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5 Things To Do In New Orleans In May & June

City Sightseeing’s Guide To The Best Events and Activities

Springtime in New Orleans is like nowhere else in the world. Magnolias bloom along the pathways of Audubon Park, and the warm breezes of the Mississippi River usher in a period of temperate weather in the region. This is also the time of year when New Orleans comes alive with live musical performances, food and wine tastings, and local farmers markets. Whether you’re wanting to celebrate an extended Mother’s Day or simply soak up the good springtime vibes in the city, here are 5 things to do in New Orleans in May and June.

Bayou Boogaloo

Bayou Boogaloo is a unique music and cultural festival that takes place annually on the banks of Bayou St. John. Although specific dates can vary year-to-year, it typically takes place in May and features a wide variety of musical artists, visual art installations, and vendors. Leaning into New Orleans’ rich cultural heritage, the festival most frequently features jazz, blues, funk, and rock artists.

The 2024 lineup includes several well-known acts that will perform at one of the many venue stages dotting the bayou. Notables include Afroman, Morning 40 Federation, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Enjoy local New Orleans cuisine by taste testing dishes from one (or several!) of the event’s food vendors, including Empanola, Bub’s NOLA, and T-Swirl Crepe. Browse the stalls filled with original artwork, jewelry, clothing, and handmade goods in between sets. For a true ‘bayou-tiful’ experience, book a raft or kayak rental to watch the performances from the water. You won’t find anything that embodies the NOLA spirit better than that!

Grab your tickets for the 2024 Bayou Boogaloo taking place May 17 through May 19 here.

New Orleans Greek Festival

Another must-see event in May is the New Orleans Greek Festivals, a vibrant cultural festival that takes place annually at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the Lakeview area of the city. Enjoy traditional Greek bouzouki guitar music and Hellenic dance performances while sampling authentic food and beverages, including souvlaki, baklava, dolma, gyro sandwiches, and ouzo. Often, the event hosts live cooking demonstrations of Greek cuisine, which can be a draw for budding chefs and foodies alike. 

This festival is particularly great for families wanting to check out the Athenian playground with their children. From face painting to arts and crafts, the Greek Fest offers plenty of activities to keep little ones busy. For guests wanting some time on the water, canoe rentals are available for exploring Bayou St. John. On the weekend, participants can even tour the cathedral and learn about the area’s rich Greek-American history. To finish your day, order an iced Greek coffee and purchase a homemade traditional Greek pastry to enjoy at home.

The New Orleans Greek Festival is scheduled for May 24 through May 26. Check hours and admission information here.

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

If you’re a wine enthusiast and interested in supporting a good cause, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience is an event you’ll want to hit. Celebrating its 32nd anniversary, this highly acclaimed festival ranks among the nation’s most esteemed culinary events and has even been recognized by USA Today. Peruse hundreds of New Orleans’ top wineries and restaurants and try innovative dishes that meld a variety of flavors and cultural traditions. The best part? You’ll be contributing to several non-profit organizations in the process.

Perhaps the best part of this event is the chance to try new local wine flavors. The venue typically holds a kick-off celebration, stage events (including “Vinola” and “The Grand Tasting”), an International Wine Competition, and a wine dinner. Several workshops will demonstrate wine making processes from Vino Vida Vici and other well-known establishments. Based on your level of interest, you can purchase an array of different packages for the event, including a VIP experience that offers early entry, discounts, and exclusive merchandise.

Purchase your package for the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience taking place June 5 here.

New Orleans Pride

Embrace love, diversity, and equality when you participate in New Orleans Pride this June. Featuring a month-long array of activities that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, Pride is a great way to experience New Orleans for both new and returning visitors to the city. Dress up in your best rainbow formal attire and attend the Official New Orleans Pride Gala, an evening filled with food, drinks, music, and dancing. The New Orleans Pride Parade tops off the night as it travels through the Marigny and French Quarter.

This year, New Orleans Pride coincides perfectly with Black Pride Weekend, which directs participants to a community festival in Armstrong Park. For Pride specifically, several admission packages are available, including VIP tickets that provide access to the Gala and Parade. Habitat for Humanity is a proud sponsor of the event as well.

New Orleans Pride is taking place June 7 through June 9. Learn more about the event here.

Bocuse d'Or Americas

New Orleans’ gastronomic scene is a testament to the unique blend of cultures that have shaped its history. This reputation for exceptional food has been recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation, which regularly celebrates the talents of local chefs and restaurants, and awarded the “Best Food Destination in the US” by TripAdvisor as part of the 2023 Travelers’ Choice Awards. In June 2024, two continental selections for revered international culinary and pastry competitions will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center – marking the first time the event has been held in the United States. 

One in particular, the Bocuse d’Or Americas, was founded by Jérôme Bocuse, who often regales attendees with his father’s harrowing World War II experience that partially led to his love of the culinary arts. Open to the public, the Bocuse d’Or Americas exposes visitors to highly detailed (and edible) masterpieces that celebrate local Louisiana products, including wild boar rack, alligator sausage, and grits.

View Bocuse d’Or Americas selections at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from June 11 to June 13. Learn more about the event here.

Book Your City Sightseeing Tour Today!

For visitors, these 5 events are a mere sample of the many things to do in New Orleans in May and June. With City Sightseeing New Orleans, you can take advantage of our accessible Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours to explore the city’s rich history and participate in its diverse array of events. For more information on booking a City Sightseeing Tour or transportation option, click here.