Clap Your Hands Now, People Clap Your Hands
August is a Month of Discounts for Locals so “Stay and Play”
Seeing New Orleans from the perspective of a tourist reminds me how special our city is. It is so easy to become stuck in our work and family obligations, and sometimes weeks will go by and the most culturally interesting event I experience is eating the red beans I make in my slow cooker on Mondays.
The first time a tourist sees a colorful Creole cottage or learns what lagniappe means, they understand they are in a place apart. As residents of this place, it is important to pause on occasion and delve back into our culture in bigger ways than chuckling at the newest decoration on our neighborhood pothole as we drive around it.
In recognition of this need, and to spur business for the hospitality sector during slower months, New Orleans & Company has brought back its COOLinary New Orleans Restaurant Month for August, as well as revamped a campaign called “Stay & Play,” formerly named “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown,” to encourage locals to try a new restaurant, take one of those ghost tours, stay in a hotel and maybe even try an escape games for a discount.
“New Orleans & Company is committed to nourishing and sustaining the incomparable culture that attracts millions of visitors each year,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of New Orleans & Company, in a press release. “ The Stay & Play and COOLinary campaigns give locals the opportunity to experience the top-tier hotels, restaurants, attractions, tours and museums that draw visitors to New Orleans each year. These touchstones of our unique culture make New Orleans one of the world’s most beloved destinations. The summer months are the perfect time for Louisiana residents to rediscover New Orleans’ authentic spirit and to fall in love with our hometown again.”
Stay & Play will be active Aug. 1-Sept. 30 and offers more than 60 NOLA experiences through discounted rates at hotels, attractions, tours and even restaurant and cocktail deals. New Orleans & Company designed the campaign to encourage locals to plan staycations with all the bells and whistles, or simply browse the deals listed on the website to try something in a neighborhood you rarely visit.
Through the campaign, participating hotels might offer half-off parking, include breakfast with your stay, give a complimentary cocktail or offer a discounted room rate for area residents. Attractions are giving admission perks, tours are giving ticket discounts and you can even get a free Grasshopper at Tujague’s. Be sure to review the website to find participating businesses. You can even win a generous staycation package if you follow the Instagram account @VisitNewOrleans and tag #StayAndPlayNOLA on images you post sharing your experiences.
COOLinary New Orleans Restaurant Month returns for its 15th year Aug. 1-31. At last count, 118 restaurants are participating, representing 37 categories in 10 neighborhoods, including several in Jefferson Parish. The restaurants will offer two- and three-course lunches for $20 or less, and three-course dinner menus for $39 or less. Some will also offer a three-course brunch for $39 or less. From neighborhood joints to fine dining, it seems possible to choose a COOLinary menu at every restaurant you eat at in August. Visit the website for the full listings.