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Family Play Itinerary
Rent bikes or kayaks and travel The Trace, explore a playground or a park, and get close, real close, to giraffes in this day’s adventure on the Northshore…
Fill up on omelets, pancakes and other soulful breakfast food at Mandeville's Liz's Where Y'at Diner before heading over to Bayou Adventure in Lacombe , where you can rent bikes and kayaks for a day-trip on the Tammany Trace. Or on Sundays, start with a great brunch at Chef John Besh’s first restaurant, La Provence.
Pick your ride
Place to play
If little legs can handle a leisurely 4 - mile ride (remember, it'll be 9 miles altogether including the return trip), take the Trace northward toward its main trailhead, situated in an old caboose. The caboose is adjacent to a great new place space, the Kids Konnection Playground, built to suit children of all abilities. Spend a little time there enjoying the sunshine before pedaling back to Mandeville.
Take a break
Grab a poboy and a Barq's root beer at Bear's Restaurant in Mandeville La before choosing your next adventure.
Hit the road for Folsom and Global Wildlife Center. Large trams carry visitors across Global Wildlife Center's lovely 900 savanna-like acres, offering the chance to see some 4,000 creatures, including camels, giraffes, llamas, deer and more, as well as feed and touch them. Parents enjoy the ride and the animals as least as much as their offspring; it's a wonderful and memorable family experience.
Near Insta-Gator Ranch is the Abita Mystery House, a wacky and eccentric collection of art, found objects, and strange animals like the Darrell the Dogigator and Buford the Bassigator. Abita Mystery House continues the tradition of roadside attractions, evoking both nostalgia and a laugh.
Another option is heading on over to Slidell for a Honey Island Swamp tour with one of the four tour companies in St. Tammany offering leisurely explorations of the swamp from the comfort of a tour boat. You'll see wild hogs, alligators, and lots of other native flora and fauna.
Head to Covington for delicious pizza from Pizza Man of Covington or to Madisonville to eat at Friends on the Tchefuncte River . Both offer good eating and a family-friendly setting.
If you go:
Liz's Where Y'at Diner, 985-626-8477 La Provence, 985-626-7662, www.laprovencerestaurant.com
Shiver Shack, 985-629-4003
Bayou Adventure, 985-882-9208, www.bayouadventure.com
Tammany Trace & Kids Konnection Playground, 985-867-9490, www.tammanytrace.org
Passionate Platter, 985-781-HERB, www.passionateplatter.com
Fontainebleau State Park, 985-624-4443, www.crt.state.la.us/parks/iFontaine.aspx
Bear’s Grill & Spirits, 985-674-9090
Global Wildlife Center, 985-796-3585, www.globalwildlife.com
Insta-Gator Ranch & Hatchery, 888-448-1560, www.insta-gatorranch.com
Abita Mystery House, 985-892-2624, www.abitamysteryhouse.com>
Honey Island Swamp Tours, 985-892-0520, www.louisiananorthshore.com/attractions/swamp_tours.php
Old Town Slidell Soda Shop, 985-649-4806, www.slidellsodashop.com
Pizza Man of Covington, 985-892-9874
Friends, 985-246-3370 geauxfriends.com/
Hungry for more vacation itineraries? To see them all, click here.
To watch videos featuring kayaking with Bayou Adventure, the Tammany Trace, Insta-Gator Ranch, Honey Island Swamp, the Abita Mystery House and Global Wildlife click here.