Living in New Orleans isn’t always a full-time party. Tons of New Orleanians don’t imbibe in alcohol at all but love to experience everything the city has to offer! We have put together a list of 100 things to do in New Orleans that don’t involve alcohol. This list is for our people who love a good time but can enjoy it sans booze!
#1: Tchoupitoulas Challenge at Creole Creamery
This challenge is for your big eaters and those who LOVE ice cream! Local ice cream shop, Creole Creamery, offers you the opportunity to make it to their hall of fame by consuming A LOT of their delicious frozen delicacy! If you can finish eight scoops of ice cream (of your choosing, of course!) with eight toppings complete with whipped cream, cherries, and wafers – then you will be immortalized on their hall of fame plaque. So far, as of 12/2021, 780 people have managed to complete every last bite. Will you be the next?
#2: Hermann-Grima Historic House
The Hermann-Grima Historic House was built in 1831 for Samuel Hermann and remained one of the best-preserved Federal styles of architecture in the French Quarter. It has a functional, open-hearth kitchen that offers cooking demonstrations from October through May. It’s a stunning, meticulously preserved piece of history that not every guidebook will tell you about!
#3: Museum of Death
While the Museum of Death is small in size, you can find yourself immersed in reading every little detail and spending over an hour there. It’s a self-guided tour that requires no reservations ahead of time. Be forewarned: this is for mature audiences and likely isn’t kid-friendly!
This family-friendly location in New Orleans East is perfect for getting outdoors and exploring! The nature trails or Interpretative Center do not require tickets or admission. The Planetarium there plans to reopen in 2022.
#5: Take a City Surf Class
Want to ride some waves without getting your hair wet? Book a class at City Surf New Orleans for the most fun workout you’ve ever experienced! All experience levels are welcome.
St. Roch, the patron saint of protection from epidemics, was prayed to during a Yellow Fever outbreak in New Orleans. During a Yellow Fever outbreak in New Orleans, Rev. Thevis of the Holy Trinity Church prayed to St. Roch. When no one from his church died from yellow fever, he kept his promise and founded the St. Roch Cemetery. He also promised that if St. Roch kept his people safe, he would build a chapel – which he did – and it’s located in the cemetery. What’s best known about this chapel are the offerings left behind to the saint.
It’s a situation where you have to see it to believe it!
Located on historic St. Charles Ave, the House of Broel is more than just wedding receptions! Filled with history, you can also schedule a tour of the dollhouse museum and the fashion museum, all located on the property.
Located inside City Park, you can find the Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. You will find over 90 pieces of art while walking the lawn next to NOMA. It’s open seven days a week and accessible to the public!
Grab some cheap tickets and head down to the Smoothie King Center to catch the Pelicans playing from October thru March. Games are always fun and usually not sold out!
#10: Go to the Rook Cafe for board games & coffee
Located on Freret St, this adorable coffee shop is also packed with board games! Whether you’re looking for something new to do or to meet a date, the Rook Cafe is not your typical coffee shop.
#11: Lafreniere Park
Lafreniere Park in Metairie has a little something for everyone! From Christmas Lights to varying festivals, there seems always to be something happening there. This park also has a two-mile jogging trail, soccer fields, a dog park, a pond to feed ducks, a children’s spray park, picnic areas, fountains, and a Frisbee golf course.
#12: Take a Cooking Class
Check out the New Orleans School of Cooking and what you could be whipping up! They offer private parties, open demo classes, and hands-on classes. Find the one that works best for you and your krewe!
#13: Take a Yacht tour on Lake Pontchartrain
Jump abroad the 47′ Roux Stir with the New Orleans Yacht Experience! This tour is a private event for you and your nearest and dearest. Kids of all ages are allowed to sail with you too.
Located in the Broadmoor neighborhood, Crystale’s thoughtful and unique designs are more than what meets the eye. Contact her for a private showing in her studio!
For only $2, you can have your own Mississippi River cruise on the ferry! Take it right over to Algiers Point, where you will find yourself immersed in old New Orleans architecture, friendly neighbors, and gorgeous views of the city!
Formerly the New Orleans Mint, this museum celebrates the history of jazz music! You will find instruments from notable musicians, costumes, and photographs that commemorate different periods of jazz music.
You can find Old Gretna on the West Bank side of the Mississippi River. City Hall and St. Joseph Church & Gardens are done in Baroque style, dating to 1907 and 1857. You can also find an old Blacksmith Shoppe, the Gretna Historical Society Museum, & the German-American Cultural Museum.
#18: Hike Bayou Sauvage
Home to over 340 species of birds, Bayou Sauvage, is the birding lover’s dream come true! A self-guided interpretive trail is 3/4ths a mile. The Joe Madere Marsh is a great location to spot alligators too. Non-commercial fishing, crabbing, and crawfishing are allowed year-round as well.
#19: Audubon Zoo
Located in Uptown, New Orleans, you will find one of the best zoos in the country. The Audubon Zoo is a hit for kids and adults alike, from endangered species to feeding giraffes! Don’t miss the white alligators – those are our favorites!
JAMNOLA stands for “Joy. Art. Music. New Orleans.” And they certainly bring it all together! This interactive art installation celebrates New Orleans in a way that can’t even be described. Locals and tourists have found JAMNOLA to be a place to celebrate.
#21: The Presbytére
The Presbytére was designed in 1791 and became a part of the Louisiana State Museum in 1911. It tells two sides of an ongoing Louisiana story and history with two permanent exhibits. The displays are sure to entertain both the young and old.
#22: Paddleboarding on Bayou St. John
Rent a paddleboard from Bayou Paddle Sports and get out on the water! Make sure to check out paddleboard yoga too!
Founded in 1841, the St. Augustine Church is the oldest Black Catholic parish in the United States. You will find that while the church has been saved from closing its doors, it requires repair. Make sure to leave a donation after your visit.
While many people think this is a porch for only sipping cocktails, you can enjoy a lovely meal or snacks with a non-alcoholic beverage. Watch the world pass you by, and people watch from this iconic location in the city!
#25: The French Market
The historic French Market has been in place for 200 years! While it may not look the same as it did then, it has always come back. You will find a Flea Market, Farmer’s market, and eateries all inside this “not to miss” spot in every New Orleans guidebook!
#26: 1850 House
The 1850 House, located in the French Quarter, offers a peek into the upper-middle-class in antebellum New Orleans. Not focused on one family, but of general life in New Orleans in the mid-19th century, you will see decor, art, furnishings, etc., that would have been commonplace during this time.
Whether you want to make your own piece of pottery or paint a crafted piece, Chez Clay can help you! Beginners are welcome, and you can pop in Thursday thru Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm without a reservation. You can even book parties there too!
Stretch, HIIT, cardio, and twerking are all a part of Move Ya Brass! All weekly community classes are free to attend and located in various locations across New Orleans. Check out their line-up and pop into a class soon!
#29: Gretna Observatory
Built to create a greater interest in astronomy, the Gretna Observatory is the largest in the New Orleans area. It’s open Mondays & Wednesdays when the sky is clear.
#30: NOLA Gold Rugby Game
Join other New Orleanians at the “Goldmine on Airline” for a rugby match from February to June! Don’t worry if this is new to you too! While some may know the rules, many of us are just learning.
Our top-rated aquarium sits right on the Mississippi River! With over 3,600 animals, including the endangered African penguin, you’re going to have a great time marveling at all the exhibits. Schedule ahead of time to feed otters or pop-in, and you can usually feed a stingray!
Even if you are a New Orleans native, most of us don’t recall every piece of history in the city. Be a tourist in your town and book a walking tour. Two Chicks offers private tours of the Garden District and the French Quarter.
While the original lighthouse sustained damage during hurricanes Katrina & Rita, pieces from the original 1890 building were used to rebuild. Learn about water quality and the habitats of Lake Pontchartrain Basin, the history of the lighthouse, and more!
#34: Ride the Streetcar
Need I say more? The streetcar is a New Orleans classic that everyone must do once! Get the most bang for your buck and ride the streetcar from Downtown to the Carrollton neighborhood.
The Lower Ninth Ward is much more than what was portrayed on tv during hurricane Katrina. Visiting the museum will give you an oral history, along with displays of the Lower Ninth Ward dating back to the 1700s.
The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile-long park that brings residents and tourists from the French Quarter to City Park. You will also find basketball courts, playgrounds, and fitness parks along the trail.
Located at 311 Bourbon Street, this park honors New Orleans musical legends. You can find displays, plaques, and artwork there too. Cafe Beignet is on the far side for refreshments while enjoying the park.
Fun fact: all change thrown into the fountain helps fund the McDonough Elementary School band equipment.
#38: Play a round of golf in Gentilly
Initially opened in 1956, the Joseph M. Bartholomew, Sr. golf course is located in Pontchartrain Park. Named after the first African-American inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, this golf course is part of the first suburban-style neighborhood developed for African-Americans in the 50s. Even if you’re not a golf player, there is a great restaurant called The Munch Factory in the clubhouse!
Located on bustling Magazine Street, the Terrance Osborne Gallery is not to be missed. He rose to fame after Hurricane Katrina when he painted colorful New Orleans homes with depictions of Hurricane Katrina. His work is much more than that, and we encourage you to stop by his gallery. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet him!
Audubon Park is filled with many unique pieces, and the Labyrinth is another one. It was created post-Hurricane Katrina as a place for New Orleanians to heal. You can find it on East Drive, near Laurel Street.
Separated from the city by train tracks and concrete floodwalls, the Moon Walk is still easily accessible to take a stroll by the River. The pathway starts at the Aquarium of the Americas and heads downriver for about 3,500 feet. It’s a great reprieve from everyday life!
#42: Zumba at City Park
Every Saturday morning, even during the summer, you will find men and women filling the peristyle in City Park to Zumba! The class starts at 8 am and is free for everyone!
The Historic New Orleans Collection is more than a museum! It’s also a research center and publisher committed to the history of New Orleans. Admission is free, and there are three campuses in the French Quarter for you to enjoy.
Opened in 2016 in the Bywater, Studio Be was founded by culture bearer Brandan bmike Odums. The mission of StudioBE believes that the blueprint for a better tomorrow lives in the collective imagination. Tickets can be purchased in advance from their website. If you’re short on time, swing by for some great pics of the exterior!
The New Orleans Museum of Art celebrated its 110th birthday in December 2021. There is always something new to enjoy with fantastic permanent displays and ever-evolving, rotating exhibits at NOMA. They also host a variety of festivals throughout the year and offer experiences for further learning.
Hit up Kayak-iti-yat for a kayak tour! They offer shorter times for newbies and longer ones for those more adventurous! These tours are done by reservations only.
#47: Congo Square
Immerse yourself in some history by visiting Congo Square in Armstong Park. Congo Square is in the Treme neighborhood, the birthplace of many famous jazz museums. On Sundays, you can find many drum circles and people enjoying the park!
Hop in the car and head to Kenner for this art installation! On Power Blvd, between Vintage Dr and West Esplanade, you will find 30 massive art pieces. Donated to the city of Kenner by Henry & Pat Shane, they wanted to adorn Jefferson PArish with this outdoor sculpture exhibit.
#49: The Cabildo
The Cabildo, famous for being the transfer site of the Louisiana Purchase ceremonies in 1803, was the headquarters of the Louisiana State Supreme Court until 1853. It is filled with historical artifacts and treasures and has been ravaged by fire twice; it makes the Cabildo a place you must-see – even if you’re a local.
#50: Bucktown Boardwalk
This 1,000-foot boardwalk along Lake Pontchartrain can be found right across the parish line in Metairie. Once a tiny fishing community, you can now venture over to see natural wetlands and learn about wildlife while enjoying the lake and birding!
#51: Crescent Park
Cross over the Rusty Rainbow (that’s what the locals call the bridge to the park) to enjoy all that Crescent Park has to offer! This 20-acre linear park offers some of the best city views – perfect for those Instagram pics. You will find bath paths, folks roller skating, a dog park, gardens, and picnic areas here too.
Starting as the D-Day Museum, it has taken over a vast swath of land in the Warehouse District. The WWII Museum will likely take you a couple of days to get through if you like to read all the details, so plan accordingly. You can also catch a show to see the Victory Belles perform!
#53: Simon of New Orleans
Quintessentially New Orleans, Simon’s art gallery on the cusp of the Irish Channel and the Lower Garden District is the perfect place to grab a gift. Once you see his work, you will recognize it around town as many restaurants and bars have his pieces proudly displayed.
#54: Park Island
This island, located in Bayou St. John, can be accessed from St. Bernard Ave in Gentilly. This island is filled with history and exciting homes – including the infamous Ashtray House. It won’t take you long to long for your own home on this island! A complete record of the island can be found here.
New Orleans glassworks offers 2-3 hour mini-sessions for various activities! From glass torching to fish printing, this is an experience like no other.
Open nightly for three shows, there ain’t much that is more New Orleans than this! As an essential piece of music history in the city, book a ticket and take in some great, local music.
With 8 acres of gardens designed by famed landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman, this is the only publicly displayed garden she has created. The home and gardens belonged to Edgar & Edith Stern. Here at Longue Vue, they delighted and entertained politicians and entertainers over the years while being active in artistic causes. You can also tour the house on the property, and Longue Vue regularly hosts events on the lawn.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum, located in City Park, will excite and delight kids and adults! With interactive exhibits and tons of fun, your little ones will have a blast learning and exploring all they have to offer!
Cafe du Monde doesn’t make it on every list for no reason! Cast aside the idea of this being a tourist trap and get you some beignets! They are worth every single powdered sugar bite!
#60: Mardi Gras World
Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World offers a self-guided tour to see all those fantastic floats up close and personal. Check out how these floats are brought to life and leave with a little more Mardi Gras history knowledge!
The Ogden Museum holds the most extensive collection of Southern Art in the world. Known for its original exhibitions, you’re sure to find unique pieces that you’re never seen before!
#62: The Bead Shop
Whether you’re an avid jewelry maker or a novice, The Bead Shop offers something for everyone! Schedule a time for a jewelry-making experience to learn the basics and come away with a wearable piece of art!
#63: Deurty Boys Studio
Y’all. These local artists not only used reclaimed materials for their art, but the pieces are indeed one of a kind. Do not miss this French Quarter art studio – though you might be torn on what work to take home!
Louisiana is “Sportsman’s Paradise,” – so why not charter a fishing boat?! Not only do you have the opportunity to catch redfish, flounder, drum, and more, you also can spy on dolphins and alligators. This particular charter will also clean and bag everything you catch to take with you!
With a revolving artist residency, you’re always in for a treat at the CAC. You can also find performing arts there as well. Check their calendar of events for the latest details!
#66: Get a snowball
I don’t know if anything can cure the New Orleans heat like a snowball. If you ask a local where to get one, people will fight over the best one. I recommend adding sweetened condensed milk to whatever flavor snowball you get!
This convent is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley! In 1753, this building started as a place for the Ursuline nuns and is now a part of the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center. We don’t have a ton of buildings in New Orleans that weren’t taken down by fire in the late 1700s- so go marvel at her beauty!
#68: Go Roller Skating!
Lace-up your skates at Airline Skate Park in Metairie! Open every weekend, it’s a place for all your friends to have a good time!
Julia Street in the Warehouse District is filled with some fantastic art galleries. Even if you’re not looking to adorn your walls with something new – they are fun to marvel at!
#70: Stroll down Esplanade Avenue
You know how everyone fawns over St. Charles Ave? Well, Esplanade was the “Millionaire’s Row” for the Creole section of town. Take a stroll from the River up Esplanade, and try to make it to City Park. There is no lack of stunning architecture, history, and photo opportunities on this grand street!
Since 1934, the New Orleans Lakefront Airport has been a stunning display of the Art Deco era. Amelia Earhart even flew through this airport! Go check it out for yourself, and you will be surprised.
#72: Castle on Irish Bayou
Initially built in 1981 for the World’s Fair, this little castle on the bayou has made it through Katrina and Ida. While when it was first on display, it had medieval decor – it is now a private residence. Keep that in mind when heading out to take a peek! It’s located at 3262 Ridgeway Blvd, in a part of New Orleans that most don’t know.
The New Orleans Jesters are our National Premier Soccer League team. You can catch a game from May thru July at Pan Am Stadium!
#74: Pharmacy Museum
This unique museum, located in the French Quarter, exhibits the history of pharmacy and healthcare in Louisiana – from past to present. The museum houses lots of artifacts and information. They also host weddings and other events too!
#75: NOLA Motorsports
This world-class karting facility in Avondale is perfect for those looking for some speed and fun! They host professional and amateur events at their course and much more than just go-karts.
Without going into the deep history of this building (but you can read more here), there is a massive 2,166 square foot mural inside the terminal. This mural was painted by Conrad Albrizio, depicting 400 years of history in New Orleans. I won’t lie and tell you that it’s not weird!
Head to the West Bank, Marrero to be exact, to enjoy all that the Jean Lafitte National Park has to offer! Every Wednesday thru Sunday at 10 am, you can chat with a park ranger and go on a guided walk with them. They will take you on a boardwalk trail through the swamp and marsh while regaling you with info about the park.
#78: New Orleans Library
The main New Orleans library is an untapped well of information. Whether you want to study the city’s history, research your old home, or dive into genealogy – this is the place to be! Talk to your local librarian to find out what you’ve been missing!
Storyland is geared towards your little ones – but you will have a good time with them! This interactive, playland makes it possible to climb in a whale’s mouth, get on Captain hook’s ship, or even get in Cinderella’s pumpkin.
Growing up in New Orleans, I can recall spending lots of time near Lake Pontchartrain. Whether you want to ride your bike, fly a kite, or enjoy a picnic – the lake gives you a chance to be outdoors with a great view!
#81: Jackson Square
Whether you want that classic New Orleans photo opportunity in Jackson Square or to buy some imaginative local art, Jackson Square is the place to be.
Head down the Marigny and learn what Hoodoo is all about! Crescent City Conjure offers tarot readings, spiritual products, and consultations. Authentic Hoodoo rootwork and witchcraft products are sold here.
#83: St. Ann’s Shrine & Grotto
Erected in 1927, this shrine to St. Ann stands two stories high! It’s a sight to behold, and this Blake Pontchartrain answer will help you understand more.
#84: Music Box Village
This spectacular, artist-driven, non-profit called Music Box Village is a place one must experience in their lifetime. Check their calendar of events to experience the magic yourself!
#85: St. Louis Cathedral
Overlooking Jackson Square, there is no way you’ve seen a photo of New Orleans that didn’t have this cathedral standing tall. St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States.
#86: Doullut Steamboat Houses in Holy Cross
Little known by outsiders, the Steamboat houses sit tall and watch over the Mississippi. Riverboat pilot Captain Milton Doullut built the first one in 1905 and later created the second one for his son in 1913. they were inspired by the steamboats on the River and the Japanese exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. (Check out the pagoda-style roof!)
You can find these houses at 400 & 503 Egania in the Holy Cross neighborhood. These are private residences, and you should not trespass on the property.
#87: Royal Street Art Galleries
If you walk down the 400-900 blocks of Royal Street, you will find there is no shortage of stunning art galleries! Go take in all the beautiful art and find some inspiration!
#88: Botanical Garden
Featuring more than 2,000 plants worldwide, ten acres of beauty adorn City Park with our Botanical Garden. It’s open year-round and a perfect way to spend a peaceful day!
#89: Steamboat Natchez
Dinnertime, daytime, and Sundays are all the perfect days for a riverboat cruise! You can enjoy a 2-hour cruise down the Mississippi that is an experience like no other.
The New Orleans Boulder Lounge is an excellent place for people of all ages to try out indoor rock climbing. Try something new in this inclusive atmosphere! (and even break a little sweat!)
#91: Kenner Planetarium
The Kenner Planetarium dazzles its audience in a variety of ways! Astronomy presentations, dinosaur features, and musical laser shows are some of the many shows on which one can feast their eyes!
#92: Dr. Bob’s Folk Art
If you see the signs “Be Nice or Leave” around town – then you have seen a piece of art from Dr. Bob. His Bywater studio offers you the opportunity to meet Dr. Bob yourself and see what creation he’s cooking up next!
#93: Pitot House
The Louisiana Landmarks Society operates this historic West-Indies-style home on Bayou St. John. The Pitot House was named such as it was the home for the first U.S. Mayor of New Orleans, James Pitot. This landmark has tours by appointment only.
The infamous Battle Of New Orleans took place right here at the Chalmette Battlefield. Take in this piece of history and walk the land where it all took place.
Located in Westwego, not far from New Orleans, you will find Bayou Segnette! Known for their wave pool, they have much more to offer visitors! Picnicking, hiking, and canoeing are all activities people enjoy at Bayou Segnette too.
Currently closed due to hurricane Ida, Backstreet Cultural Museum is raising funds to come back stronger than ever! Known for the Mardi Gras Indian costumes and storytelling, they offered insight into other New Orleans traditions. Drop a donation and check back to see when they open again!
Head into alligator territory with a tour of Honey Island Swamp. Honey Island is one of the least altered river swamps and is considered to be one of the most pristine swampland habitats.
#98: The Fly
Hidden behind the Audubon Zoo is a park known to locals as “The Fly.” Birthday parties, BBQs, crawfish boils, picnics, bounce houses, frisbee – you name it, it’s going down at The Fly. It’s also the PERFECT location for those beautiful spring days to watch the sunset.
#99: Yulman Stadium
ROLL WAVE! You should definitely grab some tickets during the fall months and hit a Tulane football game. Football returned to the campus, after a 40-year hiatus, in 2014 – and the fans are ecstatic!
#100: Greenwood Cemetery Tour
One of the grandest and eccentric cemeteries in the city – this one is sure to delight you! This cemetery holds the recognizable Firemen’s monument and contains the most cast-irons tombs as well.
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