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Best Local Things to Do

Rain or Shine: 15 Things to Do in April

April showers bring May flowers… and a lot of festivals. Reap all the benefits of a beautiful NOLA spring with these 15 things to do in April.

From French Quarter Fest to Jazz in the Park — we’re ready for you, April.

New Orleans has festivals all year round, but in April, we step up our game. You’ll find us out soaking up the sun or dancing in the rain — either way we’re having way more fun down here on any day of the week. Especially with these upcoming events and activities. 

15 Things to Do in April

Celebrate Hump Day at Wednesday at the Square

Each spring this concert series takes over Lafayette Square on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. through May 24. The music is free, but food and beverage sales benefit the Young Leadership Council’s community service projects designed to foster leadership skills in young professionals.

Bring your friends for free Zumba at City Park

Dance away your stress on Saturdays in April with Zumba at the Peristyle at City Park, near the intersection of Dreyfous Drive and Anseman Avenue. Rain or shine, be ready to boogie with shoes, water, and your pals at 8 a.m. Classes last 45 minutes and run through May 27.

Jam out on Thursdays with the Jazz in the Park Concert Series

Just outside the French Quarter in Armstrong Park you can enjoy live music every Thursday through June 1 from local greats like Jon Cleary, Rebirth Brass Band, and more!

Barbecue at Hogs for the Cause. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
Barbecue at Hogs for the Cause. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Indulge in pork, beer, and music at Hogs for the Cause

Pork + Beer + Music. Need I say more? On March 31-April 1 at the UNO Lakefront Arena Grounds, you can indulge in all three, and proceeds go directly towards funding for families and children with pediatric brain cancer.

Eat all things “Made in Louisiana”

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum hosts Made in Louisiana on April 1 from 12:30-5 p.m., showcasing the state’s very best culinary products. Come hungry and try samples like craft beer, Cajun caviar, spice mixes, boudin, olive salad, Mayhaw vinegar, tasso, and more. Tickets are $15.

Gasa Gasa on Freret Street. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Gasa Gasa on Freret Street. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Get local with Freret Street Fest

Freret Street is Uptown’s favorite local stretch of food, music, bars and other random, eclectic gems. On April 1 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. you can get a little taste from all the vendors while you jam out to local bands.

Hear “Music Under the Oaks”

On April 2 and April 9 at 5 p.m., head to Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park for a lovely evening of music with free concerts from the Loyola University School of Music and the New Orleans Concert band, respectively. Lawn chairs are allowed, so definitely BYOS (that’s “bring your own seat”).

French Quarter Fest extends throughout the entire historic neighborhood, including in Jackson Square. (Photo courtesy of New Orleans Tourism Marketing)
French Quarter Fest extends throughout the entire historic neighborhood, including in Jackson Square. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Find your favorite brass band at French Quarter Fest

With 1,700 musicians and 700 hours of music, this is the largest free festival in the country. From Thursday, April 6- Sunday, April 9, you’ll be surrounded by Louisiana music, arts, and crafts (plus the most irresistible food and drink) at French Quarter Fest.

Hit the pavement for the Crescent City Classic 10K

On Saturday, April 15 at 8 a.m., join the race throughout the city from historic Jackson Square to the Central Business District, past the elegant homes of Esplanade Avenue, and on to the moss-draped oaks of New Orleans City Park for a post-race celebration. Registration for the 10k is available here; cost is $40 for general registration and $35 for military registration.

Musicians play during the Gay Easter Parade. (Photo via Flickr user Infrogmation)
Musicians play during the Gay Easter Parade. (Photo via Flickr user Infrogmation)

Have a Happy Easter

Easter in New Orleans means a basket of parades to choose from. Head to the French Quarter on Easter Sunday (April 16) for The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade at 9:45 a.m., the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade at 1 p.m., and the Gay Easter Parade at 4:30 p.m.

Brunch Fest. Need I say more?

Though originally scheduled in March, this fest got postponed to Saturday, April 22 due to weather. Check out this pet-friendly festival at a new location in Crescent Park. Proceeds benefits the animals of the Louisiana SPCA. How could you say no to that?!

Beautiful, bright crawfish. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Beautiful, bright crawfish. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Sign up for the Crawfish Eating Contest at Deanie’s Pinch-a-Palooza

We’re right in the middle of crawfish season, and the 8th Annual Pinch-A-Palooza on April 23 will show you what it’s all about. 

Swing in the Oaks with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Bring your lawn chairs and set up a picnic at City Park on April 25 for this free outdoor concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Practice your golf clap for the Zurich Classic

Head out to the Tournament Players Club (TPC) from April 24-30 to see some of the toughest competitors in the sport compete in the annual PGA tournament stop in New Orleans.

The one, the only: Jazz Fest. (Photo via New Orleans Tourism & Marketing)
The one, the only: Jazz Fest. (Photo via New Orleans Tourism & Marketing)

See Stevie Wonder, Wilco, and many more at Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest is an international favorite, and the Fair Grounds will be bustling for the last week in April and first week in May with the biggest names in jazz, rock, hip-hop, pop, funk, indie, blues, and zydeco. This year’s fest starts April 28 and runs April 28-30 and May 4-7.

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