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99+ Cheap & Free New Orleans Activities to Enjoy

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New Orleans is a great destination for bachelorette parties, Mardi Gras, and even families! Like every great vacation, budgeting is something that needs to be done in advance, but there are a lot of tips and tricks out there to find free stuff to do in New Orleans.

Many of the New Orleans free things to do include food, local attractions, festivals, and awesome free activities for locals. No matter what, you will be able to find fun free things to do in New Orleans on your next trip or Staycation!

It’s amazing to see how many cheap things there are to do in New Orleans! Continue reading to see some of my favorite free things to do in New Orleans.

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Free and Cheap Food and Drinks in New Orleans

You can eat pretty cheaply in New Orleans, but below are some of the best places to get something to eat for free or very cheap!

This list includes specials that are available all the time and are not considered a part of Happy Hours (we will get to that later!). The best way to enjoy New Orleans is by eating your way through the Big Easy.

Is New Orleans a cheap place to visit?

New Orleans can be a cheap place to visit just by following all of the cheap and free things to do. Like any destination, we have fine dining, expensive hotels, and tons of things to see and do. But by following the above steps you can trim down your expenses just a bit!

What is the Cheapest month to go to New Orleans?

Summertime is the most affordable season to visit New Orleans. You are able to find cheaper flights, hotels, and great deals on restaurants. With the Summer Season, you do run into the issue of hot humid days, and hurricane season. Carnival Season and spring are some of the most expensive times to visit.

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1. Beignets – $2.55-$4

Beignets are squares of fried dough covered in powdered sugar and served in orders of three. You can get Beignets at Cafe Du Monde, also located in the airport, Cafe Beignet, or The Vintage. There are many different locations to get Beignets you can even do a little self-tour! Just make sure to not wear black while eating beignets.

2. Gelato Angelo Brocato’s ($4-6)

Angelo Brocato’s is a staple in New Orleans, and getting gelato there is one of the best things to do – they are in the new MSY airport – but getting gelato from here is slightly cheaper!

3. Le Pavillon Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches (free)

Every Night from 10 pm – 11 pm Le Pavillion has peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ice-cold milk, and hot chocolate in the lobby.

4. Red beans and Rice from Gris Gris (free)

Y’all probably know that Red Beans and Rice is a Monday Tradition in New Orleans, but did you know that Red beans and rice are FREE at Gris Gris? Yup, no strings attached, get yourself some Red Beans and Rice.

5. Roman Candy ($1)

Whenever you see the Roman Candy man hanging out on St. Charles Avenue, you need to pull over and grab a stick (or two or three) or Roman Candy. Roman Candy comes in Strawberry, Vanilla, and Chocolate.

6. Snowballs ($1-$6)

Snowballs are a great, inexpensive seasonal treat that you need to try. Confused about what to get? Start with a classic strawberry or go crazy with chocolate with condensed milk.

strawberry snowball with condensed milk
Don’t forget to cool down with a Hansen’s Snowball – this delicious treat is good for the whole family!

7. Pralines from Laura’s Candies ($1-2)

Did you know go on a DIY Praline hopping tour and try different Pralines from candy shops in the French Quarter? Many Praline shops also have answers but buying Praline costs between $1-2 each.

8. Drive Through Daiquiris ($5-6)

You have to get a Drive Through Daiquiris while you are in New Orleans. Even though you can get a gallon for only $24, a 12 ounce is right under $5, and a 20 ounce is under $6. My Favorite flavor is 190 octane.

9. King Cake Slices ($4-5)

There is nothing like buying a whole King Cake, but if you want just a slice, you can get a sweet or savory slice of King Cake from Bywater Bakery.

ByWater Bakery Carnival King Cake
ByWater Bakery Carnival King Cake

Happy Hour and Discounts in New Orleans

You can find a Happy Hour in New Orleans every day, but if you are looking for some super great deals, check out this Happy Hour and Discounts below.

From eating super fancy on the cheap to scoring free oysters, this shortlist will help you navigate the New Orleans Happy hour Scene.

10. Bar Tonique ($5)

Bar Tonique offers excellent daily specials. Still, every weekday they offer $5 cocktails from noon to five on the Aviation, Dark and Stormy, Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned, Pimm’s Cup, and Sazerac.

11. Brennan’s happy hour ($6-$7)

Looking for a way to explore a New Orleans Classic without breaking the bank? Head over to Brennan’s every Tuesday to Friday from 2 pm to 7 pm for $7 cocktails and $6 bar snacks. Extended Happy hour from 8 am to 7 pm on Fridays in the dining room. Brennan’s is my favorite spot in the French Quarter during Happy hour.

12. Dumplings at Pisco Bar (50 cents each)

Every day, even on the weekends, Pisco bar, inside of the Catahoula Hotel, offers dumplings at 50 cents each from 5 pm – 7 pm. The kitchen does ask that you order at least 4 dumplings, but there is not currently a maximum.

13. Enjoy a Hurricane and return the glass ($3 Savings)

If you are going to go to Pat O’s and get a Hurricane (or any other drink in a glass), make sure you do not leave that glassware behind. If you turn it in, you can get $3 per glass. So if you see a group leave the glasses behind, snag them, and claim your money.

*This tip seems to have gone away in 2020 but was such a great tip in the past!*

Drinking a hurricane at Pat Os

14. Raw Oysters every Friday from Le Bon Temps Rouler (free)

Every Friday night, starting at 7 pm, Le Bon Temps Roule give its patrons Free oysters on the half shell until they run out!

15. Tacos at Johnny Sanchez ($2)

Every Monday through Friday, you can get $2 tacos on Pork Carnitas, Spicy Chicken, Albondigas (meatball), or Des Allemands Fried Catfish. My Favorite is the Spicy Chicken and Albondigas. With half-priced drinks, you can get a Margarita for only $4.50!

16. Free Crawfish at R’s Bar (free)

Every Friday, during crawfish season, R Bar in the Marigny hosts a crawfish boil at 630 pm. It is free as long as you buy a drink and tip the chef.

17. Pizza Slice from Pizza Delicious ($3-4)

Looking for a slice of pizza? Well, don’t look any further than Pizza Delicious. I mean, if the word delicious is in the name, don’t you think that you should listen?

18. Irish Coffee at Erin Rose ($3-4)

Every day from 10 am to 2 pm, you can get a Frozen Irish Coffee for $3.50. Not a fan of Irish Coffee? Mimosas, Screwdrivers, Bloody Marys, and Hot Irish coffees are all under $4.

frozen cocktail at erin rose

New Orleans Classic Lunches, with Cheap Drinks

New Orleans Locals know how to eat, but we also know how to do lunch. It is perfectly acceptable to have a drink (or three…) at a Friday lunch.

But it is even better when that cocktail is deeply discounted (and sometimes free). See some of the best places to grab lunch and get a good discount on drinks.

Many times these restaurants have discounted lunch prices also.

19. Vincent’s (Free)

One of the best-kept secrets for free drinks is Vincent’s on St Charles Avenue. For each lunch entree, you can get one free martini. No one has ever complained about a free drink!

20. Ralph’s on the Park ($.10 each)

If you love martini’s, then Ralph’s on the Park offers an unpublished deal of 10 cent martinis.

21. Commander’s lunch ($.25 each)

With any entree purchase at Commander’s, you can get .25 cent martinis!

22. Antoine’s Restaurant ($.25 each)

During lunch, Monday-Saturday, Antoine’s offers a rotating $.25 cocktail. Also, even though it is more than $10, Antoine’s provides a beautiful three-course meal for the price of the year.

Eating oysters at Antoines.
I don’t normally like seafood but when you only have to eat 3 Oysters and they are covered in butter – I’m down!

23. SoBou Restaurant ($.25)

Where the menu says there is a limit of three cocktails per person because that’s enough means you need to come here and get a Vodka or Gin Martini, Pink gin, Commander’s Palace cha cha, Pink elephants on parade.

24. Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse ($1 each)

On Fridays during lunch, 1130 am – 2 pm, you can score $1 martinis or classic cocktails. Note that you are only allowed for three drinks per lunch.

25. Mr. B’s Bistro ($1.50 each)

Every Monday through Saturday from 1130 am – 2 pm, you can get $1.50 Bloody Mary’s and Martinis! Lucky for you, there is no maximum on drinks!

26. The Grill Room ($2 each)

At only $2 apiece, you can get a bargain on martinis. This power lunch happens every day, and the martinis are made with Plymouth or Tito’s.

27. Muriel’s Jackson Square ($4 each)

With a Classic New Orleans lunch under your belt, you can get $4 Bloody Mary, Vodka and Gin Martini, or Red and White Wines.

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Free and cheap things to do in new orleans

Free Booze in New Orleans

It is hard not to drink in New Orleans, but when there is free booze at all of these locations, you need to check out a few of them!

28. 504 Craft Beer (Free)

Each Thursday, from 5 pm to 7 pm, 504 Craft Beer has free samples from different breweries.

29. Second Vine Wine (Free)

From 6 to 830 pm, Second Vine Wine gives free wine tastings.

30. Grand Krewe (Free)

Each Thursday, from 530 pm to 8 pm, the Wine store offers free tastings for Thirsty Thursday

31. Keife and Co. (Free)

Each Thursday, from 5 pm to 7 pm, you can sample between six to eight new arrivals in the store. Sometimes they will sample spirits also.

32. WINO – Wine Institute New Orleans Shop (free)

From 4:30 pm to 6 pm each Thursday, the WINO shop offers free wine tasting.

33. Pearl Wine Co (Free)

On Thursday and Fridays from 5 to 7 pm, Peal Wine Co offers free wine tastings and a 10% discount on featured wines.

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34. Martin Wine Cellar (Free)

Every Friday, from 430 to 6 pm, different staff members take turns choosing wine for each week tasting. Some weeks featured wines may have a small fee.

35. Swirl Wine Bar and Market (Free)

From 6 pm to 8 pm on Fridays, Swirl Wine Bar does a spotlight tasting on four to five wines.

36. NOLA Brewery (Free)

From 2-3 pm, you can get a free beer from Nola Brewery, and when you take a 15-minute tour of the brewery, you will get one free beer.

Three beers from Nola Brewery
One of my favorite things to do at Nola Brewing is to go to one of the yoga classes and then drink a beer afterwards!

37. Sazarac House (Free)

At the corner of Canal and Magazine Street is the Sazarac House, where you can reserve a complimentary ticket to explore the museum. This museum is three floors, and complimentary daily samples are available.

New Orleans is a fun city no matter the holiday! Check out our guide on What to do during Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween and Christmas! If you need more ideas on where to spend a long weekend in the United States check out this post!

Best Free Things to do Outside in New Orleans

Exploring the great outdoors doesn’t necessarily need a tour guide, you can easily explore the city of New Orleans in a fun and inexpensive way by going to some of these popular places.

38. Instagrammable New Orleans (free)

One of the best things about New Orleans is all of the cute Instagrammable moments throughout New Orleans, follow this blog post to find all the best spots in New Orleans.

Auction House lips bathroom

39. Drink and Picnic on The Fly (free)

All you have to do is go to the grocery store and head on over to the Fly and spend the day watching the river traffic and sunset.

40. Algiers Ferry ($2)

One of the best ways to explore the Mississippi River is by Ferry, and if you take the Algiers Ferry it only costs $2 each way. Bring exact change because no change is given. Once you are on the West Bank, you can explore Algiers Point.

41. Algiers Point (free)

Algiers Point is a quiet suburb on the Westbank with bars, art galleries, and super cute cottages. Check out Rosetree Blown Glass Gallery while on this side.

42. Mural tour (free)

There are so many murals sprinkled throughout New Orleans that you can do a Do It Your Self Mural Tour throughout the streets of New Orleans.

Greetings from NOLA

43. Bayou St John (free)

You can hang out on Bayou St John and watch all of the kayakers and paddle boarders going down the bayou. Grab a poboy from Parkway Bakery, and a six-pack of beer and you have a whole evening of hanging out in front of you.

44. Cemetery Tours (free)

New Orleans Cemeteries are a sight to see for all tourists. Many of our cemeteries are free to explore, but if you want to go to St. Louis cemetery No 1 on the edge of the French Quarter, you will need to book a tour.

45. City Park (Free)

New Orleans City Park is the largest outdoor space in New Orleans, and there is so much to do here! You can run, picnic, explore the Sculpture Garden, and more. Spend a whole day or just a few hours exploring this outdoor Park for free. If you do want to spend a little money, the amusement park – Carousel Gardens is a little costly but is the perfect place for your little ones to run around and ride rides.

46. Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden ($5)

This free sculpture garden is open from 10 am – 5 pm every day and has some fantastic works of art throughout the garden. With the 2019 expansion, the sculpture garden adds 26 new pieces.

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden most instagrammable new orleans

47. Cornstalk Hotel Fence (Free)

Located on 915 Royal Street, the Cornstalk Hotel Fence is a cast-iron fence designed for one of the past inhabitant’s wife who was homesick for her state of Iowa.

48. Crescent Park (Free)

One of the cutest parks on the Mississippi River, Crescent Park is known for spectacular views of downtown New Orleans, and a unique bridge called the Rusty Rainbow by locals.

49. Lafitte Greenway (free)

Connecting the French Quarter to MidCity with an easily accessible trail for walking and biking, the Lafitte Greenway allows locals and visitors to zoom across town. The Greenway also hosts free workout workshops.

50. Music Legends Park (free)

I bet you didn’t know there was a small park on Bourbon Street right in the middle of all the action? Music Legends Park has a couple of statues of Fats Domino, Chris Owens, Irma Thomas, and more. You can also get a Beignet from Cafe Beignet while you are here.

51. Ride a StreetCar ($1.25 each way)

Riding a Streetcar is a fun way to get around town inexpensively. If you want to use the Streetcar more than once, you can get a One-day Jazzy pass for $3

Red Streetcar in New Orleans

52. Stroll on the Moonwalk (free)

One great way to get some exercise, have great views and see some musicians is by strolling the Moonwalk. The Moonwalk is the brick promenade that runs along the river. You can also find the Love Wins sign while walking here.

53. Tree of life in Audubon Park (free)

Spend some time climbing on or relaxing under the Tree of Life in Audubon Park. This tree is somewhere in the 100-500-year-old range.

54. Watch Street Performers (free)

Almost anywhere you will travel to in New Orleans will have street performers. From musicians to personalities, look for street performers in the French Quarter or Historic Jackson Square.

Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants Favorite French Quarter Hotels

Hotel Monteleone -Scratch off riding the Carousel Bar off of your list after staying at the Hotel Monteleone. Enjoy a heated rooftop pool, fitness center or massage. . Click view photos.
W New Orleans – French Quarter – The W Hotel is located at 316 Chartres Street and has an excellent location, stunning pool, and updated rooms – Click to view photos
Holiday Inn French Quarter Chateau – Located at 301 Dauphine Street, the Holiday Inn Hotel French Quarter Chateau Lemoyne will allow you to stay in the heart of the quarter without breaking the bank – Click to view photos

New Orleans Tours, History, and Museums and Things to do Inside

New Orleans has so many fun things to see and do, and free museums are one of them! Check out all of these free museums and free walking tours offered throughout New Orleans. Here you can find out the history of New Orleans.

55. Garden District Self Guided Tour (free)

Have you ever wanted to walk around New Orleans and look at all of the beautiful houses in the Garden District? Go on a DIY Garden District Self Guided Tour!

56. Mardi Gras Collections at Arnaud’s Restaurant (free)

During restaurant hours, you can go upstairs and view more than two dozen Mardi Gras Costumes. You can learn a lot of the New Orleans History surrounding Mardi Gras.

57. New Orleans Glassworks and Printmaking Studio (free)

What is more fun than seeing an experienced glassblower making amazing designs? At New Orleans GlassWords and Printmaking Studio, you can watch the masters at work. You might even end up buying something from their tax-free studio.

58. New Orleans Museum of Trade, Finance, and the Fed (free)

Want to learn a little more about Trade and Finance? Wellhead on over to the open museum Monday through Friday 9 am – 4 pm (except for banking holidays, naturally). There is even a free digital walking tour of the city to view all of the walking landmarks.

The Newcomb Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesday – Sunday and has some amazing local artists come through its rotating art galleries.

60. Pharmacy Museum ($5)

One of the most unique museums in New Orleans is the Pharmacy Museum. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4 pm with a free guided tour at 1 pm (except for Saturday).

61. Presbytere ($7)

Where else can you learn about Louisiana History, Mardi Gras, and Hurricane Katrina for only $7? The Presbytere allows guests to visit its museum daily Tuesday-Sunday from 1030 am – 4 pm.

62. St. Louis Cathedral ($1)

Every day from 830 am to 4 pm, you can tour the St Louis Cathedral for free. Self-guided brochures are available for a $1 donation, and Mass is at 12:05 pm daily.

63. Chat with Park Ranger (free)

Every Tuesday through Saturday at 930 am; you can head on over to the French Quarter Visitor Center and learn a little bit about the city!

Add some of these activities to your upcoming trip or staycation!

🚌 Take a 2-Hour City Sightseeing Bus Tour which is great way to learn about the history and romance of this magnificent city
🚢Experience Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with dinner while soaking in incredible views.
👻 Hear tales of vampires, voodoo, and witchcraft on this city walking tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter
🦸 Try Escape Room Adventure and test your problem-solving skills with fun and tactile challenges
⛰️ Go on a food tour and explore the history and culture of the area with an expert local guide while tasting regional specialties at some of the best restaurants around.

Museums with Louisiana Locals Discounts

Did you know that a Louisiana Driver’s license or Identification card can grant you several fun discounts! Yes, you can be a tourist in your own town ON DISCOUNT if you visit these Museums during certain parts of the year.

65. Museum month in August* (Unlimited Savings)

Every year, those residents that have a membership to one of the participating museums gain access to attend all museums for free for the entire month of August!

Museum Month is the perfect way to get Louisiana Residents to explore our history. Many different museums participate each year.

66. Culture Pass Program – New Orleans Public Library Discount! (Unlimited Savings)

If you are an Orleans Parish Resident, then you can go to many of the area’s greatest attractions for free all year long! All you need is an Orleans Parish Public Library Card and fill out this form.

Attractions include Audubon Nature Institute, National WWII Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum, and Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

67. Orleans Parish Appreciation Days (Unlimited Savings)

Each Wednesday, Orleans Parish residents have the opportunity to go to each of Audubon’s properties for free. Each week is a different property, and these properties include the Aquarium, Zoo, and Planetarium.

68. Helis Foundation Free Days (Unlimited Savings)

The Helis Foundation is committed to providing access to New Orleans culture by giving free admission to all Louisiana residents at many of the best art institutions in New Orleans.

During the month of August, the Helis Foundation also gives free general admission to its museums when the temperature is hotter than 95 degrees! What better way to cool down than in air conditioning and art.

Attractions include the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans Botanical Gardens, Odgen Museum of Southern Art, and Louisiana Children’s Museum.

69. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas ($29.95 Savings)

Located on the Mississippi River, The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is right in the heart of Downtown. Filled with a walk-through tunnel, beautiful penguins, and adorable sea otters, the Aquarium is the perfect way to spend time in New Orleans.

On rotating Wednesdays, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is free for Orleans Parish Residents or through the Library’s Culture Pass Program.

70. Audubon Nature Institute ($22.95 Savings)

Located on Magazine Street, the Audubon Nature Institute is in the heart of Uptown New Orleans. One could easily spend an entire day exploring the Zoo, meeting all of the animals in their habitats. My favorite habitats include the Elephants and Lions.

On rotating Wednesdays, the Audubon Nature Institute is free for Orleans Parish residents or through the Library’s Culture Pass Program.

71. New Orleans Botanical Garden ($8 Savings)

Did you know that New Orleans has a Botanical Garden in City Park? Open all year round, the Botanical Garden covers 10 acres of land and is beautiful in the growing season.

On Wednesdays in April and October, there are extended hours in the garden from 5-8 for an evening with musicians. This event is free to the public.

Every Wednesday, the New Orleans Botanical Garden is free for Louisiana Residents through the Helis Foundation.

72. Contemporary Arts Center ($10 Savings)

Located in the heart of the Central Business District, the Contemporary Arts Center is perfect for those that want to spend some time soaking in Contemporary Art and dodging the heat.

Every Sunday, the Contemporary Arts Center is free for Louisiana Residents through the Helis Foundation or the Library’s Culture Pass Program.

75. Longue Vue House and Gardens ($8 Savings)

If you love gardens and historic houses, then you will enjoy exploring Long Vue House and Gardens. Located on the edge of New Orleans, these gardens span over 8 acres.

On the first Sunday of every month, Louisiana Residents can visit the gardens free of charge! Tours of the house are half off.

76. Louisiana Children’s Museum ($14 Savings)

Located inside of City Park, The Louisiana Children’s Museum is the perfect way to spend some time with the family. With indoor and outdoor activities, your little one can easily play all day long – and even learn how to make groceries. There is even Acorn, a family-friendly Dickie Brennan’s restaurant.

Every other month, the Louisiana Children’s Museum is free for Louisiana Residents through the Helis Foundation.

77. The National WWII Museum ($28.50 Savings)

What first started as the D-Day Museum has now blossomed into the National World War Two Museum – the number one museum and well thing to do in New Orleans. I signed up for a membership for a few years so I could fully enjoy this museum (and get free entrance to all the other museums during Museum month in August).

Free admittance is available through the Library’s Culture Pass Program, and during September only, Louisiana residents get half off our Museum Campus Pass with a state-issued photo ID.

78. New Orleans Museum of Art ($15 Savings)

New Orleans Museum of Art, fondly known as NOMA, is the city’s oldest fine arts institution and opened in 1911 with only nine works of art. Now, NOMA has a wonderfully impressive permanent collection with many beautiful rotating exhibits coming through frequently.

Every Wednesday, the New Orleans Botanical Garden is free for Louisiana Residents through the Helis Foundation.

dress on display at NOMA
NOMA has wonderful rotating exhibits throughout the year. With your Museum membership make sure to visit all participating museums in August!

79. Ogden Museum of Southern Art ($13.50 Savings)

Located in the heart of the Warehouse District, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art holds the most comprehensive collection of Southern Art. With ever-changing art exhibits, the Ogden Museum is ever-evolving.

Every Thursday, the New Orleans Botanical Garden is free for Louisiana Residents through the Helis Foundation.

80. Southern Food and Beverage Museum ($10.50 Savings)

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a unique museum that focuses on food and drinks from all over the United States. At this museum, you will learn more about food from different states than you would have thought of!

Free admittance is available through the Library’s Culture Pass Program.

81. Studio Be ($5 Savings)

After seeing BMikes artwork all over the city, catching it in his first studio for free is a great deal.

Every Wednesday, Louisiana residents can enjoy free admission to Studio Be during its gallery hours of 2 pm-8 pm.

82. Music Box Village ($10 Savings)

The Music Box Village is where play, music, and creativity come together, and the community comes together to make music. Open on the weekends; locals can come in for free but are asked to donate for their admission.

Free Things to do at Night in New Orleans

If you are looking for just plan ol’ free things to do check out the rest of this list!

83. Listen to Some Dueling Pianos

If you haven’t made it to Pat O’Brien’s yet and redeemed your $3 for each empty cocktail, then you will want to go to Pat O’Brien’s to see the dueling piano show.

Two twin pianos set up, all you need are a couple of napkins, some $1 bills, and the best song to request, and you will have yourself a great time!

84. Live music on Frenchmen Street

You can pay many places to hear live music, but with all of the street artists and bars, you will be able to catch a show or two for free.

The Spotted Cat is a popular place to catch music seven days a week.

If there is someone that you want to see, get to the bar early, many times the cover charge doesn’t start until 9 pm. The money you saved you can put into your bar tab. The best part is you can finally scratch off seeing a brass band from you bucket list. Just note it is Frenchmen Street not Frenchman street!

85. French Quarter Ghost Tour

Starting at 630 pm, the French Quarter Ghost tour by Free Tours by foot is an excellent way to explore the city after dark.

Reservations are required, but they have a name your price for the tour; groups of 6 or more pay $10 per person.

You will explore Pirates Alley, The Hotel Monteleone, and many more historical sites on this tour.

86. Visit the Gretna Observatory

You can go stargazing at the Gretna Observatory on Mondays and Wednesdays evenings, just a short drive to the Westbank. Just make sure it is a clear night so you can see the stars!

Free Festivals and Seasonal Festivities in New Orleans

Festivals and Events are the lifeline of New Orleans. There is generally a free festival or event going on in the city. During the Summer there are so many events to try to draw the locals out of their air conditioning.

87. Mardi Gras Season

(February-March)- Known as the greatest free show on Earth, Mardi Gras is a great way to have an inexpensive weekend in New Orleans.

Between people watching, catching the Mardi Gras parade, and just following a second line, you can have a ton of fun at this free festival.

Mardi Gras with copyright 1 of 5 1

88. Tet Fest (February)

If you didn’t already know, New Orleans has a large Vietnamese population, and each year, in New Orleans East, we celebrate the Vietnamese new year with food, festivities, and fun.

89. Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indians (March)

The closest Sunday to St Joseph’s Day (March 19), all of the Mardi Gras Indians come out and strut their stuff for everyone to see their handmade costumes.

90. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (March)

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, also known as NOEW, is hosted by The Idea Village and brings Entrepreneurs far and wide to New Orleans to share ideas for a week-long celebration.

91. Wednesday at the Square (March-May)

Wednesday at the Square is put on by the Young Leadership council each spring and is a free festival in Lafayette Square. The concert is free to attend, and all you have to pay for is food and drink. The free concerts are weekly and all you have to pay for is food and drink.

92. French Quarter Festival (April)

Each year, thousands of locals and tourists descend on the French Quarter to attend French Quarter Fest. The festival is free to participate in, and all you have to pay for is food and drink.

French Quarter Fest in New Orleans
Love going to French Quarter Fest! It has some of the best weather!

93. Bayou Boogaloo (May)

One of the best festivals that happen in Mid-City takes place at Bayou Boogaloo free to enter, participants can listen to music, eat delicious food, and bring their rafts or canoes to hang out on Bayou St John.

94. Running of the Bulls (July)

Every July, locals dress up in all white with a pop of red to escape from all of the bulls let loose in the streets. Don’t’ worry – it’s not real bulls; it is the Roller Derby Ladies decorated with horns and plastic bats ready to smack your behind!

95. White Linen Night (August)

During the first weekend in August, locals put on their best White Linen and descend onto Julia Street to enjoy the art. The entire block turns into a sophisticated block party with an elegant appearance.

new orleans art galleries White Linen Night

96. Red Dress Run (August)

Red Dress Run is the second weekend in August and everyone, Man, Woman, Child, puts on a red dress and revels in the French Quarter if you want to participate in the actual run and sponsored block party that does have a cost for the whole date.

97. Dirty Linen Night (August)

One week after White Linen Night (and the same night as Red Dress Run), locals put on their dirty Linen from the weekend before and enjoy all of the art on Royal Street.

98. Southern Decadence (September)

Labor Day weekend in New Orleans is a six day event that hosts parties, parades, and more. All events are LGBTQ-friendly, and the biggest event is the Southern Decadence parade on Sunday.

99. National Fried Chicken Fest (September)

If you want to try some of the Nation’s best-fried chicken, look no further than the National Fried Chicken Fest. Free to enter, all you have to pay is for whatever fried chicken you want to eat!

100. Luna Fete (December)

Every December, for a long weekend, the Arts Council puts on an annual festival of light, art, and technology. This event is run on donations and sales from food, drink, and art sold. It is one of the best ways to see Christmas Lights in New Orleans

Need a place to stay in New Orleans?

There are so many great places to stay while visiting New Orleans.  Here are some of our favorites:

Omni Royal Orleans – In the heart of the French Quarter, you barely have to think twice about transportation because everything is within walking distance.

The Eliza Jane – If you are looking for modern suites and an easy way to be in the middle of downtown, the Eliza Jane is my favorite hotel.

The Pontchartrain Hotel – Right on St Charles, the Pontchartrain Hotel keeps you out of downtown but still close to all of the action. With beautiful rooms, delicious dining, and a rooftop bar, you may never want to leave.

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