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 21) with parades, king cake, and festivals all month long. Celebrate Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and more with our top ten things to do this February. 

Rebecca Todd

Celebrate Black History Month in New Orleans 

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. 

Attend a Mardi Gras parade 

February is prime time for attending Mardi Gras parades. We’ve got the notoriously naughty Krewe du Vieux on February 4, family-friendly Mystic Krewe of Barkus on February 12, and the marathon that is Mardi Gras weekend February 15-21, with parades rolling each day. Check out our parade schedule here and plan your picks. And for those interested in seeing a different kind of parade, check out the Krewe of House Floats, where locals transform their homes into floats, here

Check out the Algiers Mardi Gras Festival 

Now in its third year, the Algiers Mardi Gras Festival is free fun for all. This community celebration will have food, music, art, and free admission. Visit historic Algiers (across the river from the French Quarter) on February 4 for a taste of this festival. 

Credit @thebigbookofkingcake and @randypschmidt

Eat lots of king cake 

Every local in NOLA knows that king cake is a seasonal treat, and that the season lasts only a short time - less than two months, to be exact. February is prime time for getting in the last bites of the cinnamon-filled, icing-topped delicacy (this year, king cake season is January 6-February 21). 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. 

Chandelier Bar at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans
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Plan a romantic adventure 

New Orleans is known for its romantic charm, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Galentine’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, have a picnic, or dance along the Mississippi all while enjoying perfect weather this February in NOLA. 

Enjoy special festivities on Lundi Gras Day 

Lundi Gras is the day before Mardi Gras Day, so this year it falls on February 20, 2023. It’s the one day of the year where several walking krewes parade during the day and a super-krewe rolls at night, so you’ve got the best of both worlds. The Krewe of Red Beans, Dead Beans, and Feijao parades are processions through different areas of the city paying homage to the unique aspects of New Orleans culture. Down at Woldenberg Park, the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival and nearby Riverwalk’s annual Lundi Gras celebration are two family-friendly events with lots of food, live music, and history. Then, the Krewe of Proteus kicks off an evening of events before the musically themed super-krewe Orpheus rolls. There are shows across the city stretching into the wee hours of Mardi Gras Day—see if you can stay up through the night. 

Jabari Henry, New Orleans & Co.

Celebrate Mardi Gras Day 

Here at last following nearly two months of parades, partying, and king cake consumption, Mardi Gras Day (February 21) marks the end of the season. But, before the festivities conclude at midnight, Fat Tuesday is a day for indulgence. The North Side Skull & Bone Gang kicks off Mardi Gras Day before sunrise in the Tremé. If you were too busy enjoying a tequila sunrise for that early of a wakeup call, you can catch the Krewe of Zulu at 8 a.m. Following that parade is the Krewe of Rex, plus truck parades throughout the day. The Bourbon Street Awards is a Mardi Gras Day tradition, a kind of costume contest for the ages. Enjoy traditional New Orleans food all day long, make a friend or two along the parade route, and let the good times roll.  

See a classic reimagined through dance 

A Marigny Opera Ballet premiere, award-winning choreographer Diogo de Lima brings the Tennessee Williams play to life. See the show this February 24-26 at Marigny Opera House. 

Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade, 2022
Zurin Villanueva performing as ‘Tina Turner’ and Garrett Turner as 'Ike Turner' in the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL

Catch TINA – The Tina Turner Musical 

An uplifting comeback story like no other, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is the inspiring journey of a woman who broke barriers and became the Queen of Rock n’ Roll. Catch the show this February 7-12 at the Saenger Theatre.  

Cheer on your favorite sports team 

By February, football season may be over, but we’ve got plenty of other sports to flock to this month. The Pelicans have several home games on the schedule for this month, and NOLA Gold Rugby returns on February 17 with a match against New England. Men and women’s college basketball are also in full swing for any fans out there. 

For even more ways to experience New Orleans this February, see our Things to Do page here.