The first weekend of the month marks the close of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the city begins to transition. We take a break from the fests that draw national attention and larger crowds and show love to our smaller and locally-driven fests. May is the perfect month for visitors looking to experience all that New Orleans has to offer on a typical day. It is filled with quaint festivals celebrating NOLA neighborhoods and cultures, and events around the city for Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and more.
Plan your May get away with the tips and tricks below.
As we gear up for summertime in the Crescent City, May is the perfect month to enjoy a light breeze at an outdoor event or gathering before the weather begins to heat up. Here are the must-attend events + inspiration for May in New Orleans.
Closeout Jazz Fest strong with one final weekend of performances, crafts, food and culture. Check out some of the Jazz Fest nightlife as the fest concludes.
The annual Crawfish Mambo is hosted at the lakeshore of the University of New Orleans. Each year, attendees are invited to come together for live music and fun and indulge in one of New Orleans; greatest delicacies: crawfish! Come with your appetite because all-you-can-eat crawfish will be boiled by the pound.
Mid-City is where you should be in mid-May! Bayou Boogaloo is a Bayou St. John-based festival best known for its family-friendly fun, local food and craft vendors and live music. The proceeds from Bayou Boogaloo are reinvested in the Bayou Saint John community.
A community-based festival that celebrates the oldest African American neighborhood in New Orleans: Treme. Locals and visitors are invited to learn and engage with the culture and heritage that made and continues to make Treme such a magical place in New Orleans. Food and music are at the center of this spring fest.
Don’t forget to book your brunch reservations for Mother’s Day in New Orleans, grab a margarita at one of our locally-owned Hispanic eateries for Cinco De Mayo or pay a visit to the National World War II Museum for Memorial Day.
This is just a quick glimpse of what’s in store during the month of May, for more inspiration browse our event listings below or head over to GoNOLA for an insider’s take.
The best way to enjoy the May activities is to dress comfortably. While the heat of the summer is weeks away, it is best to dress in something light and airy to make your way through festivals and outings. May rain can come unexpectedly, so it would be beneficial to bring an umbrella.
As the warm weather brings crowds flocking outside, the perfect New Orleans cuisine to enjoy is Red Beans & Rice. The Louisiana cuisine, typically served on Mondays, delivers the perfect blend of beans, vegetables, and spices. Red Beans & Rice is served at numerous restaurants throughout the city. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail as well such as a hurricane or absinthe frappe.
If you’re planning on booking a brunch for mom then browse some of our best brunch spots in the city.
Missed out on Bayou Boogaloo but still want a Bayou St. John experience? Our Guide to Bayou St. John has just what you need.