Thanksgiving Week Fun in New Orleans

Autumn is on the approach!  School is back in session, the football season has started (which will lead up to the New Orleans Superbowl at the start of February), and the days and nights are comfortable!  Before you know it, THAT time of year will be here!  No, not Halloween, although we are very much looking forward to the fun and scares of October… but THANKSGIVING with all the great pre-Christmas activities the Crescent City has to offer!  And why not plan a New Orleans Thanksgiving getaway to enjoy them for yourself?

During the week of Thanksgiving, the weather is usually very nice… cooling off but not cold with brisk, enjoyable evenings.  The days are perfect for exploring every part of town by foot or by streetcar!  But if you have doubts about visiting during this week, let us offer you some incentives.

The Weekend Before Thanksgiving

  • For theater-lovers, the New Orleans Fringe Festival culminates the weekend before Thanksgiving.  This year, it runs from November 14-18, 2012.  Featuring new theatrical works, the plays showcased are also known for their, well, diverseness.  They may be weird, they may be odd, but they are always fresh and original.  More than 40 performing arts groups will descend on the city, performing close to 100 productions.  Drama, comedy, music, dance, and just about any other method of performing arts will be presented.  Admission to shows usually costs $10 or less.
  • The Sunday prior to Thanksgiving is NOLA’s PoBoy Festival on Oak Street!  This year, Sunday, November 18 will find this Carrollton neighborhood alive with a culinary celebration of our city’s favorite sandwich.  Not only will there be food, but there will also be shopping, as the event takes place in a great little area of shops, just 1.5 miles northwest of our Garden District bed and breakfast.  The streetcar that passes in front of the inn will take you straight to the celebration, so this is one to not miss during your stay!

During the start of the holiday week, you can explore our town just like any other day of the year.  Thanksgiving Day, however, brings a few more-limited options, but there is still plenty to do!

Thanksgiving Day Dining:  You may want a more “traditional” Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings.  Or you may decide to try something less-than-ordinary.  No matter where you go, you’ll want to have reservations, as there are fewer establishments open on this particular day.  But no matter which you choose, you will leave full and happy, just like you did as a kid.  While we will be glad to help you find the perfect place to dine to suit your Holiday tastes, some great options include:

  • Commander’s Palace:  The Grand Damme of Uptown Restaurants is open for Thanksgiving.
  • Brennan’s:  Offers a wonderful Holiday Brunch.
  • Begue’s:  Located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter, they offer a special buffet for Thanksgiving.
  • Arnaud’s:  One of the premier restaurants in the French Quarter offers a “Table D’Hote” Thanksgiving menu for around $45 to $50 per person.
  • Broussard’s:  Serving classic food from a variety of influences.
  • Bayona’s: Offering international food during a traditional American holiday.
  • Hotel Inter-Continental:  Offering a three-course traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the evening at the hotel’s Veranda restaurant.

Thanksgiving Day Activities:

  • The Fair Grounds Race Track:  First-class horse racing with excellent food offered in the Clubhouse Dining Room.
  • Parks:  Parks don’t close for holidays!  And our city’s great weather makes it a perfect day to spend outside.  While special attractions may be closed for the day, you can still enjoy spending time in Audubon Park or City Park, walking, biking, throwing a ball or frisbee, or whatever outside activity suits you!
  • Self-Guided Walking Tours:  Again, it’s a great time of year to be outdoors!  For a small fee, iTunes and Android sites have downloadable apps to help you see the sights!
  • A day inside:  Of course, if the weather doesn’t agree, you can always return to your bed and breakfast inn for some cards, a board game or puzzle, and to partake in the traditional televised Thanksgiving Day parades and football games across the country!
  • Want to work off some of that Thursday food indulgence?  Sign up for the annual Turkey Day Race to benefit the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New Orleans and New Orleans City Park.  Hosted by the NOLA Track Club, the race is held at City Park.  There is a 5-mile and half-mile option.  The 5-mile course covers about half of the park.  The half-mile route covers a very small portion of the park.  And no, you don’t actually have to race – while there are “awards” given in different categories, this is mainly a fun fundraising event.

The Day and Weekend After:

  • True to “Black Friday” tradition across the country, New Orleans is a great place to start your Christmas shopping!  Stores all over town will be open all weekend to welcome shoppers.  Magazine Street alone has over six miles of locally owned shops, antique stores and restaurants!
  • In the evening, Celebration in the Oaks kicks off.  As New Orlenas’ premier Christmas event, City Park is lit up with hundreds of thousands of lights, welcoming Christmas season.  The antique wooden carousel’s songs invite children and adults alike to enjoy a magical ride.  The kids’ train toots through the acres, and a synthetic ice rink opens for all to enjoy.  Admission to the park is $7 starting the day after Thanksgiving!
  • If the post-Thanksgiving shopping isn’t enough, the Bayou Classic College Football Game kicks off on Saturday, November 24, 2012.  This annual rivalry between the Southern University Jaguars and Grambling State Tigers will bring college students to the Louisiana Superdome and Bourbon Street by the busload!  College football enthusiasts love to attend this game to see who wins each year.

Just because you aren’t home for Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean you’ll be missing home when you stay at our historic New Orleans Inn!  Our cozy rooms with all the amenities, paired with the perfect Garden District location for a relaxing getaway (not to mention our welcoming and charming hosts) will have you wishing you could stay for longer than just a few days!

Please note that we have a three-night minimum stay requirement for Thanksgiving weekend.

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