Five Reasons to Visit NOLA in the Wintertime

New Orleans comes alive in the wintertime. Being a sub-tropical city, the weather is often gorgeous compared to the brutal cold that grips most of the country. From December to February, the streets overflow with music, food, and merriment, with dozens of events dotting the calendar—from quirky expos like the Psychic Fair and the Jewelry and Bead Show to long-held traditions like the King Cake Festival and, of course, Mardi Gras. Here are just some of the reasons to visit the Big Easy this winter.

Bike Tours of the City

People walking down Bourbon Street

What better way is there to embrace the idea of warm, sunny winter than with a bicycle tour? Catch the city’s vibes while peddling past its stunning homes and gardens during this unique New Orleans experience. Joieful’s Heart of the City tour spans three of the city’s most historic neighborhoods (Faubourg Marigny, Faubourg Treme, and Faubourg St. Marie) emphasizing the history of jazz by highlighting some of its most colorful innovators.

King Cake Festival

January 27-28

In its most recognizable form, King cake is a cinnamon-filled, donut-shaped brioche pastry topped with purple, green, and yellow sugar frosting, symbolizing the colors of Mardi Gras. This family-friendly festival is a celebration of the Mardi Gras staple. Live music will soundtrack the decadent day, as local bakeries compete for titles like Best Traditional, Most Unique, and People’s Choice. Hosted by Ochsner Medical Center, the festival will also offer a number of heart-healthy games and activities. Head down to Champion’s Square to indulge in a taste of Mardi Gras.

Tet Fest: Vietnamese New Year

February 8-10

Any event that kicks off with a fireworks show and dragon dance is probably worth attending, and Tet Fest is no exception. Hosted by Queen Mary of Vietnam Church in New Orleans East, this annual celebration of the Vietnamese New Year promises family-friendly activities, performances of traditional Vietnamese dancing and music, as well as an excess of spring rolls, báhn mi, and pho. Plus, the festival is free for all to attend.

New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo

February 9-10

Equal parts live music festival and marathon race, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo sends its participants on a scenic route from the CBD, past Tulane University on St. Charles, through the French Quarter, up to the Lakefront, and finishing in City Park. There’s also a 5K race on Saturday, as wells as a 10K and half-marathon race (in addition to the marathon) on Sunday. Not a runner? No problem! Non-runners can enjoy the sounds of local bands and join one of the lively cheer squads along the route.

Fat Tuesday

March 5

What list of wintertime New Orleans activities would be complete without Carnival? This year, Fat Tuesday will wrap up the Carnival season on March 5. For families, head down to St. Charles Avenue to catch the iconic Rex parade. Feeling a little more artistic? Check out the St. Ann walking parade through that travels through the Marigny to the French Quarter. Visitors can also book a spot in a Mardi Gras stand at the Sheraton Hotel to be guaranteed a perfect viewing station for all their favorite parades.

While many American cities hibernate during December, January, and February, New Orleans blossoms. Make your connection to the Crescent City by taking one of Joieful’s extraordinary tours. Purchase your New Orleans experience with Joieful today.