Are you ready to celebrate the end of Summer and Hello to Fall with a long weekend in New Orleans? Labor Day weekend in New Orleans is the perfect way to say goodbye to August and hello to September and soon-to-be fall leaves.
Luckily for you, there are many things to do in New Orleans during Labor Day weekend. So start planning your trip now and see what you can do.
I’ve split up the activities into Family Friendly activities in New Orleans and Adult 21+ Friendly activities in New Orleans. Just because something is on the family-friendly list doesn’t mean that adults won’t want to participate.
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Family Friendly Activities during Labor Day Weekend
New Orleans is surprisingly a very family-friendly city. I mean, there must be something to entertain all children!
Navigating the French Quarter with kids is doable, but I suggest staying away from Bourbon Street, even though I have had a friend or two bring their kids down there in their strollers.
Below find some of the best Family Friendly activities to do during Labor Day Weekend.
1. Splash at the Cool Zoo
Even though it is hot all year round, the Cool Zoo officially closes on Labor Day! If you haven’t made it to the Audubon Cool Zoo, Labor Day weekend is your last chance to have fun at the Lazy River.
Tickets are only $10, but you must also purchase tickets to the Audubon Zoo.
2. See the Fish at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
If the zoo is too hot for you – take the kids to explore the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas! It is my favorite Aquarium, and it is a great way to take a break from the heat.
3. Spend the Day at City Park
With the weather getting cooler and summer quickly disappearing – spend some time outside during this long weekend! Spending time in City Park is a must-do for many New Orleans Families.
You can have some fun with the family with City Putt, hang out in Carousel Gardens and Story, golf at the driving range, visit the beautiful Botanical Garden or eat beignets at Cafe Du monde.
You can spend an entire Saturday Afternoon in City Park.
4. Explore the Besthoff Sculpture Garden and New Orleans Museum of Art
If you plan on spending time in City Park, squeeze in some time at the Sculpture Garden and New Orleans Museum of Art.
The Sculpture Garden sits on 11 acres of land, and the kids can run around while enjoying the day. If it gets too hot, the whole family can pop into the New Orleans Museum of Art for some A/C and culture.
5. Play at the Louisiana Children’s Museum
A staple of my childhood, the Louisiana Children’s Museum is an excellent alternative to NOMA while in City Park.
While you are here, children can explore and play with the different exhibits. After playtime, head on to Acorns, a Dickie Brennan’s restaurant, for delicious kid-friendly food.
6. Grab a summer snowball
Summer also means the end of snowball season – even though there are a few more weeks left of Snowball Season. Labor Day Weekend is the perfect time to get a snowball from your favorite Snowball place.
The City of New Orleans has many great places to grab a snowball. Whether you are in Uptown, in Midcity, or even in Metairie, you can find a great snowball.
If you have never had a snowball, I recommend starting with a Strawberry with Condensed Milk or getting a Chocolate with condensed milk.
7. Enjoy the Weather and Dine Outdoors
Dining outdoors during the Summer isn’t something anyone wants to do, but since the weather should cool down, outdoor dining during Labor Day Weekend is the perfect thing to do!
There are so many delicious local restaurants for you to try out that it is easy to find the ideal place for outdoor dining.
8. Escape the crowds with a swamp tour
New Orleans and all of the attractions in the city can get crowded during Labor Day weekend, so this is the best time to escape the crowds and go on a swamp tour.
9. Immerse yourself at Studio Be
Even though you can see some of Brandan bmike Odums murals all around the city, take some time to immerse yourself at Studio Be.
Visiting Studio Be costs $15 per person (with different discounts based on age or occupation) and takes about an hour to go through. Bring the entire krewe and embrace a local artist in his studio.
10. Revisit History at the National WWII Museum
The museum could take at least two full days to see all of the exhibits so take at least one day to explore The National WWII Museum.
11. Explore Crescent Park
After exploring Studio Be, walk over to Crescent Park for some outdoor activities.
Climb the Rusty Rainbow and see one of the best views of downtown New Orleans. After seeing the way, the river bends, it will finally click why New Orleans is called the Crescent City.
12. Explore Mardi Gras World
Open seven days a week. You can take a self-tour and see how Mardi Gras is in the Big Easy.
13. Take the Algiers Ferry
One of the best ways to cross the Mississippi River is by taking the Algiers Ferry to Algeries Point!
When running, the Algiers Ferry leaves every 30 minutes, bringing riders from Canal Street to Algiers Point.
The ride only costs $2 and is a fun way to explore the Mississippi River.
14. Visit JAMNOLA
A fun, interactive museum is JAMNOLA located in the heart of the Marigny.
If you are the type of family that loves making memories and taking photos, touring this museum is a ton of fun! Check out more from JAMNOLA.
Adult Friendly (21+) Activities in New Orleans During Labor day weekend
If you want to leave the kids (or under 21 years old) at home – there are tons of fun events for Adults over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Even though many of these events are adult-friendly, many feature booze, so they are considered 21+.
15. Have a Great time at Southern Decadence
Expect to find drag shows, bar events, pool parties, community events, and more.
The main festivities happen on the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets, but many LGB bars, restaurants, and other venues have their nod to Southern Decadence.
Be prepared to have fun with large crowds and block party feels.
16. Catch the Southern Decadence Walking Parade
Even though Southern Decadence has many dance parties throughout the weekend, one event you need to add to your list is the Southern Decadence Annual Walking Parade!
The exact parade route and time are fluid and realized closer to the weekend, but it generally passes through most of the gay bars in the French Quarter. This parade is as close to gay mardi gras as you can get.
17. Foundation Free Fridays at Tipitina’s
Check out the last weekend of Tipitina’s Free Friday Concert Series, which lasted from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
With free admission, tickets are not required, and the entire show is general admission. Tipitina’s Friday Night Concert is one of the best free things to do during Labor Day weekend. Free concerts are one of my guilty pleasures.
18. Grab a delicious cocktail
New Orleans is known for having classic cocktails. We even host Tales of the Cocktail Festival every ear, so our bartenders know a thing about serving a delicious cocktail. Head to a historic favorite and ride on the Carousel Bar for a spin.
Are you looking for somewhere new?
Head over to the Jewel of the South or Peychaunds to escape the festivities of the Quarter. Start your Friday off right with happy hour specials throughout the city.
19. Have a Frozen Daquiri
Now when I suggest getting a frozen daiquiri, I am not talking about all of the places on Bourbon Street or the Drive throughs in Metairie but an actual, delicious frozen Daquiri.
Head to Bourre and grab a craft Daquiri as Beery Mint made with Rum, Mint, and Strawberry or a G&T made with Gin, Tonic, Lime Leaf, and Cucumber.
You can even bring a half gallon or whole gallon home or to a party.
20. Be overly fancy with Beignets.
So even though I added a little spot for the family-friendly krewe to get Beignets – you need to go to the Four Seasons and grab a cocktail and beignets at the Chandelier bar.
The Butter-fried Beignets come with a delicious vanilla dipping sauce that is perfect for adults only.
21. Head to Frenchmen Street
The French Quarter will be full of people enjoying Labor Day Weekend, but you may want to squeeze away from the events and enjoy the music on Frenchmen Street.
22. Head to a Hotel Pool
The dog days of Summer are not over just yet, but in September, you may want to squeeze in another day of lounging at a hotel pool.
New Orleans has a lot of fun rooftop pools, but my favorite has to be the rooftop pool on top of the Ace Hotel.
You are out of the hustle and bustle of the quarter but still, have a great skyline view while enjoying the first weekend of September.
23. Enjoy live music
Live performances are the best way to enjoy the city when no music festival is happening.
There are so many local artists and musicians in New Orleans that you can quickly go anywhere on Frenchmen to catch a live show.
Try to see a brass band or some New Orleans Jazz while enjoying live music.
24. Eat a late-night meal.
One of the best things about the city coming back and tourism rising is that places stay open later!
If you need something to eat on a Saturday Night late at night, look no further than a delicious poboy from Verti Mart.
Your stomach (and possible hangover) will thank you.
25. Take photos in the Garden District.
The Garden District is one of my favorite places.
26. Go on a Ghost Tour
New Orleans is haunted. Period. And if you haven’t been on a Ghost tour in a couple of years, Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to schedule one.
With the spooky season right around the corner, now is the time to go on a Ghost tour.
Frequently Asked Questions about Labor Day Weekend
There are some Frequently asked questions about Labor Day Weekend in New Orleans that we will need to answer.
Is Labor Day a good time to visit New Orleans?
Labor Day is an excellent time to visit New Orleans if you enjoy crowds from the Southern Decadence Fest and do not mind hot days and warm nights. Labor Day is a great time to see if you like to travel during shoulder season, and you could get a deal on it.
What is the cheapest month to go to New Orleans?
June-September is the cheapest time to go to New Orleans. Most people do not enjoy the hot weather, which decreases the prices of hotels. Just note that some events like Essence Festival, and Decadence Fest, can drive up the costs of hotels.
How likely is a hurricane in New Orleans in September?
Hurricane Season is at its peak from Mid-August to Mid-September in New Orleans. So it is likely that somewhere in Louisiana is recovering or running from a hurricane around Labor Day. If you are planning a Labor Day trip, investing in travel insurance or completely cancellable plans is the best way.
What is Southern Decadence Fest?
Southern Decadence is an annual six day event held in New Orleans, La, to celebrate the gay and lesbian community. It is the biggest gay Labor Day Weekend destination in the United States! The celebration began in 1972 as a going away party but has evolved over the years. Six days of partying in the streets of the French Quarter – Southern Decadence has become synonymous with Labor Day weekend in New Orleans.
Where to Stay for Labor Day Weekend?
Like most weekends, guests tend to stay closer to the French Quarter or Downtown area. If this is your third or fourth stay in New Orleans, check out some of these hotels in different neighborhoods. I looked up the prices of the hotels at the time of this writing so that pricing may have changed or rooms may have been sold out. But this guide will help you decide where you want to budget your time and money when booking a Hotel for Labor Day.
French Quarter Hotels
If you are coming to town for Decadence Fest or plan on staying in the French Quarter all weekend, there are a few places to visit so you can enjoy all of the fun without having to do a lot of ride-sharing or walking.
Quite possibly, my favorite hotel in the French Quarter is the Hotel Monteleone. After a night on the town, you can take a spin on the Carousel bar before heading to bed.
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $489 a night versus the following weekend at about $209 a night. Click to see Photos.
730 Bienville St
Hotel Mazarin is a lovely, budget-friendly hotel just a block from Bourbon Street. The rooms are small, but you won’t be spending that much time in the room during the weekend!
A Typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $291 a night versus the following weekend at about $229 a night for the following weekend. They do offer discounts to Louisiana Residents! Click to see photos.
717 Orleans Ave
The Bourbon Orleans is a famous New Orleans Hotel in the Heart of the French Quarter. It is commonly known as one of the top haunted hotels in America.
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $402 a night versus the following weekend at about $209 a night. Click to see Photos.
Warehouse District Hotels
The Warehouse District is perfect for people who want to be close to the French Quarter but may need to sleep or enjoy a quieter evening.
The Old 77
525 Tchoupitoulas St
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $230 a night versus the following weekend at about $128 a night.
600 Carondelet St
Right in the Heart of the Warehouse, Ace Hotel is perfect for those that want to stay at a hotel with a fantastic rooftop pool.
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $334 a night versus the following weekend at about $182 a night. Click to see Photos.
2 Canal St
Sitting at the foot of Canal Street, The Four Seasons Hotel.screams luxury. From the stunning views to fun attractions nearby, The Four Seasons is perfect if you live that luxury life.
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $835 a night versus the following weekend at about $293 a night. Click to see photos.
Garden District Hotels
I honestly do not find that many tourists stay in the Garden District – at least not for their first or second trip – but if you want a staycation or have a unique experience, the Garden District is a great place to stay.
Henry Howard Hotel
2041 Prytania St
If you want to explore the Gaden District on foot, the Henry Howard Hotel is perfect for your family to visit. This boutique hotel only has 18 rooms and is a block from the Street Car.
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $247 a night versus the following weekend at about $259 a night.
The Pontchartrain Hotel
2031 St Charles Ave
Another one of my favorite hotels is The Pontchartrain Hotel. From the Instagrammable lobby of Jack Rose, Delicious Mile High Pie, and a stunning rooftop view – what is not to love about this Garden District Gem?
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $247 a night versus the following weekend at about $161 a night. Click here to see Photos.
2203 St Charles Ave
Hotel Indigo is a part of one of my favorite hotel chains IHG, a boutique hotel with all the amenities of a chain. If you travel with kids under 12, they get to eat free!
A typical stay for Labor Day ranges at about $221 a night versus the following weekend at about $155 a night. Click to see Photos.
Are you looking for a Travel Agent to book your New Orleans Trip?
If you are looking for a Travel Agent to book your New Orleans trip – look no further than Sunset Chasers Travel Agency. This New Orleans Woman owned travel agency is ready to book your Labor Day vacation now!
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