Updated: May 8, 2022
New Orleans City Park Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and Storyland are up and running! We visited the amusement park and Storyland last week and we had a ball! Friday, July 2nd was free for first responders and Saturday, July 3rd was the grand re-opening to all guests. It rained on our parade (literally light showers throughout our whole visit) so we didn’t get to experience everything we wanted, but it was still great to let Dylan ride the rides again and have this new experience with Jordan.
We initially planned on staying together, but the rain made that plan not so feasible. So in a time-saving attempt, we split up after we entered the park. Ryan took Dylan, and I took Jordan. Now, we’ve been to Storyland many many times since Dylan and I first moved to NOLA, but going with a toddler hits DIFFERENT.
I’m going to share a few things that I’m glad I packed and a few things I wish I would’ve thought of in order to tackle this experience with a toddler like a champ!
An Umbrella Stroller
We bought one as soon as she was able to sit up on her own. But, we haven't used it because, well, we never go anywhere! But this would have been the PERFECT opportunity to use it! Yes, she was on the go while we were actually IN Storyland, but it would have been helpful for the walk from the car to the entrance, the walk around the park on the way to concessions/bathroom/looking for the family, then the tired walk back to the car.
2. Baby Wipes, hand wipes
You should probably already have this, but you'll need it for more than just changing diapers. Wiping hands (the baby's and yours), wiping messes, cleaning spills, and more. Just make sure you have enough.
3. Hand sanitizer
Kids are so fast and there are so many things to touch and contact, there is no way you can spray down or wipe down every single thing before they get to it. Your best bet is to just have some hand sanitizer handy so you can get their hands afterward. Have it handy, though! A little bottle clipped onto the outside strap of your bag or your stroller would be the easiest to access.
4. Snacks and juice
Concessions are expensive and those kids are working up an appetite. Pack some animal crackers, puffs, grapes, and berries, and maybe even a little PB&J sandwich in your bag for a quick snack in between rides.
5. No purse. Hands-Free Diaper Bag. backpack
This is not the time to be cute! Leave your purse in the car and put your essentials in the diaper bag! If you have a hands-and-arms-free bag (like a diaper backpack) use that one.
Between leaving the park late and then stopping to get food on the way home, it was bedtime already. Luckily, we had pajamas with us so we changed her once we got to the car and put her PJs on. So when we got home, we could just place her into her crib, straight from the car. **Protip: We actually do this every time we leave the house, especially on a weekend. We always have a pair of pajamas in her bag, because who knows where the day will take us and when we’re going to head home? The car will always knock her out. And, of course, we don’t want to wake her up to change her when she gets home. Nor do we want her to wake up in the middle of the night, because her day clothes are not comfy to sleep in. Pack the PJs, sis. You’ll thank me later. ;)
7. Rain Items
If there is ANY, and I mean ANNNYYYY, chance of rain for that day, pack an umbrella and rain jacket. Better to be safe than sorry! If it has already rained or the chances for rain are pretty high, go for the rain boots or closed shoes that are easy to wipe down. Honestly, closed-toe shoes are probably the best option whether it’s going to rain or not.
Overall, it was a great experience and I can’t wait to take her again. Next time, though, I’ll probably go on a dry day. Both Carousel Gardens and Storyland are now open to the public. The amusement park is open Friday-Sunday from 11 am - 6 pm, and Storyland is open Wednesday- Sunday from 10 am-4:30 pm. Visit neworleanscitypark.com for details on admission prices and other park information.
Is there anything else that you would add to this list? What else are some must-haves when you’re going to spend the day at Storyland or the amusement park with babies?