"When the Levees Broke" -- This definitive account of the Hurricane Katrina disaster by filmmaker Spike Lee is gritty and intense -- and will open an important dialogue with your kids if you plan to visit the 9th ward. (School Age, Pre-Teens and Teens)
"Fantastic Four" -- This action-packed flick was filmed in New Orleans; keep an eye out for familiar scenery as your kids decide what their special powers are. (School Age, Pre-Teens and Teens)
"Blues Brothers 2000" -- The all-star blues jam will get the family jazzed for live music. Be sure to stop by the historical Louis Armstrong Park. (Pre-Teens and Teens)
"Undercover Blues" -- You may not be a spy by trade, but you'll certainly spy lots of bargains at the historic French Market, the country's oldest working public market. (Pre-Teens and Teens)
"Last Holiday" -- This remake starring Queen Latifah may inspire some joie de vivre in your kids -- or at least motivate them to encourage any uninspired sales clerks they come across while in New Orleans. (Pre-Teens and Teens)
"The Cincinnati Kid" -- You'll want to hustle the kids away from the gambling table, but definitely check out the Lafayette Hotel; it was built in 1916 and featured in this 1960s flick set in the Big Easy. (Teens)
"A Streetcar Named Desire" -- The French Quarter may be a bit different (just a bit) since the days when Marlon Brando sauntered through it yelling "Stella!" but a visit there is an absolute must. (Teens)
Chicken Anduille Gumbo -- No matter how hot and humid the weather is in New Orleans, the food packs in just as much heat.
Beignets -- Offer the kids these treats the New Orleans way, with each serving cut into three squares and topped with powdered sugar. While in town, stop by the famous Caf Du Monde.
Pralines -- This popular New Orleans confection is almost too sweet (almost).
"My Trip to New Orleans: from A to Z" by Elaine Delancy -- Take in the history, fun facts, local culture, and cuisine of New Orleans for every letter of the alphabet. You'll get some great ideas for your to-do list. (Ages 2 to 6)
"Going to New Orleans to Visit Weezie Anna" by Mary Beth Pisano -- This sweet story captures the city's charm and vernacular, and includes a regional glossary for Nawlins (translation: New Orleans). (Ages 4 to 8)
"The Battle of New Orleans: The Drummer's Story" by Freddi Williams Evans -- Give your kids an idea of the city's history, then take them to Muse Conti Wax Museum and see the history come to life (almost). (Ages 6 to 10)
"Jenny Giraffe Discovers the French Quarter" by Cecilia Casrill Dartez -- The adventures of the young giraffe prove a great introduction to New Orleans, particularly the colorful French Quarter. (Ages 8 to 12)
"Jammin' on the Avenue: Going to New Orleans" by Whitney Stewart -- A young boy travels to New Orleans to take part in a guitar-picking contest; your kids will be interested in the many street musicians -- of all ages. (Ages 9 to 12)
"The Pirate Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans" by Robert Tallant -- Among other things, widening the waterways of New Orleans was the doing of the "Gentleman Pirate." (Ages 9 to 12)
"Facts and Fanciful Tales of the Crescent City" by Marjorie Reed Conatser -- Get the inside scoop on everything from street names to Mardis Gras to voodoo to local establishments -- the walking tour will make a lot more sense when the kids know some local stories first. (Ages 10 to 17)
"Louis Armstrong's New Orleans" by Thomas Brothers -- March your teen over to the library or bookstore to pick up this fascinating read which brings to life the history of the city, one of music's greats, and the intricate ways they were -- and always will be -- intertwined. (Ages 15 and Up)
"Letters From New Orleans" by Rob Walker -- Take in this fascinating view (of pre-Katrina New Orleans) beyond the tourist's perspective. (Ages 15 and Up)