Who Dat! Are You Ready for Saints Season?

The Saints regular season starts on Monday, Sept. 11, with a game against the Minnesota Vikings. We can’t wait to root for the boys in black and gold, which is why we’ve outlined two ways to watch ‘em (when you’re not in the Dome, of course). Make the best of game day whether you’re enjoying it at home or if you prefer a local bar in Metairie, Kenner, or Elmwood.

saints superdome

Enjoy the game even if you’re not in the Dome. (Photo via Flickr user David Reber)

If You Catch the Game at Home

Create a tailgate-at-home experience with all the details of a traditional tailgate – in the comfort of your own living room (plus real restrooms and air conditioning!). One of our favorite tailgate recipes is this Creole Gumbo recipe from Smithsonian Magazine. You can make it ahead the night before and have it warming on the stove throughout the game’s telecast. And to keep it truly authentic to a tailgate, don’t even think about fancy silverware or china for your guests. Simply provide plastic tableware instead. It’ll feel more like a real tailgate, and cleanup will be a snap. You can go as over-the-top or as understated as you like when it comes to game-day décor, but we always like having a football on hand to toss around during commercials.

If You Catch the Game Around Town

We wouldn’t dare recommend trying to get into New Orleans proper on game day. Instead, take advantage of awesome sports bars outside the city that are still just a quick drive from many of our 1st Lake Properties. Here are three of our favorites:

Sports Bars in Metairie and Elmwood 

JR’s Sports Bar & Grill: Conveniently located on Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Metairie, this sports bar is open 24/7 –the kitchen is open 24/7, too, churning out delicious regional classics like po-boys and shrimp plates. Big-screen TVs will hold your attention while the game is in play while diversions like video games and a fully stocked bar mean you’ll still have fun even if your team isn’t winning.

Coach’s CornerIn addition to pleasing prices and a spacious setup, Coach’s Corner lets patrons bring in food from Zita’s pizza next door. If you’re in the competitive spirit, challenge your friends to a game of pool, shuffleboard, or darts.

Hurricanes Sports Bar: Flat screens everywhere you look, two pool tables, delicious wings. Enough said. Head to Hurricanes on Veterans Memorial Blvd. for all of the above.

If You’re on the Northshore or in Baton Rouge

As 1st Lake Properties expands, so does your chance to enjoy Saints games near our properties in Baton Rouge and on the Northshore. Some of our favorites include:

The Beach House Bar & Grill: Tropical drink enthusiasts will love this Northshore spot in Mandeville, which hosts Saints parties during the season. Their drink menu includes options like Caribbean Rain Water Rum Punch, Shangri-La Lemonade, and the Soggy Dog Pain Killer; pair it with islands-inspired dishes like jerk shrimp tacos or the Kona Lua kabobs.

Columbia Street Taproom: Head to Covington and catch the game at Columbia Street Taproom downtown. Plenty of beers will keep you going throughout the game — choose from 30 on tap and more than 60 bottles. If you need more substantial fuel, try the burger.

Stadium Sports Bar & GrillFancy up your game day experience at Stadium Sports Bar & Grill inside the L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge. With plenty of TVs and spacious seating, this bar offers up a full list of drinks plus crowd-pleasing food like “Colossal Wings” and their “Nacho Extravaganza.”

 

Our Favorite Things To Do in Covington

With looks like this, it might be hard to leave our newest apartment community in Covington, but outside of Artesia’s gates is a town filled with tons of great attractions for adults and kids alike. If you love the outdoors, the Northshore is a great place to venture out and explore. You’re in close proximity to picturesque waterways, scenic state parks, and canopied bike paths that wind through the area’s townships. Thinking of indoor options? Test your wits at an escape room or go on a date to the movies.

The Great Outdoors

The Northshore is home to several bayous and streams, which are ideal for an afternoon kayak ride. Beautiful cypress trees and diverse wildlife make paddling the Cane River or Tchefuncte River a relaxing experience. You can rent kayaks from a number of local outfitters, and use Louisiana Northshore’s list of launch sites for your personal watercrafts. Bogue Chitto State Park has great hiking paths and riverside beaches, and Fontainebleau State Park’s 2,800-acre space has boardwalk pavilions, and beautiful, renovated cabins for rent (make sure to book in advance, as they fill quickly). Did someone say, “Staycation?”

Coasting through shaded creeks and bayous sounds amazing.

If you really want to get wild, head to the Global Wildlife Center for a safari ride alongside giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, and bison! You’ll ride in an open-air bus and get the opportunity to feed the animals by hand. Be careful with those giraffe tongues, though!

If you’re looking for a different kind of outdoor fun, the Tammany Tracy Bike Trail stretches from Abita Springs to Covington down to Mandeville and into Slidell’s Camp Salmen Nature Park. End your light ride from Covington to Abita Springs with a beer at the Abita Brewery, or coast down to the Mandeville lakefront for a sunset stroll.

The Great Indoors

It’s still a tad hot outside, so you’re thinking of holding off on all things outdoors until later this season… That’s ok! There is plenty of indoor fun for everyone in the family. If you’re due for a date night with your loved one, the Movie Tavern is both the dinner and the movie. Take a seat and let a server bring you dinner while you watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Or you can clue into one of the Northshore’s escape rooms like The Escape or Escapology and race against the clock to free yourself from the enclosed space.

Elevation Station is an indoor trampoline park with tons of high-flying fun. We love this place as a solution to rainy day woes, and there are plenty of different bouncy options to keep your kids engaged until exhaustion. If you want a unique experience, head to the Abita Springs Mystery House and peruse their collection of eccentric objects and off-the-wall inventions.

Artesia is at the Center

Artesia’s centralized location gives you easy access to all of the Northshore’s best entertainment and attractions. Whether you’re looking to hit the water or hail the waiter, Covington has everything you need for your outdoor adventure or your indoor indulgences.

 

 

Fun In The New Orleans Summertime: 7 Summer Activities for Kids

It’s almost back to school time here in the New Orleans area, but summer’s not officially over until the fall equinox on September 22, 2017. Luckily, the greater New Orleans region offers plenty of opportunities for summer fun for the whole family.

Whether you’ve got kids that are going back to school in a few weeks or little ones that need entertaining no matter what the season, we’ve got a few ideas for summer activities your kids will love.

The pool at Bella Ridge apartments in River Ridge is perfect for relaxing this summer.

The pool at Bella Ridge apartments in River Ridge is perfect for relaxing this summer.

1. Go for a swim!

Our apartment communities are famous for their resort-like pools and water features. At Bella Ridge, located near the Elmwood shopping center, you can reserve a cabana at our large resort-style swimming pool. Relax, unwind, and catch some rays at our tanning ledge while the kids splash around. Our poolside delivery menu is available 7 days a week.

Residents of the Lake Towers, Regency Club, and Spring Brook apartments in Baton Rouge have a fun-for-all-ages water park right in their back yard with Blue Bayou. There are water slides, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and plenty of ways to splish and splash all summer long.

2. Read a book!

Whether you have a book collection at home or would rather opt to check one out from the public library, reading a book together is always a fun family activity. Enhance the kid’s summer reading list by finding stories that fit their interests. If the kids are old enough to read on their own, let everyone pick a book of their own and read silently together.

The companionship of having your family in the room can make even this quiet activity a cozy and relaxing one. It can also be fun to read a book aloud. Perhaps the family can take turns reading parts, or an adult can take the lead and handle the reading duties. However you choose to do it, reading not only enriches minds but can also be a lot of fun!

Going on a road trip this summer? There are several services, such as Audible Kids that have a great selection of quality literature for children. Download a few to your favorite device and either give your child some headphones, or play the book over your car’s speakers while they play quietly.

3. Play make believe.

A classic and time-tested family activity is building a blanket fort. All it takes is a few chairs, some blankets, and maybe a few pillows or cushions to create a magical world for your little ones! Once nestled inside, your kids can read a book, play with toys, or simply let their imaginations wander.

Your new blanket fort is a perfect place for an indoor picnic or tea party on rainy or extremely hot summer days. Lay a tablecloth on the floor and the family can enjoy a fun lunch or tea and snacks together. Your kids will get a big kick out of being able to eat their afternoon snack inside a blanket fort!

Fishing or relaxing near Lake Pontchartrain is a great summertime activity. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Barry Goble.)

Fishing or relaxing near Lake Pontchartrain is a great summertime activity. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Barry Goble.)

4. Take the family fishing.

One of the great things about Louisiana is all the natural waterways we have that are perfect for summer activities like fishing. Residents of our New Orleans area apartments can enjoy fishing on Lake Pontchartrain, while residents of Audubon Gates in Slidell don’t have to go far to take advantage of the St. Tammany Parish fishing pier.

Residents of our newest apartment community, Artesia in Covington, can take advantage of the nearby Tchefuncte River for all their fishing and boating desires.

5. Head to the park for a picnic.

The greater New Orleans area offers plenty of spots for summer picnics, playing Frisbee, or flying a kite.

The Lafreniere apartments in Metairie are located right at the main entrance of Lafreniere Park, and all other Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge residents are located just a short drive from the beautiful City Park and Audubon Park in New Orleans.

Take the whole family to a New Orleans Baby Cakes minor league baseball game this summer! (Photo courtesy Flickr user Minda Haas Kuhlmann.)

Take the whole family to a New Orleans Baby Cakes minor league baseball game this summer! (Photo courtesy Flickr user Minda Haas Kuhlmann.)

6. Catch a baseball game.

A great way to spend a summer evening is to enjoy a baseball game with some delicious grilled food and friends. The New Orleans Baby Cakes minor league baseball team (formerly known as the Zephyrs) play all through the summer at the “Shrine on Airline” which is conveniently located on Airline Drive in Metairie, close to many 1st Lake Properties apartments. The Baby Cakes partner with many local organizations for fun promotional events throughout the summer, like Harry Potter Night, Elvis Night, and Wayne’s World Night.

7. Watch a movie.

As the season of blockbusters, the summer is always a great time to go to the movies. It’s air-conditioned, the popcorn is hot and buttery, and the movies are action-packed.

There are plenty of great options to go to the movies near our apartment communities in Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge. The AMC Elmwood Palace has 20 theaters showing all the best summer blockbusters as well as the Clearview Palace for another great nearby option.

Where to relax after a summer day.

After you’ve spent the day full of fun activities, your entire family can relax and recharge in one of our 9,500+ apartment rentals in the greater New Orleans area.

Our pet-friendly apartment communities feature elaborate landscaping and ample storage space. Find your perfect home today!

7 Places Near New Orleans for the Perfect Summer Picnic

The greater New Orleans area offers plenty of opportunities for summer fun. One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors during summertime is a picnic. Whether you’re planning a family reunion potluck picnic or a romantic picnic date, there are numerous idyllic picnic spots near our apartments to enjoy an outdoor meal. Here are a few of our favorites.

Take in beautiful views of Lake Pontchartrain when you have a picnic at Fontainebleau State Park. (Photo via Barry Goble on Flickr)

Take in beautiful views of Lake Pontchartrain when you have a picnic at Fontainebleau State Park. (Photo via Barry Goble on Flickr)

Fontainebleau State Park

Residents of Grand Palms in Mandeville love having easy access to the natural beauty found at Fontainebleau State Park. The nature trails offer hiking opportunities, and the cabins and lodges are a great staycation getaway. Grab a spot under one of the Spanish moss covered ancient oak trees, or pick a picnic location overlooking Lake Pontchartrain.

Covington Trailhead

Having a picnic at the Covington Trailhead will feel like you’ve taken a trip back in time. Located near downtown Covington and close to Artesia, our newest luxury apartment community, the Covington Trailhead resembles an old-fashioned railroad station. The venue hosts numerous community events, including the Covington Farmers Market every Wednesday, the popular Rockin’ the Rails concert series during the spring and fall, and the Covington Art Market, which takes place on the first Saturday of every other month. There are rest rooms and water fountains onsite, and the grassy knoll here is an ideal picnic spot.

lafreniere park

Shady trees, a paved walkway, and water features are all part of Lafreniere Park in Metairie. (Photo courtesy ExperienceJefferson.com)

Lafreniere Park

Conveniently located close to many of our Metairie apartments, Lafreniere Park is an urban oasis. The apartment communities of Wildflower, Breckenridge, and White Water Creek are closest to the park, but with its location just off of Veterans Blvd, the park is easily accessible for all. Lafreniere Park offers 155 acres of outdoor fun, including plenty of beautiful picnic spots. You’ll also find a Frisbee golf course and a Spray Park, which is open on the weekends for children ages 10 and under.

New Orleans City Park

Just a short trip from Park Oaks, Breakers, and Surf Rider apartments, New Orleans City Park is one of the largest urban public parks in the country. With 1,300 acres to explore, there are plenty of quiet spots for picnicking as well as covered pavilions available to rent for larger picnic gatherings. One of our favorite spots in City Park is Couturie Forest, which features trails perfect for bird-watching.

Laketown in Kenner offers a scenic backdrop for a picnic. (Photo via Infrogmation on Wikimedia Commons)

Laketown in Kenner offers a scenic backdrop for a picnic. (Photo via Infrogmation on Wikimedia Commons)

Laketown

For residents of Sugar Mill East and Sugar Mill West apartments, Laketown is just steps away. Situated on beautiful Lake Pontchartrain in Kenner, Laketown is also the home of Treasure Chest Casino and the Coconut Beach Sand Volleyball Complex, which is the largest sand sports complex in the United States. Picnic shelters are available for rent, or you can simply find a spot along the lake shore. A lighted pier also offers the perfect location for freshwater fishing.

John Slidell Park

Just a short drive from Audubon Gates apartments is John Slidell Park. The walking trails in this park are dog-friendly, much like our apartment communities. Here you’ll find plenty of shade and benches for a nice picnic, as well as playgrounds for family fun.

La Salle Park

Many of our apartment communities in Elmwood are close to the scenic La Salle Park, including Sawmill Creek and Walnut Creek. The park is located right next to Zephyr Stadium and features a nature boardwalk, jogging path and even an outdoor environmental classroom, so there are lots of scenic spots perfect for a picnic.

Have a picnic at home!

Many of our New Orleans area apartments feature beautiful resort-style outdoor features onsite, so you won’t even need to leave home to have a relaxing picnic outdoors. Explore all of our available apartments to find your perfect fit!

The Best Fests in New Orleans This Spring

Festival season is here! And we’ve got a full list of New Orleans festivals happening over the next few months in and around the city and its metro area. Take a peek!

hogs-for-the-cause

Hogs for the Cause. (Photo via Facebook)

Spring 2017 New Orleans Festivals

March

Wednesdays at the Square — The Young Leadership Council (YLC) of New Orleans hosts this fun, free event every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. in Lafayette Square in downtown New Orleans. It’s a great way to get yourself over that weekday hump, and proceeds from sales of food and beverages benefit YLC charities and causes. The weekly series runs through May 24.

Delgado Music Festival — Delgado Community College hosts this free event at its City Park Campus (615 City Park Avenue) on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Expect performances from artists like Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Stephanie Jordan, and more.

Hogs for the Cause — Help support kids facing scary diagnoses at Hogs for the Cause, benefitting treatments and support for families with children with pediatric brain cancer. This fest is all about the barbecue, with amazing pork dishes (vegetarian, too) and plenty of live music at the UNO Lakefront Arena festival grounds March 31 and April 1. One-day general admission tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate; kids under 12 are free.

Kenner’s Italian Heritage Festival — Celebrate Italian culture even after St. Joseph’s Day with this fest happening March 31-April 2. Local crafts and live music set the tone to browse historic photos and a St. Joseph’s Day altar. The fest lasts from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 (free for children under 12).

April

Freret Street Festival Freret Street in Uptown New Orleans just keeps growing. This free fest celebrates the neighborhood with more than 200 vendors plus live music on three stages, activities for kids, pet adoptions, and more. Hit the fest on April 1 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Music Under the Oaks On April 2 and April 9, the Loyola University School of Music (April 2) and the New Orleans Concert Band (April 9) offer free concerts at 5 p.m. at Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park. Food and drinks are available at this lovely event — bring your lawn chair for a comfy seat!

A Taste of Covington Dine out on some of the North Shore’s best food and wine at this upscale event happening April 5-9. Tickets vary.

French Quarter Festival All the French Quarter becomes a stage at this free event from April 6-9. Hundreds of bands play all throughout the French Quarter on stages small and large. Food from more than 60 restaurants keeps your appetite at bay so you can enjoy the music!

Spring for Art This free downtown Covington fest on April 18 features music, live performances, and — of course — art. Businesses will stay open late so you can peruse and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Lake PontchARTrain Craft Fair Browse work from more than 30 vendors offering jewelry, crafts, artwork, pottery, and more from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22.

Covington Antiques and Uniques Festival On April 22 and 23, browse antiques and collectibles (everything from crafts to classic cars!) at this free fest, featuring a live auction, walking tours, music, food, and more.

Jazz Fest  On April 28-30 (and then again May 4-7), Jazz Fest brings in incredible acts like Stevie Wonder, Alabama Shakes, Wilco, Patti La-Belle, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5, Tom Petty, and more. The fest runs from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; tickets are $70 in advance and $80 at the gate.

May

Jazz Fest — See above!

Mother’s Day Celebration — Treat mom to a fun day at Audubon Zoo for a free concert (with price of regular zoo admission) from New Orleans legend Irma Thomas. Additional performances plus family activities round out your day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 14.

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo — Boogie on the bayou at this three-day festival featuring Jon Cleary, Luke Winslow King, and more local music acts. Plenty of food plus arts and crafts are all part of the fun from April 19-21. Even better? It’s free!

New Orleans Food and Wine Experience — Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in good taste at this ultimate New Orleans culinary experience featuring grand tastings, a pastry show, a wine stroll, and so much more. Tickets vary; the Experience runs from May 25-28.

Greek Festival — Go Greek! Along Bayou St. John in New Orleans, scope out Hellenic dances, cooking demonstrations, Greek music, food, and much more May 26-28. Ticket information TBA.

Bayou Country Superfest The Baton Rouge favorite moves to New Orleans this year with country artists like Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and more. Head to the Superdome May 26-28; tickets start at $99.

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