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Guide to Enjoying October In New Orleans: Weather, Events, & Festivals

Posted on: Oct 01 2018

This month is bringing out the blues, voodoo, delicious food, and fest culture in the city that never sleeps.

 

fall new orleans

As the Southern sun lowers its torch the city opens its arms with plenty of festivities, leaving October one of the best months to visit New Orleans. It kicks off with food-rich festivals and continues in the spirit of heritage, creative cinematography, soul music,and of course – Halloween.

Beautiful Weather

 

city park new orleans

October weather in New Orleans is pretty sweet compared to July’s humid-hot air. Average highs are at 81 F with temperatures falling to 63 F at night. October is also the driest month of the year in the city, perfect weather for French Quarter fun and outside events.

 

Things to Do: Festivals, Events, National Days, & Spooky Tours

 

scout island scream park new orleans
Scout Island Dolls via @scoutislandscreampark

 

 

1. Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest celebrates German culture and traditions down to its folk dancing and meaty cuisine. This festival takes place at the Deutsches Haus on the first few weekends (October 5-6, 12-13, 19-20) of the month. Entrance into the fest includes a small fee and children 12 and under get in for free.

 

2. Scout Island: Scream Park

Each weekend in October you can head down to City Park for acres of transformed Halloween delight. Features include Blood Bayou Fright Zone, The Kraken Beer & Spirits Pirate Music Club, Carnival Rides, and more frightening layers of fun. There’s also a family-friendly version of the park available during the early part of the day that includes a pumpkin patch. Tickets are $15-$79.

 

trene fest by Paul Broussard
Treme Fest, Photo by Paul Broussard

 

3. Treme Fall Fest (10/05 – 10/07)

From October 5 -7 visit Tremé, home to second-line dancing and the great Louis Armstrong. Known as the oldest African American neighborhood in the country this festival illuminates the city’s most significant moments of history and culture. Visitors every year come for the neighborhood’s historical significance in jazz and architecture as well as witness an exhilarating performance of drums and dancing.  The food is pretty great too. 

 

4. Beignet Festival (10/06)

It wouldn’t be right if New Orleans didn’t have one festival commemorating the delicious creation of this French Treat. If you enjoyed them at Café du Monde or have yet to taste one, save a day for a delicious beignet or two. Entrance to the festival is free, and food/drink tickets can be on-site for $1 each.

 

5. Arts for Art's Sake

Starting October 6, take a break from all the live festivities at Art for Arts’ Sake on Julia and Magazine Street. Gallery hopping is a treat in the Big Easy. You can walk Julia Street in less than an hour and see over thirty brilliant art pieces ranging in media and style. Best part, it’s free, unless you want to take some artwork home.

 

the spirit of unity tour new orleans
Photo via Africaumojausatour.com

 

6. Africa Umoja: The Spirit of Unity Tour

Starting October 9, get swept in an energetic and captivating performance celebrating South African heritage and culture. Africa Umoja, meaning “The Spirit of Togetherness” will be performed in song and dance by Kings, Presidents, and members of the public represented in over 50 countries worldwide. It’s also a performance of art, featuring beautifully designed South African Costumes. If you enjoy musical theatre and excellent music that elevates the spirit you should definitely buy tickets to this joyous event.

 

7. Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

You got to have your Blues and your barbecue in New Orleans, right? Right. The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Fest is happening October 13th through the 14th. This event features local and regional makers of handcrafted art and home furnishings, perfect for bringing souvenirs back home. Admissions are free, but if you would like to buy a ticket for the VIP experience, visit their website.

 

8. Gentilly Fest

From October 12th-14th, head to Gentilly for a tasteful weekend of food, music, and crafts. There will be arts and crafts vendors, activities for kids such as horseback riding and rock climbing, and food from Wingstop Café, B’s Soul-food Connection, and Café Dauphine. Let’s not forget musical performances from Rebirth Brass Band, Regina Belle, Rechelle Cook as well as gospel bands and dance teams. Entrance to the fest is free.

 

9. WWII Air, Sea, and Land Festival

Gear up for a weekend of air shows, flight and vehicle demonstrations, and heart-warming historical presentations from World War II Veterans. This event will be held at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport by The National World War II Museum, recognized as one of the best Museum in the world. From October 12 – 14, ticket prices begin at $25 with discounted pricing for students, children, military, and veterans.

 

Carnaval Latino
Photo via Carnavalatinola.com

10. Carnaval Latino  

This colorful and exciting parade event celebrates the best of Latin culture, New Orleans-style with live music, art, and great food. Make sure not to miss the kick-off celebration “Krewe of Quetzal” on October 13.

 

11. New Orleans Film Festival

From October 17 -25 celebrate cinema in all its forms.  It’s one of the few film festivals with Oscar-qualifying Academy-accredited categories. Watch unique, full-length features, short narratives and animations, music videos, and documentaries.  Tickets range from $9 to $35.

 

sazerac roosevelt hotel
Sazerac, Photo via @TheRooseveltNewOrleans

12. National Liquor Day

October 16 is National Liquor Day. New Orleans is probably the best city to visit to celebrate. New Orleans is home to a famous collection of cocktails like the Ramos Gin Fizz, Sazerac, Vieux Carre, and the Hurricane. Drop by Tujague’s for a Sazerac, spread your wings at the Sazerac bar for a Ramos Gin Fizz, then spin over to the Carousel Bar for a Vieux Carre. Make sure you eat first!

 

13. Country Smooth Festival

From October 20 -21, this fest will take place on 750 acres of land, ample room for go-cart racing, mechanical bull riding, and grand stage performances. Hunter Hayes, Justin Moore, and Raelyn are among the talented performers that will grace the stage on this country smooth weekend. 

 

krewe of boo
Lady in Ghostly White, Photo via Kreweofboo.com

 

14. Krewe Of Boo

There’s no better way to usher in Halloween than with a “spooktacular” parade. On October 20, floats will feature excitingly horrific props and eerie creatures in their frightening best. The parade route starts on Elysian Fields and ends on Andrew Higgins Drive near the World War II Museum. 

 

15. Mac n Cheese Fest (10/20)

Come to try some of the best Mac N Cheese dishes you’ll ever taste at the second annual Mac n Cheese Festival on October 20. More than a dozen local restaurateurs will prepare their cheesiest dishes along with a few select items from their menus. Each dish will be critiqued by professional and celebrity judges. There will also be live bands, beer, and cocktails available to wash down each delectable bite.

 

jean lafitte swamp tour gator

 

16. National Reptile Awareness Day –Swamp Tour (10/21)

On October 21, honor the reptiles of the bayou with an informative, yet engaging swamp tour guided by Captains born and raised in the area. You’ll learn about the alligators, snakes, and turtles that inhabit its murky waters as well as catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat.

 

17. Voodoo Music +Arts Experience

Childish Gambino, Janelle Monae, Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, and Mumford & Sons are amongst this year’s performers at Voodoo Fest. From October 26 -28 enjoy live music, dance parties, and vibrant costumes.

 

18. Halloween- Parties, Parades, & Shopping

Visit Voodoo shops, party on Frenchmen street, or watch the ghouls and witches roam the streets of the French Quarter. There are some great costume shops to visit if you want to join the city in all its Halloween grandeur. 

 

walking ghost tour new orleans

19. Ghost Tours

Take a Ghost tour or two and find out why people call New Orleans one of the most haunted cities in the nation. Ghost legends, tales of the undead, and Voodoo spells riddle the streets of the French Quarter as often as a hand grenade. Once you finish with one of these night tours you might need one. 

 

20. Saints Game Day Fun- Play the Ravens, Redskins, and Vikings

Don’t forget about the Saints in October. They play the Redskins (10/8), Ravens (10/21), and Vikings (10/8). The best place besides the dome to watch the game is definitely at a bar full of Saints fans. Check out this list to find out which bar fits your game spirit.

 

 

October 1, 2018 | Author: Jasmine Holloway