Yep, I Still Don’t Want to Bring My Kids to Jazz Fest

Yep, I Still Don’t Want to Bring My Kids to Jazz Fest

Last year, my husband and I went to Jazz Fest for the first time and had an absolute blast. We went on the day it was pouring rain and the entire fairground was one big mud fest, and yet, we still fully enjoyed ourselves. After experiencing the crowds and navigating the port-o-potties, we both agreed that we didn’t want to bring our kids to Jazz Fest. I wrote about this opinion and a lot of people, both friends and strangers, said that we absolutely must bring our kids, that they’d grown up going, that it was the best time ever for kids. This year we had the opportunity to fest for two days so we decided to bring the kids one day and go by ourselves the next. And friends, I’m here to say, I remain on team “no kids at Jazz Fest.” 

Attending Jazz Fest without your kids

Here’s the thing: for the most part, they loved it! Our three kids did a fabulous job wading through crowds, waiting for the port-o-potty, trying new foods, and hanging out during the down time. They got a little hot and restless at times, but we were prepared with shaded chairs and miniature fans and cold water and ice cream. We visited the kids tents several times, listening to music, cartwheeling in the open space, and overall having a great time. We were also lucky enough to have other family members with us who helped keep an eye on and entertain the kiddos. What I’m saying is: it’s not them, it’s me! 

I love taking my kids places and having new experiences with them. I consider myself to be a pretty fun and adventurous mom. I don’t mind being inconvenienced for my kids! I love Disney World and Mardi Gras parades and fairs! But I much prefer Jazz Fest without kids. I did not enjoy feeling like I had to cater to their needs in this environment. I wanted to check out every tent, slowly browse art, squeeze my way as close as possible to the big stages, and take my time standing in line for food. I didn’t like that I was constantly wondering if they were hot or thirsty or needed to go to the bathroom. I didn’t like worming our way through the crowds, making sure a kid wasn’t getting lost. 

The next day, my husband and I went back by ourselves to meet up with some friends and we had the best time. We meandered through the crowds, waited in line to order praline beignets and rose mint tea. We sang our hearts out and visited tents to our heart’s content. Upon leaving we enjoyed, once again, one of my favorite New Orleans moments: the streets filled with happy people and music on every corner. Maybe we’ll try again, who knows, but for me, Jazz Fest is more fully enjoyed kid free.


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