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10 Unique Things To Do This Fall In New Orleans

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If you’ve been searching for things to do in the fall in New Orleans, you’ve probably noticed that many of them are related to Halloween, the football season, or well-known festivals like Oktoberfest. While I’m sure you’ll have a blast trying any of those, I’d like to share some unique and less popular ideas you can add to your Fall bucket list. 

So, if you’ve been to New Orleans multiple times in the past and you think you’ve seen it all already, this list is perfect for you –and even if you’re a first-timer, you’ll be glad to know there’s a very cool side of the city beyond the touristy attractions!

What Is Fall Like In New Orleans?

Fall is a wonderful time to visit New Orleans and enjoy mild temperatures of around 26°C (about 79°F) during the day and cooler evenings of 18°C (about 64°F). So it’s still warm enough to walk around town comfortably in a cozy hoodie.

Given its rich history and culture, New Orleans has many traditions and festivities that fill the city with life during the fall months. From Halloween-themed attractions and cultural celebrations to festivals, parades, and special events, you can find something fun and interesting to do on every corner.

10 Unique Things To Do This Fall In New Orleans

1. The New Orleans Pharmacy Museumfall in new orleans things to do in new orleans in the fall

If you were looking for something a bit different to do for the fall in New Orleans, this is the right place for you! What once used to be a pharmacist’s apothecary and home in 1816, now functions as The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum in the heart of the French Quarter. The museum offers a glimpse into 19th-century medicine and pharmacy, with a variety of exhibits like potions, surgical tools, and other medical artifacts used during the 19th century.

But, what makes The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum different from other pharmacies? Well, not only is it America’s first apothecary shop, this historical building is said to be haunted by a dark past. Apart from its former owner –known as the mad doctor–, people claim to see the spirits of his patients wandering the place or to feel an inexplicable energy –so, definitely not a regular pharmacy!

Interesting, isn’t it? If you’d like to dig more into it, here’s a full article I wrote about The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and its hauntings.

The museum offers guided tours, events, and even lectures related to the history of medicine. Get your tickets here.

2. Broadway Shows At The Saenger Theater

If you love seeing musicals and plays, you’ll be excited to know that The Saenger Theater hosts a great variety of live shows through October and November. This stunning theater located on Canal Street dates back to 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Even though it looks like a regular theater from the outside, the interior of this venue was designed in the style of a 15th-century Italian courtyard, with beautiful vintage decorations and a high ceiling that simulates a midnight sky with stars and clouds –yes, pretty much like the enchanted ceilings of Hogwarts!

Check out what shows are available right now and book your tickets!

fall in new orleans things to do in new orleans the french quarter at night

3. The New Orleans Botanical Gardens

One of the best things to do in the Fall in New Orleans is explore the Botanical Gardens in City Park. Although you might not find autumn’s characteristic foliage here, this ten-acre garden is a beautiful place to observe more than 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers from around the world.

Additionally, the admission fee gives you access to the Sculpture Garden, an Arts Museum, and miniature trains that run throughout the garden on weekends. There is so much to see that you could easily spend an hour or two walking this lovely place –and taking a lot of photos, since every single corner makes the perfect backdrop.

What is more, you can enjoy food and drinks on-site and various events including live music, arts, and crafts. Check out the dates here!

Admission Fees:

  • Adults — $12
  • Children 3-12 — $6
  • Children Under 3 — Free
  • Louisiana residents get free admission on Wednesdays with their ID.

4. Cooking Classes

fall in new orleans coffee with a pumpkin and beignets

One might not usually think about taking a cooking class while traveling, but you certainly should! New Orleans is known for having one of America’s most distinctive gastronomic cuisines due to its long history and influences from multiple countries. Actually, I’d say that exploring New Orleans through its food is one of the best ways to experience the city.

One place I recommend is the New Orleans School of Cooking. They teach you how to prepare popular regional dishes such as Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Pralines. But not only that; in the meantime, there is some extra fun with history, trivia, and tall tales! In the end, you get to enjoy your own dish with a glass of wine.

If you love cooking and trying new recipes, this is the perfect opportunity to learn from a professional chef while getting some interesting insights into the history of New Orleans cuisine. You can either have a demonstration class or a hands-on class. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a lot of fun and leave with a full stomach.

Get your tickets here:

5. Attend Fall Festivals

Fall in New Orleans is a very exciting time of the year in which the city hosts an incredible variety of festivals dedicated to its musical heritage.

These are some of the most popular music events taking place during the fall.:

  • Voodoo Music + Arts Experience – Over three days, thousands of people gather in City Park to enjoy live bands, several food tents, beer gardens, and immersive large-scale art installations. Visit their website for more information and updates.
  • Oktoberfest – Although it’s not exactly promoted as a music festival, you’re sure to have a blast celebrating German art and culture with many forms of entertainment such as traditional music, dancing, games, and all the beer you can drink. Get tickets here.
  • Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival – celebrate New Orleans’s cultural heritage in this free event in Lafayette Square. Enjoy a combination of top performances by blues musicians, delicious food, and art vendors.

6. Zombie Runfall in new orleans things to do in new orleans hidden gems

Zombie Run is a great choice for those who seek Halloween-themed activities that are unique and original. Here, you’ll spend the morning escaping from zombie killers following a 2-mile route through the Warehouse District.

I recommend buying your tickets in advance to get better deals. Check out the website for dates and prices.

7. National Fried Chicken Fest

National Fried Chicken Fest is a two-day outdoor festival with over 50 restaurants offering the most creative chicken dishes. These restaurants will also be participating in an opportunity to win “Best Fried Chicken” and “Best Use of Fried Chicken in a Dish Awards.”

The place includes three stages with entertainment, featuring cooking demonstrations, TED-style talks, panel discussions, and more. You can even offer as a volunteer and help assist with the event –which gives you free admission into the festival + 1 complimentary guest ticket!

Get info about dates and tickets here.

8. Jazz In The Park – Free Concerts At Armstrong Park

During the Fall, Armstrong Park usually offers free concerts from September to December. For 14 weeks, the city comes alive with local jazz artists and food vendors, creating a nice, family-friendly atmosphere. The park is also a beautiful open space to take a stroll through the lush scenery, bridges, statues, and decorations.

9. New Orleans Film Festivalfall in new orleans decorative flowers and pumpkins

Another unusual way to spend the Fall in New Orleans is by going to a Film Festival. Every year, The New Orleans Film Society offers the opportunity for filmmakers from over a hundred countries to get discovered through their work. 

You can expect everything from long-duration and short narratives to documentaries approaching a wide variety of topics and perspectives. This year, the festival is held in November and you’ll get to see movies from all around the world –including Louisiana-made films! 

Buy your tickets here!

10. Stay At A Haunted Hotel

Yes, you read that right. There are haunted hotels in New Orleans. Since the city is considered one of the most haunted places in the U.S., it’s not unusual to hear stories of paranormal activity going on. Depending on how adventurous you are, staying the night in the company of ghosts can be either a terrifying or extremely fun experience!

Dauphine House, Jazz Quarters, and Hotel Monteleone are just some of the many hotels in the city with a haunted reputation and dark history. I even made a whole guide for spooky stays in New Orleans with 20 of the most haunted hotels. If you’d like to look more into these buildings, their past, and why they are said to be cursed, I thoroughly encourage you to read it!

Last Thoughts

With that said, I hope you found something in this list that sparked your sense of adventure! Feel free to add any or all of these ideas to your travel itinerary. Whether you’re looking for peaceful activities to enjoy with the kids or a more thrilling experience, you’ll surely find plenty of both in New Orleans. 



I may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay, it helps me keep the blog up :) Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Anna is a traveler, blogger, and entrepreneur who can’t keep herself still. She’s always on the move, whether working hard on a new passion project or exploring a new city as a part-time digital nomad. Dare to keep up? Check out The Tatted Nomad for everything digital nomad, social media marketing, mental health, and travel (and to see her latest addition, Novah, her service dog and travel companion). As a psychotherapist (to be) she also offers insights about your mental health related questions – anything you see that isn’t covered but you have questions about? Let her know!

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  1. October 5, 2023 / 6:01 pm

    These are great suggestions for NOLA! As someone who grew up in LA -you’ve found some great ideas to give people a true taste of not only the amazing food in LA but the culture and people as well!

  2. Natalie
    October 6, 2023 / 4:17 pm

    I love this! Being from NYC I never thought of New Orleans as a fall destination, but this is making me rethink that.