Summer may be over but that just means NOLA’s best days lie ahead. As the weather cools and the tourist crowds thin ever so slightly, as the kids get ready to head back to school and Saints fans get ready to head back to the Superdome, New Orleans bursts with the energy of the changing seasons, especially over the long Labor Day holiday. Here are the best festivals, free concerts, and waterparks you need to hit this holiday weekend.
Show Your Pride at an LGBTQ Festival
The nearly weeklong Southern Decadence festival is a chance for queer folks and their allies to turn out in their holiday best, showing off this year’s theme (fruit salad) and official “colors” (polka dots and pinstripes). While there are official events and parties, most of the action takes place in the streets of the French Quarter, including the official walking parade on Sunday. Swing by any time from Thursday to Monday and you’ll probably run into the celebration.
Enjoy a Free Concert at Tipitina’s
It’s not officially the last concert of Tipitina’s Free Fridays series (that happens next week), but the ticket-less music is winding down for the season, so the long weekend makes the perfect excuse to check out the action. Local rock band Cowboy Mouth headlines the evening at the historic venue. Doors open at 9 p.m.
501 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115
Celebrate Your Freedom at Freedom Fest
Country fans should take note of the third annual Freedom Fest at the Lake, the day-long music festival out in Kenner. Clint Black headlines this year, but show up earlier Sunday afternoon to enjoy the sunshine, drinks and good eats. Expect games and other entertainment too. And of course entry is free, just like you.
4545 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065
Hit the Cool Zoo Before It’s Too Late
Audubon Zoo’s weekly waterpark is a godsend for any parent with overheated tots during peak summer, so if your kids (or you) have become utterly dependent on the water slides, sprinklers and lazy river (aka Gator Run), Labor Day weekend is your last chance to soak up the fun. The park officially closes the Cool Zoo after September 2.
6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118
See the Saints for Cheap
The last preseason Saints game, against the Dolphins, takes place on Thursday, meaning this is your last chance to pop into the Superdome for an NFL game for under $10.