10 Free Things To Do in New Orleans

Don't miss these budget-friendly activities visiting New Orleans.

Kids playing at Jackson Square in New Orleans.

Kids play at Jackson Square in New Orleans. The mighty Mississippi is just across the street, where you can stroll along the river.

Free things to do in New Orleans - Wednesdays on the Point concerts in New Orleans

Wednesdays on the Point concerts in New Orleans offer great music outdoors and are just one of the many free things to do in New Orleans!

Live music at Tiptina's in New Orleans.  Free things to do in New Orleans

Live music at Tiptina's in New Orleans.

New Orleans has so much to offer and these free things to do will make your New Orleans activities even sweeter!

Top 10 Free Things to Do in New Orleans

1. Comedy Gold at the House of Blues

Comedy Gold is the House of Blues’ Wednesday night comedy series, featuring some of the Crescent City’s best and brightest up-and-coming comedians. The show is free and we know how valuable a good laugh can be. Learn more about Comedy Gold's weekly gig. Wednesdays; 7 p.m. 225 Decatur St. 

2. Let the Good Times Roll During a Free Festival in New Orleans

New Orleans hosts fests all year and many offer free admission. The French Quarter Fest, held in April, is the South's largest free music festival; Satchmo Summer Fest in August; the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival held in October, Oak Street Po-Boy Festival held in November, or Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival held in November are beloved by both locals and visitors.

3. Crescent City Farmers Market

Shop for fresh, local produce, locally made cheeses, breads, jams and more. Also learn a bit about the famous New Orleans cuisine with free cooking demonstrations at the Crescent City Farmers Market, held at various locations throughout the city every week. Learn more about the Crescent City Farmers Market. Tuesdays: 200 Broadway St.; Wednesdays: 1235 N. Peters St., at the French Market; Thursdays: 3700 Orleans Ave.; Saturdays: 750 Carondelet St. at Julia St.

4. Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Located amid the beauty of City Park, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden features one of the most impressive collections of contemporary sculpture in America. Wander the gardens, take in the art and even have a picnic while soaking in the beauty. City Park, 1 Palm Dr.

5. Stroll Along the Mississippi River

Walk up the levee across the street from Jackson Square and you’ll find yourself at Woldenberg Park, a lushly landscaped open space overlooking the Mississippi River. It’s an ideal spot for a picnic or an easygoing stroll along the riverside.

6. Literary Tours of the French Quarter and Garden District

See where some of New Orleans’ most renowned authors lived on a self-guided walking tour. Among the writers who called the city home were Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate’s Alley), Truman Capote (711 Royal St.), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon St.), Walker Percy (1820 Milan St.) and Anne Rice (1239 First St.).

7. Art Gallery Hopping

It seems like you can find art in every corner of New Orleans—and you can! Check out the galleries on Julia and Royal Streets, Jackson Square vendors and the Mid-City and Frenchmen art markets.

8. Glassblowing Demonstrations

One of the 'hottest' free events in New Orleans is at the New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studio, where free glassblowing demonstrations are offered daily. Watch as these talented artists transform molten glass into gorgeous peices of art. We sugguest you call in advance to confirm scheduling. New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studio: 727 Magazine St.

9. Jazz History Audio Tour

The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park honors the music that made the city famous. Embark on a free self-guided audio tour that takes visitors to sites including the Old U.S. Mint, Preservation Hall and Congo Square. Start your Jazz History Audio Tour by getting more information at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park’s website. 916 N. Peters St.

10. Magazine Street Window Shopping

Magazine Street, located in the affluent Lower Garden District and following along the river uptown, is a shopper’s dream destination. Regardless of whether you’re spending or just browsing, this strip offers plenty to please the eyes and makes for the perfect morning or afternoon walk.

Bonus: Free Concert Series 

Seasonally enjoy these free concert series:  YLC Wednesday at the Square is a free concert series that features local musicians playing their hearts out at Lafayette Square from March through May. Enjoy food, drink and good music that all goes to a good cause supporting the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans. 5-8 p.m. Corner of Maestri Street and St. Charles Avenue
Head across the Mississippi River to Algiers Point ferry landing for the Wednesdays on the Point shows, held every Wednesday evening September through October. Please check the website for the most up to date info.  
The musical mecca Tipitina’s pays homage to the jazz legend Professor Longhair with its Foundation Free Fridays concert series, held on Fridays throughout the summer. Check out Tipitina's schedule and don't miss the show. 501 Napoleon Ave.

*Schedules are subject to change. Please confirm event times before visiting.