This post covers the best things to do in New Orleans in June, updated for 2021 including festivals, annual events, free things to do, nighttime activities, and family-friendly options.
Be sure to read our master post on things to do in New Orleans for even more ideas.
TOP EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN JUNE
Below is a list of the best things to do in New Orleans this June. Take a look at our post, How’s the Weather in June in New Orleans, to help you plan your activities.
Many of the best attractions to visit in this city are included for free with a New Orleans tourist attraction discount pass.
For some of the most popular tours, we have the following articles:
For more ideas, see our post on things to do in NOLA all year long.
1. Go See a Concert
Thanks to the musical history of New Orleans, a lot of notable performers are drawn to the city throughout the year.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there aren't a lot of concerts scheduled for June of 2021 just yet.
This may change in the near future, so we recommend checking this list of concerts in New Orleans to see who is playing this month.
The only major groups scheduled to play this June are Primus and Wolfmother, both at the beloved Saenger Theatre.
Check our New Orleans live music calendar for even more places to see music this month.
2. Experience St. John’s Eve
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about voodoo culture, you might want to check out one of the events that are held during St. John’s Eve which is celebrated annually on June 23.
This is a day when practitioners will hold celebrations and perform rituals.
One such ritual is held at the International House Hotel, where a spiritual ceremony will usually be performed by an actual voodoo priestess.
This ritual was started by the historic voodoo queen Marie Laveau over 150 years ago, and it is still practiced to this very day.
If you’re not quite confident in your knowledge about this subject, consider taking our voodoo tour, which runs 5 days a week.
NOTE: Some public activities for this event may be postponed, canceled, or turned into virtual experiences for 2021 due to the pandemic.
3. Take a Sightseeing Tour
Summer is one of the best times to see all of the historic sites of New Orleans. After all, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have to worry about bad weather!
Here are a few of the pay-what-you-wish walking tours we currently offer in the city:
- French Quarter
- Garden District
- Frenchman Street
- Music, Arts & More
- Voodoo Tour
- Ghost Tour
- Treme Tour
We also offer many of our tours in GPS-led audio tour versions.
If you’re looking for an even more in-depth tour, consider one of these extensive outings from Take Walks:
If you can't take one of these tours, consider taking one of our virtual tours of New Orleans:
4. Celebrate Juneteenth at a Plantation
Juneteenth (June 19 annually) is the day that Americans celebrate the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Several local New Orleans plantations provide an opportunity to learn more about the lives of enslaved peoples.
The Whitney Plantation, in particular, is dedicated to covering slavery in the Southern USA. Here are a few others.
Read more about the plantations near New Orleans on our Louisiana plantation tours post.
Note that many plantation tours are included with several of the New Orleans tourist discount passes.
TIP: Some of these locations might decide to postpone or cancel their plans for Juneteenth as a precaution against Covid-19. Make sure to check their calendars and call ahead before heading out.
5. Consider Getting a Tourist Pass
If you’re looking for discounts on general admission costs, a tourist pass can be one of the easiest ways to save money.
Depending on how you use these passes, you could save 50% or more on regular ticket prices.
Here are some of the more interesting locations and activities you can enjoy with these services:
- Audubon Zoo
- Audubon Aquarium
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Houmas House Plantation
- Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour
- Mardi Gras World
- National WWII Museum
- Creole Queen Cruise
- Oak Alley Plantation
- 2-Hour Bike Rental
For more details, make sure to read our full post covering how to choose the right New Orleans Tourist Pass for your needs.
6. Dine out During Restaurant Week
During Restaurant Week, over 80 restaurants in New Orleans offer a prix-fixe menu at discounted prices. This event was postponed in 2020, but there's a strong chance it will still happen in some capacity during June of 2021.
Prices vary by the restaurant but are generally around $20 lunch and $39 dinner. Note that the prices do not include drinks or tips.
Some of the most famous eateries participate, like Antoine's, Charlie’s Steak House, and Galatoire’s Restaurant.
For more information read our post on Restaurant Week in New Orleans.
Foodies might also want to consider our French Quarter Food & History Tour.
7. Take a Food Tour
New Orleans is known for its cuisine and while you are there, you will certainly want to sample some of the best dishes the city has to offer.
For an experience that includes both delicious food and fascinating history, look into taking one of our food tours.
Our French Quarter food tour is a great way to see one of the best parts of NOLA while sampling its renowned cuisine.
Our tour includes the chance to try foods like PoBoys, crawfish, pralines, beignets, muffulettas, and other dishes.
To see about other food tours in different neighborhoods, see our post one New Orleans food tours.
NOTE: Some companies and restaurants may not be welcoming tours, but you'll most likely still be able to order food from a variety of locations.
You might want to consider reading our post about the best things to eat in New Orleans and using this guide to pick out some great meals for a self-guided tour of your own!
8. Take a Swamp Tour After Dark
During the summer months, local tour companies offer a very special and rare chance to tour the swamplands at night.
This service is only available for a few months, so you may want to take advantage of the opportunity to see what life is like in the swamp after the sun goes down.
These tours typically begin at about 7:30 pm and run for about 90 minutes. Tour guides will use a high-powered lamp to shed some light on the wildlife surrounding you.
For more details, make sure to read our post covering New Orleans swamp tours.
If a night on the swamp doesn’t sound appealing, take a look at our section on things to do at night for more nighttime activities.
TIP: This service may not be offered in 2021 due to the pandemic, but you can always check beforehand to make sure.
9. Check Out the French Market Creole Tomato Festival
In response to the pandemic, this festival was made virtual for 2020, and they may choose to take this approach again in 2021.
That said, we do recommend checking ahead of time to see whether or not this event will be taking place in person.
Beyond tomatoes, there will include live music, cooking demos, food booths, and fun activities for kids from 10 am - 7 pm each day.
For those who weren’t aware, Creole Tomatoes are actually an entirely different kind of tomato, and New Orleans residents often take a unique approach when cooking them.
10. Have Fun at June Under the Moon
Every June, Carousel Gardens in City Park holds a special adults-only event -- Fun at June Under the Moon.
The date has not yet been announced for 2021, so check back with us from time to time.
You'll be able to hop on the rides kiddie-free and enjoy an open bar and snacks.
Tickets are $30 per person (if you order them ahead of time) and include all the rides you can handle. Tickets will cost $40 at the gate.
You’ll find even more nighttime attractions on our post covering what to do in New Orleans at night.
11. Hear Free Jazz at the Ritz
If you’re interested in seeing a live musical performance, it’s worth noting that Jeremy Davenport performs jazz at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans several days every week.
Although this activity still seems to be available in 2021, the hotel will likely require you to wear a mask and possibly take other steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
We recommend bringing some money along for refreshments, but it isn’t required.
- Wed-Thur | 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
- Fri-Sat | 9 pm - 1 pm
TIP: The New Orleans Jazz Museum also offers a free show every Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm. If you’re in the area at the time, it’s definitely worth popping in to see the performance!
12. Celebrate Pride Festival
This event typically takes place in June, but it was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
If they decide to hold the festival this year, it will likely take place in mid-June and include several different activities supporting inclusivity and diversity in Crescent City.
The main event is a parade which usually happens the week before the festival. The route typically begins at Elysian Fields and ends on Bourbon Street.
You can also attend parties and enjoy performances by a variety of local artists during the New Orleans Pride festival.
Click here to find out more about these festivities.
13. NOLA Caribbean Festival
The NOLA Caribbean Festival celebrates the culture, music, dance and cuisine of the Caribbean, a region that New Orleans's heritage is deeply rooted.
The official fest usually takes place around Congo Square in late June, but it was canceled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There's a chance they will hold this festival in 2021, but they have yet to announce any plans. Make sure to check in and see if there have been any announcements before setting your heart on this activity.
From June 19-21 and June 24-28, at venues around the city, there will be live music performances, kids activities, dancing, arts and crafts vendors, and more.
The big event is the NOLA Colour Me Krazy Carnival Parade, complete with paint and colored powder being thrown around, which takes place along Canal Street.
This is great fun for anyone, especially kids. See the calendar of events here.
14. Party for the Planet
These special events offer kids the chance to learn about issues in the natural world around us. There are interactive activities to keep kids engaged.
June 6 is World Oceans Day at the Aquarium. Activities will focus on the impact that humans have on marine life and our oceans.
June 20 is the Pollination Celebration at the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. The topic of activities is the relationship between animal, plant, and human life.
NOTE: These events could be canceled or postponed due to Covid-19, so you'll need to check their calendar to see if they are still planning them in 2021.
15. Grab a Treat for National Donut Day
Kids love sweets, and there are few things sweeter than a donut! National Donut Day is on the first Friday of every June. In 2021, it is on June 4th.
The event was started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to remind us of the assistance they provide to those in need. The video explains more.
Some of the best donuts can be found at District Donuts, HiVolt Coffee and Gracious Bakery all located in the Garden District. Read our post on things to do in the Garden District to see what else you can find in this gorgeous part of town.
Whether you just want one or you want to buy a few dozens, you should be able to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Where to Store Your Luggage
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- How’s the Weather in June
- Things to Do in NOLA
- Free Things to Do in New Orleans
- Things to Do with Kids