Socially Distant Field Trip :: Longue Vue Gardens is Open

After 2 1/2 months of quarantine, I am looking forward to things safely opening back up in New Orleans. I’m tired of my house, and I’ve exhausted all of the socially distant activities available the past few months. My twin boys turn 3 next week, and they are at such a fun age for exploring together. We miss going and doing, but we also want things to open up in the safest way possible.

We were thrilled to learn that Longue Vue Gardens opened back up this week, and we were over the moon when we learned they were kicking off with a free family week.  

This seemed like a great opportunity to test the waters, and we ventured out to explore with our quaranteam.

Longue Vue has truly created a fun and safe environment for all! Visits are limited to reservation only to restrict the amount of people gathered together. Making a reservation was easy, and my boys were thrilled to have a new place to run around.

They moved check in to the Entrance Court at the front of campus, so we were able to check in from the safety of our car. They gave us a bucket full of goodies (shovels, rakes, binoculars, and scavenger hunts) to use while we were there, and they informed us facial coverings were required on property. I wasn’t sure how my boys would do, but all of the people we saw upon arrival were wearing facial coverings making the transition easier. We stayed and played (masked up) for over almost two hours without issue.   

There was ample hand sanitizer throughout the property, and they provided directional signage to minimize encounters on shared pathways.  The gift shop and concessions remained closed, and we saw families spread out enjoying a picnic brought from home.  At the end of our visit, we returned our activity buckets to be cleaned and sanitized for future guests.  

I wasn’t sure what life would be like as we opened things back up. As a mother, the thought of taking my kids out into this new world has caused anxiety.  Would they wear the masks?  Would the sight of people in masks everywhere frighten them? What kind of childhood is this?  Will they feel free?  Will they get sick?  Will they unknowingly pass the virus to their grandparents?  The anxiety and the unknown have been heavy.  

Today we dipped our toe in the water, and I found out that a lot of my fears (at least for my kids) were unfounded.  They played with their buddies for almost 2 hours.  They ran. They dug in the mud.  They completed scavenger hunts. They chased each other.  They laughed, and more than once, they exclaimed “this so fun! Come see!”  They also sanitized and washed hands regularly.  They wore their masks.  They kept their distance from others. The kids…they were alright after all!  

I was happy to see a little normal back in our lives…even if it looks a little different.  I felt happy to be back in the world again, and I was glad to be doing it safely and responsibly for the sake of those around us.

If you are interested in visiting Longue Vue House and Gardens, visits their website for more information! They are hosting a Free Family Week this week (June 1-7)!

Catherine Karas
Catherine followed her college sweetheart (and now wife) Claire to New Orleans after they both graduated from the University of Georgia. She is a twin mom, a stay at home mom, a boy mom, a Disney mom, and a 2 mom family mom...just to name a few. She throws a mean toddler play date and loves to host small humans in her home for themed out events! She is often planning her next great family adventure, and she is never scared to pack her twins up for a trip solo! Her parenting mantra is "embrace the chaos", and there is plenty of that when raising twin boys! You can follow her family adventures on instagram @krewedekaras


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