February usually marks the time where we’re offering you tips on portable ergonomic chairs and how to unpack your Mardi Gras haul without hurting your back…but not this year. It makes me sad because I absolutely LOVE Mardi Gras! Being a transplant from Nashville, I quickly identified two distinct types of New Orleanians – those who BLEED purple, green and yellow and those who hit the slopes or run away to Disney for the week of Mardi Gras.
There doesn’t seem to be a “neutral ground” (as y’all like to call it here). You either love it or lump it. As for me, I could spend every afternoon out on the parade route (Sidewalk Side) and be perfectly happy! Nothing beats cutting out of work early on Muses Thursday to stake your spot and let the anticipation build while you check the Parade Tracker App and listen for the blaring of horns and beating of drums in the distance.
February is a MAGICAL month in New Orleans and the city is usually buzzing with things to do! But lately when I ask people what they did on the weekend, it’s always the same response – “nothing much”. Just last week I was telling someone about how I was really missing the Mardi Gras spirit this year and her response made me sad – “Yeah, now we’re just like everywhere else”.
Well, we just can’t stand for that! New Orleans has to be one of the most special and unique places in the world! So, I’ve dedicated this month’s blog to give you ideas for filling your February with happiness and all things New Orleans (in a COVID-responsible way)!
1. JAMNOLA – An immersive New Orleans experience – take a stroll through 12 exhibits featuring over 20 local artists – Enjoy sculptures, music, film, mixed media and all the creativity you have come to love and expect from our incredible city. (exhibit pictured above)
2. The Broad Side New Orleans – sister to the Broad Theater – this open-air venue hosts movies, music, and more! Go support your local musicians and have an enjoyable outdoor evening.
3. Stroll through the Sculpture Garden at NOMA – another outdoor opportunity – enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness of NOMA’s expanded sculpture garden with over 90 sculptures from all around the world including a glass bridge and a 60 ft mosaic wall!
4. Take a sight-seeing expedition around town and check out the Krewe of House Floats – celebrate Mardi Gras safely and support the philanthropic efforts of KoHF to raise money for those most affected by the cancellation of Mardi Gras events – service industry workers, muscians and other culture bearers. (one of our favorites below)
5. Bacchanal – Yes! I’m suggesting you cross the 17th Street Canal and take a trip to visit this Bywater gem. Reserve your outdoor table, uncork a bottle of wine and I’d recommend ordering the chocolate bark while you listen to some of New Orleans’ finest.
6. Couturie Forest – Immerse yourself in nature and take a walk along one of their many well-maintained, mulched trails. Also home to New Orleans highest point of elevation – Laborde Mountain which towers 43 feet above sea level.
So, there you have it! My top picks for filling your February with the spirit of New Orleans and putting an end to the “nothing much” slump!