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What to Do in August in New Orleans

Updated: June 28, 2023

This post is about things to do in August in New Orleans, including free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events and activities. It is updated for 2023.

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This section will focus on the top 10 things to do in August in New Orleans.

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

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

1. Learn about Hurricane Katrina

It has been 18 years since Hurricane Katrina first touched ground in New Orleans in August of 2005.

But, the impact of this catastrophic event can still be felt throughout several neighborhoods in the city.

If you’re visiting in late August, you may want to consider honoring the victims of this tragedy, by visiting the Hurricane Katrina Memorial.

Alternatively, you could also head to the Presbytère to see their exhibit about the disaster.

In addition to these activities, you could also take our free, self-guided Hurricane Katrina Tour or our GPS-led audio tour.

We also have a two-part video tour you can take if the weather is bad. The first part is listed right above, so all you have to do is click play!

2. Attend a Summer Concert

Although there aren't a lot of concerts scheduled this month, there are at least a few notable artists performing in New Orleans this August.



  • The F.O.R.C.E. Live | August 23rd | Smooth King Center | Featuring: Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J., Wiz Khalifa, and more.

For other live music options, check out our post about live music in New Orleans.

Find more great things to do in the evening in our nighttime activities section below!

3. Attend the Theatre or a Comedy Show

If you're a fan of musicals, theatre, or comedy, it can be found in New Orleans in August.

Theatre or Musicals



4. Attend White Linen Night

On the first Saturday of August, New Orleans residents don their best white linens and descend upon Julia Street in the Arts District.

During this special event, visitors are invited to hop from one gallery to the next and perhaps even support local artists by purchasing some of their work.

Although the block party is free to attend, you can also buy a food & drink tickets. There are also after-parties and a cool-down lounge.

Events take place August 6th, 2023 at 300-600 Julia Street. Visit the White Linen Night website for more information.

If you’re looking for other activities in the area to combine with this event, check our Audubon Aquarium post for more ideas.

Check out our full post on things to do at night any time of the year and/or check out our video below.

5. Grab a Bite During COOLinary Restaurant Month

Throughout the entire month of August, both locals and visitors from out of town can enjoy some pretty nice discounts at popular restaurants in New Orleans.

During this event, you’ll find over 30 restaurants serving up low-priced prix-fixe meals for lunch, dinner, and brunch.

Read our post on COOLinary for all the details on participating restaurants, prices, and more. Or visit the Coolinary website.

If you love food (who doesn't!) consider taking our pay-what-you-wish New Orleans Food Tour to sample NOLA cuisine and learn about the city's culinary traditions.

6. Attend Satchmo Summer Fest

The music and life of Louis Armstrong have meant a lot to New Orleans. Every year, they hold a music festival in his honor.

In addition to a packed music schedule, there are loads of food options to try out (think cajun seafood eggrolls, fried crawfish tacos, shrimp remoulade, and more.)

This event will take place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum from August 5th - August 6th, 2023.

For more information, and for tickets, visit the Satchmo Summerfest website.

7. Go Out For Dirty Linen Night

Art galleries and antique shops on Royal Street hold an alternative event to White Linen Night.

Visitors are welcome to stop by and enjoy the artwork on display.

There may also be live musicians on hand, and some shops have been known to offer free martinis and dirty rice.

Events take place on August 13th in the 500-900 blocks of Royal Street. Visit the Dirty Linen Night website for more information.

8. See a Free Museum

Many of the fantastic New Orleans museums are available for free on specific (or every) day of the month!

The Historic New Orleans Collection is always free to go in and see the permanent exhibits at the Royal Street and Chartres Street locations.

And if you've seen the HBO series Treme, you'll want to see the House of Dance and Feathers, a museum dedicated to the artwork and culture of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, Skull & Bones Gangs, and Baby Dolls.

We provide a list below in the next section.

9. Take a Sightseeing Tour

August is sunny and quite warm, so it is a great time to get out and see the sights in New Orleans.

We offer many daily, pay-what-you-like walking tours.

If you are not a fan of the heat, an air-conditioned hop-on-hop-off bus tour is the perfect alternative.

If you’d rather do your sightseeing when it cools off at night, try our ghost tours that depart at 5:00 PM or later.

This would also be a great time to get out on the water for dinner and experience a view of the city from a riverboat dinner cruise.

10. Get a New Orleans City Pass

To go on all the tours and see all the museums, attractions, and plantations you can, using a New Orleans City Pass could save you time and money with fast-track or skip-the-line access and bundled discounts.

Attractions Included:


This section will focus primarily on things you can do for free in New Orleans during August.

Other sections of this post also list free things to do, so be sure to read this post in its entirety.

For even more free activities, check out our Free Things to Do in New Orleans post

Enjoy a Free Swamp Experience

Lots of people who visit New Orleans will take an organized swamp boat or airboat tour of the local marshlands and swamps.

However, there are a few free options and two of them are in the city.

The first is City Park. The northern half of the park was designed to look like New Orleans without human development.

The other one is Bayou Sauvage, just 25 minutes from the French Quarter, which is free and where you can enjoy activities such as hunting, fishing, photography, and wildlife viewing.

Go to a Free Museum

In addition to the fact that August is Museum Month in New Orleans, there are also several museums in the city that you can visit for free either on certain days of the month or every day of the week.

See the Hurricane Katrina Restoration Efforts

In the years since Hurricane Katrina touched ground in New Orleans, efforts have been made to help restore the city to its former glory.

The idea was to build hundreds of new and sustainable homes in the area, and architects have successfully done just that.

These houses have very unique designs that you can see for free!

One attempt at rebuilding came in the form of Musician’s Village, a neighborhood designed for displaced musicians and families who needed affordable housing in the area.

The development of this area included a community center known as the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music (video).

If touring these areas interests you, you may also want to consider a Hurricane Katrina tour.

We also cover this area in part two of our Hurricane Katrina video tour.

Take a Stroll Through Palace Market

If you’re in the mood to see some modern artwork but don’t want to go to a museum, consider a trip to the Palace Market instead.

The collection on display rotates frequently.

Visitors who want to learn more about the Palace Market and Frenchmen Street should consider taking our pay-what-you-like tour of Frenchmen Street and the Marigny.

Attend a Free Wine Tasting

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.

NOTE: If you’re interested in learning more about the most popular drinks in this city, consider taking our New Orleans Cocktail Tour.

Free Fridays at Tipitina

Tipitinas has been popular since the 1970s and is still entertaining people every week!

On Fridays during the summer (through September 2!) patrons who are 21+ can get into the concerts for free.

The doors open at 8:00 pm and the music starts at 9:00 pm.

The events are free, but they might request a donation to help them support New Orleans's music community through various educational and instrument donation programs.

For even more free activities, check out our Free Things to Do in New Orleans post.


In this section, we will give you a few ideas for fun things to do at night over the month of August in New Orleans.

Don’t forget to check our other sections for ideas such as attending Dirty Linen night or grabbing a bite during COOLinary Restaurant Month.

Check out our full post on things to do at night any time of the year and/or check out our video below.

Take a Spooky Ghost Tour

New Orleans has a long and (at times) spooky history filled with tales of murder and the supernatural.

Many of the locations tied to these stories are still around today, allowing visitors to see where creepy events once took place.

We offer a pay-what-you-want ghost tour in the French Quarter which provides a lot of detail about Pirates Alley and the Hotel Monteleone.

This could be a great activity for families with older children and it’s also very affordable!

See the Swamps After Dark

For a few months every year, some of the swamp tour companies in New Orleans will offer excursions after the sun goes down.

This is an excellent and unique opportunity to see what the wildlife of Louisiana does at night.

Tour guides will use spotlights to reveal what life is like in the swamp after dark.

Boats leave at around 7:30 pm and come back at 10 pm, giving you plenty of time to experience a side of the bayou that few will ever get to see!

Check our swamp tours post for more information.

Enjoy Live Music in the French Quarter

There are a lot of great places to hear live music in New Orleans after dark.

In addition to some free performances in local venues, you may experience music simply by wandering around the city.

If this sounds like a great idea, make sure to check our post about live music in New Orleans for a comprehensive list of locations you might want to visit.

TIP: Keep an eye on this live music schedule to find performances happening during your visit to New Orleans.

Go on an Evening Jazz Cruise

Each cruise service offered at night includes live jazz music, creating a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy the view or even do a bit of dancing.

You can also choose to get dinner while on your outing, as both major riverboats in the city offer a great buffet full of fantastic local foods.

TIP: This service is actually included with both major New Orleans tourist passes, which could save you a lot of money on the normal ticket prices.


This section will include a variety of family-friendly attractions and events in New Orleans throughout the month of August.

If you’re looking for additional activities, check out our full post of family-friendly things to do in New Orleans.

Take the Kids to Cool Zoo

The Audubon Zoo is a great place for families to visit, but during the summer their Cool Zoo water park is undoubtedly the more popular destination.

Kids can have fun in an alligator water slide called the Gator Run which will take them past some of the animals at the zoo.

There are many additional attractions here including a spider-monkey soaker and spitting water snakes.

If you need to cool off and have some fun, this is an excellent activity for the whole family.

Make sure to read our post about the Audubon Zoo for more information.

Go Bowling

The Rock'n'Bowl in New Orleans is the perfect place to go when it is too hot to stay out in the afternoon sun.

It costs $25 per hour, per lane to bowl with a $1 shoe rental, which is a good deal for the whole family!

Oh, and dance to live music while you play.

Cool Down With a Snowball

There are a lot of wonderful snowball shops all over New Orleans offering a delicious way to cool off during the summer.

By Infrogmation of New Orleans - Photo by Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 3.0

In addition to classic flavors, you’ll also find some pretty interesting local favorites ranging from Cajun Red Hot to Creamy Tootsie Roll.

Check this list of the best snowball stands in the city.

If you’re looking for additional activities, check out our full post of family-friendly things to do in New Orleans.

Visit the Children's Museum

The Louisiana Children's Museum is the place that will keep your children entertained for hours.

There are a lot of hands-on activities that encourage learning, both indoors and out.

There are water activities. an edible garden, spinning chairs, toddler-focused exhibits arts and crafts, and so much more.

Visit their website for hours and to purchase tickets.


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: June 28th, 2023
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