Money may not be everything, but it is definitely something, and being on vacation can put some stress on your wallet. But in New Orleans, it doesn’t have to. Where there’s music, there’s dancing; where there’s food, there’s happiness; where there are people, there’s life. Look around the city and you’ll find countless activities, with minimal money needed. From City Park to the French Quarter, there are things happening everywhere you look.
For those of you thinking that looking for these activities is more work than it’s worth, we’ve done the work for you. Here are seven things to do in NOLA for less than ten dollars.
1. City Putt Miniature Golf Course
Most people probably think of mini golf as a children’s game – a much simpler version of golf where kids putt colorful balls into the mouths of clowns and through blades of slow moving windmills, usually over in 20 minutes or less. Well at this course, located at 8 Victory Drive in City Park, the only thing in common with traditional mini golf is the variety of neon balls. For anyone 13 and up, $8 will get you a round on either one of the 18-hole courses – yes, there are two. The Louisiana course highlights the culture and themes of the state, and each hole tells a different story of each theme. The New Orleans course does the same, but the themes are more localized. The combination of history and competition is what makes this course unique, and the cheap beer doesn’t hurt either.
Buy tickets here: https://neworleanscitypark.com/in-the-park/city-putt
2. New Orleans Museum of Art
Right smack in the middle of the vast City Park is the New Orleans Museum of Art. With an expansive focus on French and American art, as well as modern art, contemporary art, and photography, the little museum that started out with only nine works of art in 1911 has a notable and diverse collection. What makes it even better? It’s free for students on Wednesdays with a student ID, and only $10 for adults on any other day.
For more information: https://noma.org/visit/visitor-information/
3. NOMA Sculpture Garden
Out the door and to the right of the New Orleans Museum of Art is one of the best-kept secrets of New Orleans – the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Open Monday through Sunday, the garden houses some of the most thought-provoking, and maybe even bewildering, pieces of art in the city. The garden leads you on a path around a small lake, and provides benches along the way for visitors to sit and take it all in. Though admission is always free, the sculpture garden stays open on donations. So go on and enjoy the view, and get rid of those coins that have been jingling around in your pocket.
For more information: https://noma.org/sculpture-garden/
4. Café du Monde
If you decided to spend the night on the town (and of course you did, you’re in New Orleans!), an order of beignets from Café du Monde might be exactly what you need the next day. New Orleans’ classic fried dough puffs are buried under a marvelous mountain of powdered sugar, and French chicory coffee is offered to wash it all down. One order of three humungous beignets – $2.50; shamelessly licking sugar off your fingers for the rest of the day – priceless.
For more information: http://www.cafedumonde.com/history
5. Roman Candy Cart
Never heard of Roman Candy? Most people haven’t, but driving down St. Charles, the red and white horse-drawn wagon is pretty hard to miss. Since 1915, the Roman Candy Company has been churning out their taffy in the same three delightful flavors – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry – for just a dollar each, or $5 for six. The satisfaction of taking a bite into the sticky, stretchy taffy can’t be matched, which is why it’s a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
Online purchases and information: https://romancandy.com
6. Twelve Mile Limit
This bar might seem like nothing special on the outside – the spray painted “OPEN” sign and faded mural on one outside wall make it look like and beat up old house – but once you step inside you’ll see it’s quite the opposite. The Twelve Mile Limit lounge serves up some of the best drinks and brunch in Mid-city, and they’re famous for their loaded tater tots. With $4 for 16oz Abitas on tap, and free food on Monday nights, this spot is like nothing else you’ll find in New Orleans.
7. Grab some crawfish
If you’re around at any time between March and July, make sure to treat yourself to a couple pounds of crawfish. It may sound like a lot, but once you start digging in you’ll wish it would never end. Boiled with seasoned potatoes, corn, sausage, and garlic, the spicy, flavorful crawfish boils are a NOLA classic. Though it varies from year to year, boiled crawfish almost always comes out at less than $5 per pound, so grab a few and take it wherever you like. Eating on the street corner is never frowned upon.
A vacation in New Orleans is anything but ordinary, and there is never a shortage of things to do. Exploring NOLA is a unique experience, and there is always a way to do it while making your wallet happy. Whether its food, music, dancing, or sightseeing, anything can be done on a budget, and New Orleans is the perfect place to do it.