"Cami Bar's Sitting Services" was what the heading of my business card said. Yes, I had a business card; I took my business very seriously (and still do).
My business cards traveled. For each family for whom I babysat, I made sure to leave them with at least three cards and encouraged them to pass them on to other families, which they did.
From my sophomore year in high school up until the summer that I left New Orleans for Lafayette for college, I honestly felt like my clientele built to a point where I was sitting for half the city! With that being said, I think I may know a thing or two about hot spots around town for the kiddies. Here's a list of some great places to take the kids for a fun day out.
The Street Car
St. Charles Ave.
You have to remember how easily children can be entertained! There were many instances where I simply pulled $3 to $5 out of my pocket and hopped on the street car. I had no specific destination in mind; I would just let them point out things in awe through the windows, or let them sit in the back of the car with the controls to make them feel as if they were conducting. I'd do this until I could tell they were bored; then I would simply halt the car and hop on one going the opposite direction to head home.
Ice Cream at Creole Creamery
4924 Prytania St.
If parents had nothing planned for the day, a go-to question that never got a "no" as a response was, "Y'all wanna go get some ice cream?" A fun, easy, half-hour activity! Obviously, ice cream shops are sprinkled throughout the city. So, depending on your location, choose which one is the most convenient for you and your family/the family you may be babysitting for. I live and usually babysit Uptown, so my personal favorite is Creole Creamery.
Crêpes à la Cart
1039 Broadway St.
If it's too chill for ice cream, another fun snack outing is a trip to Crêpes à la Cart. The kids will get a kick out of picking their own toppings and seeing this classic French dish made in front of their very eyes.
Audubon Nature Institute
Insectarium: 423 Canal St.
Aquarium: 1 Canal St.
Zoo: 6500 Magazine St.
The opportunities are endless here! From the zoo and park Uptown, to the aquarium, IMAX theatre, and the country's largest insectarium Downtown, these activities always made a fun-filled day that ended with mile-wide smiles.
612 Distributors Row
Perfect when you're tired and the kids aren't tired but you just want them to be tired, Sector 6—the world's largest indoor trampoline park—is the place you need to take them to get their energy out/get tired. They are guaranteed to crash when they get home.
Kids get tired of their same old books. Scoop a library card and take them out to explore some more. Find a cozy corner and either read a book as they read theirs, or read their picks to them.
1200 S. Clearview Pkwy.
It's always fun doing something you'll have fun doing, too! I do not care how old you are, one can NEVER be too old to play laser tag. Something I had to always remind myself, though: "Don't get too into it, Cami. Let them win. It's for the kids!"
Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World
1380 Port of New Orleans Pl.
Kids absolutely love touring this massive warehouse where they get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of costumes and floats used during Carnival season.
Louisiana Children's Museum
420 Julia St.
This is always a great way to allow kids to interact with others in a fun, entertaining, educational way, with over 100 hands-on exhibits.
1 Palm Dr.
A park day is always fun, of course. But for even more fun, swing them by the park's amusement park, the Storyland play park—featuring 25 massive sculptures modeled after storybook characters—or the historical carousel.