1st Lake Blog

Why You Should Consider Moving to Elmwood Right Now

It’s no secret Jefferson Parish’s Elmwood neighborhood is a shopping destination for residents across the Greater New Orleans Area. Its large shopping center has a great selection of big-box stores, its movie theater boasts 20 screens, and its area attractions include an indoor trampoline park and laser tag venue. In addition to an abundance of amenities, Elmwood is an ideal place for those looking for a quiet and affordable alternative to downtown New Orleans living.

You Can Shop ‘til You Drop

Living in Elmwood makes shopping a breeze. Elmwood Shopping Center is a one-stop shop for all of the items on your shopping list. In one trip, you can find new shoes at DSW, a new dining table at World Market, a television at Best Buy, and more! Instead of having to drive all over town to get the items you need, you can make one trip to one central location and then head right on home! It will save you gas, time, and a lot of patience.

The Great Outdoors are Just Out Your Doors

Elmwood’s little corner of the Mississippi River is a quaint residential area with quick access to paved bike paths, public parks, and recreational spaces. La Salle Park is a well-kept multi-purpose recreational space for sports and nature explorations. Its nature boardwalk winds through native cypress trees, making it a scenic and calming spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for some two-wheeled fun, the paved levee bike path is a great way to enjoy the action on the river while you get some exercise in. Pack a blanket and some snacks for a riverside picnic, or wind your way over to Oak Street on the outskirts of New Orleans for some good local eats and live music.

The Living’s Easy in Elmwood

Elmwood might be a shopping haven, but it’s also a secluded treasure. Many of our 1st Lake properties sit tucked away on peaceful, open green areas which provide a feeling of escape and relaxation.

Bella Ridge is a blissful haven for easy living in Elmwood.

You can unwind poolside at Bella Ridge. You can share a casual and fun afternoon with your dog and your neighbors’ dogs in Clearwater Creek Premier’s gated pet park. You can go for an easy evening stroll alongside the flowing streams of Palmetto Creek. Every one of our Elmwood locations is designed to make you feel like you’re living in a remote luxury retreat.

If you’re considering a move, consider Elmwood as your new neighborhood. With great shopping, great outdoor spaces, and great living communities, you’ll find it easy to settle in and make yourself at home in Elmwood.

Where To Satisfy Your Cravings for King Cake in New Orleans

King Cake in New Orleans is a beloved and special tradition – and one you can only enjoy during the Carnival season. So it’s important to make the most of your King Cake window and try as many delicious renditions as you can!

Ask any local and they’ll tell you that King Cake in New Orleans is only eaten from Twelfth Night (January 6) through Mardi Gras Day. And there are so many bakeries, restaurants and special spots that serve up their own spin on the confection.

Need a good starting point to find the best King Cake in New Orleans? Here’s some must-try options for you to enjoy!

Manny Randazzo's King Cake is a must-try King Cake in New Orleans during Carnival

Manny Randazzo’s King Cake

Almost everyone has heard of the Randazzo family and their secret family king cake recipe is the stuff of legend in New Orleans. As the most well-known keeper of the family’s sweet treat, Manny Randazzo’s King Cakes offers everything from traditional King Cakes to special flavors like apple, lemon, and strawberry.

A bite of Manny Randazzo’s king cake is an essential part of the Mardi Gras experience – if you’re lucky enough to snag one!

Photo by Caluda’s King Cake via Facebook


Caluda’s, another classic king cake spot, is a go-to bakery offering a variety of traditional and non-traditional flavors both during the carnival season and year-round. Their 30-step baking process makes for a delicious and decadent king cake.

Either pick one up locally or order one for shipping!

Photo by @laboulangerienola via Instagram

La Boulangerie

This French bakery on New Orleans’ charming Magazine Street is the perfect spot to pick up a delicious King Cake. Well-known and popular year-round for their croissants and pastries, they offer traditional cakes alongside cinnamon, strawberry, almond, and pretzel flavors during Carnival. 

You can even grab a personal mini King Cake to enjoy on the go!

Haydel's Bakery serves classic King Cakes in New Orleans that locals love.
Photo by @haydelsbakery via Instagram

Haydel’s Bakery

Haydel’s classic king cake is famous around town. Made of Danish dough, hand braided with cinnamon and sugar, and baked to perfection, these treats are sure to be one of your top favorites with just one bite. 

Plus, they have many special flavors to choose from like praline pecan, cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese, German chocolate, and brownie chocolate chip!

Photo by @gambinosbakery via Instagram

Gambino’s Bakery

Gambino’s has been a well-known New Orleans King Cake spot for decades. Many call them the King of King Cakes and with good reason. Their classic King Cake is just that – fluffy dough, topped with icing, and drizzled with sugar, exactly how a King Cake should taste. 

Photo by @graciousbakerynola via Instagram

Gracious Bakery

If you’re looking for an adventurous flavor to try for your King Cake indulge, Gracious Bakery is the perfect place to start. Their delicious confections showcase some mouthwatering flavors like chocolate, almond frangipane, and nectar cream – they even have a bananas foster-flavored King Cake that’s definitely worth a bite!

Tried All Those and Still Want More?

Our friends at wrote a very extensive blog on all the king cake finds this city offers. Check it out here!

Holiday Activities in Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge

Jefferson Parish must be on the nice list, because there are so many fun activities for us to enjoy this holiday season! Whether you live in Metairie, River Ridge, Kenner, or elsewhere in the Greater New Orleans region, we’ve got you covered with a veritable winter wonderland of holiday happenings.

Holiday Activities in Greater New Orleans

✨ Music and Theater Events

Jefferson Performing Arts Society Presents: “The Nutcracker”

Experience classic characters like the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy this holiday season as part of the fantastical journey with The Nutcracker. Get your tickets online for Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. or Dec. 17 at 2 p.m.

Rivertown Theaters Presents: “A Christmas Story” The Musical

This nostalgic and heartwarming musical features memorable characters, catchy songs, and spectacular choreography, bringing you the charm of the classic film. Tickets to the show, running from Dec. 1-17 at the Rivertown Theater in Kenner, can be found here.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Rock out with Trans-Siberian Orchestra as they embark on their 2023 Winter Tour: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. On Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m., they will be making their way to the Smoothie King Center, just in time to get you in the holiday spirit! Tickets start at just under $50 and can be purchased here.

The National World War II Museum’s “Louisiana Christmas Day”

From the raucous Cajun bayous to the splendors of caroling in historic Jackson Square, the vintage-chic Victory Belles take you on a holiday musical tour with classic tunes like “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Christmastime in New Orleans.” Celebrate the holidays Louisiana-style by purchasing tickets here to one of the shows happening throughout the holiday season

🎄 Outdoor Events

Holiday Champagne Stroll presented by Gulf Coast Bank & Trust

Start the holiday season on Magazine Street, Dec. 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m., with an evening of festive after-hours shopping. Enjoy champagne, explore the shops, and discover ideal gifts with special offerings from participating businesses.

Tea with Santa

Kenner Parks & Recreation invites guests to Christmas Tea with Santa, which will include food and activities. The event will take place at the Kenner City Park Pavilion on Dec. 9, with the first seating at 10:00 a.m. and the second seating at 12:30 p.m. Click here to register.


The Grinch is back in Kenner! Join Kenner Parks & Recreation at Heritage Hall on Dec. 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for yummy food and fun activities before spending time in the Christmas Village. To pre-register for the event, please click here.

Santa Paws & Pints

Celebrate the holidays with your furry friend! On Dec. 2 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Port Orleans Brewing Company will be hosting a fundraiser to benefit ARNO. There will be photo opportunities with Santa, local vendors to shop from, a raffle with various prizes, and pints for purchase. All proceeds go toward vet bills for ARNO’s special needs cases.

Holiday Market with the Grinch

Join Port Orleans Brewing Company on Dec. 9 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for a holiday market featuring the Grinch. Local vendors will be selling crafts and gifts, the Grinch will be taking photos, and there will be a bounce house for children.

Kenner Christmas Village

On Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 1-23, you can enjoy snow, crafts, food vendors, entertainment, and a special appearance from Santa at Heritage Park in Rivertown. Admire beautiful Christmas lights and animated scenery, and don’t even worry about bringing your wallet – admission is free! (Of course, food and drink are additional costs.)

Christmas in the Park

Lafreniere Park hosts this dazzling event throughout its lush grounds. Explore LED light displays plus amusements like the Children’s Carousel ride. Admission is $10 per vehicle in advance and $15 at the gate, so plan to carpool and save some money! Christmas in the Park runs every Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 10:00 p.m. throughout the holiday season.

Lights at the Lake

Pontchartrain Conservancy is hosting its 10th annual holiday celebration at the New Canal Lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain on Dec. 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Enjoy the West End Boat Parade, activities for the children, local food trucks, hot chocolate, and more. Admission is $10 for ages 6+ and tickets can be purchased online or at the event.


🎁 Indoor Events

Polar Express Cake Class and Pajama Party

Join Sweetooth Bakery and Cafe Caribe for a holiday decorating class that is perfect for both children and adults! The cost is $35 per person and includes a cake to decorate, decorating tools, hot chocolate, cookies, and more. Tickets can be purchased here for the event on Dec. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Don’t forget to wear your favorite PJs!

NOLA ChristmasFest

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this indoor, family-friendly holiday fest brings an enchanting winter wonderland right here to New Orleans. It features attractions like ice skating lessons, a holiday display, dining, and carnival rides to name a few. Hosted at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, this fest runs from Dec. 21-30 with tickets for purchase online.


🦌 Northshore Events

Merry Madisonville

Ring in the holiday season with the 15th annual Merry Madisonville Parade and Celebration. The event takes place at Madisonville’s ballpark and playground on Dec. 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with the parade at 2 p.m. and pictures with Santa at 4:00 p.m. There will also be food trucks, hot chocolate, activities, and more!

Twinkle on the Tchefuncte

Twinkle on the Tchefuncte, taking place Dec. 16 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Madisonville Riverfront, is a lighted boat parade and holiday decorating contest, as well as a toy and food drive. Bring your chairs to set up for the parade and stroll along the riverfront for eats and treats, face painting, carolers, and more. If you’re interested in entering the boat parade, click here for more information.


From wintery wonderlands to nostalgic theater productions, there is an event for everybody to enjoy this holiday season! What’s more, you can find a new home to ring in the holiday season even further by checking out our list of communities here!

Where to Get the Best Crawfish in River Ridge, Metairie, and Kenner!

The flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up, and the crawfish are boiling! Whether you’re in River Ridge, Metairie, or Kenner,  we have curated a list of some of the best places to get hot and ready-to-eat crawfish this spring. 

River Ridge

Bobby’s Seafood 

(504) 738-2104

9013 Jefferson Hwy, River Ridge, LA 70123


(504) 738-1116

279 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA 70123

Charles Seafood 

(504) 405-5263

8311 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA 70123

Jaeger’s Seafood

(504) 818-2200

901 South Clearview Parkway, Metairie, LA 70121



Smitty’s Seafood 

(504) 468-1647

 2000 W Esplanade Ave, Kenner, LA 70065

Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar

(504) 443-6454

3201 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065

Kenner Seafood  

(504) 466-4701

3140 Loyola Dr Kenner, LA



Lil Kat’s 

(504) 469-7216

8006 W Metairie Ave, Metairie, LA 70003


(504) 887-1150

5010 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

Captain Sid’s 

(504) 831-2840

1700 Lake Ave, Metairie, LA 70005

Want more options? Try downloading The Crawfish App and view all the local restaurants offering hot-boiled crawfish this season. 

Take your crawfish to go and eat them in your new 1st Lake Properties home! To view a full list of our available apartment homes, click here

Local Snowball Short List

There’s no season like snowball season in New Orleans! Snowballs are a delicious combination of finely shaved ice and decadent cane syrup, available in more flavors than you can imagine, that come together as the perfect treat.

Get one to go and enjoy it at the lake, or have one at home on your balcony. No matter how you enjoy them, each icy spoonful of a snowball is delightful when the weather heats up. Getting one is definitely a must-do summer activity in New Orleans!

Keep reading for our list of some of the best snowballs in the Lakeview, Metairie, Elmwood, and Harahan areas. What’s even better is they’re close to several 1st Lake Properties like Bella Ridge, Millstream, and more!

Casey’s Snowballs

Says one Yelp reviewer, “The ice doesn’t clump, they don’t skimp on the syrup, and the flavor choices are vast and unique.” Could you ask for anything more in a snowball stand?

Casey’s Snoballs in Metairie is located on West Esplanade Avenue, so it’s a great option for a to-go snowball you can enjoy at the lake. We’re partial to nutty flavors like almond cream, and exotic choices like orchid vanilla, but you’ll find plenty of classics like nectar, lemon, and wild cherry.


Sal’s Sno-Ball Stand

Tree stump seating sets this Old Metairie snowball stand apart. Sal’s stays open late, so if you get a snowball craving at 10 p.m.– and really, who could blame you? – you can still get your fix.

Fun flavor names like Robin (ice cream and nectar), Pink Squirrel (nectar, almond, and cream), and Joker (grape, blackberry, and raspberry) will delight youngsters and adults alike. Sugar-free options are available for those looking to stay trim, but it’s hard to resist toppings like condensed milk – again, who could blame you?

It’s one of our favorite spots in Metairie and definitely worth checking out!


Ike’s Snowballs

Ike’s is located in Mid-City, and it’s just a quick drive – or a fun bike ride – from Metairie Road on City Park Avenue.

We love Ike’s because of their doggie snowballs. A chicken snowball doesn’t sound particularly appetizing to us, but we know your four-legged friends will love them.

Don’t have a pet? Trust us, you’ll still want to go to Ike’s. It’s open year-round, and it offers juicy flavors like watermelon, strawberry, and pineapple that are sure to satisfy. You’ll find plenty of outdoor seating here, although another option is to order your snowball to-go and enjoy it at City Park!



With a convenient location on Harrison Avenue in Lakeview, NOLA Snow is a great place to grab a snowball before heading to the lakefront.

Kids love their cotton candy and bubblegum flavors, and mellower flavors like nectar and wedding cake please more grown-up palates. The ice is particularly soft and fluffy, but if you prefer something denser, any snowball flavor can be served as a milkshake or malt instead.

Soft serve ice cream, floats, and stuffed snowballs are also available – definitely bring your sweet tooth.