Things to Do in New Orleans in March

The following post provides dozens of things to do in New Orleans in March, including family-friendly, nighttime, as well as free events and attractions, updated for 2020.

 

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TOP TEN EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN MARCH

In this section, we will cover the most popular activities you can enjoy during the month of March in New Orleans. 

Make sure to read our master post covering the best things to do in New Orleans

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

Visitors who are looking to save money on the most well-known attractions should consider getting a New Orleans Tourist Pass.


1) Go to a Concert

New Orleans has a rich history with music, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that several notable artists choose to perform here throughout the year.

 

 

Here are some of the best shows to see:

Check this list of concerts in New Orleans in March for even more great shows to see this month.


2) Attend a Sporting Event

If you’re a basketball fan, there will be several great NBA and NCAA games to attend in March. Here are some of the best events to see this month:

 

 

New Orleans Pelicans

There will also be a few Tulane Green Wave Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball games that you might want to attend.

For even more great sports in the area, please check this list of New Orleans sporting events in March.


3) See a Popular Musical

While there won’t be many musicals in New Orleans this month, it is worth noting that the historic Saenger Theatre will be hosting at least one popular Off-Broadway show – Mean Girls.

This hit musical is based on the cult classic film which goes by the same name, and it’s a favorite among anyone who has ever had to deal with cliques in high school.

 

 

Alternatively, if you’re visiting NOLA earlier in the month, you might want to consider going to the Saenger Theatre to see Jersey Boys instead.

This musical tells the story of how The Four Seasons got its start and became a chart-topping sensation. It’s sure to be a hit with fans of Frankie Valli.

For even more great shows, check this list of theatrical performances available in New Orleans during March.


4) Enjoy Some Stand-Up Comedy

If you’re in need of a good laugh, you might want to head to the Saenger Theatre on March 28th to see Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show. 

 

 

This is a rare opportunity to see the comedian performing stand-up. Fans of Noah will definitely jump at the chance to see him jump off the screen and on the stage.

Even if you’re not a fan of Trevor Noah, there will likely be several great opportunities to enjoy some open mic stand-up comedy in New Orleans this month.

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


5) Experience Dancing With the Stars

Fans of this hit television show will be happy to hear that the 2020 live tour will be making a stop at the Saenger Theatre early in March.

 

 

During this event, professional dancers will perform a variety of dancing styles including the Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Salsa and Tango. This is a great opportunity to see your favorite show live!

For more great theatrical performances, check this list of events at Saenger Theatre in March.


6) Save Money With a Tourist Pass

If you’re planning to visit a lot of popular attractions or take more than one tour, you may want to consider using a tourist pass to save money on tickets.

Depending on how you use these services, you could easily save 50% off general admission prices – or more!

There are currently two different types of tourist pass in New Orleans: flex pass and all-inclusive.

 

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A flex pass will allow you to pay one flat price for a set number of attractions (2, 3, 4, 5, or 6), while an all-inclusive pass covers admission to dozens of activities for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, or 5 days).

An all-inclusive pass is great if you’re planning to enjoy a variety of different activities during your trip to New Orleans, but you’ll need to use it for at least 4-5 attractions or tours per day in order to get the biggest discount.

On the other hand, a flex pass will cost approximately $19 per attraction, so you’ll save the most money with this service when you use it for the most expensive activities possible.

We recommend that you take a look at each pass and pick the one that has more attractions or tours you want to enjoy. Here are a few of the best activities and locations you can visit with these passes:

  • Hop on Hop off Bus Tour | $39
  • Creole Queen Jazz Cruise | $48
  • Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour w/ Transportation | $52
  • Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium | $23
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas | $30
  • National WWII Museum | $29
  • Mardi Gras World | $21.50
  • Houmas House | $24
  • Audubon Zoo | $23
  • Oak Alley | $27
  • And more!

For more details about these services, please read our post covering New Orleans tourist passes.


7) Enjoy a Spring Walking Tour

It probably won’t be too hot in New Orleans in March, making this an excellent time to take one of our pay-what-you-want walking tours.

 

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The following outings will be available this month:

In addition to these options, we also offer several self-guided tours and GPS audio guides which you can use to learn more about the city as you explore at your own leisure.


8) Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

If you thought the party would stop with Mardi Gras, you clearly underestimate how much this town loves to celebrate.

In New Orleans, St. Patrick’s Day is a multi-week celebration complete with parades and block parties.

 

 

While many of the festivities are hosted by pubs and include plenty of drinking, you’ll still find great activities to do with the whole family.

The Irish Channel Parade on March 15th in the Garden District is one of the largest and most interesting parades to attend in New Orleans.

Visitors who are looking for more adult fun should head to Parasol’s Block Party Celebration, a recurring event that takes place on the third Saturday of March every year.

This party lasts for 10 hours and it’s entirely free to attend. You might want to bring some money for food and drinks, but the music won’t cost you a dime.


9) See Wildlife in the Swamps

With the weather getting warmer, March might be a good time to head out to the swamps surrounding New Orleans.

This is an excellent opportunity is available in two locations: Bayou Sauvage and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.

 

 

Both sites offer maps, trails and sometimes even special events throughout the year which are free to enjoy.

All you have to do is drive out and enjoy the natural splendor of the swamplands!

Visitors who would rather get a closer look may want to consider going on a professionally guided swamp tour instead.

For more activities you won’t have to pay a dime to enjoy, read our section covering free things to do in New Orleans in March.

TIP: Don’t forget that there are tours of the Jean Lafitte Swamp included with New Orleans tourist passes.


10) Enjoy a Round of Putt-Putt Golf After Dark

New Orleans City Park has a lot of wonderful attractions to see, but City Putt is a particularly excellent spot to visit when the sun goes down.

This fairly new putt-putt golf course is open until 10 pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends, ensuring you can visit pretty much whenever you want.

 

 

This is an excellent activity for families, but it could also make a pretty fun date night as well. Tickets are very affordable, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the budget. 

There are a total of two themed courses to golf with 36 holes to sink.

For more nighttime activities, please read our section devoted to things to do at night in New Orleans this March.

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

In the following section, we will provide several great activities that you can enjoy in New Orleans after dark in March.

If you’re looking for even more things to do, make sure to check our other sections for even more ideas.

Some of the best nighttime activities in this city are actually included in major New Orleans tourist passes.

 

 

For even more great ideas, don’t forget to read our post covering things to do at night in New Orleans.


Go on a Ghost Tour

With over 300 years of history, New Orleans is a city full of tales about the supernatural.

There are many locations that are considered to be haunted, and you can visit many of these sites on our pay-what-you-want French Quarter Ghost Tour

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the darker side of NOLA without worrying about your budget.

We also offer a pay-what-you-wish voodoo tour that covers the history behind this spiritual movement and its place in New Orleans culture. 

In addition to these opportunities, there are several tour companies that provide similar services in New Orleans, and some of those tours are included with various tourist passes.


Attend Thursdays at Twilight

Every Thursday night in March, the Botanical Garden in City Park will host a special series of concerts known as Thursdays at Twilight.

This event welcomes local bands from throughout the region to perform for a live audience. The following artists will be performing this month:

  • Banu Gibson | Mar 5th
  • Paul Soniat | Mar 12th
  • New Orleans Mystics | Mar 19th
  • Phil Melancon | Mar 26th

Tickets are only $10 per person, but they are first-come, first-served. With seating limited to only 480 people per performance, you might want to think about purchasing your tickets well ahead of time.

TIP: If you’re going to be in City Park after dark, consider stopping by City Putt for a round of mini-golf to finish off the night!


Attend the Top Taco Festival

A festival like none other, Top Taco Festival includes a taco competition between over 40 of the city’s best restaurants, handcrafted cocktails, and live music.

Participants can choose from three different entry options, including a VIP option that features a private party and entertainment.

Taking place after dark, this festival is aimed at adults and in fact is only open to people 21 or older. As such, this wouldn’t be a great family-friendly activity.

  • Tickets: $50/General Admission | $70/First Tasting Ticket
  • VIP Tickets: $100 per person
  • Day-of-event ticket prices increase by $25
  • Date: March 19th, 2020
  • Starting Time: 6 pm
  • Location: Woldenberg Park
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

TIP: If you’re interested in learning more about all the great foods in this city, consider taking our New Orleans food tour.


Go to a Comedy Show

During the month of March, the House of Blues will be hosting a show known as Comedy Gold on every Wednesday night. This open mic event will be hosted by Leon Blanda, and it’s entirely free to attend. 

Although the laughs won’t cost you a thing, you may want to bring some money to purchase a few drinks or a snack.

There are several other open mic nights available at various venues throughout the week. For more information about these opportunities, make sure to read our post cover almost free things you can do in New Orleans.

NOTE: Don’t forget that comedian Trevor Noah will be performing live at the Saenger Theatre on March 28th!


See Art in Bloom at NOMA

With spring just around the corner, the New Orleans Museum of Art will celebrate by holding a special showcase known as ‘Art in Bloom.’ 

This event features floral designs from over 100 exhibitors that remain at the museum for a total of 4 days at the end of the month.

The focus of this exhibition is on light, which means you can expect a lot of well lit displays from artists who use illumination to create their work. 

The preview party begins on March 25th, but the displays will be available to the public starting on the 26th and running until the 29th.

  • Preview Party Tickets: As low as $150 per person
  • General Admission: $15/Adults | $10/Seniors/Military
  • Youth Admission: $8/Students | $6/Children (7-12)
  • Children 6 and under are free
  • Teenagers 13-19 are free
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

TIP: Don’t forget that admission to the Sculpture Garden at NOMA is always free. While this might not be a great nighttime activity, you might want to drop by before heading in to see this exhibition.

For even more great ideas, don’t forget to read our post covering things to do at night in New Orleans.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO IN MARCH

In the following section, we will provide a selection of the most interesting activities and events available in New Orleans throughout the month of March.

 

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Don’t forget to check our other sections for even more great ideas such as Comedy Gold at the House of Blues, the Irish Parade, the St. Joseph’s Day Parade, a visit to the swamp and more.

You can find additional ideas for affordable activities on our full post covering free and cheap things to do in New Orleans and in the video below.


Wednesday at the Square

Sponsored by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans, Wednesday at the Square is a free 12-week concert series every Wednesday at Lafayette Square.

There are a few chances to catch a show this month, showcasing a variety of local artists who will play everything from jazz, funk, swamp-pop, Latin, rock, and many more genres.

Guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to set up for seating. There will also be a variety of inexpensive food booths offering local culinary specialties.

Concerts start at 5:00 pm and run until just around 8:00 pm, which makes this a pretty good activity to enjoy at night.

Be sure to check out our post on Tips for Live Music in New Orleans for even more great opportunities to catch live acts this month.


Attend a Live Jazz Performance

New Orleans is a jazz town, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that there are always at least a few live performances happening each month. 

The Ritz-Carlton offers free jazz shows multiple times per week. Jeremy Davenport performs for a live audience on Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy his show from 9:30 pm – 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. With such late hours on the weekends, this could make for a great nighttime activity.

NOTE: Even if you can’t manage to attend one of these shows, you might still have an opportunity to hear some live jazz at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. There is a free performance held here every Tuesday afternoon!


Celebrate Super Sunday

While in most places throughout the country “Super Sunday” refers to the Sunday in which the NFL Super Bowl is played, in New Orleans Super Sunday is a traditional celebration of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes.

It is believed that these tribes date back to antebellum times when escaped slaves lived among Indian tribes in the South, thus adopting much of their customs.

 

 

Held as close as possible to St. Joseph’s Day, Super Sunday and its parade will take place on March 22nd, 2020, beginning in A.L. Davis Park.

The procession features around 50 tribes who will be dressed in colorful displays of Native American ceremonial attire. This spectacle features rituals, dances, and chants as each tribe compete to outdo one another for spectators.

All of the activities of Super Sunday are free and open to the public. If you’re looking for something fun to do either after St. Patrick’s Day or before St. Joseph’s Day, this is an excellent opportunity you won’t want to miss!


Go to a Free Art Gallery

If you’re interested in art, there are a few different galleries you can visit for free on a monthly basis. These museums house some of the most interesting pieces in New Orleans, and this is an excellent opportunity to see them without paying a dime.

On the first Friday of every month, the Newcomb Art Museum offers a tour of their collection. From 12 pm – 1 pm, a professional guide provides additional information about their pottery exhibitions and many notable artifacts on display.

While you can book a tour at other times of the month, this is the only time to enjoy it for free. This museum offers open admission to the public throughout the week.

The Louisiana History Galleries at the Historic New Orleans Collection is always free to visit. This is an excellent alternative if you miss any of the other free museum days.

Visitors who are looking for a family-friendly experience may want to consider a trip to the free sculpture garden outside of the New Orleans Museum of Art.


Practice Yoga at the Riverwalk

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk hosts a special Yoga class for free every Wednesday morning at sunrise.

On colder days, this session takes place inside the mall near the Julia Street entrance, but on nice days they usually move it outside onto the balcony facing the Mississippi River.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own mat, a water bottle, and any other items they may need or want for the Yoga class. Free parking passes are given out at the end of class.

This is a great place to start the day, and it’s close to many landmarks and historic locations such as Jackson Square and the French Market.


Enjoy a Free Wine Tasting Session

Whether you’re interested in learning more about wine or you just want to try some new flavors, this is an excellent opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Every Wednesday, Faubourg Wines provides a free wine tasting event that covers four different wines. This is a great way to find out about brands and vintages you’ve never tried before.

This service takes place from 6 pm – 8 pm on Wednesday nights. They do not require reservations, so all you have to do is drop in and join the group.

Faubourg Wines recommends arriving before 7:30 pm to ensure that you don’t miss out on any drinks.

With somewhat later hours, this could be a great idea for a nighttime activity.

For more ideas, check out our full post covering free and cheap things to do in New Orleans and in the video below.

 


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THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN MARCH

This section will include several different activities that you can enjoy with your family in New Orleans during the month of March.

Check our other sections for even more ideas like Wednesday at the Square, Super Sunday, basketball games, musicals, putt-putt golf and more.

 

 

Some of the best attractions for kids are included with various New Orleans tourist passes. If you plan on visiting locations such as the Audubon Zoo, Mardi Gras World or the Louisiana Children’s Museum, these services are a great way to save some money.

We also have a guide to New Orleans with kids for more family-friendly ideas for any time of year. 


See the Tulips in City Park

In January, the staff at City Park plants thousands of tulip bulbs around Big Lake. These flowers take about a month and a half to bloom.

March is prime time to see the colorful assortments of these gorgeous flowers all along the lake, and the weather in New Orleans is usually comfortably warm in early spring. 

Taking the kids out for a walk or picnic during this spectacular season of the blossom is a great way to spend the day.

While you’re visiting City Park, stop in at Morning Call for beignets, deep-fried pastry with powdered sugar on top. Visit our post to find out more about the Best Beignets in New Orleans.


Make the Most of Crawfish Season

March is peak season for a Louisiana favorite – crawfish! These crustaceans, which resemble small lobsters, are at their highest in population and are large enough to make preparing them worthwhile during the early spring.

Many New Orleans restaurants host crawfish boils this month and include them in a variety of dishes including Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Crawfish Pie. 

Being so close to the water, this is one town where you can be sure that your seafood will be fresh and delicious.

Visit our post on Crawfish in New Orleans for tips on where to find the best seafood in the Big Easy this March.

TIP: If you’re interested in learning more about this popular dish, you might want to consider taking our French Quarter Food Tour.


Go to the Irish Channel Parade

The Irish Channel Parade on Magazine Street is one of the biggest family-friendly parades to attend in New Orleans during the month of March. 

Your kids will enjoy participating in the fun of catching not only colorful beads but also cabbage, carrots, and potatoes amongst other things thrown off floats by riders.

If you thought the parades would end with Mardi Gras, you may have underestimated how much this city likes to party! 

You’ll find no shortage of festive activities to do in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day including more block parties, parades, and free food. While some of these events aren’t kid friendly, this parade is a great activity for children.

The Irish Channel Parade starts at 1 pm on March 15th and it will travel throughout the Garden District. Visitors who want to learn more about this area should consider taking our pay-what-you-wish Garden District tour.


Attend the St. Joseph’s Day Parade

In addition to the Irish Channel Parade, there will also be a similar event in honor of St. Joseph’s Day. This celebration commemorates the relief St. Joseph provided to Sicilian immigrants during a famine in Sicily. 

The event features the construction of elaborate altars, ceremonial foods and of course, the St. Joseph’s Day Parade.

The parade takes place in the French Quarter on March 21st and features traditional Italian music backing marchers in black tuxedos, bustling through the streets. 

In addition to the classic tunes, there will also be silk flowers, beads and fava beans thrown off the floats.

Hosted by the American Italian Marching Club, this is widely considered to be the largest ethnic group organization in the Southeastern United States.


Go to Carousel Gardens

Although they are closed during the winter, this amusement park offers early openings beginning in March. This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy one of the best attractions in City Park before it gets too hot outside. 

They have over a dozen different rides available, including popular options such as the ferris wheel, the tilt-a-whirl, bumper cars, and – yes – a carousel!

  • Admission: $4 per person | free for kids under 3 ft tall
  • Rides: $4 per ride | $18 for unlimited rides
  • Dates: Opens on March 9th
  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm
  • Learn more here.

NOTE: Admission is free for visitors who purchase tickets to Storyland. This popular City Park attraction is basically a theme playground with several different structures related to popular fairy tale characters that children can interact with. 

You may also want to consider taking the kids to City Putt, a great mini-golf complex in the park that is open until 10 pm on weekdays.


See Live Music at the National WW2 Museum

Aside from all the fantastic exhibits on display at this museum, they also have a great venue where you can enjoy some great live musicians. In March,

Starting on March 6th, the Victory Belles will be returning to BB’s Stage Door Canteen. This group of singers performs some of the most popular music from the 1940s. 

Taking place earlier in the day from 11:45 am – 1:45 pm, these shows are perfect for families and audiences of all ages.

Tickets for these shows range from about $25-$65 depending on when the show is and whether or not you include dinner. 

If you want to visit the museum as well, keep in mind that admission is included with both the New Orleans Pass and the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass.

We also have a guide to New Orleans with kids for more family-friendly ideas for any time of year. 

 


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About the author

Manager | New Orleans

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.

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!