Tom Petty doesn’t have anything on us! We are free falling all over some gems to keep you busy as fall finally begins to take hold in New Orleans. The best part is that everything listed here is free so you can enjoy the city without breaking the bank before the holidays.
National Park Service Ranger Jazz Walk
Every Tuesday and Thursday (except holidays like Thanksgiving), the National Park Service offers free guided tours through the French Market area of the French Quarter to explore the origins and development of jazz in New Orleans. Tours begin at 11 a.m. at 916 N. Peters St. and last one hour. Space is limited so arrive early.
Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle
Just a few miles from the heart of New Orleans lie the remnants of a wetland swamp where Lower 9th Ward folks used to fish. Take an opportunity to get away from the noise of cars and crowded sidewalks to learn about the importance of wetlands to Louisiana and what their loss means to the state and the country. Visitors can check out the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle from a wooden platform and read signage to inform the visit. Wrap up in a scarf and jacket and go take a meditation break in a pocket of nature within the city.
Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle is located at 2677 Caffin Ave. The platform can be visited at any hour, but we recommend during the day. It is free and self-guided.
Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection presents Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere, a photography exhibition by New Orleans-based photographer Richard Sexton. The exhibition, which is based on his book of the same name, explores the similarities and connections between New Orleans and Latin American urban environments, particularly through architecture. New Orleans is sometimes called the northernmost city of Latin America, and in looking through this collection of photographs some striking similarities are apparent.
The exhibit is housed at THNOC’s Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art at 400 Chartres St. It is open to the public Tuesdays–Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. The exhibit closes Dec. 7.
If you enjoy the art of poetry, spoken word, or literary readings in general then visit the Columns Hotel on Tuesday, Nov. 11 for the 1718 Society’s monthly reading series. 1718 is a group consisting of students from Tulane, Loyola and the University of New Orleans who share their work as well as feature published writers at events. On Nov. 11, writer Catherine Lacey reads from her debut novel Nobody is Ever Missing, which tells the story of a young woman who drops everything and takes a one-way flight to New Zealand.
1718 readings take place at the Columns Hotel. They begin at 7 p.m. The events are free and open to the public.
Arts & Crafts Markets
New Orleans is chock-full of arts markets showcasing unique jewelry, wall art, home goods and more. But even if you only go to look, several of these markets offer live music and excellent window (or tent) shopping. This is a perfect opportunity to spend time outside and get a culture fix. Piety Street Market offers food and live music as shoppers browse for vintage clothing, used books, or handmade jewelry. The Arts Market of New Orleans features art by New Orleans and the Gulf Coast artists — including soap, handmade clothing and glasswork — as well as live local music and even craft activities for kids.
Piety Street Market is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 612 Piety St.
The Arts Market of New Orleans is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 29 and Sunday, Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. It is located in Palmer Park which is bordered by S. Carrollton Avenue, S. Claiborne Avenue, Dublin Street and Sycamore Place.