Known for its abundance of ominous haunted houses and vampire lore, New Orleans is an especially spooky city on Halloween. Festivities are in full swing, with ghoulish fun for families, theater fans and history buffs. And beware: Quirky costumes are encouraged at each spirited fête.

Boo on the Bayou

Hosted by Bayou Kayaks, Boo on the Bayou invites costumed kayakers to an evening paddle on Bayou St. John, under the eerie glow of the moon.

Michael Wong, of Bayou Kayaks, is expecting a crowd of children with their parents, along with outdoor enthusiasts.

“A lot of people are coming in town and coming from places where there is more outdoor recreation,” he said. “We thought this would be an interesting way to let people know that there’s a great resource for them and to help people become less afraid of the water.”

Attendees can either rent kayaks or bring their own. In addition to a leisurely row that spans about 2 miles of the bayou, the event will include a costume contest and treats for children.

The Voodoo Music Experience will be taking place nearby, so kayakers can enjoy the music coming from the closest stage as they lurk along the dark waters of the bayou.

WHAT: Boo on the Bayou

WHEN: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31.

WHERE: Launch site is 1101 Florida Ave. at Bayou St. John

INFORMATION: or (504) 444-8869

‘Broomstick,’ Costume Party

Southern Rep Theatre’s spellbinding new play, “Broomstick,” featuring Liann Pattison, concludes its successful run this weekend.

“ ‘Broomstick’ is the story of one woman who hovers in the shadowy space between good and evil, fantasy and reality, and who, some say, may be a little too hungry for justice,” according to Southern Rep Theatre.

And, on Halloween, the theater group will host a costume party prior to the show.

Southern Rep’s costume party is unique because it’s followed by a spooky, magical, mischievously funny production about a witch’s life. You can’t get any more Halloween than that,” said Michelle Moore, the marketing manager of Southern Rep Theatre.

Costume-clad patrons who purchase tickets at the door will receive a $5 discount and enjoy a free drink, along with tasty treats, in the lobby before the show. Because the performance is about 90 minutes long, guests will have time to partake in more Halloween festivities afterward.

WHAT: “Broomstick”

WHERE: Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, through Saturday, Nov. 1; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.

ADMISSION: Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (504) 522-6545.

WHAT: Southern Rep Theatre’s Halloween Costume Party

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31.

WHERE: Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

French Quartour Kids

Children will receive a healthy dose of Halloween history and fun during Jill Dresser’s daily Halloween Tour.

“I love trick-or-treating, history and kids. So, it was a natural fit,” said Dresser, of her role as a tour guide.

Each educational event unveils the stories behind popular Halloween traditions and symbols, such as trick-or-treating and glowing jack-o-lanterns.

Attendees may be surprised when Dresser reveals what vegetable represented Halloween before the pumpkin became the popular representative for the holiday and how spirits float fleetingly through the night.

The tour, which begins near the Riverfront where St. Peter Street ends, also includes a spooky scavenger hunt amongst the tombs in St. Louis Cemetery and a discussion of All Saints Day. Dresser said that upon request, she also offers a “creepy” tour that focuses on the legends of vampires, voodoo practices and the haunted houses throughout New Orleans.

WHERE: French Quarter

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. daily, through Nov. 7.

ADMISSION: $20; tickets can be booked by emailing Dresser at


Eat, Drink and Be Scary

On Halloween night, the Friends of the Cabildo will host the fifth annual Eat, Drink and Be Scary Costume Party. The spirited event includes delicacies from Redemption Restaurant, Irene’s Cuisine, Kyoto, Gumbo Shop and Baker Maid, among many others, along with refreshments from Abita Brewing Co.

As for entertainment, guests can shake, rattle and roll to the sounds of a brass band. A DJ is expected to spin some festive tunes. A silent auction, showcasing a George Rodrigue print, will take place.

And a tarot card reader will be on hand to unravel mysteries for inquisitive minds. Because the event is held at the Cabildo, some folks have been known to dress up as notable figures from history. Jason Strada, the executive director of Friends of the Cabildo, said Eat, Drink and Be Scary attracts locals and tourists alike.

“New Orleans has become more of a Halloween-driven city, so we have a lot of people that like doing this,” he said. “For some people, this kicks off their Halloween weekend.”

WHAT: Eat, Drink and Be Scary

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31.

WHERE: The Cabildo on Jackson Square, 701 Chartres St., New Orleans

ADMISSION: $45 online, in advance; $50 at the door


Krewe of Boo

Krewe of Boo is back with its bewitching Halloween-themed floats, aglow with lights and vibrant colors. As the group rolls through the “BOO Carré,” the CBD and the Warehouse District, riders clad in creepy costumes will toss sweet treats such as Aunt Sally’s Pralinettes and pouches of Elmer’s Chee Weez and caramel corn, along with light-up medallion beads. Guests can expect performances from several local favorites, like the Muff-A-Lottas, the Rolling Elvi and the always-popular 610 Stompers.

And thrilling acts from the Fright Riders and NOLA Zombies are bound to cast a spell on paradegoers. The krewe will be led by Captain Brian Kern and King Billy Nungesser. Former Saints player Deuce McAllister is the grand marshal.

Following the parade, the Krewe of BOO!’s Monster Mash Costume Party takes place at Mardi Gras World and features wild entertainment from DESTRUCTO and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. The after-party is open to the costumed public. Tickets can be purchased from

WHAT: Krewe of Boo

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 30; parade, 6:30 p.m.; party, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

INFO: Visit

ADMISSION: $50 to $100


Creepy critters abound at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. During Crawloween, staff entomologists will teach children the facts about bugs of all shapes and sizes, and reveal the myths behind a few feared creatures.

The event includes a “Guess How Many Maggots are in the Jar” contest. The three people with the closest guesses will receive gift certificates to Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium’s Flea Market. Children are welcome to wear their costume, but those wearing a bug-themed costume will receive a $3 discount off of the admission price.

Adding to the education-focused fun, guests will have the chance to create a bug craft and trick or treat at presentation stations.

WHAT: Crawloween

WHERE: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, 423 Canal St., New Orleans

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 31; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jim Monaghan’s Halloween Parade

Molly’s at the Market will sponsor its 19th annual All Saint’s Eve procession, with horse-drawn carriages, riders tossing trinkets and music. The parade sets out at 6 p.m. and loops through several blocks near Jackson Square, stopping halfway at the Erin Rose bar, 811 Conti St., before returning to Molly’s.

WHAT: Jim Monaghan’s Halloween Parade

WHERE: Molly’s at the Market, 1107 Decatur St.

WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m.