We’ve officially hit the stage of quarantine where everyone in my house is getting a little stir crazy needing a change in scenery and some adventure, so I packed up my boys and some necessities and made the 30 minute drive from New Orleans to Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville. We all had such a great time enjoying all the park had to offer and making memories along the way. Fontainebleau offers so many things to do that we easily spent the day at the park without getting bored.
Entrance to the park is $3 a person, making this a super affordable day trip. Once we arrived, we drove all the way to the end of the road and parked by the bathhouse by the beach, leaving us within walking distance of every destination we wanted to explore.
Things to do::
We started off by hiking along Sugar Mill Trail, then walking along the Alligator Marsh Walk. The trails were smooth, wide and shaded, making them easy for even a toddler. The marsh walk had stunning views, but was super hot as it is fully exposed to the sun.
After our walk, we picked up our cooler packed with lunch in the car and found some shade at one of the many picnic tables. After lunch we cooled off at the beach, which had several shaded spots for me to sit while watching my boys, a few picnic tables to house our gear and the water was nice and shallow, meaning I didn’t have to worry about my littles.
Once we had our fill of the beach, we walked over to the splash pad to rinse off all the sand. (Note: The splash pad is open Tuesday – Sunday from 8:30am-6:30pm.) The splash pad was my kid’s favorite part of the trip as they enjoyed all the sprinklers, water shooters and dumping buckets. After a while at the splash pad, we dried off on a blanket in the grass watching a baby alligator in the nearby pond (or you could play on the playground right there) before getting in the car to head home. One activity worth mentioning that we didn’t do is there is a long fishing pier so you could absolutely bring a rod and a chair and do some fishing while you are there.
Items to pack::
- Cooler with snacks, lunches and lots of beverages to cool off with (glass bottles are not allowed at the beach and picnic area)
- Sneakers for hiking
- Water shoes or sandals for the beach and splash pad
- Bug Spray for hiking trails
- Beach chairs (if desired)
- Beach toys: football, shovels, buckets, rafts… (if desired)
- Swimsuits (we wore ours)
- Money for park entrance fee and $5 cash for the toll bridge on the way home