For more information and updates about how New Orleans is addressing the Covid-19 outbreak – including restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery – please visit
No, thanks

Get the LOCAL Perspective!

Find hidden gems and get insider information on NOLA’s best restaurants, bars, attractions, and events every week.

Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: Bayou Classic, What to do on Thanksgiving Day, and More

Bayou Classic (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

This weekend in New Orleans, we’re feeling thankful. Thankful for the food – we’ve got you covered with restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Thankful for traditions – we’re celebrating the 45th annual Bayou Classic with events on Friday and Saturday. Thankful for spectacular sights – we’re taking in the holiday lights at City Park and Audubon Zoo. Thankful for gathering – we’re celebrating New Orleans and San Antonio’s 300th birthdays at the the Tricentennial Culinary Exchange. We’ve got plenty to be grateful for, and lots to do. Here are our picks for the weekend.

The Battle of the Bands is a can’t-miss part of Bayou Classic (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)


Bayou Classic – The rivalry between Grambling State and Southern University continues this weekend with the 45th annual Bayou Classic. The weekend kicks off with the Greek Show and Battle of the Bands Friday at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). While gameday kickoff isn’t until 4 p.m. Saturday, catch the Bayou Classic Parade as it rolls from the French Market to the Dome at 9:30 a.m. and the Fan Festival from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Champions Square. Tickets for the game Saturday start at $16.

Celebration in the Oaks – Celebration in the Oaks, the annual lights display in New Orleans City Park, officially opens this Friday. Head out to see the lights and get into the holiday spirit. Admission is $10 per person.

Zoo Lights at the Audubon Zoo (Photo: Justen Williams)

Zoo Lights – New this season and opening this Friday is Zoo Lights at the Audubon Zoo, complete with nightly entertainment and children’s activities. Admission is $10 for Audubon Institute members and $15 for non-members.

Holiday Shopping – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday – if you’re ready to do some holiday shopping, now’s the time. Enjoy Black Friday deals at the Shops at Canal Place and the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. Be sure to support small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday by checking out the shops participating in Merriment on Magazine. Also on Small Business Saturday, the public is invited to an exhibition and sale of American and Afro-Caribbean-inspired quilts and quilted bags, place mats, and other accessories and home items available at CANO’s Creative Space at Myrtle Banks Building, above the Dryades Market at 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Not sure how to spend Thanksgiving Day in New Orleans? How about running a Turkey Day race, giving back to the community, or watching the Saints take on the Falcons? We’ve got you covered with our things to do on Thanksgiving Day. If you want to know where to eat, see our list of which restaurants are open here. Make it a Thanksgiving to remember in New Orleans this year.

The Music Box Village (Photo: Zack Smith)


Diasporic Grooves with DJ Chinua – From 5-9 p.m., get your groove on at the Music Box Village with this happy hour and dance party event. Enjoy food, drink, and the interactive elements found within the Music Box while recuperating from the stress of Thanksgiving. The event is all ages and the entry fee is by donation to the New Orleans Airlift.


TRAP Karaoke– “TRAP Karaoke is like going to church, but instead of “Amazing Grace”, you’re singing “Back That Azz Up”. If you love TRAP music as much as we do, don’t miss TRAP Karaoke this weekend. The folks behind TRAP Karaoke describe themselves as community organizers, not party promoters. In this case, ‘TRAP’ stands for personal empowerment, cultural participation, cherished moments, community and creating a safe space for human connection. TRAP Karaoke is happening at the House of Blues this Saturday, November 24 from 8p.m. to 12 a.m. Tickets can be purchased here for $30 – $40. All ticket sales are final.

SoBou (Photo: Justen Williams)


Tricentennial Culinary Exchange – With both New Orleans and San Antonio celebrating their Tricentennial this year, this dinner is a celebratory cultural exchange. Chefs from both cities will unite for a night of unforgettable culinary creations. The six-course meal will also feature a cocktail reception and live music and entertainment throughout the night. The New Orleans dinner will be held at SoBou on Nov. 27 and tickets are on sale for $175.

Lauren Saizan is a graduate of Loyola University and a lifelong New Orleanian. Currently the Associate Editor of GoNOLA, when she’s not writing or editing, you can find her dancing in the studio or traveling the world.

Up Next:

Book Your Trip