy dampen your plans for a sexy weekend? Traveling with kids in tow doesn’t mean that vacation romance is off the menu. Here are a few New Orleans attractions where you can sneak a special moment, a kiss or a turn on the dance floor without boring the youngsters.

Take It to the River

Who doesn’t love a romantic view? Ferries paddle across the mighty Mississippi from the foot of Canal Street to Algiers through the day and evening. The short boat ride is a blast for kids (who ride for free; adult passage is $2) and offers both a river breeze and a romantic view of the water. The river is almost as busy as it was in Mark Twain’s day. Watch the briny, muddy Mississippi flow beneath you as tugboats and paddlewheelers drift by on the way to sea and back, passing historic wharfs and the Mardi Gras World float den where artists work year-round on Carnival parades. In historic Algiers Point, walking-distance from the ferry landing, you’ll find restaurants and bars with live music, plus a grassy expanse of levee perfect for a sunset walk.

Get Your Groove On

Free early-evening festival series like Jazz in the Park or Wednesday at the Square offer activities like face-painting and crafts to entertain the youngsters while their parents dance to local funk, brass and R&B. What happens later is up to you.

A Stroll in the Park

City Park houses a miniature train, bikes to rent, putt-putt golf, paddle boats and the Storyland fairy-tale-themed amusement park. It’s enough to distract the munchkins while you stroll under ancient oaks or in the elegant sculpture gardens, watch swans drift lazily through the lagoons, take a seat on a swing for two and share a café au lait at an outdoor table at the 24-hour Morning Call coffee stand.

Jazz It Up

Opened in 1961 by French Quarter-dwelling bohemians, Preservation Hall is a genuine haven for the tradition of hot New Orleans jazz. The tiny wooden showroom, open to all ages for three shows nightly, is connected to a courtyard that provides a perfect opportunity for sneaking in a romantic look up at the stars.