New Orleans in January - Things to Do & What to Wear

New Orleans in January – Things to Do & What to Wear

Visiting New Orleans in January is an exciting experience filled with unique activities and vibrant festivities. As the city gears up for the Carnival season, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich culture and traditions that make New Orleans so special. In this article, I will guide you through the top things to do, the ideal attire to wear, and provide travel tips to make the most of your January adventure.

Key Takeaways:

  • January in New Orleans is all about the colorful Carnival season.
  • Experience parades, festivals, and the famous king cakes.
  • The weather is cooler with average highs of 62℉, perfect for exploring the city.
  • Dress in layers to stay comfortable throughout the day.
  • Take part in diverse events like theater performances and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day commemorations.

January Festivities in New Orleans

In January, New Orleans bursts with lively celebrations, marking the start of the highly anticipated Carnival season. Twelfth Night, also known as Epiphany, officially concludes the holiday season and sets the stage for a month filled with festivities and merriment in the city. Locals eagerly await January 6th, the day when they can indulge in the delectable king cakes and begin the countdown to the grand culmination of the Carnival season – Mardi Gras.

This vibrant city hosts a multitude of parades and events during January, showcasing the remarkable spirit and culture of New Orleans. From quirky Streetcar-based Phunny Phorty Phellows parade to the enchanting medieval-themed Krewe de Joan d’Arc parade, there is something for everyone to enjoy. These unforgettable celebrations provide visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique traditions and fervor that make New Orleans Carnival season truly exceptional.

If you’re planning a visit to New Orleans in January, make sure to participate in the unforgettable Twelfth Night celebrations and experience the joy and excitement of the Mardi Gras parades that fill the streets with color, music, and revelry. Embrace the spirit of New Orleans as you join locals and visitors alike in celebrating this enchanting time of year.

Noteworthy January Events:

  • Twelfth Night Celebrations – officially marking the start of Carnival season.
  • Mardi Gras Parades – immerse yourself in the lively energy of the city’s iconic parades.
  • Phunny Phorty Phellows Parade – quirky streetcar-based parade to kickstart the festivities.
  • Krewe de Joan d’Arc Parade – a medieval-themed procession honoring Joan of Arc.
  • Vibrant Local Events – explore unique and diverse events that showcase the city’s rich culture and heritage.

Don’t miss out on the incredible January festivities in New Orleans. It’s an experience unlike any other, where you can embrace the warmth of the city and let yourself be swept away by the joyous spirit of Carnival season.

Weather and Fashion in January

In January, New Orleans experiences cooler temperatures, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities and sightseeing without excessive heat or humidity. The average high temperature is 62℉ (17℃), while the low temperature is 43℉ (6℉). When planning your outfits for New Orleans in January, it’s important to dress in layers to adjust to the changing temperatures throughout the day.

To stay comfortable and stylish, here are some recommendations for what to wear in New Orleans in January:

1. Jeans

Opt for a pair of jeans as the foundation of your outfit. They are versatile, easy to dress up or down, and provide warmth during cooler temperatures.

2. Sweaters

Layer your jeans with cozy sweaters to keep warm while exploring the city. Choose from a variety of styles, such as chunky knits or stylish cardigans, to suit your personal taste.

3. Light Jackets

Bring a light jacket or coat to combat the cooler temperatures in the evenings. A stylish bomber jacket or a classic trench coat can elevate your winter fashion in New Orleans.

For those planning to participate in the walking parades and festivities during the Carnival season, it’s an opportunity to embrace the festive spirit and showcase your personal style. Consider adding some colorful accessories, masks, or even a statement piece to enhance your ensemble and fully immerse yourself in the Carnival season vibe.

Now, let’s take a look at a table with an overview of the weather in New Orleans in January:

Date Average High (℉) Average Low (℉)
January 1 61 43
January 15 63 45
January 31 60 42

With these weather and fashion tips, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer in January, from the vibrant Carnival season to the city’s rich cultural attractions. Dress comfortably, layer up, and show off your unique style while exploring the charming streets of New Orleans.

Culinary Delights in January

In January, New Orleans becomes a haven for food lovers, with a particular highlight being the indulgence of king cakes. These traditional delicacies are synonymous with the Carnival season and are eagerly awaited each year. Bakeries and shops throughout the city offer a wide range of flavors and fillings, including the classic traditional, decadent chantilly, and irresistible praline-filled options. It’s a delightful treat that brings joy to both locals and visitors alike.

For those seeking healthier options or looking to maintain their New Year’s resolutions, fear not. New Orleans caters to all dietary preferences and offers Eat Fit NOLA-approved dishes at many restaurants. This ensures that even while indulging in the city’s culinary delights, you can make mindful choices without compromising on flavor. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly options are readily available, allowing you to savor the local cuisine guilt-free.

Moreover, if you’re looking for lighter beverage choices, New Orleans has you covered. Many establishments offer low-alcohol by volume (ABV) drinks and refreshing mocktails. These options provide a refreshing and enjoyable way to stay hydrated and maintain a balanced approach to your culinary journey in New Orleans.

King Cake Flavors Description
Traditional A delicious blend of cinnamon, sugar, and dough, topped with vibrant purple, green, and gold icing.
Chantilly Indulge in the richness of creamy custard filling, topped with a luscious buttercream icing.
Praline-filled For a nutty and sweet flavor experience, try this king cake with a decadent praline filling.

January Events and Activities

New Orleans in January is bursting with exciting events and activities that will keep visitors entertained throughout their stay. From New Year’s Eve celebrations to theater performances and commemorative events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some highlights of the January happenings in the city:

New Year’s Eve Celebrations and Concerts

Start off the year on a high note by attending one of the dazzling New Year’s Eve celebrations in New Orleans. From fireworks displays over the Mississippi River to lively street parties, there are plenty of options to choose from. Additionally, many local venues host concerts and live performances, featuring talented musicians who will make your New Year’s Eve memorable.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Football fans won’t want to miss the Allstate Sugar Bowl, a major college football game held annually in New Orleans. Witness the excitement as top teams battle it out on the field, creating an electric atmosphere that is sure to thrill sports enthusiasts.

Theater Performances

January is an excellent time to catch some exceptional theater performances in New Orleans. Productions like “My Fair Lady” and “Les Misérables” take center stage, showcasing the city’s vibrant theater scene. Immerse yourself in the magic of live performances and be captivated by the talented actors and stunning productions.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemorations

Join the New Orleans community in honoring the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Take part in community gatherings and volunteer opportunities that celebrate his vision and principles. It’s a meaningful way to contribute and engage with the local community.

Mardi Gras Parades

While Mardi Gras is traditionally associated with February, New Orleans kicks off the festive season in January with some early parades. One of the most unique and satirical parades is the Krewe du Vieux, known for its irreverent and witty floats. Catching these early season parades provides a glimpse into the excitement and creativity that Mardi Gras is famous for.

Aside from these specific events and activities, New Orleans offers a plethora of attractions to explore year-round. Museums, gardens, and historical sites are open for visitors to delve into the city’s rich culture and heritage. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique charm and vibrant spirit of New Orleans in January.

New Orleans Attractions in January

January is an ideal time to visit New Orleans and explore its vibrant attractions. With fewer crowds compared to peak tourist seasons, you can truly immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture and history. Here are some popular attractions that you should not miss:

Audubon Aquarium

If you’re fascinated by marine life, the Audubon Aquarium is a must-visit attraction. Located in the historic French Quarter, this impressive facility showcases a variety of underwater creatures, including colorful fish, sharks, and sea turtles. Get up close with these fascinating creatures and learn about their habitats through interactive exhibits.

Longue Vue House and Gardens

For a dose of elegance and tranquility, visit the Longue Vue House and Gardens. This National Historic Landmark offers a glimpse into the lives of New Orleans’ elite families. Take a guided tour of the immaculate gardens, beautifully landscaped with various plant species, and explore the stunning interiors of the mansion. Don’t forget your camera to capture the picturesque surroundings.


JAMNOLA is a unique and interactive art installation that celebrates the vibrant culture of New Orleans. Experience the city’s music, art, and food through immersive exhibits and photo-worthy installations. Engage your senses as you explore the colorful rooms and engage with local artists. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases the creativity and energy of New Orleans.

Studio BE

If you’re interested in contemporary art, Studio BE is a must-visit. Located in the Bywater neighborhood, this expansive warehouse-turned-gallery showcases the work of renowned artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums. The powerful and thought-provoking murals depict the stories of resilience and activism in the face of social issues. Explore the various rooms and be inspired by the vibrant artworks.

These attractions offer a break from outdoor activities and provide a deeper understanding of New Orleans’ cultural heritage. Whether you’re fascinated by aquatic life, historical mansions, interactive art, or thought-provoking murals, New Orleans has something to offer every visitor.


Visiting New Orleans in January offers a unique and exciting experience. The start of the Carnival season brings a vibrant atmosphere filled with festive parades, delicious king cakes, and a range of activities to enjoy. The cooler weather allows for comfortable outdoor exploration, making it the perfect time to discover the city’s attractions and neighborhoods.

When packing for your trip to New Orleans in January, it’s recommended to dress in layers to adapt to the changing temperatures throughout the day. This provides flexibility and ensures your comfort during the festivities. Embrace the Carnival season vibe by adding festive accessories to your outfit, such as colorful masks or beads, to fully immerse yourself in the festive spirit.

From culinary delights to cultural celebrations, New Orleans in January has something for everyone. Indulge in the traditional king cakes and savor the flavors of New Orleans cuisine. Attend theater performances or catch early season Mardi Gras parades for a taste of the city’s vibrant arts scene. Explore the city’s attractions, museums, and gardens to delve deeper into the rich history and culture of New Orleans.

Whether it’s your first visit or a return trip, New Orleans in January guarantees an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the Carnival season, savor the delicious food, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Plan your trip to New Orleans in January and discover all the exciting things this vibrant city has in store for you.


What are some popular events and activities in New Orleans in January?

Some popular events and activities in New Orleans in January include the start of Carnival season, with Twelfth Night celebrations and Mardi Gras parades, theater performances like “My Fair Lady” and “Les Misérables,” and community gatherings and volunteer opportunities for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

What is the weather like in New Orleans in January and what should I wear?

The weather in New Orleans in January is cooler, with average highs of 62℉ and lower humidity. It is advisable to dress in layers, including jeans, sweaters, and light jackets, as temperatures can change throughout the day. For the festive parades and activities, you can also dress up in festive attire, such as masks or colorful accessories.

What are some culinary delights to experience in New Orleans in January?

In January, don’t miss out on trying the traditional king cake, a delicacy associated with Carnival season. Bakeries and shops across the city offer a variety of king cake flavors and fillings. For those who want to stick to healthy eating resolutions, there are also Eat Fit NOLA-approved dishes and vegan and vegetarian-friendly options available at many restaurants.

What are some events and activities happening in New Orleans in January?

Besides the start of Carnival season and Mardi Gras parades, there are various events and activities happening in New Orleans in January. Visitors can ring in the new year with New Year’s Eve celebrations, concerts, or catch the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The city also has a vibrant theater scene with performances such as “My Fair Lady” and “Les Misérables.”

What are some popular attractions to visit in New Orleans in January?

Some popular attractions to visit in New Orleans in January include the Audubon Aquarium, Longue Vue House and Gardens, JAMNOLA, and Studio BE. These attractions offer unique experiences and insights into the city’s culture and history, providing a break from outdoor activities and opportunities to delve deeper into New Orleans’ heritage.

What can I expect during my visit to New Orleans in January?

During your visit to New Orleans in January, you can expect a vibrant and exciting atmosphere with the start of Carnival season and a range of events and activities. You can enjoy festive parades, indulge in king cakes, explore the city’s attractions, and experience the city’s rich history and culture. Whether it’s your first visit or a return trip, January in New Orleans offers something for everyone to enjoy.

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