Calling all foodies, music fanatics, golf spectators and marathon runners: April is the month for you! In addition to a number of unique and festive ways to celebrate Easter in New Orleans, April hosts two of the most exciting festivals of the year: French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. If you’re planning on visiting in April, come with an empty stomach and an open mind. There’s plenty to do, experience, and of course, eat, during April in New Orleans. Everything you need to plan a memorable April in NOLA can be found below.
Move over April showers, April festivals are in the air in New Orleans. From the beginning until the end of the month, there is something to experience each weekend in April.
The month kicks off with the annual Freret Street Festival. Typically held on the first Saturday of April, the Freret Street Festival celebrates the local businesses, live music, tasty food and people of the Uptown-based neighborhood. Pet-friendly, family-friendly and completely local, Freret Street Fest is the perfect start to fest season.
Loved by locals, and more recently sought after by visitors, French Quarter Festival is annual mid-spring fest that celebrates one of New Orleans most beloved neighborhoods: the French Quarter. From Jackson Square to Woldenberg Park fest-goers can experience live local music, classic NOLA bites and the culture that makes New Orleans’ French Quarter so magical.
Easily one of New Orleans’ largest and most popular festivals, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, better known as Jazz Fest, draws massive crowds from all over the world each and every year. Jazz Fest stretches over two weekends, with 14 different stages + tents, signature Jazz Fest foods and vendors, and a legendary lineup of musicians, performers and artists. If you’re a Jazz Fest first-timer, making your way through the fairgrounds can be overwhelming. Don’t fret because we’ve got you covered! Browse this Ultimate Guide to Jazz Fest to navigate the crowd like a native.
For more April events and happenings, visit below or head over to GoNOLA for the insider’s scoop!
Keeping up with the beautiful weather of March, April averages a high of 78℉ and a low of 59℉. It is the perfect weather for enjoying the number of outdoor festivals listed above, as well as outdoor dining and exploring. Rain or shine, festivals still go on. Make sure to keep a light rain jacket and umbrella in case of drizzles. Rain boots or sneakers are highly suggested for Jazz Fest attendees, as the fairgrounds can get a little muddy after light showers.
Forget about home-cooked meals because fest food is in full swing during the month of April. Jazz Fest fan-favorites are the legendary Crawfish Monica, the WWOZ Mango Freeze and the ultra-cheesy crawfish bread. Clearly, crawfish is still in its prime in April.
And that’s just the beginning of fest food offerings. Check out our Guide to Fest Foods for more information on what to be on the lookout for. If not attending a fest, see our guide to the best places to try crawfish here.
With so much happening around every corner of April, your itinerary pretty much writes itself. If you’re looking for some vacation inspiration beyond the suggestions listed above check out our French Quarter Neighborhood Guide and create your own French Quarter Festival.