Date Night: Vue Orleans

We first wrote about our experience at Vue Orleans back in May, but this week ends the Vue Orleans extended holiday hours. On Nov. 25 and 26, experience the vue from the former World Trade Center building with 5:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. entry times. Tickets are limited and available at

Amid planning, it can be easy to forget to take time for yourselves. Lucky for couples, not only does New Orleans have many bars, restaurants, festivals and the like to fill your time, but it also plays host to museums, art exhibits and other interactive experiences to spice up date night.

One of those experiences is Vue Orleans. Vue Orleans is located at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel in the former World Trade Center building. Kelly here: I was invited to view the new exhibit as a complimentary guest, but I truly feel like I somehow cheated them out of something. This exhibit is a true testament to the culture and heartbeat of New Orleans and, though it doesn’t take much for me to get emotional, I definitely teared up a few times as I explored the space.

The first floor of the three-tiered space is colorful and full of life, which is a beautiful representation of the city itself. When you first enter, you’re greeted by the Confluence of Cultures. There are a few standing screens and a large screen at the back, all of which are motion interactive, and tell the story of elements of the city, particular places and the stories of famous or influential people that have, in some way, helped shape New Orleans and have fascinating stories. A group of actors play each of the people — that include the Baroness de Pontalba, a particular favorite of ours (Kelly here: seriously, her story is insane) — and bring the person and the story to life, literally. Every few minutes, these screens are all taken over by one large video that varies between videos of a jazz band, Mardi Gras Indians and more.

Past this area is another interactive board where you can literally dress for the occasion. You put your face in the outline and can switch your outfit on the screen according for whichever occasion you want to costume. (Kelly here: I’m only a millennial, but I had some issues with the interactive parts and how exactly I was supposed to use my hand to move the cursor on the board. This activity was one that got the best of me, but I’m told that the images you can create are Mardi Gras costume inspiring for next year’s Carnival!)

Following along the flow of this floor is the Story Cafe. This spot might have been our favorite because it includes chef Kevin Belton and our friend Poppy Tooker talking about and cooking some of New Orleans’ most popular dishes. You can sit at the vintage countertop and flip through the interactive “menu” in front of you. Pick the dish you want to learn about, order up and Chef and Poppy will take you through the history of the food and where it originated.

Once you fill up on food history, shake it out with the music section situated right next to the cafe. Huge gramophone speakers or horn ends, whichever you believe it is, hang from the ceilings and you can step inside and learn about a particular type of music that calls New Orleans home, while listening to the sounds of local New Orleans artists and bands.

If that wasn’t enough for one area, floor one concludes with a 180-degree screened theatre. The theatre plays a beautifully illustrated video describing the importance of the Mississippi River and the part it played on shaping New Orleans. (Kelly here: I have zero shame to admit that the story, narrated by Irma Thomas, and the illustrations of the evolution of the city definitely made me cry.)

Once the video is finished, you are then ushered into an elevator to go to the top of the building. The elevator, much like the theatre, includes a beautifully illustrated video that in the 60-second ride shows viewers the beginning of the city and how it transformed into the international and modern city it is now.

Once on the top floor, you’re greeted by the breathtaking view of the city and the river. The top floor is a 360-degree view that includes interactive river-related games, like driving your own barge, and a multitude of lookout stations around the observation deck that include a large tablet on a swivel that you can move around and learn more about certain parts of the city in that particular view.

One of our favorite parts is the floor, which we know sounds peculiar, but includes a large compass and curves like that of the river.

For any New Orleanian, or visitor, Vue Orleans is a one-of-a-kind experience that, like us, could put a tear in your eye and a new type of song in your heart for the city you call home.

Additionally, if you’re looking to continue the date night, or day, the Four Seasons Hotel also plays host to two popular restaurants, Miss River and Chemin a la Mer, hosted by two popular New Orleans chefs, Alon Shaya and Donald Link, respectively.

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