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Things to Do

20 Things to Do in October

Get dressed up, get festive, get ready for October.

Halloween New Orleans
New Orleans Halloween Second Line. (Photo: Bryant Laiche)

You thought September was busy – October is even busier! This month, we’re featuring 20 things to do (instead of our usual 15) because there’s so much fun going on in New Orleans, and we don’t want you to miss any of it. Between mouth-watering food festivals, can’t miss music festivals, must see films, and of course – Halloween – October is sure to satisfy all of your interests.

20 Things to Do in October

1. Tremé Fall Fest

From September 30 to October 1, Tremé Fall Festival celebrates Faubourg Tremé, America’s oldest African American neighborhood, with live music, local food vendors, and craft booths. Festival entry is donation-based, with proceeds going to support the many cultural destinations and organizations found in the historical community of Tremé.

2. Visit a Local Distillery

October 4 is National Vodka Day, and what better way to celebrate than to visit a local vodka distillery? NOLA Distilling and Lula Restaurant Distillery both serve cocktails made with their vodka on site. If rum is more your thing, take a tour at Old New Orleans Rum.

The tasting room at NOLA Distilling (Photo via NOLA Distilling Company Facebook page)

3. Art for Art’s Sake

On Saturday, October 7, hundreds of shops and galleries stay open late in the Warehouse Arts District for Art for Art’s Sake. Cash bars are located outside many of the galleries, so you can stroll with a cocktail in hand.

4. Oktoberfest

Celebrate Nola’s rich German history, with the city’s own version of Oktoberfest, which takes place three weekends in a row (October 6-7, 13-14, 20-21). At this Mid-City celebration, you’ll find the best of German culture including rare beer, authentic cuisine, and live music.

5. Beignet Festival

Beignets, or French-style doughnuts, are one of those many, must-try New Orleans foods. Now you can try them all in one place at Beignet Festival at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds on October 7. Admission is free!

Beignets and cafe au laits at Cafe du Monde (Photo: Paul Broussard).

6. New Orleans Film Festival

From October 11-19, the New Orleans Film Society is hosting the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival in venues throughout the city. In addition to showcasing the work of local filmmakers, films shown at NOFF can qualify for the Oscars in all three Academy-accredited categories: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short.

7. Crescent City Blues and BBQ

Local barbecue with a side of live blues anyone? On October 13-15, Lafayette Square transforms into the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival, with live music, BBQ, and craft booths in the heart of the Central Business District.

8. Go on a Quest for the Tastiest Gumbo

October 12 is National Gumbo Day, so go on a quest to find your favorite bowl of gumbo in New Orleans. This famous creole soup can be made many different ways, with seafood or chicken and sausage. We recommend starting your quest at The Gumbo Shop or Mr. B’s Bistro!

9. Catch a Saints game in the Superdome

The Saints play at home on October 15 against the Detroit Lions, and on October 29 against the Chicago Bears. Don’t miss your chance to see the Saints on their turf!

The Superdome is Saints fans’ haven during football season in New Orleans. Photo: Cheryl Gerber

10. Mac n’ Cheese Fest

October 21 is the first annual Mac n’ Cheese Fest! More than a dozen local restaurants will compete for the best mac n’ cheese dish in Louis Armstrong Park, and you can taste them all while you listen to live music and visit the cash bar.

11. Praise Fest

New Orleans is home to some of the oldest and most historic churches and congregations in the country, so the city has a proud tradition of Gospel Jazz, Gospel music, and other types of Christian music. Experience the best local musicians at Praise Fest the weekend of October 20-22.

12. Cochon De Lait Festival

In case you haven’t had enough to eat by now, Cochon De Lait Festival is happening at Palmer Park on October 21. It will feature live music, local art, and of course all the pork dishes you can dream of, from po-boys to tacos.

13. Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

Po-Boys are another one of those must-try New Orleans foods. These sandwiches are made with crispy french bread and filled with anything from shrimp to roast beef to tofu. During Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, local chefs bring out their most creative (and delicious) po-boy creations.

Red Fish Grill’s BBQ Oyster Po-boy. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

14. Krewe of Boo Parade

The weekend before Halloween, Krewe of Boo, New Orleans’s official Halloween parade, marches through the French Quarter. Kids will have a blast as costumed float-riders throw candy, doubloons, toys, and other treats.

15. LGBT Halloween Celebration

Every year, the French Quarter puts on a special Halloween Celebration, LGBT style. Festivities include dance parties with DJs and live music, creative costumes, and a second line parade.

16. Louisiana Seafood Festival

Indulge in crawfish, oysters, shrimp, gulf fish, and more for three whole days over the weekend of October 27 to 29 at the Louisiana Seafood Festival. Located in Woldenburg Park, the fest features live music, a host of food vendors, and local crafts.

17. WWII Air, Land & Sea Festival

From October 27 to 29, the WWII Air, Sea & Land Festival will take over the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Adults and children alike can enjoy soaring aircraft, along with related food, drink, and entertainment.

Voodoo Music Experience (Photo via Cheryl Gerber)

18. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

Kendrick Lamar, The Killers, and Foo Fighters are headlining Voodoo Music + Arts Experience this year! The music festival takes place over three days from October 27 to 29 in City Park and will feature plenty of colorful costumes and dance parties.

19. Indulge in Locally-Made Chocolates

Get an early start on Halloween indulgences with National Chocolate Day on October 28. New Orleans is home to several shops that make their own chocolate, so this is the perfect excuse to try them all. We recommend heading to Sucre and Bittersweet Confections.

20. Halloween

If you’re not beat by the end of October, there’s more. You know New Orleanians love to celebrate, especially when it involves dressing up. So naturally, Halloween is a local favorite. Leading up to the day, you’ll want to check out some costume shops to put together your perfect get up. On Halloween night, don’t miss one of the neighborhood street parties on Frenchmen Street or in front of Molly’s at the Market on Decatur Street.

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