October is a fantastic time to get away to New Orleans! The air is crisp and full of excitement–and this weekend, the Crescent City offers up a whole host of events to take part in. Have a look at our list of top things going on in town this weekend–whether you’re just passing through or a die-hard local, you’re sure to find something fun to do! And check back on Monday for more of GoNOLA’s suggestions for next week!
Friday, October 15
Porgy and Bess
Porgy and Bess, the iconic American opera, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and the New Orleans Opera Association, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, and other organizations are bringing the show to New Orleans. Famous for such beloved songs as “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” the show, originally performed in 1935, daringly depicted the African American residents of Catfish Row triumphing over adversity through their faith, their community, and their love of life. Performances Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $20-$140.
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
801 N. Rampart Street
Saturday, October 16
Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival
Immerse yourself in music, food, and culture this Saturday at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ festival, sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. Enjoy performances by Taj Mahal, Ruthie Foster, Corey Harris, and more, and be sure to take in the oral history stages and craft fair. Abita Brewing is a major sponsor of the event, and the beer, in all its various flavors, will be readily available—Abita will also feature a sports bar so that you can keep your eye on the game! Admission is free. 10:30 am – 7:00 pm.
Lafayette Square Park
500 St. Charles Avenue
Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré
During a stroll through the French Quarter, have you ever glimpsed a hint of green, or smelled a whiff of jasmine flower, only to be blocked by an iron gate and a courtyard wall? This weekend, The Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré offers self-guided tours through those magnificent courtyards that the public never sees. Tours run Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00-4:00. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on Saturday at the Gallier House and Sunday at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (both starting points will offer refreshments and available restrooms).
The Gallier House– 1132 Royal St
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum- 514 Chartres St
Join The Shops at Canal Place and the daring doctors of New Orleans Children’s Hospital as the surgeons give a public demonstration of their operating techniques…on pumpkins! Kids, who are encouraged to come in costume, can also make masks, have their caricature drawn, and trick-or-treat through the shops while Mom and Dad enjoy special promotions. Proceeds from pumpkin sales will directly benefit the Children’s Hospital. Free, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Shops at Canal Place
333 Canal Street
Sunday, October 17
Fifth Annual Tour of the Faubourg Marigny
This Sunday, explore the historic neighborhood just east of the French Quarter, listed in 2009 as one of the Top Ten Great American Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association! Enjoy a relaxing stroll through this beloved area, taking in sites of historical and pop-cultural significance from Frenchmen Street to the Sun Oak. Listen to live, local music at the arts market, and be sure to stop by the kids activity area as well. The walking tour, which departs from Washington Square Park, is $15; other aspects of the event are free to the public. Festival 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, with tours and music starting at 11:00 am.
Washington Square Park
Elysian Fields between Dauphine and Royal