Weekend Picks is your source for the best weekend activities in New Orleans. From live music to festivals, there’s plenty to do.
This weekend in New Orleans, enjoy live music with NOLAxNOLA, plus a Magazine Street art walk, Gentilly Fest, Gretna Fest, and the Fall Garden Festival at City Park. See our picks for the weekend below.
The music never stops in New Orleans, and this October is Music Month. Mark your calendars for a citywide celebration of local musicians, music venues, and New Orleans culture. Catch your favorite artists and discover new ones at dozens of live performances all over town from September 28-October 8 as part of NOLAxNOLA (NOLA BY NOLA). You won’t want to miss this event—find more details here. And check out our guide to NOLAxNOLA by Neighborhood here.
Spend the final day of NOLAxNOLA on Frenchmen Street bouncing around different clubs all with no cover charge. The free shows start during Saints game halftime and continue into the early evening. Pop into Snug Harbor, d.b.a., Spotted Cat, and more live music clubs all afternoon.
New Orleans is a wonderful place to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which spans September 15-October 15. Learn about Hispanic heritage and culture by sampling authentic cuisine, exploring Hispanic history in the city, and supporting local Hispanic-owned businesses.
The 2023/2024 Broadway in New Orleans season kicks off with a musical based on the life of New Orleans native Louis Armstrong. "A Wonderful World” is bound for Broadway but not before stopping at the Saenger Theatre this October 1-8. Told from the perspective of the women in Armstrong's life, “A Wonderful World” charts Armstrong's journey from the birth of jazz in his native New Orleans through his international stardom, featuring beloved songs recorded and made popular by him. Tickets start at $42 plus fees.
After months of renovation, Audubon Aquarium is open to the public and back with one of its most popular events. Scales and Ales is an adults-only fundraising event featuring delectable cuisine, beer and wine, specialty cocktails, and live music at Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium. General admission tickets are $100, and the event is October 6.
Art for Art’s Sake returns on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 6-9 p.m. along Magazine Street. Enjoy browsing the over 100 shops, stores, restaurants, and galleries participating along the six-mile stretch. Enjoy complimentary wine samples, special deals, and extended hours at a variety of participating Magazine Street businesses as well as live music throughout the evening. This event is free to attend.
Music, food, and community are all the focus of Gentilly Fest, a neighborhood festival held in Pontchartrain Park. Enjoy various vendors, plus live music, and activities for the kids on the weekend of October 6-8. This fest is free to attend.
Just across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans lies Gretna, and this October 6-8 a lot of folks will be headed that way. Gretna Fest returns with a lineup including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kool & The Gang, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and several others. Tickets are $30 for a single day or $60 for a weekend pass.
Written by Jack Thorne and based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, “Let the Right One In” is an enchanting, brutal vampire myth and coming-of-age love story adapted from the best-selling novel and award-winning film. Tickets start at $35, and the show runs from October 5-22 at Le Petit Theatre.
Presented by The NOLA Project, DRACULA comes to life on the Lafitte Greenway in this world-premiere adaptation of Bram Stoker's gothic-horror story. Written by ensemble member Pete McElligott, this comedic take on the Count contains romance, silliness, and “frightening” fun for the whole family. See the show from October 5-15; tickets are $38 for adults and $20 for those under 21 years of age.
Kick off Halloween with a spooky, zombie-filled attraction. Zombie Paintball is an experience where guests board a bus and take their spot at an assigned paintball gun that is mounted to the window of each bus. As the bus departs towards the zombie paintball area, attendees will be tasked with shooting at different zombie stations and targets, with the goal of defeating them. Zombie Paintball is located at NOLA Motorsports Park for all weekends of October. Tickets are $27 per person with additional options available.
Head to the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park on October 7 and 8 for Fall Garden Festival. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, enjoy plant sales, educational programs, music, arts & crafts, cooking demonstrations, and more. Adult general admission tickets are $12 and children ages 6-12 tickets are $6.