Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Here are a couple of free events in town this weekend for you to fit in while finishing up your Christmas preparations:

Snow in the Big Easy?  Yes, it's true!  Head to City Park on Saturday morning for your chance to play in snow, albeit man-made.  Starting at 9am until it melts, head over to the lawn in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art for fun in the snow.

On Sunday courtesy of Target, admission to the Louisiana Children's Museum will be free to all visitors.  Enjoy the hands-on exhibits from noon until 4:30 pm.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ogden Playdate: Christmas Singalong!

The Prytania Theater is host to a very special holiday event this Saturday from 9-11 am: the Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas Singalong!  This Ogden Playdate, sponsored by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Phelps Dunbar, is free but requires a reservation as there is limited seating.  Songbooks will be provided, but you are asked to bring your own flashlight.  To make reservations, email or call 504-523-4883.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Being a one-income family, money is tight.  During this time of year, we have to stretch the dollars just that much further!  One thing we've been trying to do is instill in our boys an understanding, respect, and appreciation of money and how it is used. 

Like many children, my boys get a case of the "I wants" when we go to the store.  They want ice cream, they want a new toy, they want that piece of junk in the gumball machine.  I started teaching them at an early age that when we go to the store, we only get what's on Mommy's list; that anything else we see that we want will have to go on the list for the next trip.  My oldest is now almost 6, and he is aware of his friends getting things they want and wonders why I don't cave to his wishes.  He sees me paying for groceries with the debit card and just tells me to use my card - that we don't need money to buy things!  So, we decided to create a small list of chores that he is to perform (some weekly, some daily) and agreed to give him a modest allowance in exchange.  This money he earns will be used for any "extras" that he wants to buy.  Because he is only 5, I don't feel comfortable giving him the cash - it would just get lost.  We recently started keeping track of his allowance using a free, web-based tool called Allowance Manager, and so far its been quite helpful for both my son and me.  Each week I print out the chore chart and write down my son's chores.  For that week, we keep track of his progress by marking off his chores completed on the chart, and at the end of the week, his weekly allowance is automatically added to his balance on the website.  With the online tool, if your child earns extra allowance by going above and beyond, you can reflect this by adding an additional entry.  Or if for some reason you need to dock some allowance money, that, too, can be shown as a negative entry.  With Allowance Manager, parents can really oversee their children's allowances, and each child is able to track his or her progress through their own access to the site (which is connected to the parents' membership). 

I believe that seeing his allowance building up has really gotten my son excited about getting his chores done and helping out around the house.  I plan to continue to use this system and will add my younger son once I feel he is capable of understanding what an allowance is (let alone how money works!).  One improvement I'd like to see is the ability to type in your specific chores on the chore chart before printing.  I think that would make this program just that much better!

So if you're looking for a free tool to help with your children's allowance, please head over to to see how it can work for you!

FTC Disclosure: I was compensated for this review with a gift card from the company, but that in no way influenced my review. These are my own opinions.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Orleans Free and Frugal Events This Weekend

Santa will be visiting local Toys R Us stores from 12 noon until 3 pm on Saturday, so bring your camera to snap a photo of your child with him and Geoffrey!  Listen to storytime, decorate a gingerbread cookie, and score some giveaways at this free event!

Head downtown to see Santa in the Krewe of Jingle parade on Canal Street, Saturday at 1 pm.  The parade will be followed by a block party at 2 pm in the 100 block of Baronne where you can enjoy music, games, crafts, and food!.

At the French Market on Saturday from noon until 4 pm, enjoy live music and children's activities at the St. Nicholas Day Fair.  Stick around for the French Market Christmas Parade that follows the Krewe of Jingle parade about 3:30 pm.

While downtown, don't forget to stop by the Miracle on Fulton Street events by Harrah's Casino.  Enjoy live music, snowfalls, and incredible Christmas decorations, including Macy's Tremendous Tree!  The Christmas display at the Roosevelt Hotel is also not to be missed.

DesCours is a 10-day art and architecture event happening now.  While you're out and about this weekend, take along this map and guide to show you the "hidden" artworks around the city.

Celebrate the Christmas season in a true Louisiana tradition from 5 pm to 8 pm on Saturday at the Algiers Bonfire Concert followed by the bonfire lighting at 8:15 pm. 

Have a great weekend!