November brings some of the best events New Orleans has to offer. Whether you’re all for autumn, or ready for the holidays, there’s so much to do in the Crescent City this month. We’re making it a little easier for you to enjoy with 15 of our top things to do in November.
1. Celebrate Día de los Muertos
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday born of Pre-Hispanic rituals and the Catholicism of Spanish conquistadors. Celebrated on Nov. 1, people visit the graves of their ancestors, much like the Catholic holiday of All Saint’s Day. Far from a day of mourning, this is a time to enjoy life. Celebrations are taking place all around town; learn more about them here.
2. Peruse hand-made crafts at Algiers Folk Art Festival
Take a trip across the river to historic Algiers Point for this charming festival. The Algiers Folk Art Festival returns on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a showcase of regional folk art. The free event features art, music, and food trucks, and all proceeds go towards the Algiers Folk Art Zone.
3. Sample wines judged at the International Wine Awards
The New Orleans International Wine Awards, a professional competition judging wines from around the world, takes place from November 4-8. Become a judge yourself with the Grand Tasting on Thursday, Nov. 7, where attendees will have the opportunity to sample every wine in the competition, estimated to be over 600.
4. Eat and drink well at Boudin, Bourbon & Beer
November 8 brings back Boudin, Bourbon & Beer, held in Champions Square and produced by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. The night will feature over 70 of the country’s best chefs, as well as a silent auction, drinks, and live music.
5. Come hungry for Po-Boy Festival
The world’s largest concentration of po-boy sandwiches (anecdotally) takes place every November on Oak Street during the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Head to the festival on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come try all types of po-boys from traditional shrimp or fried oyster to cochon de lait (suckling pig), and more.
6. Experience the nerdiest of burlesque
Now in its fifth year, NOLA Nerdlesque returns for a weekend of the nerdiest burlesque performances you have ever seen (think Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, and other nerdy parodies). Catch performances November 15 and 16.
7. Test your grandmother’s gumbo at Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival
Get ready to eat gumbo, and a lot of it! Nov. 16 and 17 brings us the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival. If you love brass bands and a good pot of gumbo, you’ll love this festival, back for its 12th year. Admission to the fest is free. Stop by Armstrong Park from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. both days to experience the festival.
8. Enjoy the Congo Square Rhythms Festival
The 12th annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival coincides with Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival at Armstrong Park on November 16 and 17. Highlights of the festival include a smorgasboard of New Orleans’ signature dishes such as different varieties of gumbo, red beans and rice, crabmeat beignets, deep fried bell peppers, jambalaya, poboys, and more, as well as music, dance, drumming, and an arts market with crafts from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Admission to the festival is free.
9. Fall into a cheese coma at Fête des Fromages
Fête des Fromages, a cheese lovers’ dream, returns for its second year of festing at the New Orleans Jazz Museum on Saturday, Nov. 16 for a daylong celebration of fromage (“cheese” in French). Sample numerous cheeses while sipping on wine, cider, or beer. Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Quartet, Sunpie & The Louisiana Sunspots, and other musical acts will take the festival stage. Be sure to catch the Cheese Wheel Cracking Competition live on stage at 1 p.m. Festival doors open at 11 a.m. for VIP ticket holders and noon for general admission ticket holders.
10. Run in the 112th annual Turkey Day Race
The New Orleans Athletic Club hosts its 112th annual Turkey Day Race on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. Wake up early for this pre-meal workout and get home with plenty of time to spare to spend with family or friends. The race follows a five mile path through City Park. Register today!
11. Give thanks at a local restaurant on turkey day
In town for Thanksgiving, but don’t know where to go for the classic meal? Luckily, New Orleans has lots of options if you choose to dine out. Call and make a reservation at Broussard’s, Ralph’s on the Park, or check back here in November for our list of restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving Day.
12. Watch a game at your favorite sports bar
Going to a game can be fun, but kicking back at a sports bar with friends, neighborhood regulars, and everyone in between is the next best way to watch the game. Catch a Saints or Pelicans game from one of our favorite spots this November. Go, team, go!
13. Go Black Friday shopping at the Riverwalk
Can’t wait to get ahead of your holiday shopping list? Or maybe you just want to find all the deals and be a part of the shopping madness? Even if you wait until after Black Friday to go shopping, there will still be deals! No need to camp out at the stores at 4 a.m. Treat yourself with a trip to the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk or the Shops at Canal Place and let the shopping frenzy begin!
14. Support the ultimate football rivalry at Bayou Classic
It’s where Southern University and Grambling State collide. The 46th annual Bayou Classic keeps the football tradition alive on Saturday, Nov. 30. If you’re familiar with the match, you know it’s more than just a football game. Get your tickets for the game, but don’t forget about the big show at the Battle of the Bands the night before.
15. Get into the holiday spirit with Celebration in the Oaks
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks? This year’s light festival opens November 29 and will run until Jan. 1, 2020. Beat the holiday rush and take part in this New Orleans tradition by seeing it in November. Make sure to get your tickets in advance here.