Fall Activities in Metairie, Kenner, and Elmwood

Jefferson Parish harvests a hefty crop of fun things to do this fall. Take a look at all there is to do this October and November!

lafreniere park

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

Fun Fall Activities

October

Lafreniere Live! Fall Concert Series This park is one of our favorites in the area, and on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m., it’s also your spot for live music. Check out The Strays at this free concert taking place at Al Copeland Meadow Concert Stage inside the park. Vendors are on site for food and drinks!

Oktoberfest — Three straight weekends of German food, music, and beer with contests every single day (including Dachshund races!). It’s a whole lot of fun in Kenner’s charming Rivertown. Head there from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturdays throughout October. Admission is $8, but kids ages 12 and under are free.

Junie B. Jones: The Musical Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts takes on the beloved children’s book character Junie B. in this family-friendly play running Oct. 7-16. Tickets are $15.

Park-A-Boo Lafreniere Park is at it again with fun programming Oct. 21-23 with their Park-A-Boo event. Costumes are encouraged at this safe Halloween event featuring trick or treating, activities, a boo house, and more for families with kids ages 13 and younger. Food booths will serve up kid-friendly favorites like pizza, hot dogs, and soft drinks. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for kids, and free for children under 2.

Bucktown Seafood Festival Head to 1600 Lake Avenue for music and food all weekend during the 19th annual Bucktown Seafood Festival. Deanie’s seafood provides the grub, and you’ll hear music from bands like Contraflow and Category 6. There will also be rides and games for all ages plus a crafts fair, raffle prizes, and more.

Hocus Pocus at Muss Bertolino Park  The City of Kenner screens the Disney favorite on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, and costumes are encouraged! There are also games and photo opportunities starting at 5:30 p.m. prior to the screening.

November

Funny Girl Jefferson Performing Arts Society in Metairie presents this classic musical theater performance Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Nov. 4-13. Tickets are available from $30.

1776 The Musical Harness your patriotism just in time for elections at this Rivertown Theaters event running Nov. 4-20. Tickets from $36.

Oyster Festival On Nov. 11-13, check out Oyster Fest at 3978 West Esplanade Ave. in Metairie. This local community fair features live music, crafts, games, kids’ activities, and a whole lot of oysters! Admission is free.

Pecan Festival With Thanksgiving in mind, the Pecan Festival is overflowing with pecan dishes (including pie!). Admission is free and includes live music, games, and plenty of family fun.

Kenner Christmas Village Ring in the holidays at this annual event lighting up Main Street USA in the Rivertown historic district starting on Nov. 27. Admission is free to this festive holiday village, studded in Christmas lights and animated scenery from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. throughout the holiday season.

 

Realistic Rental Redo: Redecorating Your Apartment For Fall (On a Budget)

Fall fashion is always a favorite – this is the time of year when we can pull out our sweaters and boots (or perhaps buy some new ones!). But what about your apartment? Keeping a tight budget in mind – so you can splurge on that new sweater – we’ve collected a few great fall decorating tips from our 1st Lake Properties designer for fall decorating. Follow along to learn how to spruce up your place for the season. The results are easy on the wallet full and of aesthetic impact!

fall-vignette

This fall vignette from Craftberry Bush features a variety of textures that bring the outdoors in.

Affordable Fall Decorating Ideas

Use cozy colors

One of the easiest ways to update your apartment for fall is to keep an autumn color palette in mind. Our designer suggests incorporating yellows, golds, browns, grays, and oranges as accent colors using items like vases, dishtowels, tablecloths, and plates. Thrifty options to find seasonal accent pieces include stores like TJ Maxx and Amazon. Or, you can literally thrift! Goodwill is great for bargain hunting: try this Goodwill locator to find a thrift store nearest your apartment.

Swap out your curtains

Bring in the same colors mentioned above, or create a more earthy and textured look by using clips and a painters cloth. You can purchase painters cloths at a store like Lowe’s for less than $15 a piece. Use curtain clips (order them on Amazon!) to hang them.

Incorporate texture

As the temperature cools down, you can add warmth through color palette and texture. Items like pillows and blankets are a great way to create varied textures and add a cozy feel to your space. Pumpkins and gourds are another great way to add texture and create a natural, autumnal affect. Our designer suggests throwing some white pumpkins into the mix to create a cohesive look. Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin farm? Here’s a link with pumpkin farms around the area.

Add a seasonal scent

Candle warmers can be found for $15 or less at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond (Goodwill, too!). Purchase a scent like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or maple so your apartment smells just as cozy as it feels.

Rethink your foliage

Floral arrangements always look beautiful inside apartments, but you can up the ante during the fall by incorporating rich colors and other types of vegetation: sunflowers, gourds, and grains of wheat (fake or real!) create an autumn harvest aesthetic.

Bargain hunting tips

We’ve already mentioned some of our favorite affordable stores like Goodwill, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby are two other bargain-friendly stores located close to many of our apartments. Plus, you can use Hobby Lobby’s weekly 40% discount coupon. Happy fall!

 

Taste of Autumn: Fall Drink Recipes

Fall is a perennial favorite for so many reasons. The Saints season starts again (who dat!), the weather cools down just a touch, and fall festivals help everyone get in the spirit. There’s also nothing quite like pulling on a cozy sweater and sipping on a warm drink brimming with the flavors of fall. But you don’t have to hit Starbucks for that famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Save some cash by taking the DIY route — the results are just as delicious!

pumpkin-spice-latte

A homemade pumpkin spice latte. (Photo via Pexels)

Fall Drink Recipes

Quick Pumpkin Spice Latte

Faster than waiting in line at Starbucks!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Whisk 1/2 cup of the whole milk with the sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Pour mixture through a sieve to remove any pulp. Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer while whisking for 2 minutes.
  • Add espresso and whisk until foamy, about one minute.

Too hot outside for a warm drink? Try this iced pumpkin spice latte recipe from A Cozy Kitchen!

fall-drinks

The flavors of fall abound in this pumpkin smoothie.

Spiced Fall Punch

As this fragrant mixture simmers on the stove, your whole home will smell just like autumn.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 2 1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stud the oranges with the whole cloves, and bake for 30 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the apple juice and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and carefully stir in the nutmeg, honey, lemon juice, and pineapple juice.
  • Add the clove-studded oranges on top and serve hot.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Perfect for when you’re craving fall flavors but the temperature says otherwise! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (16 0z.)
  • 2 cups milk (can substitute almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (can substitute honey)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients to blender along with desired amount of ice. Blend until smooth.
  • Tip: you can partially freeze the pumpkin puree and use in place of ice. You can also add a frozen banana to the mixture.

Recipes via AllRecipes

Get more great recipe ideas by checking out all of our Cooking Tips on the blog. 

It’s Time to Dinner Party with These Top Tips

Hosting a dinner party is a great way to enjoy an intimate evening with friends and family. But it can feel like the pressure is on: the menu, the music, and the atmosphere all come into play. We’ve collected a few top tips to hosting a successful dinner party. Get cooking!

tablescape

A coordinating, at-home tablescape. (Photo via 100layercake.com)

Dinner Party Tips

Plan ahead. You’ll want to give your guests plenty of notice about when you’re hosting your party, and you’ll also want to ask about any food allergies in advance. Remember to choose friends who get along together (or whom you think will get along), and aim to keep the group at about six people.

Failsafe food. Your dinner party should include menu items that can largely be prepped in advance and simply need to cook through in the oven. No made-to-order entrees or desserts here (souffles? Just say no). Instead, opt for family-style preparations when possible. Take a look at our sample dinner party menu below, featuring a Mexican flair:

Set the table the night before. Trust us: even with the most careful planning in place, chances are you’ll have your hands full the night of the dinner party. Do what you can in advance, including setting the table the night before. Make sure you have enough chairs plus proper utensils, extra napkins, and a bit of design elements — candles or flowers (or both!) are usually a nice touch.

Buy ice. Whether your dinner party includes a signature drink or not, no beverage is quite as palatable when it’s warm. Even if you have an ice maker in your apartment, have at least one bag of ice on hand if the drinks really start to flow!

Make a playlist. Or rely on someone else’s! Music is an integral part of a dinner party, and streaming services like Spotify and Pandora offer pre-made lists based on artists you enjoy or a particular mood you’re after.

Lighting, lighting, lighting! Both you and your guests will likely appreciate soft lighting. Dim the lights a bit and use lamps where possible to strike a mood that feels fancy and fun, but not too formal.

Realistic Rental Redo: Modern Kitchen Trends for Apartment Living

It’s easy to personalize nearly every room in the house while you’re a renter — just ask local interior designer Whitney Jones. But one room is a little more difficult to customize: the kitchen. While we’re pleased to offer spacious, modern kitchens within our 1st Lake Properties, we know custom kitchen redos just aren’t in the cards for renters. However, with a little creativity, you can apply modern kitchen trends to your space. See a few of our favorite tips and tricks below.

LOCN Kitchen

A soft palette ties together the kitchen in our Lakes of Chateau Estates North apartment community.

Modern Kitchen Trends for Apartments

Mid-Century Modern Accents — The mid-century modern resurgence has been a huge trend for the past few seasons, and by choosing pared-down shapes and palettes, you can ensure that these vintage-inspired pieces will continue to look fresh. We love the look Eames-style bar stools and a retro bar cart, which can serve as extra storage.

Texture — Another trend in kitchen decor is texture: think textured tile, countertops, and patterns all together to create a layered look. Accents like woven placemats are a great and affordable way to incorporate texture.

Soft Color Palettes — Both the mid-century and textural trends lean on soft color palettes as an underlying theme. By choosing light tones, you’ll create the look and feel of more space. Opt for light-colored accent pieces and appliances wherever you can for a fresh, on-trend look.

Smart Storage — When incorporating decor, plan to add pieces with function. Wire baskets add a chic, industrial feel and are perfect for storing utensils, packaged food, linens, and more. You can also purchase a standalone island for added counter space and a pop of personal style.

Open Kitchen/Living Spaces — Many of our properties feature joint kitchen and living spaces. Remember, it’s easy to transfer between properties at 1st Lake if you’re interested in moving to one of our properties with state-of-the-art kitchens.

SurfRiderIILiving2

Our Surf Rider apartment community in Metairie offers spacious kitchens adjacent to the living space for an open feel.

Rent-Friendly Kitchen Updates

Utilize rugs — Rugs are a great way to add color and texture to the kitchen. Opt for a pattern, if possible, to mitigate any visible stains (hey, kitchen mishaps happen!).

Add a mirror — Mirrors create the illusion of more space while also reflecting light. The kitchen probably isn’t the first place you’d think of to add a mirror, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results!

Incorporate a temporary backsplash — Peel-and-stick tiles or vinyl decals are an easy way to customize your rental kitchen. Take a look at Apartment Therapy for some ideas!

Swap out hardware — Update pieces like drawer pulls, cabinet knobs, and even light switch plates. Just remember to make note of where all the original hardware was prior to removal, and keep it all in a safe spot! You’ll need to change everything back before you move.

Bring the outdoors in — It’s amazing what a simple plant can do. Add easy-care indoor plants to your kitchen for increased oxygen and a splash of color.

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