The Best Things to Do in New Orleans in April

The 15 Best Things to Do in New Orleans in April (2024)

April is one of the best months to visit New Orleans. Not only are you enjoying warm weather without the summer heat, but you can also experience some of the best events New Orleans will have for the whole year. When you visit New Orleans in April, you’ll find music around every corner, block parties, and warm weather treats coming out from their winter hibernation. 

To help you get the most out of your spring trip, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in New Orleans in April, from a world-famous festival to a weekly concert you won’t want to miss. Pick your favorite spring activities from this list, and you’re bound to have an amazing April vacation to the Big Easy.

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Things to Do in New Orleans in April

The 15 Best Things to Do in New Orleans in April

1. Go Local at the Freret Street Festival

Most often held on the first Saturday of April, the Freret Street Festival is one of the best events in New Orleans in April and is a great way to start the month. Over six blocks, you’ll find a celebration of all things local: music, restaurants, businesses, and more. Enjoy the festivities as you support the small businesses that keep New Orleans going.

2. Listen to Free Music at Lafayette Square

Best Things to do in New Orleans in April: Free Music at Lafayette Square

Every Wednesday evening, Lafayette Square becomes the place to be in New Orleans. From early March through early May, the location is home to the Wednesday at the Square Concert Series

This free event series highlights local artists of all kinds, from jazz musicians to rockstars to much more. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in New Orleans’ music scene, especially if you’re looking for a free way to do it.

3. Embrace the Culture of the French Quarter

Cool Things to do in New Orleans in April: French Quarter Festival

Typically held in mid-April, the French Quarter Festival is one of the best things to do in New Orleans in spring. All throughout the famous French Quarter, you’ll find live music, eats and treats from local restaurants, and tons of live entertainment that go to show why there’s always a party happening in New Orleans.

4. Attend One of the World’s Biggest Jazz Celebrations 

People come from all over to take part in the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, better known as Jazz Fest. If you’re visiting New Orleans in April, this festival is a must-do. Stretching over two weekends, you’ll see and hear both legendary musicians and up-and-coming talents. 

Alongside the music, you’ll also enjoy tasting your way around New Orleans’ beloved food scene, with food and drink offerings from tons of local vendors.

5. Scream at the Overlook Film Festival

The Overlook Film Festival is one of the best events in April in New Orleans and a must-do for all horror fans. This film fest is much more than just a film festival. It celebrates all things horror. 

In addition to both full-length and short horror movies, you’ll also get scared by live shows, radio plays, virtual reality experiences, and so much more. It’s four days of total fright!

6. Chow Down for a Good Cause

Unique Things to do in New Orleans in April: Hogs for a Cause

Early April in New Orleans is typically when you’ll find a great opportunity to eat some amazing food for a good cause. Hogs for a Cause is a colossal BBQ competition where over 90 teams compete. In addition to dining your way through the teams’ creations, you’ll also listen to over 20 local bands perform on three stages. 

The best part? As the name implies, it’s for a great cause. You’ll be raising funds for families with children who have pediatric brain cancer.

7. Watch an Easter Parade

With Easter usually arriving between late March and late April, it’s no wonder that several of the best things to do in New Orleans in April involve celebrating this hoppy holiday. While many cities have Easter parades, New Orleans actually has several, from the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade to the Gay Easter Parade put on by the city’s LGBTQ community.

8. Spend Easter at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park

Fun Things to do in New Orleans in April: Carousel Gardens Amusement Park

If Easter falls in April, you’ll find one of the best things to do in New Orleans in spring over at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park in City Park. The annual Egg Scramble is a must-do if you’re traveling with kids!

In addition to an egg hunt with thousands of hidden eggs, families will also enjoy live music, a visit from the Easter Bunny, and unlimited rides on the amusement park rides. 

9. Delight in Some Crawfish Boils 

New Orleans in April Bucket List: Crawfish

Spring in New Orleans means crawfish season, which is why getting some during your April trip is a must-do. And you’ll find crawfish everywhere in New Orleans during this time. Whether you like them boiled, baked, or fried, you’ll be able to get your crawfish fix.

10. Celebrate All Things Crawfish at Tulane 

Must do things in New Orleans in April: Crawfest

If you’re looking for a place that’s guaranteed to have tons of crawfish during your trip to New Orleans in April, head to Crawfest. This student-run event at Tulane University features live music, art from local creators, and all the crawfish you could ever want. It’s one of the largest student-run events in the US, but you don’t have to be a student to enjoy it.

11. Cool Off with a Snowball

What to do in New Orleans in April: Snowball

Crawfish isn’t the only unique treat you’ll find in April in New Orleans. The end of March and the beginning of April typically means the start of snowball season. Made with shaved ice, flavored with sweetened syrup, and stuffed with mix-ins, this chilly treat is a New Orleans tradition that dates back to the 1930s. Today, you can get snowballs of all kinds and flavors in every neighborhood come springtime. 

12. Take a Swamp Tour 

New Orleans in April Things to do: Swamp Tour

You may still be able to take a tour of Louisiana’s swamps in the summer, but we’d only recommend doing that in the early morning and late evening because of how intense the heat is. A much better idea is to plan to take such a tour during a New Orleans trip in spring when the temperatures aren’t soaring yet. 

Whether you’re looking to glide around on an airboat or want to get out on the water yourself in a kayak, there are plenty of swamp tour options around the New Orleans area.

13. Take a Food Tour

Best Things to do in New Orleans in April: Food Tour

A walking tour is one of the best things to do in New Orleans in April because it means that you get to explore the city while experiencing the beautiful spring weather. And one of the best types of walking tours in New Orleans is a food tour. The city’s food scene is beloved for a reason! 

Like swamp tours, there are all different types of walking food tours, including a tour of the city’s best bars that you’ll explore while learning about New Orleans’ haunted history.

14. Hop on a Riverboat Cruise

Best Things to do in New Orleans in April: Riverboat Cruise

One of the most unique things to do in New Orleans in April is to climb aboard a riverboat, like the Creole Queen. This paddlewheeler offers several tour options that’ll take you down the Mississippi and let you get a lovely view of New Orleans in spring. 

If you’re looking for something that’ll teach you more about the city’s history, you can take the Historical River Cruise, where you’ll take in New Orleans’ most important landmarks with a historian narrator. Or you can enjoy a meal out on the water while you cruise around to the sound of a live jazz band.

15. Attend a Poetry Festival

Literary lover? Spring in New Orleans is filled with book and poetry festivals, and the arrival of April often means the return of the New Orleans Poetry Festival

Come together with other poetry fans as you listen to works from local New Orleans authors and writers from all over the globe. The poetry festival also includes a small press book fair, where you just might discover your new favorite writer!

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in New Orleans in April. What are your favorite April events in New Orleans? Let us know in the comments!



  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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