Anyone who says the holidays are the most magical time of year hasn’t seen New Orleans in February. We’re counting down the days to Mardi Gras (February 16) and though things will look different this year, there’s so much festivity and joy in the city right now. From locals turning their homes into floats, to restaurants debuting special Carnival-themed menus, there are plenty of ways to experience New Orleans safely this February. Celebrate Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and more with our top ten things to do in February. And as always, please remember to wear your mask, remain socially distant from others and stay informed of any restrictions as part of the city’s reopening plan.

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Rebecca Todd

February is Black History Month, and New Orleans is one of the best places to celebrate the history, culture and contributions of Black Americans past and present. Our Black history itinerary takes you to Black-owned restaurants and businesses, historically Black neighborhoods and museums dedicated to the Black experience. Celebrate Black History Month this month and every month in New Orleans.

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Rebecca Todd

Parades won’t roll in New Orleans this year, but there are plenty of things to see and do to celebrate our favorite time of year safely. Now through February 16, dine at restaurants with special Carnival-themed menus, book a discounted hotel room rate and attend cocktail tastings, stationary float exhibits and events, both in person and virtual. Remember that New Orleans will be in a Modified Phase Two of reopening through Mardi Gras, so don’t forget to mask up, make reservations and practice social distancing if you find yourself in NOLA.

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Victoria Roberts

One of the standout Mardi Gras events of this year is perfect for those who want to experience the holiday like never before all while remaining safe and distanced from others. Floats in the Oaks is a brand-new drive-thru extravaganza featuring floats from some of the most well-known krewes in beautiful City Park. Hop in your car and drive through the oaks to see show-stopping floats from Zulu, Rex, Bacchus and more. Purchase your tickets in advance for daytime or nighttime and experience this once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Photo courtesy of Krewe of Red Beans/ Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee

New Orleans really is a city like no other. With parades cancelled, a call was put out for residents to decorate the exterior of their homes however they see fit for the season, resulting in the most innovative, over-the-top creations that have exceeded all expectations. From an Alice in Wonderland house float, to one dedicated to the late Chef Leah Chase, to one featuring larger-than-life dinosaurs towering over St. Charles Avenue, locals and visitors alike have to check out the #YardiGras house floats popping up all across New Orleans this February.

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Photo courtesy of Dirty Coast

No matter where you are, celebrate Mardi Gras like a New Orleanian with Mardi Gras in a Box. From now until February 9, enter for a chance to win a custom prize pack of Mardi Gras goodies, curated by some of our favorite shops in New Orleans, courtesy of Zapp’s and NewOrleans.com. We’ll be sending five (5) lucky Grand Prize winner Mardi Gras prize packs valued at ~$500 each, and ten (10) lucky Second Prize winners will receive packs valued at $100 each. Enter for your chance to win here.

Those who don't win can still purchase a curated Mardi Gras box from a partner retailer. Boxes come in a range of prices and sizes and include king cake, decorations and festive throws that you might normally catch along the parade route. Check out the options here

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Image courtesy of the Sundance Institute, Yoni Brook

As an official satellite partner, New Orleans Film Society is bringing the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to New Orleans. From January 28-February 2, explore an array of new and independent films outdoors at The Broadside. See here for information on the lineup at what to expect at Sundance in New Orleans.

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Rebecca Todd

New Orleans is known for its romantic charm, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. Browse our romantic itinerary for ideas on how to celebrate with that special someone here. Book a room night, dine at a romantic restaurant, take a stroll through a park or dance along the Mississippi all while enjoying perfect weather this February in NOLA.

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Image courtesy of Val’s

Last year was especially tough for the restaurant and bar industry here in New Orleans. Despite all of the hardship, new establishments began to pop up here and there, bringing us Middle Eastern cuisine, fast-casual tacos, Honduran staples and baked potatoes any way you want ‘em. Dive into the culinary scene with a reservation or take out from one of our new restaurants.

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Paul Broussard

Every local in NOLA knows that king cake is a seasonal treat, and that the season lasts only a little more than a month. February is prime time for getting in the last bites of the cinnamon-filled, icing-topped delicacy. Stick to traditional or try a new version – just be sure to have at least one slice this month. Some bakeries offer national and international shipping so that everyone can enjoy a king cake from New Orleans.

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Rebecca Todd

Crawfish season typically ramps up in March, but you can still find plenty of seafood around town in February. Get ‘em boiled, sautéed, baked or fried in a variety of dishes, or find them raw for a crawfish boil of your own making as you celebrate the start of crawfish season.