Like so many other holidays, Easter is celebrated in a unique fashion here in the Big Easy! Though respectfully rooted in Catholic tradition, Easter celebrations in New Orleans involve much more than a traditional mass and easter baskets. We have a full agenda of events scheduled this weekend, including 3 parades, egg hunts for the kids, and special fine dining brunches at all of the best restaurants! Here are some of the highlights of the weekend:
-St. Louis Cathedral – Jackson Square : Holy Saturday (8PM), Easter Sunday (9AM, 11AM, 12:30PM)
-Immaculate Conception (Jesuit) Church – 130 Baronne St. : Holy Saturday (8PM), Easter Sunday (8AM, 9:30AM, 11AM, 7:30PM)
-St. Patrick’s Church – 724 Camp St : Holy Saturday (8PM), Easter Sunday (7:30AM, 9AM, 11AM, 5:30PM)
Parades (Easter Sunday):
-9:45AM : Historic French Quarter Easter Parade complete with mule-drawn carriages!
-1:00PM : The 34th Annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade
-4:30PM : Gay Easter Parade
Family Fun :
-Confetti Kids Egg Hunt (Algiers) 3PM – 5PM Saturday, April 15th
-Hoppin’ Down the River Easter Cruise – This event has it all! An Easter bunny, a live alligator, food, fun, games, and magnificent views of the mighty Mississippi will be sure to delight every member of the family. Saturday, April 15th at 10:30AM or 1:30PM.
While some of our guests may be shoveling snow at home, New Orleanians have been soaking up the warm sunshine with near perfect weather the past few weeks! If you are planning to visit New Orleans this Spring, you too can enjoy one of the most beautiful times of year and spending time outside is just the way to do it! Here’s what we recommend:
– Explore one of our parks with centuries old live oak trees and wildlife right in the city!
Audubon Park (uptown)
City Park (midcity)
– Take a walk around the Garden District neighborhood. While the Garden District is no longer mostly gardens as it once was, the lush landscaping and ornate architecture is best enjoyed on a sunny Spring day when all of the flowers are in bloom!
– Rent a kayak at City Park to explore Bayou St. John.
– Check out the Mississippi River on a ferry ride or a riverboat cruise
– Take a swamp tour!
Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras day will be on February 28th this year, but Mardi Gras season has already begun! Here are some things you can do to get ready for the main event…
1. Decorate! Red, green, and gold Christmas decorations are easily converted into purple green and gold Mardi Gras decorations! For the next five weeks it’s perfectly acceptable to wear Mardi Gras beads around town. You can easily acquire some on bourbon street or at the next parade… see parade schedule here.
2. Eat. It’s nearly impossible to stick to a diet while vacationing in NOLA, but during carnival season, it’s even harder! So if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, hold off on that diet until after Mardi Gras. With parade classics like king cake and fried chicken eaten by the masses, it’s called Fat Tuesday for a reason!
3. Relax. The French said it best laissez le bon temps rouler! (let the good times roll!)
If you plan to spend time in New Orleans around the holidays, here are a few activities we recommend adding to your itinerary:
– Ride the St. Charles streetcar in the evening to view the magnificent lights and decor of the mansions on the Avenue.
– Visit City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks, a brilliant display of holiday lights in a beautiful natural setting.
– Get a drink at the Roosevelt hotel’s Sazerac bar (or don’t, but at least walk through the lobby!). The Roosevelt hotel has a beautiful lobby, which looks even better lined with decorated Christmas trees!
– Participate in one of New Orleans’ oldest holiday traditions and enjoy a Reveillon dinner. See this year’s top participating resaurants here.
– Watch the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 24th at 3:30PM which starts at the Superdome and ends at the French Market.
– Watch the Krewe of Jingle parade on Saturday, December 3rd at 1:00PM. Click here for route.
September is a great month to visit New Orleans! The city is abuzz with kids back in school, football season starting, and the summer heat and humidity finally start to dissipate. Hotel prices are low as we are technically still in hurricane season, but there is so much to do this month! Here are a few highlights to look forward to:
– This weekend we will welcome the New Orleans Saints back to the Superdome for their first home football game of the 2016 football season. Saints home games are always something to celebrate, but the first one is a little extra special!
– We live to eat may be our motto all year long, but for the week of September 12-18 you can get special prix-fixe menu options at NOLA’s top dining establishments in recognition of We Live to Eat Restaurant Week. http://www.coolinaryneworleans.com/restaurant-week/
– New Orleans Burlesque Festival (Sept. 15-18). We take Burlesque quite seriously in the Big Easy! http://neworleansburlesquefest.com/
– NOLA on Tap (Sept. 24th). Only 7 years old, this beer celebration is recognized as the largest beer fest in the country! It will take place in City Park on Saturday, September 24th. Dogs are welcome! http://nolaontap.org/
– First Annual Fried Chicken Festival (Sept. 25th). This should become a favorite among locals. It’s surprising no one started this festival sooner! http://friedchickenfestival.com/
The Crescent City is heating up and though the steamy air isn't very pleasant feeling, the festivities continue all year long! Here are some special events not to be missed in your vacation planning this summer:
– Essence Music Festival (June 30-July 3rd) http://www.essence.com/festival
– Go 4th on the River (July 4th) Ranked 5th must see firework display in the U.S.! http://www.go4thontheriver.com/
– Bastille Day Fete (July 14-17) http://bastilledaynola.com/bastilledaynola/
– Whitney White Linen Night (August 6) Art Stroll http://cacno.org/wwln2016
– Satchmo Summerfest (August 5-7) http://fqfi.org/satchmo
– COOLinary Dining (month of August) Annual culinary tradition of special prix-fixe menus at most of New Orleans' top restaurants! http://www.coolinaryneworleans.com/