There are many reasons why spending Halloween in New Orleans is always a great idea. Not only because of the city’s captivating culture and history but also because Halloween celebrations in New Orleans are taken to a whole new level! This already vibrant destination comes fully alive with decorations, parades, and wild events all month.
So, even though we’re too old for trick-or-treating (are we?), I promise there are still countless ways to have an incredibly fun, spooky time.
What to Do on Halloween in New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the most mysterious and exciting places in the world, no matter the time of the year you visit. However, the fall season gets especially interesting and packed with traditions, events, and festivals that you’ll love if you’re a Halloween enthusiast or a thrill-seeker traveler.
The purpose of many of these events is to give you a good time, scares and even laughs. However, if you want to soak up in the history and culture of the city but still experience that spooky feeling, I recommend checking out these seven hidden gems in New Orleans.
Interested in haunted locations? Discover Salem and its dark history.
Krewe of Boo is considered New Orleans’ official Halloween parade since 2007. It takes place on October 21st at 6:30 pm, making its route from Elysian Fields Avenue to Andrew Higgins Drive?.
Every year, the streets fill with a lively atmosphere, welcoming everyone to join over a thousand participants marching with eerie giant props and incredible papier-maché floats created by Kern Studios. You’ll see marching bands, dance troupes, and people showcasing their creativity through their costumes.
The parade is completely free and very family-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring the kids!
2. Zombie Paintball
If you’re looking for fun things to do during your trip, Zombie Paintball Hunt at NOLA is sure to make your Halloween in New Orleans an epic experience. Spend the afternoon shooting at zombies from a battle bus driven through a Zombie Apocalypse.
In addition, you can enjoy other activities like karting, axe throwing, food trucks and live music, a pumpkin crafting station, and so much more. I suggest buying your tickets online in advance since there are limited spots each night – get your tickets here!
Need Somewhere To Stay In New Orleans? Check out the top haunted hotels here!
And why not eat with ghosts at a haunted restaurant, too?!
3. Brews And Boos
Brews and Boos is a popular Halloween celebration for adults that takes place in New Orleans City Park on October 27 and 28. It’s a true party full of terrific decorations, lights, and a DJ playing music throughout the park. There’s even a costume contest, so this is your best chance to show off your spookiest self.
At Brews and Boos, no one’s too old to enjoy Halloween!
For an admission fee of $35, you get unlimited access to the amusement park, free treats, and lots of beer! And for some extra fun, you can buy a VIP ticket that features full open bar, seating, and special treats. Get tickets here!
New Orleans Nightmare Haunted House is the ultimate event for those seeking a night of fright and horror during Halloween in New Orleans. Named one of the top 13 haunted houses in America, this annual attraction offers an immersive and interactive experience that will keep you on edge as you wind your way through multiple mazes and escape rooms – and encounter some scary creatures…
To provide visitors with a fresh experience every time, New Orleans Nightmare often changes its themes or rooms annually. Some past themes were “Clowns,” “Rise of the Dead,” and “Hatchet High.”
Finally, after a wild night full of tension and jumpscares, stop by the food trucks and on-site bar to recover with some wicked delicious food!
Note: Keep in mind that this attraction might be too intense for children under 12 years old.
5. Halloween Balcony Party
Looking for the best parties to celebrate Halloween in New Orleans? The Halloween Balcony Party at Cornet is one you won’t regret! This bar hosts 150 guests on October 28th and October 31st to have the most amazing time on its balcony overlooking the bustling crowds on the famous Bourbon Street. You’re also encouraged to wear your costume!
The entrance ticket is $150 and includes 3 hours of bead tossing, dancing, and Open Premium Bar with unlimited mixed drinks, beer, and wine. In addition, you can come and go from the party all you please.
Spots on the balcony are limited, so I advise you to purchase your tickets in advance to get early bird discounts!
Time for drinks and scary stories!
The Haunted Pub Crawl is essentially a ghost tour among haunted bars and restaurants. You get to experience the spooky side of New Orleans while getting wasted with the best local drinks. It’s a fun way of learning about the history behind some of the most iconic spots in the city, such as the Lalaurie Mansion and the French Quarter. A guide will be there to show you around and to tell the darkest murder stories that will send shivers down your spine.
Definitely not an activity for the whole family if you have kids, but it’s an absolute must if you’re traveling with friends, your partner, or even on your own to make new friends – get tickets here!
Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight if you take the tour at night 🙂
Not a fan of alcohol? Maybe a New Orleans food tour will be more appealing!
Without a doubt, The Mortuary is a must-visit when it comes to spending Halloween in New Orleans. What was once an actual funeral home built in 1872 on Canal Street, is once one of the top haunted attractions in the US, praised for its high production and for offering its visitors a genuinely scary experience.
Each, year, The Mortuary has a different theme or storyline to keep it fresh for returning visitors (this year’s theme: Blood Wedding!), so there’s no way to know what’s awaiting you inside! However, you can expect a truly terrifying journey full of high-quality special effects, terrific decorations, animatronics, and actors that are sure to give you the creeps.
Fun Fact: Many people believe that the mansion might actually be haunted due to its 80 years serving as a mortuary and its proximity to cemeteries – makes sense right? This is why the building has hosted multiple paranormal investigations over time and even appeared on ghost hunting TV shows.
Get your tickets here! And make sure to arrive early, since this is a very popular attraction in the city and waiting lines can be quite long, especially during Halloween season.
Other Haunted Tours You Might Like
While New Orleans is mostly associated with Mardi Gras, it also celebrates other cultural events, including Oktoberfest. If you’re sensitive and think the attractions I listed above might be too intense for you (or you simply need a break from Halloween-themed activities), this event might be exactly what you need!
Oktoberfest is a world-famous folk festival originated in Germany and it usually runs from late September through early October. As one could expect from a city like New Orleans, Oktoberfest celebrations are huge and offer numerous forms of entertainment, from live music, folk dancing and chanting, to traditional games, decorations, and vendors selling crafts – not to mention, lots of beer and delicious German cuisine!
Note: While the event has an emphasis on beer, many Oktoberfest celebrations in New Orleans are family-friendly, with many activities that kids can enjoy.
Halloween Events In New Orleans Calendar
Now, let’s recap. Here I’ve listed all the events by date for you 🙂
- All year round — Haunted Pub Crawl
- Sept 16-Oct 31 — The Mortuary
- Sept 22-Nov 4 — New Orleans Nightmare
- Sept 28-Oct 30 — Zombie Paintball
- Oct 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28 — Oktoberfest
- Oct 21 — Krewe of Boo
- Oct 27-28 — Brews and Boos
- Oct 28 & Oct 31 — Halloween Balcony Party at Cornet
As you can see, Halloween in New Orleans is taken very seriously and there’s nothing better than being surrounded by that enthusiastic, festive spirit, especially when travelling.
Remember to explore as much as you can beyond these top attractions and events. New Orleans has an immense variety of entertainment to offer its visitors, including museums like the The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, haunted restaurants, interesting shops, and so many hidden gems – I’m sure you won’t regret any of them!
Safe travels and happy Halloween!
P.S. Do you struggle to recover from trips? Here’s the ultimate guide to overcome post-holiday exhaustion that will help you get back on track.