10 Best 40th Birthday Party Ideas in New Orleans
New Orleans is a quintessential party town, known for its unbeatable restaurants, happening nightlife and raucous festivals. While any time is a good to visit the Big Easy, it’s especially fun when celebrating the Big 4-0 (or really any birthday for that matter). With so much to do, it’s important to plan your visit ahead of time. Also, when going between the French Quarter and Uptown, opt for a ride on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line instead of an Uber to really take in the sights. Here are some top ideas to kick off your birthday with a bang.
- Discover the flavor of New Orleans with Sidewalk Food Tours.
Gather your squad for a walking tour of the French Quarter or the Lower Garden District—complete with bites at some of the best restaurants in the Crescent City. In addition to tasty bites, the tours showcase the history and architecture of New Orleans. Join a group tour, or book your own private tour to get the most out of the experience.
- Go shopping on Magazine Street.
Find a bevy of unique boutiques—most locally owned—peppered all along the six-mile stretch of Magazine Street. As you stroll past historic architecture and stunning homes, you’ll find pockets of shops that offer everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and local art. And of course, there are plenty of restaurants and bars along the way if you happen to need a pick-me-up.
Royal Street, which runs parallel to Bourbon Street for 13 blocks, is chock full of art galleries, antique stores, wrought iron balconies and boîtes. While you’re out and about, be sure to pop in to some of the most recognizable art galleries, such as Rodrigue Studio (famous for George Rodrigue’s paintings of blue dogs) and Frank Relle Photography (one of the city’s most famous photographers).
- Listen to live music on Frenchmen Street.
Located just outside of the French Quarter, in the Marigny, French- men Street is the hub of music in New Orleans. With everything from jazz and reggae to blues and impromptu curbside ensembles, Frenchmen Street is abuzz with the sounds of the city. Some of our favorites include Blue Nile, The Spotted Cat, The Apple Barrel, Bam- boula’s and d.b.a.
- Enjoy jazz brunch at Commander’s Palace.
Jazz brunch is a distinct New Orleans tradition, combining the city’s love of food and music into a decadent celebration of both. Experience haute Creole cuisine from chef Tory McPhail and live music by the Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio on Saturdays and Sundays at the restaurant where the jazz brunch was invented. Nestled on the tree-lined streets of the Garden District, Commander’s Palace has been a local landmark since 1893 and is part of the Brennan family’s portfolio of esteemed restaurants.
A bustling area of New Orleans, the Warehouse District is home to art galleries (along Julia Street), sophisticated bars and restaurants, and a number of rooftop bars that offer cool views of the city. Some of our top picks include Alto at the Ace Hotel, Monkey Board at The Troubadour Hotel New Orleans, the Rooftop Bar at the Catahoula Hotel and Above the Grid at NOPSI New Orleans Hotel.
- Experience a night on Bourbon Street.
While in Rome, do as the Romans do. In New Orleans, that means hitting Bourbon Street. While it’s a Mecca for tourists, it’s for good reason. Bourbon Street is home to seriously fun bars, historic restaurants and LGBTQ-friendly hangouts. Catch some beads; order a hurricane; and party like a tourist.
- Get pampered at The Spa at Windsor Court.
There’s nothing better than a day of relaxation, especially after a night out on the town. Located within the luxury Windsor Court Ho- tel, The Spa at Windsor Court is one the best spas in the city thanks to its menu of services; the sauna and steam room; and the men’s, women’s and couples’ relaxation areas.
- Roam around the city on rented Blue Bikes.
The Blue Bikes Bike Share program offers an affordable, healthy and fun way to get around the city. Simply sign up on the Blue Bikes New Orleans mobile app; find one of the 70-plus bike hubs; enter your account number and four-digit PIN on the bike’s keypad; and you’re all set. The new electronic JUMP bikes, introduced just this year, provide a boost with every pedal stroke can get up to 20 mph.
- Take a cooking class at New Orleans School of Cooking.
In addition to its general store (jam packed with locally sourced Louisiana food items, cookbooks, barware and more), New Orleans School of Cooking offers a variety of cooking classes. Choose from a cooking demonstration; an interactive, hands-on class; or a private party.