Unlike anywhere else in the world, nightlife in New Orleans is serious business. During dark hours, the city’s unmatched liveliness lights up an atmosphere that’s filled with endless possibilities. For those looking to let the good times roll in one of America’s most captivating destinations, here are six unique ideas for a night out in the Big Easy.
Established in 1961 when the future of New Orleans jazz seemed bleak, Preservation Hall was founded to preserve, perpetuate and protect traditional New Orleans Jazz. Still going strong over 50 years later, Preservation Hall puts on three nightly shows and hosts speciality sets (like their famous Midnight Preserves during Jazz Fest) that continue to draw a crowd. Lineup outside early to get a spot in this intimate, one-room venue and immerse yourself in traditional New Orleans Jazz – America’s only original art form – played by veteran masters of the local music scene.
Gather seven of your best mystery-solving friends and head to the first escape game based in New Orleans, Clue Carré, for an intense 60-minute adventure. In order to break free from the interactive mystery escape room, participants must come together by using keen observations and critical thinking to gather clues, discover hidden objects and solve riddles. Since getting out in time is the ultimate victory, this live entertainment puzzle, including the Mardi Gras Den, the Voodoo Room, the Secret Agent 504 Room, the Haunted Swamp Room and the Vampire Hunter Room, is the perfect idea for all of those competitive gamers who enjoy beating the clock.
Bayou Night Paddle
Enjoy a unique view of the moon by paddling down the winding, historic waterways of Bayou St. John with Bayou Paddlesports. The popular two-hour evening ride gives anyone interested in experiencing a unique New Orleans evening outdoors the opportunity to have fun while relaxing under the stars. Paddle-enthusiasts can check out their desired gear the website and pick it up at the event’s launch site.
Friday Nights at NOMA
If you are looking to experience an art-filled evening, the New Orleans Museum of Art hosts a variety of special exhibits, artist talks and receptions every Friday night. The museum (which is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution) stays open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during their regular Friday Nights at NOMA series. In addition to the art museum, take a stroll through the sculpture garden or enjoy a game of mini golf at City Putt while you’re there.
Restaurant, Cajun, $$$
Hop on New Orleans’ last authentic steamboat and navigate through the mighty Mississippi River for a night filled with delicious Creole food, authentic live jazz and steam calliope tunes. The sternwheel steamboat, NATCHEZ, docks at the Toulouse Street Wharf near the French Quarter and offers visitors the opportunity to savor the Crescent City’s beauty and romance while contemplating breathtaking historical landmarks, such as the Chalmette Battlefield from its decks. Vessel boarding begins 30 minutes prior to the assigned departure time, and returns to the original dock point after a two-hour cruise.
Built in 1914, the Prytania is the only single-screen movie theater in Louisiana and is the oldest operating theater in the New Orleans metro area. Standing at the corner or Prytania and Leontine streets, this vintage movie joint was the first theater in NOLA to convert to digital cinema, and now features an eccentric variety of films to satisfy any type of audience, including cult classics and current blockbusters. Movie-lovers can enjoy everything from featured old films and horror movie festivals to influential documentaries and popular national shows, such as the Oscars, inside this 100-year-old theater legacy.