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10 Things to Do in New Orleans in October

October in New Orleans is a very special month. I'll tell you everything you need to know to make the most of your visit.

Ana C.R.

Ana C.R.

10 min read

10 Things to Do in New Orleans in October

Audubon Park, New Orleans | green voyage

October is one of the busiest and most fun months in the city, whether you are traveling to New Orleans with children, family, couples or friends. The orange and reddish leaves of the autumn trees, Halloween celebrations and the different local festivals make this month one of the most attractive of the whole year.

On the other hand, with the onset of autumn in New Orleans, temperatures drop but remain pleasant for touring the city and its surroundings. In this article, I'll tell you about the top 10 things to do in New Orleans in October so you won't miss any of them.

1. Attend the Tremé Fall Festival

Tremé Fall Festival| ©Andres D
Tremé Fall Festival| ©Andres D

The Tremé Fall Festival is one of the main celebrations in the month of October in New Orleans. This event is organized by St. Augustine Catholic Church and its purpose is to spread the culture and history of the Tremé neighborhood, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the United States.

For the duration of the festival, you will be able to attend free musical performances by local artists and musicians, as well as taste some delicacies and food dishes. Younger children can enjoy various activities related to painting, art and construction projects. There are also second line parades and jazz funerals, something you can only see in New Orleans.

Treme Fall Fest, as it is called in English, is also a charity event, since all donations collected help this church to continue its charitable work.

The epicenter of the celebrations is at Henriette Delille and Gov. Nicholls streets, where you will find the most famous artists. Some of them, for example, are Kermit Ruffins, Shannon Powell and Leroy Jones.

This festival concludes on Sunday morning, where you can attend a gospel mass followed by a show. Don't miss the opportunity to discover and participate in an authentic local gospel choir.

Interesting facts:

  • Where: St. Augustine Church, Tremé, New Orleans
  • Price: free
  • Date: October 22.

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2. Taste typical dishes at the Beignet Fest

NOLA Beignet Fest Luncheon.| ©dennis dahn
NOLA Beignet Fest Luncheon.| ©dennis dahn

Beignet Fest is a heartwarming festival in the city of New Orleans. This renowned event is an opportunity for you to celebrate and improve the lives of children with developmental challenges and disabilities, as all proceeds are reinvested in these projects.

Here, you will be able to find more than 20 different styles of popular food from various restaurants in the city, making it one of the most fun and delicious activities. Also, this festival is the ideal place for the famous beignet, a typical and traditional sweet of New Orleans that consists of a fried and sweetened dough. In addition to the food, there will be live music and a fantastic artists' market.

Interesting facts:

  • Where: City Park, New Orleans.
  • Price: from 35€.
  • Date: October 5th

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3. Get into the culture on National Gumbo Day

Gumbo, Typical dish in New orleans| ©BigOwen
Gumbo, Typical dish in New orleans| ©BigOwen

New Orleans is known as the only city where you can get an authentic Gumbo, this well-known dish that consists of a stew that mixes a fusion of cultures such as American, French and Spanish.

National Gumbo Day is celebrated to honor this famous American delicacy and is a must-do in New Orleans if you are visiting during the month of October.

To learn more about this and other incredible facts on your visit, I recommend taking a tour of the French Quarter of New Orleans, where you will be told all the secrets and history of this lively and bustling part of the city. If you feel like feasting and tasting this popular dish, don't miss it.

Interesting facts:

  • Where: French Quarter, New Orleans
  • Price: free
  • Date: October 12

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4. Surprise yourself on Halloween in the Garden District

The Skeleton House| ©Emma Colosia
The Skeleton House| ©Emma Colosia

Halloween is a traditional American holiday recognized worldwide. Nowadays, this date in the calendar has crossed many cultures and is celebrated in several continents every year in October.

Halloween in the Garden District is the celebration that takes place in the city of New Orleans, and the perfect plan for your vacation if you are in town and want to trick-or-treat or enjoy some of the best Halloween decorations.

This district dresses up in spooky costumes and is one of the best places to experience American culture and traditions. Well before October 31st, you will see many homes begin to decorate their homes in a spooky way.

Interesting facts:

  • Where: Garden district, New Orleans
  • Price: free
  • Date: October 30 and 31

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5. Drink beer at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest in New Orleans| ©Wendy
Oktoberfest in New Orleans| ©Wendy

Oktoberfest in NOLA in New Orleans will always get people talking. Although there are no German roots, this is another festival that is celebrated almost worldwide.

Particularly in this city, Oktoberfest takes place during three weekends, so you will surely have the opportunity to enjoy the event. Here, there is a tasting of around 20 different types of beer, although you will also have a variety of spirits if you are one of the bravest.

In addition, you can accompany these drinks with the best traditional German delicacies, such as sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels and a selection of cheeses.

So, if you feel like enjoying good music, dancing and having fun, attending this festival is one of the best plans for this vacation. You will also find a historical exhibition for you to learn interesting information about the Oktoberfest.

This is a fantastic experience for the whole family and something to do in New Orleans at night, as the party continues even when the sun goes down.

Interesting facts:

  • Where: Champions Square, New Orleans
  • Price: from 8€.
  • Dates: October 4 - 5, October 11 - 12, October 18 - 19

6. Don't miss the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival| ©Christin D
Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival| ©Christin D

The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is another of the many festivals that take place in October. In this case, this is a great show where you can enjoy the performances of renowned artists such as The Allman-Betts Band and Little Freddie King.

In addition to enjoying the best live jazz and blues in town, a great barbecue and other local foods will be held throughout the event. Don't miss this celebration if you're looking for an event for the whole family, as you can find delicious food and unique visual art to enjoy with the little ones as well.

Facts of Interest:

  • Where: Lafayette Square Park, New Orleans
  • Price: Free
  • Date: Usually mid-October

7. Attend the Krewe of Boo

Krewe of BOO float| ©lovemardigras
Krewe of BOO float| ©lovemardigras

Krewe of Boo is a series of parades in New Orleans dedicated exclusively to the Halloween holiday. This city is known for hosting major parade-related events throughout the year, but October is one of the largest and most famous in the country.

Here, you can enjoy unique floats, some created by artists who design the Mardi Gras parades, another of the most crowded. In addition, you can participate in a candy toss and various prizes for attendees, including stuffed toys, snacks and T-shirts. As you can see, it's a real party.

Plus, if you decide to join the Krewe de Boo members, you can even ride on one of the floats, so don't miss out.

Interesting facts:

  • Where: French Quarter, New Orleans
  • Price: free
  • Date: end of October

8. Experience the Free Art Fair

Art for Art's Sake| ©John Haffner
Art for Art's Sake| ©John Haffner

Art for Art's Sake is an event that takes place on Magazine Street, one of the most popular art streets in New Orleans. Here, you will find businesses and wonderful art galleries, and different antique stores.

If you're spending a few days in October in New Orleans and want to immerse yourself in the art and culture of the city's most original district, don't miss the opportunity to attend Art for Art's Sake. You'll be able to enjoy local artists with live music, gallery openings, shopping and, best of all, free of charge.

The exhibits you can discover and browse range from contemporary to classic art, and include some photography and sculpture. It's a special occasion to see a completely transformed environment, and experience all the sounds that blend into its streets.

You can listen to live music as you stroll from place to place, plus many of the restaurants along Magazine Street are open late. In fact, many of them set up some outdoor stalls to offer take-out food and give you more flexibility.

Facts of Interest:

  • Where: Champions Square, New Orleans
  • Price: from 135€.
  • Date: October 5th.

9. Celebrate at the Gentilly Festival

Gentilly Festival| ©sprusak
Gentilly Festival| ©sprusak

The Gentilly Festival is another fun event you can find to celebrate the culture of New Orleans. If you're looking for a day with live music, delicious food, arts and crafts, don't hesitate to attend this celebration with the whole family.

The particularity of Gentilly Fest is that it even has some children's villages where you can find original and different activities for the little ones, such as pony rides, a fire truck, face painting and pottery making workshops, gardening crafts and much more.

This event is held to raise funds to support different projects to build better neighborhoods, such as volunteer firefighters, music camps for children and other local organizations that need help.

Facts of Interest:

  • Where: Pontchartrain Park Playground, New Orleans
  • Price: from 135
  • Date: October 11 - 13

10. Enjoy live music at Wednesday's on the Point.

Wednesday's on the Point| ©Susan Pog
Wednesday's on the Point| ©Susan Pog

Wednesday's on the Point is one of my favorite things to do in New Orleans in the month of October. This free concert series brings music, dancing and great food to the banks of the Mississippi River. Here, every Wednesday night, you can watch the area become a completely festive place, so much so that it almost feels like a weekend.

Enjoy the food trucks and stalls that fill the Algiers Ferry Landing, the oldest section of New Orleans, founded in the early 18th century.

Try some of Louisiana's tasty dishes, such as po-boys, crab quesadillas, and more. Plus, there's never a shortage of beer, wine and soft drinks and a host of fun activities for the kids.

For those who want to continue the day's festivities, you can do so at the many legendary pubs nearby, such as Old Point Bar and Dry Dock Cafe.

Interesting Facts:

  • Where: Champions Square, New Orleans
  • Price: from 135€.
  • Date: Second weekend of October.

October weather in New Orleans

Touring New Orleans| ©sprusak
Touring New Orleans| ©sprusak

After a very hot summer, temperatures begin to drop in October in New Orleans, although it is still a good time to visit this city considering that the cold has not yet arrived. With an average high of 27 degrees Celsius and a low of 15 degrees Celsius, the atmosphere still invites you to enjoy the streets of the city, the walks through its charming streets and a myriad of outdoor activities.

Although October is the driest month of the year, the hurricane season from August to November is still active, so tropical storms can occur. Therefore, I recommend that you take a good look at the weather before you leave for New Orleans to check the likelihood of these heavy rains that can spoil your plans. No one forgets the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, when the catastrophe hit the city hard.

New Orleans tourist traffic in October

Streets of New orleans in the Fall| ©FingerMon
Streets of New orleans in the Fall| ©FingerMon

Summer, as in most tourist destinations, is usually the time of the year when most people travel to New Orleans. However, this southern city receives every year in March with the Mardi Gras millions of tourists who fill the streets eager to party. So these dates are also high season,

So, if what you want is to have a quiet trip and get away from the crowds that these multitudinous festivals can attract, traveling in October is a great idea. Although I have to tell you that the plans are still endless and that this city is never really free of tourism.

That said, the mild temperatures make it a suitable destination even to visit the nearby beaches where you can relax and escape for a few hours from the hectic pace of the city center.

What to pack for your trip to New Orleans

Preparing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes
Preparing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes

Considering the pleasant October temperatures in the American city, always wear light clothing so that you can stay cool during the day and your walks will not make you sweat a lot. There is still humidity in the air, so shorts, short-sleeved shirts and comfortable walking shoes are the best choice. Even in October there are still many hours of sunshine, so I also recommend sunscreen if you are going to spend a lot of time outdoors, which will most likely be the case.

But in the evenings the temperatures drop. That's why you can't leave a warm jacket or sweater at home. Any long-sleeved garment will come in handy when the sun goes down.

Finally, an umbrella is a must whenever you travel to New Orleans. At any time you can get caught in a storm and you will agree with me that this can not stop any plan. All ready to start the adventure!

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