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Things to Do in April in New Orleans

Updated: May 12, 2024

This post covers New Orleans in April.

We include free activities, and things to do at night, as well as with kids, all updated for 2024. 


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

This list features some of the most exciting and entertaining activities that you’ll find in NOLA during the month of April. 

For tips on the most popular activities in New Orleans, check out our popular tour posts:

Many of these items are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist concession pass.


1. Go to a Concert

You can't help but think about music when you're in New Orleans.

The city is loaded with talented musicians, and you can find a performance just about anywhere in the city.

Concerts

Music Festivals

Click here for a list of even more concerts in New Orleans in April.

TIP: If you’re looking for other opportunities to hear live music and learn more about the history of various genres in New Orleans, consider taking our Music and Arts tour.


2. See David Sedaris

The award-winning author and humorist David Sedaris will be in Nashville in April.

Sedaris tells stories and reads from his books. He's sure to leave you laughing at his recounting of incidents from his life.

He'll be at the Orpheum Theatre on April 24th. You can purchase tickets here.

NOTE: If you’re looking for a family-friendly show, consider taking the kids to Annie at the Saenger Theatre from April 5th-7th.


3. Attend a Sporting Event

April is the quiet month for sports in New Orleans but you can still attend some exciting games.

Basketball

Golf

Find all of the game tickets in New Orleans in April here.


4. Have Fun At a Festival

There are plenty of exciting events in New Orleans in April. A few of them are listed below.

Hogs for the Cause | April 5th

This is one of the largest BBQ and music festivals in the country.

Taking place at UNO Lakefront Arena, the festival raises money for children's healthcare. As they say "bring your stretchy pants and come pig out!"

French Quarter Fest | April 11th-14th

This annual festival brings together rhythm & blues, zydeco, rock, swing, classical, jazz, and much more across 12 stages over a 3-day weekend. 

Accompanying the amazing music is an impressive spread of local food and drink vendors. You can expect everything from Rouses Crawfish Broil to jerk chicken. 

The entertainment is free and the food and drinks are well-priced making this an excellent outdoor experience to consider for families.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | April 24th-28th

This annual festival, better known as “Jazz Fest” by locals, is an exciting activity for lovers of rhythm & blues, zydeco, folk, Cajun, and other musical genres.

Crawfest | April 20th

This student-run food, music, and arts festival is located on campus at Tulane University. Of course, you can expect plenty of crawfish!


5. Enjoy Some Sightseeing

Spring is the perfect time to see the most historic and notable attractions throughout New Orleans, and there are a lot of great ways to do some sightseeing at this time of year. 

In addition to hop-on-hop-off bus tours and riverboat cruises, there is also an abundance of walking tours available in the Big Easy.

If you’re looking for a great way to save money on sightseeing, we offer several pay-what-you-wish walking tours which cover a variety of neighborhoods and topics, including the following:

No matter what your budget is, this is an excellent activity that every visitor should consider now that the weather is getting warmer.


6. Consider Getting a Tourist Pass

If you’re planning to visit some of the most popular attractions in New Orleans, general admission prices can really add up after a while. 

Thankfully, you can save a lot of money on tickets (20% - 50% on average) by using a New Orleans tourist pass.

Here are a dozen of the best activities included with these concession services:

Even if you only plan to enjoy a few of these attractions, you could still save plenty of cash with a New Orleans tourist pass.


7. Enjoy a Comedy Show

If you need a good laugh, you can find it in NOLA in April.

Comedians

Comedy Night

Comedy Clubs

If you're looking for a free show, check out this list of free stand-up comedy shows in NOLA to find a location and time that fits your itinerary.

For more free comedy shows in New Orleans, check out our post about free things to do in New Orleans.

To see what else is happening in the area, check this list of comedy shows in New Orleans during March.


8. Make a Trip to the Swamps

April is sometimes one of the last opportunities to visit the swamps near New Orleans without worrying about the heat.

While you can visit areas like the Jean Lafitte Swamp and take a walk around the trails for free, an airboat tour is also a great option.

In addition to just enjoying the natural beauty, there are also several locations where you can see local wildlife – including alligators – and potentially even encounter them with the help of a knowledgeable guide!

For more details, please read our post about New Orleans swamp tours.


9. Visit a Film Festival

What better place to celebrate a horror movie festival than in New Orleans, America's Most Haunted City.

The Overlook Film Fest (Overlook being the hotel from the film The Shining) has been named one of the best genre festivals in the world.

In addition to films, celebrities such as Taika Waititi, John Goodman, and Nicholas Cafe have attended. The Academy of Magical Arts will also be putting on shows.

The festival takes place over four days, April 4th-7th, at the Prytania Theatres at Canal Place, at the edge of the French Quarter.

Tickets and information can be found here.


10. Attend Wednesday at the Square

If you’re in the mood to hear some live music, this 10-week concert series at Lafayette Square is entirely free to enjoy. 

With a new show every Wednesday by local musicians who play jazz, funk, swamp pop, rock, and other genres.

In April 2024 there will be shows on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th,

Concerts usually start at 5:00 pm and run until about 8:00 pm.

Visitors can bring lawn chairs, blankets, and other items to get comfortable for the show.

There will be food booths available nearby, as well as arts and crafts booths.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

The following section will include several free activities that you can enjoy in New Orleans this April.

If you’re looking for even more great activities you won’t have to pay for, make sure to read our post covering free and cheap things to do in New Orleans.

Keep in mind that you can save a lot of money on the best attractions by using a New Orleans tourist pass.


Visit Barataria Preserve

There are a few different swamps near New Orleans that could be fun to visit.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the wildlife in the area, the following locations offer hiking trails, self-guided tours, and other services that you may want to consider.

For more information on free activities you can enjoy at the various nearby swamps, make sure to read our swamp tour post.


Enjoy free admission to art galleries/museums in New Orleans during April.

Newcomb Art Museum | This museum, on the campus of Tulane, always offers free admission.

Historic New Orleans Collection | Check out their Louisiana History Galleries for free. 

Although the New Orleans Museum of Art charges for admission, their outdoor sculpture garden is free to visit whenever you want.


Go to the Crescent City Classic

As mentioned above, this annual 10K will also be taking place. Athletes from around Louisiana will participate in this race which runs from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to City Park.

While the Crescent City Classic requires an entrance fee, visitors are welcome to cheer on the runners and celebrate the holiday. 

Many of the participants in the 10K will wear costumes, some even choosing to dress up as the Easter Bunny!

If you’re looking for even more to do, head to the Crescent City Health & Fitness Expo. This 2-day fair includes free food and drinks, presentations, and other handouts. 


Try a New Wine

Every Wednesday night from 5 pm - 7 pm, Faubourg Wines provides a free wine-tasting event that includes a few different wines to choose from. 

If you’ve been interested in learning more about wine and/or trying out some new flavors, this is an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons.

Reservations are not required for this event, so feel free to drop in and taste a few wines.

It is recommended to arrive before 6:30 pm if you want to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything.


Attend a Free Jazz Performance

In addition to Wednesday at the Square and the French Quarter Festival, there are other chances to hear live jazz in April.

Every Tuesday at 2 pm, the New Orleans Jazz Museum holds a free live jazz performance on the third floor.

There may be additional live performances throughout the month which you can learn more about from their April event calendar.

TIP: Tickets to the New Orleans Jazz Museum are included with the New Orleans Pass.


Stop by the Mardi Gras Museum

This museum is located at the famous Arnaud’s Restaurant and includes more than two dozen historic costumes and other memorabilia.

If you’re interested in learning about the history of Mardi Gras, this is the perfect time of year to do it! Stop by during restaurant hours to see the collection for free. 

See the Mardi Gras Museum website for more information.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN APRIL

This section will provide several different activities that you can enjoy after dark in New Orleans this April.

If you’re looking for a way to save money on some of the most popular things to do after the sun goes down, keep in mind that New Orleans tourist passes include services such as evening cruises and ghost tours.

For even more great ideas, please read our full post covering the most interesting things to do at night in New Orleans.


Go on a Haunted Tour

If you have an interest in the potentially haunted history of New Orleans, you may want to think about taking one of our pay-what-you-wish ghost tours

It covers the often disturbing tales behind locations such as the Hotel Monteleone and Pirates Alley.

In addition to this service, there are also cemetery tours that you can take at night. This is a great opportunity for an even creepier experience in New Orleans.

For those who aren’t interested in the haunted history of the Big Easy, there are also pub crawls you can enjoy after dark which covers some of the best bars in the city and the best drinks they have to offer.


Go on a Riverboat Cruise

With the weather warming up, this is a great time to take an evening cruise on the Mississippi River. 

There are two popular companies currently offering riverboat cruises after dark, and both of them are very highly rated.

Each cruise includes live jazz music and the opportunity for dinner.

This is one of the best ways to see the city skyline, as most evening cruises start at around sunset.

As if that weren’t good enough, this service is actually included with each of the major New Orleans tourist passes.

If you’re looking for an even cheaper alternative, you can also take the Algiers Point ferry across the water for $2.

This is a great way to see the city from the water without worrying about your budget.


Take in the sights and sounds of Frenchmen Street

Frenchmen Street is great for live music, food, and drinks.

There are dozens of places to try local cuisine, hear the sounds of the city at clubs, and plenty of watering holes to enjoy bourbon and other spirits. 

Our guide to Frenchmen Street and the Marigny will help you figure out where to go to enjoy it all.

TIP: You can find out about other great venues to hear live music from our post on music performances in New Orleans.


Walk Bourbon Street

This famous street in the French Quarter is always bustling!

Just two of the many iconic bars include Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and the Old Absinthe House.

You can find many places to hear live jazz but perhaps the most popular takes place in a 200-year-old building, Fritzel’s European Jazz Club. 

Read our post on things to do on Bourbon Street

See our post on Things to Do in New Orleans at Night for other great nighttime activities.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN APRIL

In this section, we will provide a list of many fun and engaging events you can enjoy with your family in New Orleans this April.

It’s also worth noting that you can save money on several kid-friendly attractions such as the Audubon Zoo and Mardi Gras World with a New Orleans tourist pass.

For even more great ideas, make sure to read our full post covering things to do with kids in New Orleans.


Go to Audubon Zoo

There are a lot of interesting animals and exhibits to see at the Audubon Zoo, and there will probably also be a few interesting events to attend this month as well.

TIP: Tickets for Audubon Zoo are included for free with both major New Orleans tourist passes.


See the Victory Belles

The National WW2 Museum is more than just a fantastic place to learn about history, they also host some pretty interesting events at BB’s Stage Door Canteen. 

The Victory Belles are one of their most popular acts, singing some of the more memorable music from the WW2 era. 

The Victory Belles has a show planned for April 2nd, though you can check the events calendar to see if additional dates has been added.

In addition to the show, you can also purchase tickets for a lunch buffet which is perfect for kids. 

Note that there will also be a Lady Legends Matinee Luncheon on April 10th and 17th honoring female singing groups from the 30s to the 60s.

NOTE: Tickets for the National WW2 Museum are included with every major New Orleans tourist pass.


Go to Audubon Aquarium

Now that the weather is getting warmer, you might want to consider a trip to the Audubon Aquarium.

In addition to all the aquatic life on display, they also have a rainforest exhibition featuring parakeets and other birds. 

There is also a giant screen theater which they use for family-friendly 4K and 3D films.

Admission to the Audubon Aquarium includes a free ticket to the Entergy theater, so you don’t even have to pay extra!

Tickets can be purchased in combination with admission to the Audubon Zoo for a small price cut. Alternatively, you can also use a New Orleans tourist pass.

For more details, read our full post on the Audubon Aquarium.


The Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

In addition to the zoo and the aquarium, the Audubon Nature Institute also has a Butterfly Garden/Insectarium that your kids might enjoy. 

Located at their new location on Canal Street this attraction is a great place for children to learn all about bugs from around the world. 

The Insectarium includes exhibits covering monarch butterflies, ladybugs, honey bees, dung beetles, leafcutter ants, and more. 

As the name implies, there is also an Asian garden with thousands of butterflies freely fluttering around. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that CNN once voted this the top museum for you and your kids!

Admission is included with each major New Orleans tourist pass.


Take Your Picky Eaters on a Food Tour

New Orleans is home to a bunch of unique foods, but children can be picky when it comes to the things they eat. 

If you’re trying to figure out what to get the kids, consider taking them on a French Quarter food tour so that they can try a variety of different things.

We offer a pay-what-you-want food tour that covers several popular food items including gumbo, jambalaya, po-boys, crawfish, beignets, red beans & rice, and more. 

Unlike other food tours, you only have to pay for the food you try, so anything your kids turn down won’t cost you a thing.

This is a great way to save money while figuring out what your tykes will eat.

TIP: If you’re looking for the best family-friendly restaurants, make sure to check our post covering things to do with kids in New Orleans.


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About The Author

Sarah Hester

Sarah first moved to New Orleans in 2001 to work for the American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana. While working in the communities of New Orleans she fell in love with the unique culture of the Big Easy; it's food, music, architecture, wildlife, and most of all history. Read More... Sarah began her career with FTBF, first as a guide, then as an owner/operator. She believes every day is a good day if she gets to impart her love of her beloved New Orleans with Free Tours By Foot guests. She especially likes to convert new Who Dat Saints Fans!
Updated: May 12th, 2024
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