Whether you’re college-aged and under 21 or just looking for some family-friendly entertainment, New Orleans has live music for everyone. Among hundreds of music events and venues in the city, there are many options for entertainment without age restrictions. Below, we’ve detailed the best options for experiencing the New Orleans music scene for families and groups with travelers under the age of 21.
Here are a few ideas for family-friendly music venues that are fun for all ages. Preservation Hall is legendary in its own right and remains open to people of all ages. Enjoy shows as early as 5 p.m. on weeknights and 2:30 p.m. on weekends with the little ones.
The Fillmore is a newer venue located inside Harrah’s Casino, but most shows are all ages, and those under 21 years of age can enter the venue through a separate entrance. Enjoy local acts as well as nationally recognized touring artists at The Fillmore.
A local stalwart in the all-ages music scene for many years, The Neutral Ground Coffee House hosts free folk music shows and open mic nights. The Civic Theater, Joy Theater, Orpheum Theater, and The Saenger Theater are all downtown venues that host national indie rock acts, popular music, comedy, and more, and many shows are open to all ages. Check their calendars for more information.
For visitors under age 21 but over age 18 that want to be a part of New Orleans’ booming nightlife and live music scene, you’re in luck. Some of the city’s most popular clubs and music venues allow visitors ages 18 and older.
If you’re into rock and blues, head to the Howlin’ Wolf in the Warehouse District. For live music and dancing with some of NOLA’s biggest music legends, visit Tipitina’s Uptown. Or try out Republic, where you’ll find an eclectic events venue that hosts not only locals but big national acts, too. And of course, there’s the House of Blues in the French Quarter, a restaurant and live music club that has hosted musicians from all over the world, old and new. Each of these popular locations updates their websites regularly so you can find live entertainment on any night of the week.
Jazz brunch is a New Orleans weekend tradition when hearty Creole brunch foods are served in restaurants, dining rooms, and courtyards filled with the lively sounds of New Orleans jazz. Garden District restaurant Commander’s Palace may be the best-known jazz brunch location, followed closely by Antoine’s and Arnaud’s in the French Quarter. Miss River in the Four Seasons offers Sunday jazz brunch, and you can also find Zydeco Brunch with Amanda Shaw on Saturdays at Chemin à la Mer, also located at the Four Seasons. Check out our blog on jazz brunches in New Orleans here.
If you’re looking for more than a small venue or restaurant environment, New Orleans hosts free outdoor concert series on a weekly basis. Stop by the New Orleans Jazz Museum on Tuesday afternoons for their Live! From the Balcony concert series. Wednesday at the Square, a springtime concert series, is free and fun for the whole family. Take a look at our upcoming music festivals here and plan your trip accordingly.
There’s always a festival in this city, and you are guaranteed to have a blast with live music entertainment. To find an event during your visit, check out our calendar of festivals. Note that most festivals and outdoor concerts have no age restriction for entry, but will ask for ID to purchase age-restricted items at concession stands.
If you’ve got a young budding musician on your hands (or just a music lover), there are other options to explore New Orleans music beyond our music venues. Music Box Village is an interactive music experience in the Bywater that features various “music houses,” all of which are engineered for visitors to create a symphony of sound via these larger-than-life instruments. Aside from their concerts and events, they provide open hours throughout the year to allow guests to roam the grounds and experiment with sound. Check their calendar to see their open hours.
Vue Orleans also presents NOLA’s music history through interactive displays where visitors can sample bounce, jazz, brass, and more under massive gramophones. Similarly, JAMNOLA (which stands for Joy Art Music NOLA) presents a full 3-D landscape of New Orleans where visitors can run through, pose with, and explore the myriad of ways that music and art inform every aspect of New Orleans cultural fabric. Lastly, the Louisiana Children’s Museum has a “Jammin’ House” on the second floor, where children can try their hands at a number of instruments.