preservation-hall-1-400I’m just back from the Mom 2.0 Blogging Conference in New Orleans and I can honestly say that I ate my way through the entire journey. From beignets and pralines to jambalaya and gumbo, it was sheer heaven. But if you’re traveling with food allergy concerns, this type of trip is more nightmare than a dream come true. What to do? The answer is simple: plan your vacation around activities that have nothing to do with food.

One of the highlights of my journey was an experience that involved no food whatsoever, yet truly captured the spirit of New Orleans. It was a “Jazz Tour.” We wandered through the French Quarter, visited a cemetary, and hit Louis Armstrong Park. Along the way, our tour guide played clips of famous Jazz songs and explained the history and culture of New Orleans. It was a nice way to see the city, as well as to learn more about Jazz in New Orleans. But, since the walking portion of the tour was only about an hour long, it didn’t drag on. 

At the end of the tour, we walked over to Preservation Hall, a historic New Orleans building that has served as a residence, art gallery, tavern and inn. Despite facing fire and flood, Preservation Hall has been showcasing New Orleans Jazz since 1961. After enjoying refreshments (beverages only!) in the courtyard, we were treated to a rousing and informational Jazz concert. It was amazing.

Now, a Jazz Tour isn’t the ideal way for everyone to see the city and younger children are almost guaranteed to be bored to tears. If you can’t find a suitable tour for your family, make one up. While you’re seeking out famous landmarks, ask kids to count the number of dogs they see, give out points for finding certain kinds of shops, or try to find street names beginning with each letter of the alphabet. And if you find yourself in New Orleans, see if you can find houses painted in each color of the rainbow!

Photo Credit: Christy Matte © 2011