How to Have Rainy Day New Orleans Fun – 51 Places to Skip the Umbrella Parade

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Get ready to have rainy day New Orleans fun with this list of things to do without an umbrella.

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley

Rainy Day New Orleans – Ideas for Things to Do

Cook with a Chef

close up of seafood and meat dish

I discovered the fun of cooking regional food while traveling in Brussels and it’s been my go-to activity ever since.

From croissants in France to pasta in Italy, I have enjoyed learning how to make dishes that are authentic to the culture.

Plus, it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers!

This class is held by a chef who knows his way around the kitchen. If this is your first time visiting New Orleans and you really want to dig into the food scene – I mean, beyond just eating at restaurants, sign up for this immersive cooking class.

Find availability for a New Orleans Hands-on Cooking Class

Visit Museums

entrance of museum of death

You don’t need me to tell you that a museum should be on your list of rain day activities.

But if you want to know which of the museums are best to visit, here’s a list of places that I gathered from a local.

I remember standing in a grocery store while waiting for an order of muffalettas and po’boys. Because I was the only customer, I got into a chat with the guy making the sandwiches. He told me about his life in New Orleans and how he survived Katrina.

He gave me so much information I had to turn on my phone recorder to capture everything. My heavens, the hospitality!

So, if you have a museum in your rain day plans, check out this list.

  • Cabildo
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection
  • The National World War II Museum
  • The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
  • The Backstreet Cultural Museum
  • New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint
  • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • Louisiana Children’s Museum
  • New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
  • Museum of Death
  • The Presbytère
  • Old Ursuline Convent Museum
  • Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  • Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience

Marvel the World of Mardi Gras

woman standing next to large can of coffee

I have visited the World of Mardi Gras a few times and it never gets old.

Here you will learn the history of the Mardi Gras celebrations and see how they create the floats. It is intriguing and kids will delight in the over-sized characters.

I easily spend two hours viewing floats from past parades, watching artists create new ones, and taking photos.

This is a great way to spend the afternoon on a rainy day.

I also found tickets on Groupon once for 14% to 18% off regular prices!

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St. Louis Cathedral

cathedral ceiling

This iconic cathedral with high steeples is one of the most recognizable structures in the US. It’s located in the French Quarter, facing Jackson Square and the Mississippi River.

The hours to visit are very limited, but it’s worth a peak if you are nearby. The church is an active parish for locals, so be respectful when entering.

St. Louis Cathedral ‘s elegant architecture makes it one of the crowning glories of New Orleans. If you have a limited time, or just one day in New Orleans, this catedral should be on your lisr of places to visit.

Dive into Wonder

starfish

Get ready for close encounters with marine life at the Audubon Aquarium. The exhibits are educational and entertaining as you interact with the animals.

The shark tunnel is an amazing experience. And you can enjoy hands-on engagement with starfish and stingray.

This would be a great family outing for an indoor activity.

Relax with a Book and Coffee

shelves of books

Do you love to read? Stop at one of these bookstores for a strong cup of joe and literary indulgence.

Look for books by local authors like “Interview with the Vampire” by Anne Rice or “Coming Through Slaughter” by Michael Ondaatje.

You just may find the perfect story to curl up and read on another rainy day.

  • Baldwin & Co., 1030 Elysian Fields Ave
  • Blue Cypress Books, 8126 Oak Street
  • Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania Street

Go for Film Fun

couple standing next to a movie character

New Orleans has several great places to duck indoors for a couple of hours of on-screen entertainment. 

Canal Place is located downtown, Prytania is in the Garden District, and Broad Theater is an independent theater with an election selection of films that is northwest of the French Quarter.

It’s probably easier to turn on Netflix from your phone, but where’s the joy in tiny screens?

  • Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania Street
  • The Theatres at Canal Place, 333 Canal Street, 3rd Floor
  • Broad Theater, 636 N Broad Street

Have a Spa Day

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Did you know that New Orleans is home to a few top luxury hotels near Bourbon Street? 

Book a voodoo ritual, couple’s experience, a silky milk bath, or a rejuvenating facial to melt away the stress.  

Treatments range anywhere from 90 minute to 4-hour packages.  You can enjoy a full body massage or get pampered from head to toe.

Go ahead, you deserve it.

  • The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Spa, 921 Canal Street
  • The Spa at Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier Street
  • Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria, 123 Baronne Street

Take a Riverboat Cruise

steam boat o the mississippi river

I can hear you now “a cruise in the rain”? 

Yes.

It adds ambiance and drama (and we all need that in life).  You’ll also have fewer crowds because most people won’t take a cruise in the rain. 

To add, you will have the most scenic views of the river on this jazz cruise or history cruise

Look on the bright side, you’ll be on a covered deck and while it may be drizzling, you can create some incredible photographs on a sunny day.

Get a Strike

bowling balls on a rack

There you stand with the ball in your hand. You stare down those ten pins feeling confident.

As you approach the glossy wooden floor, you swing the ball behind you and then with a forward release, the ball makes a pounding sound as it hits the floor.

Strike! The crowd goes wild as you take a celebratory drink and grab another slice of pizza.

High five.

  • Rock N Bowl, 3016 S. Carrollton Ave
  • Fulton Alley, 600 Fulton St

Hit the Streets

woman standing in doorway of red streetcar

In a streetcar, that is.  These trolleys will take you through the streets of New Orleans to see other points of interest, some of which are indoors.

The fare is only $1.25 one-way and it’s worth every dime spent.

  • Take the St. Charles Line to the Garden District to see mansions, gardens, Tulane and Loyola Universities, and Audubon Park.
  • Take the Canal Street Line to the New Orleans Museum of Art to see the French Quarter, City Park, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, Sculpture Garden, National WWII Museum, and the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum

Shop ’til You Drop

store window with jewelry displays

On our walk from Hotel Monteleone down Royal Street, I saw this shop and almost died!

I mean.

CHANEL!

This store is Vintage 329 (located at 329 Royal) and they have a fabulous collection of second-hand Chanel jewelry.

For indoor shopping, head over to the Riverwalk Mall. 

There is plenty of shopping in New Orleans if you don’t mind dodging in and out of boutiques in the rain.

  • Riverwalk Mall – an indoor mall located on the riverfront at 500 Port of New Orleans Place.
  • Royal Street – a must-visit street for art galleries, antiques, and high-end boutiques
  • Magazine Street – shop here for everything from clothing to antique stores.
  • Julia Street – known as the Arts District of New Orleans, it’s great for viewing art galleries.
  • Chartres Street – located in the French Quarter and best known for antiques, souvenirs, and art.

Laugh Out Loud

You gotta love a good belly-busting, side-splitting, rip-roaring, knee-slapping, tear-inducing, gut-wrenching, hilarious laugh that leaves you utterly breathless.

And deliriously giddy.

Make Your Escape

group of girls holding signs

Have you ever tried an escape room?

It will really sharpen your skills at problem solving. Take your friends or family to themed rooms and work together to puzzles, riddles, and hints that are hidden in clear sight. 

There is a time limit, so you’ll need to solve them as quickly as possible. 

I’ve entered an escape room with family and friends, and it was not as easy as I thought it would be. However, it was fun working as a team. 

You’ll be glad they are there to help!

  • The Escape Game, 233 N Peters
  • Escape My Room, 1152 Camp St
  • Clue Carre, 830 Union St
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Attend a Live Performance

outside a jazz hall
  • Preservation Hall celebrates traditional New Orleans jazz in an intimate setting.
  • Pat O’s Piano Bar is famous for its lively atmosphere and talented pianists who entertain guests with sing-along songs and requests.
  • The Saenger Theatre is known for its Broadway productions and concerts. The Saenger Theatre is a historic venue in the heart of downtown New Orleans.
  • Tipitina’s is known as a music venue and occasionally hosts indoor shows and special events.
  • The Joy Theater is a historic theater in downtown New Orleans that features a range of performances, including concerts, comedy shows, and film screenings.
  • Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré is a charming venue that hosts a variety of theatrical productions, including plays, musicals, and more. It was founded in 1916.

Want to save money? Get discount tickets through Groupon for performances

Try Your Luck

Harrah’s provides an array of entertainment like concerts, circus performances, orchestras by candlelight, and other shows.  The Fillmore New Orleans is in Harrah’s Casino. It offers a variety of live music performances, from rock and pop to jazz and blues.

  • Harrah’s Casino, 228 Poydras St

Final Thoughts on a Rainy Day in New Orleans

man and girl standing in rainy weather next to restaurant

We’ve had plenty of vacations where there was a bit of unexpected rain.

Sometimes you must go with the flow.

Check the weather forecast in advance, pack a poncho, and make alternative plans for indoor fun.

Hopefully with these ideas, you’ll be able to create alternative plans with this list of things to do in New Orleans when it rains.

Never let a rainy day ruin your visit.

Safe travels.


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