Fall is one of the best times for visiting New Orleans. The weather changes just enough that the heat and humidity start to drop, leaving a pleasant outdoor environment in its wake — which is fortunate because there are some fantastic outdoor events to take full advantage of this season. Whether you visit New Orleans in September, October, or November, you're bound to find a festive event that coincides with your stay. These are our favorite things to do in New Orleans this fall.
1. Beignet Fest, Sep. 23
If you've been looking forward to trying this New Orleans treat, this is a festival that you need to check out. All varieties of beignets from New Orleans's best vendors will be available, from savory crawfish etouffe to the standard powdered sugar. There's a live music stage, market stalls, and a children's play area. This event was started to raise awareness and funding for Autism.
2. Oktoberfest, Sep. 23 & Oct. 13
Oktoberfest is one of the best things to do in New Orleans this fall, and thankfully there is more than one way to experience it. Two boutique New Orleans breweries that run Oktoberfest events. The first happens at the Faubourg Brewery on Sep. 23, and the second at the Deutsches Haus on Fridays and Saturdays in October from the 13th onwards. Both events have exciting activities, including traditional German dance, competitions, games, music, and beer. Oktoberfest is one of the best things to do in New Orleans this fall, and thankfully there is more than one way to experience it.
3. Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, Oct. 13-15
This is New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and blues. The city lives and breathes music with jazz clubs every few steps you take in the French Quarter. So, having a festival that showcases the Blues is expected. From Friday night to Sunday, prepare to immerse yourself in a weekend with live bands performing across two stages in Lafayette Square. There will also be an arts market and a delectable BBQ feast.
4. Tremé Fall Fest, Oct. 21
This neighborhood just outside the New Orleans French Quarter was the subject of the award-winning TV series Treme. If you have yet to see it and want to know something about New Orleans culture, do yourself a favor and watch it. This event honors Tremé history and culture with a live musical lineup, DJ, food, art, and activities for all the family.
5. Krewe of Boo!, Oct. 21
This early celebration of Halloween is the city's chance to hold a parade dedicated to the spooky season. New Orleans loves its parades if Mardi Gras is anything to go by. While the actual parade is on the evening of Oct. 21, plenty of events surround it, such as the Royal Luncheon and Jazz Second Line, Happy Hour at Pat O'Brien's, and Captain's Party on Oct. 20. Saturday morning starts with a Zombie Run. It all ends in the Monster Mash Ball.
6. Top Taco, Oct. 26
Who doesn't love tacos? If you can't get enough of them, here's a festival for you. This occurs in Metairie, just outside New Orleans, in the very pretty LaFraniere Park. The ticketed entry includes unlimited taco tastings and signature cocktails. This event is for restaurants vying for Top Creative Taco, Top Traditional Taco, Top Vegetarian Taco, and Top Cocktail awards. It also includes tequila lounge areas and three stages with live music. Top Taco is a +21 event.
7. NOLA Reggae Festival, Oct. 27 – 29
The International Reggae Group presents the NOLA Reggae Festival in the historic Congo Square in Armstrong Park. This Jamaican-inspired event includes music, dance, art, and cultural displays. There will also be plenty of mouthwatering food from the trucks and vendors! The talent lineup features international headliners like Sister Nancy, The Meditations, Tanto Metro & Devonte, Warrior King, and Nando Boom, and local favorites like Ha Sizzle and the Claude Bryant All-Stars.
8. Bayou Bacchanal, Nov. 3 – 4
The Bayou Bacchanal celebrates Caribbean culture, particularly the traditions of Trinidad and Tobago. The event typically includes a vibrant parade with participants dressed in elaborate costumes, showcasing the influence of Caribbean Carnival traditions. It features live music performances, including steel pan bands, soca, and calypso music. Attendees can savor delicious Caribbean cuisine, from jerk chicken to roti and various tropical beverages.
9. Boudin, Bourbon & Beer, Nov. 5
Boudin, Bourbon, and Beer is a one-day culinary extravaganza crafted by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, featuring over 50 top chefs like Justin Devillier, Nina Compton, Isaac Toups, Michael Gulotta, and Tory McPhail, who showcase the diverse art of preparing Louisiana's beloved boudin sausage. This Cajun delight — a pork rice dressing stuffed into pork casings — is served in various creative styles, often infused with alligator, crawfish, or shrimp and simmered to perfection. Guests will enjoy specialty bourbon cocktails, Abita beers, live music, dancing, and cigar tastings while contributing to the Foundation's mission of supporting educational and cultural programs.
10. Water Lantern Festival Nov. 12
The Water Lantern Festival offers a joyful and memorable experience filled with hope and happiness, suitable for families and friends to share. With each ticket, attendees will receive a floating lantern kit, an LED candle, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, playing cards, and conversation cards. The ticket price covers lantern retrieval and water cleanup, contributing to environmental responsibility. The event occurs at Louis Armstrong Park with food trucks, music, and fun until 6:30 PM, lantern design at 5:00 PM, and the lantern launch from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Additionally, the festival supports Water.org's mission to provide safe water and sanitation to families worldwide. Tickets become more expensive the longer you leave it to buy them.
11. Oak Street Po'Boy Festival Nov. 19
The festival promises a vibrant day filled with 40 food and beverage vendors, live music on multiple stages, an Arts Market, a Kids Zone, a VIP Area, sponsor activations, and a Po'Boy competition judged by celebrities. The festival aims to celebrate the iconic Po'Boy sandwich and maintain its reputation as a unique and exciting event, drawing over 50,000 attendees each year since its inception in 2007. Besides supporting businesses along the Oak Street Corridor, the festival also benefits the nonprofit Son of a Saint, dedicated to mentoring fatherless boys and providing them with positive experiences. If you've always wanted to try a New Orleans Po'Boy, this is the place!
12. Treme Creole Gumbo Festival Nov. 18-19
This free annual festival celebrates the perfect blend of gumbo, brass bands, and cooler temperatures. A stellar lineup of brass bands and food vendors will showcase various gumbo varieties, including traditional seafood, chicken, and andouille, and vegan-friendly options. Cooking demonstrations hosted by celebrity chefs from the city's top restaurants provide insight into making the perfect roux. The Treme Creole Gumbo Festival merges with the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, creating two food courts with classic New Orleans dishes, including po'boys, crabmeat beignets, and red beans and rice. This delightful fusion of music, culture, and cuisine is perfect for the whole family.
- Expertise: Travel, History, Food
- Education: Monash University, Australia
- Over 400 articles published in newspapers, magazines, and across the web
Ree Winter is a versatile journalist hailing from Australia and now making New Orleans her home. Ree's passion for solo travel shines through as she expertly tracks down fantastic flight deals and accommodations, sharing her extensive travel experiences with readers. With a Master's degree in Journalism and a Bachelor's degree featuring double majors in history and literature, she brings a unique blend of skills to her work. Ree's historical expertise extends to the world of architectural history, where she has worked as a tour guide in historic house museums. But her journey doesn't stop there; she's even delved into the art of coffee as a barista, running a coffee van at events and markets, making her a genuine connoisseur of coffee preparation. Today, Ree channels her insights and expertise into sharing these topics with readers at Wealth of Geeks.