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Visit New Orleans for Halloween!
Krewe of Boo
After a two year break, the Krewe of Boo returned last year!
When: Thursday, October 30th @ 6:30
Where: Parade route starts on Esplanade Avenue, skirts the edge of the French Quarter, through the Central Business District and ends at Mardi Gras World. Full map can be seen here.
Appropriate Ages: 3+, particularly outside of the French Quarter. No nudity is tolerated, and although a few things might be a tiny bit risque, I promise you won't be shocked. The only reason I would suggest those with small children stay outside of the French Quarter are the drinking tourists who sometimes get a little obnoxious and forget there are kids there.
The Krewe was founded in 2007 by Brian Kern to support the New Orleans Firefighters. The Kern family owns Mardi Gras World, and already makes 95% of the floats that roll in New Orleans parades for other Krewes (clubs), but now they have a parade all their own!
This year they're going to do something that's never been done before in the city, but will hopefully catch on-- instead of throwing hundreds of thousands of plastic beads, the riders are going to throw only New Orleans made items.
According to their website:
Each rider in the Krewe of BOO will throw - instead of beads:
- 100 mini-pumpkins
- 100 Elmer's Carmel Corn, Chee Wees and Peanuts
- 12 Locally-made Pralines
- 48 Sucre Chocolates custom packaging
- 48 Hand painted Oyster Shells
- 24 Faux Fur Monster Wrist Cuffs
- A bag of 300 lollipops
- Cajun Spice Packets
- P.J.'s New Orleans Coffee Packets
- Mini Tabasco
- Zatarain's Seasoning Packets
- Mini King Cakes
- Zapp's Potato Chips
- New Orleans Roman Candy Taffy
This innovation replaces a throws custom that is overdone with a new tradition that is more in keeping with all things New Orleans and practical. Collectible and consumable throws will be wildly desirable by Halloween parade goers - and better for the environment!
Krewe of Boo PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Molly's At the Market
A parade for the grownups.
When:Friday, October 31st@ 6:30
Where: 1107 Decatur Street in the French Quarter
Appropriate Ages: 18+
The floats in this parade aren’t the size or style of the ones at Krewe of Boo- these are horse drawn carriages with the riders interacting with the crowd nearly at street level. As the parade passes, people follow along in its wake until they get to the end and have judged costume contest- and these are no ordinary costumes!
This is a locals event where visitors are welcome to join in- but be ready to see some amazing creations. People spend a lot of time and thought on what they’re going to wear, you won’t see any store bought outfits here!
(Photo courtesy of Cate Root, NOLA.com)
The Voodoo Music Experience
6 Stages of music (+1 of karaoke!)
When: Friday,Saturday, Sunday Oct-31, Nov 1,2
Where: City Park
Appropriate Ages: teens+
Cost: Varies based on how many days and what kind of access you want. For example, a 3 day general access pass is $175, while a VIP pass is $500. Single day tickets are available at the gate, but prices are not released yet.
Aside from Jazzfest, this is the biggest local music festival of the year in New Orleans! A much younger crowd attends for alt, rock, r&b and rap music with some local favorites thrown in. There’s a big section of local artists, and even some rides.
City Park offers camping areas for this event (only- no camping allowed at any other time of the year) for those 18 and over, registration is required in advance, and space is limited.
Voodoo Fest (as the locals call it) is loud and proud (literally- you can hear it a mile away). Complaints have been made about the rising cost of tickets the last few years- sadly, many of the kids who enjoy this kind of music simply are being priced out- but they do draw top notch talent. Check out the schedule here to determine if Voodoo is something to put on your schedule!
House of Shock
It wouldn't be Halloween without a Haunted House...
Two of the haunted house attractions that feature consistently in national ranking of the scariest, goriest, and all-around-nastiest experiences are here in New Orleans.
The first video is House Of Shock, run by members of the band Pantera. They have heavy metal music and events outside of the haunted house, and it is pretty extreme. The second is The Mortuary- a real mortuary in the heart of the cemeteries.
You’ll have to judge based on your group’s tolerance, but my daughter is in LOVE with these things. Based on her (admittedly high) tolerance, I’d say ages 13+ for the Mortuary, 15+ on the House of Shock, but if someone finds it too much to take, both houses have amazing security. There are cameras everywhere, and magically a manager appears to spirit you away through a shortcut if you just need to get out ASAP.
But wait, there's more!
Held in the House of Blues, this party features a full vampire court and has taken over for Anne Rice's Vampire Ball. (ages 21+)
The zoo's annual party for kids held on the weekends leading up to Halloween. Tickets include access to all zoo attractions as well as light shows, musical entertainment and more! (ages 1-100)
The Ghostly Galavant hosted by Friends of the Cabildo- part fundraiser, part tour, this rare nighttime event in the historic Cabildo on Jackson Square puts you in the Halloween spirit while helping keep the building in the black. (21+)
For two nights City Park opens its amusement park at night for Halloween fun for all ages, complete with trick-or-treating and a pumpkin patch, but nothing scary. (Ages 2+)
Just outside of the French Quarter is Frenchmen Street, with the largest concentration of live music in the city. After you've done your running around, it's a great place to come in your costume, hear some great music, enjoy some great food and hang out with the locals!