New Year’s Eve in New Orleans - From Bourbon Street to Midnight Fireworks Ten Must's

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The Big Easy is not just the most happening place during February’s Mardi Gras season, New Orleans is a hot spot year round and the perfect alternative destination to celebrate New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year.

Whether you’re enjoying beignets and chicory coffee, shopping for museum-quality antiques, touring historic houses or just taking in the scene from a Bourbon Street balcony, there are countless ways to celebrate in the Big Easy.

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With five days before New Year’s Eve last minute specials and direct flights from 53 cities across the United States and about 150 daily departures make getting there is easier than ever. 

With the 85th annual Sugar Bowl Classic, the college playoff game that determines which teams head to the College Football National Championship, families of the playoff teams will he heading down to the Mercedes Benz Superdome to cheer on the teams. The Allstate Sugar Bowl Fan Fest takes over the Jax Brewery parking lot, with a massive parade, freebies, fun for all ages.

Enjoy the sights and sounds that bring tourists back to the Big Easy year after year: people watching on Bourbon Street, the sound of a New Orleans Jazz band, championship football, fireworks, and a New Year’s Eve to remember.

Here are 10 things to enjoy on Monday, December 31st or to try in the new year!

Café du Monde – Decatur Street – Open 24 hours/7 days a week

Start your day with the city’s most delicious (and legendary) experiences: a plate of sugary beignets and creamy café au lait at the 150-plus-year-old Café du Monde, which opened in 1862. The $5 snack is delectable and the people-watching is golden, plus there’s usually a live band playing somewhere within trumpeting distance.

M.S. Rau Antiques – 630 Royal Street – 10 AM to 5 PM –  12 Noon FREE TOUR

Serious collectors of fine art, antiquities and jewelry are sure to be familiar with M.S. Rau Antiques, which first opened its doors in 1912.  What they may not realize is that the greatest treasures in this renowned collection lie behind a secret door, which looks like a bookcase.  

Picasso Hides A Stranger in The Blue Room

At 12 Noon on New Year’s Eve guests will be invited into the secret room that is filled with rare and astounding artifacts, sculptures and art.  Hidden away are paintings by greats such as Monet and Renoir, Napoleon’s death mask, an Enigma machine used in WWII, furnishings that have adorned palaces around the world and more. (Also open Jan. 1, 10 AM to 4 PM)

Louisiana Children’s Museum’s Countdown to Noon – Julia Street - 9 AM to 3 PM - $10

For children and the young at heart, head to the Children’s Museum for a festive celebration featuring games, entertainment and a New Year's countdown complete with balloon and confetti drops and a soda-pop toast. Festive hats and noisemakers are also included to make the evening an extra-special affair.

Audubon Zoo’s Noon Year’s Eve – Magazine Street – 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM - FREE

Family friendly and filled with lions, tigers and bears (oh my) the Noon Year's Eve” celebration is the perfect place for a party animal to ring in the New Year in one of the country’s top-rated zoos. This event features music, games and prizes, and a countdown with sparkling apple cider.

Party like a Tsar Soiree - Effervescence, N. Rampart Street -  5 PM to 7 PM

Start your evening with the extravagant excess of a bygone era and a taste of regal luxury at an indulgent Imperial Russian themed celebration. Canape bites and Champagne.

Ice Skate at Penguin Ice at The Esplanade Mall – All Day - $15

The 2,200-square-foot rink is open year-round, but ice skating feels extra appropriate during winter months.  At $15 (which includes skate rental) you can glide into the new year.

Jackson Square Party - 8 p.m. to Midnight - FREE

Bundle up and head to Jackson Square to participate in the festivities. Hosted by actress Lucy Hale, this event features live music, celebrity appearances, and a fireworks display.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Fan Fest - Decatur St - Noon to Midnight

If you’re looking for music and football-themed activities to ring in the New Year, check out this massive, free celebration, which overtakes the Jax Brewery parking lot. Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris headline, and there will also be pep rallies, a parade at 2 p.m., and interactive games throughout the day.

Fireworks on the River – Midnight - FREE

The free fireworks show will be visible from both river fronts. Take the Algiers/Canal Street ferry over to Algiers Point, where you can see the display against New Orleans’ glittering skyline or stay on the East Bank to ring in the New Year from The Moonwalk Riverfront Park.

Intimate Paintings By Tennessee Williams Captivate Audiences With Rare Museum Showing

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve – Decatur Street -  9 PM to 12 AM –

Gather to watch the legendary Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve at Jax Brewery. 

All State Sugar Bowl –Mercedes-Benz Superdome -  January 1 – Tickets start at $150
If you’re not totally incapacitated on New Year’s Day, get to the 85th annual Sugar Bowl Classic, which is one of six games that determine which teams go to the final College Football Playoff National Championship. There’s also a free fan fest with interactive games, giveaways and marching band performances in the Jax Brewery parking lot.


12/31/2018 – M.S. Rau Antiques

12/31/2018 - Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade

12/31/2018 - Big Night New Orleans New Year’s Eve Gala

12/31/2018 - Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

12/31/2018 - DJ Soul Sister's NYE Soul Train

12/31/2018 - Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans

Escaping Winter In Balmy Bermuda

12/31/2018 - New Year's Eve at The Westin N

12/31/2018 - New Year's Eve Moët Masquerade

12/31/2018 - New Year's Eve: Countdown to Noon

12/31/2018 - New Year’s Eve Bourbon Street Balcony Tickets

12/31/2018 - Noon Year's Eve

12/31/2018 - Ring in the Revelry - New Year's Eve Bash at Landry's French Quarter!

12/31/2018 - The Secret Garden New Year's Eve at NOPSI Hotel

12/31/2018 - Zoo Year's Eve

Images provided by - Creative Commons No Attribution Needed

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