Shock met awe when my husband suggested that we go to the Audubon Insectarium during the same hours as the Saints game. My home and conversations are regularly taken over by little critters of all kinds that can be captured by a 5 year old boy, so it sounded like fun.
The Insectarium, located in the historic New Orleans Customs House was wonderful, bright, interesting, and clean. Some notable highlights of the Insectarium are the Asian Butterfly Garden and a 4-D Bug Award Show. I won't spoil the adventure with details. I was pleasantly surprised at every turn. Can't wait to go back.
While I was there I took advantage of their free cuisine and ate a chocolate covered cricket. My husband and son both refused. My husband actually refused to eat lunch at all and said he felt nauseous. Jeez, at 6'6", 280lbs you'd think he could handle an itty bitty chocolate covered baby cricket. Oh well, more for me.
Of course there are ways to save when visiting the Insectarium. You can become a member of the Audubon Nature Institute and then your admission to the Insectarium is reduced to $5. Or you can save a few bucks with these printable $3 off coupons. We also saved some money by packing our own lunch and eating it at the Termidor Cafe' inside of the Insectarium. If you decide to eat downtown don't forget to do a search for printable restaurant coupons.
If you do not want to search for on-street parking, you can receive validated parking at Canal Place (the closest parking garage + great shopping). Bring your parking ticket to the ticket counter at the Insectarium and they will validate it there. Validation is good for $5 off of your total parking charge. We paid $5 after validation.
Word of caution, there is a metal detector and two security guards at the entrance. Travel light, do not bring anything sharp i.e. nail file, pocket knife (you will be asked to leave the building). We had to travel through the metal detector double stroller and all. Luckily that was the only downside to the visit.
If you have any other money saving suggestions, I'd love to hear them.