Halloween in New Orleans
Halloween, Crescent City-style, is second only to Mardi Gras for wild and crazy, dressing-up-in-costume kind of fun and it isn’t just for kids, either. Adults get to join the fun and craziness as well. In fact, there are a few events that are much more fun for the grown-ups than for the little ones!
On and around All Hallows’ Eve in New Orleans there will be something for everyone; from the smallest trick-or-treaters to the biggest party monsters.
Start planning your Halloween adventure in “The Most Haunted City in America” with our recommendations:
Start your weekend with one of the many haunted tours through the French Quarter or some other spooky part of the city. There are haunted houses Uptown, in the Garden District and elsewhere. And then, of course, there are the world-famous cemeteries where the dearly departed are buried in tombs aboveground. Hundreds of stories abound in which the ghosts of these “Cities of the Dead” make their presence known, some of which have actually been documented and visually captured.
While prowling around the French Quarter there are a number of Voodoo shops you can check out to learn a little more about the history behind these centuries-old spiritual practices. The spirit of Marie Laveau, the High Priestess of 19th century New Orleans, can still be felt in the vibes that surround you in some of these shops. You might even learn a few spells and mystical incantations.
There are even shops catering specifically to vampires, believe it or not.
Some of these shops plan special events for Halloween, so make sure you stop by and get in on the action. You can read about them online by visiting the city’s Voodoo shopping page.
Don’t have a costume yet? No problem. One of the city’s many costume shops will be happy to fix you up for the occasion. You can get anything from cat ears and bat wings and vampire fangs to the most over-the-top outfits you’ve ever seen, including feather boas, multicolored wigs and masks for those who are into glamour.
You’ll find one of the biggest Halloween celebrations this year on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny. Masses of partygoers, including locals and tourists, take to the streets in their elaborate and frequently outlandish outfits.
The French Quarter’s LGBT community will also be out in full regalia for Halloween and you can join in the fun at any time during the evening. From October 29-November 1, there will be one big event each day, as well as an abundance of fun events on Bourbon and St. Ann streets in the heart of the Quarter.
With this year’s theme, “Fall of the Pharaohs”, you can expect elaborate costumes, exciting galas, drinking and dancing with friends and much more. The proceeds go to Project Lazarus, a home in New Orleans for people living with AIDS – so you know your good times are going to an even more important cause.
Click here for more information on Halloween LGBT Style.
Voodoo Music and Arts Experience
Scheduled to coincide with the nearest weekend to Halloween, this year’s Voodoo will start Friday, October 30, and run through Sunday, November 1. Voodoo is the second most popular music festival in the city and is bringing in some big names this year, including Florence + The Machine, Girl Talk, Ozzy Osbourne, DeadMau5 and many more.
Click here for more info on Voodoo Music and Art Experience.
Krewe of Boo
As the official New Orleans Halloween parade, Krewe of Boo will bring the celebration to life on Saturday October 24th, the weekend before Halloween. The parade will frighten and excite the crowds with 3-D papier mâché and fiberglass props that mimic all of Halloween’s spooky creatures.
The parade will begin at Elysian Fields in the Marigny and progress through the French Quarter, passing through N. Peters and Decatur Streets, to Jackson Square and then towards the Warehouse District, all the way up to the Convention Center.
Click here for more information on this year’s Krewe of Boo parade.
Family Friendly Halloween in New Orleans
If you’re looking for something a little more family-friendly, check out Audubon Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo.” The Zoo will stay open for Friday and Saturday evenings on October 16, 17, 23 and 24 with entertainment, food, trick-or-treating, (not so) scary stories, fun rides, a haunted house, and more – plus an opportunity for the little ones to get up close and personal with some of the more friendly animals in the zoo’s collection.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum, located in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District also usually hosts Halloween-related events and activities for the little ones. Check with them as the date gets closer by calling (504) 523-1357 or visit their website.
For those looking for an extra thrill, New Orleans also has its share of Haunted Houses set up each year by local churches, community organizations and private individuals. Local listings in the newspaper will give details as the dates get closer. A word of caution though: some of these Haunted Houses may be too scary for the youngest children. Parental discretion is strongly advised.