LivingTravelJanuary in New Orleans: Weather, What to Pack, and...

January in New Orleans: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

The first month of the year in New Orleans is a great time to visit – there’s still a lingering festive air of the holiday, but the city isn’t crowded with tourists visiting Mardi Gras yet, meaning hotels and other attractions aren’t t so busy. Don’t think the city is boring though – January has plenty of sporting events, art fairs, and Mardi Gras kick-offs to keep you entertained. Plus, the mild temperatures make it a great month to spend time outdoors.

New Orleans weather in January

New Orleans’ weather in January is generally mild, with high temperatures generally in the 60s Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) and lows in the mid-40s (7 degrees Celsius). Occasionally, warmer afternoon temperatures can soar a little over 70 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius), with cooler mornings, very rarely falling below freezing. Extremes as high as 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) and as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius) have also occurred in recent years.

  • Average High: 62 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius)
  • Low average: 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius)

February receives an average amount of rain, typically around 4.7 inches spread over nine days. In a few days, the rain can be more extreme, with up to 0.5 inches in a single day. Snow is scarce.

What to pack

The weather of New Orleans in January is quite similar to that of the United States. There will be some cooler days so a medium weight jacket is a good idea, as are gloves. In general, a light jacket or windbreaker will be warm enough. The Big Easy is a city for walking, so don’t forget comfortable shoes! Also, if you are attending a carnival dance, bring formal clothes.

January events in New Orleans

January is a busy month in New Orleans, especially with the start of the Carnival season. In addition to the parade season, the city also hosts several interesting artistic, cultural and sporting events.

  • The Carnival season begins on January 6, which is also known as Epiphany, or the official end of the Christmas season. After this date, you will see king cakes for sale everywhere and the festive carnival balls will begin.
  • The Allstate Sugar Bowl is an annual college football event at the Superdome. It is celebrated on January 1 and was first played in 1935.
  • The New Orleans Arts Market takes place the last Saturday of each month. At this festive, family-friendly event held in Palmer Park, you’ll find artwork crafted by local makers, ranging from ceramics and prints to canvases and soaps.
  • New Orleans celebrates the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a series of events, the most notable of which is a parade in Central City. The annual remembrance attracts thousands and includes notable speakers and artists.
  • King cake is a New Orleans classic, especially during the Carnival season. If you are looking for the best, the King Cake Festival , held in late January, is an event not to be missed. Bakeries across the city offer unique twists on this Crescent City classic.
  • The final battle of the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans , was fought outside the city. Every year on January 8, more than 150 reenactors gather on the battlefield of Chalmette to commemorate the victory over the British.

January travel trips

  • January in New Orleans offers a huge benefit: You beat the miserable humidity and sweltering temperatures that can plague a summer visit.
  • Make your travel arrangements early. The city is popular throughout the year, especially on the weekends, and as the carnival approaches. Sporting events, like the New Orleans Saints football games, can draw exceptionally large crowds, which means higher prices for hotel rooms and other attractions.
  • Check your purse and wallet when exploring the French Quarter or other crowded area. While these areas of New Orleans are generally safe, petty crime can occur just like any major urban area.
  • New Orleans is a great city to eat, but especially for those looking to dine al fresco. The mild weather means that sitting on the patio, ideally listening to live jazz, is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon in New Orleans.

For more information on when you’ll most enjoy a vacation in New Orleans, check out our guide to the best time to visit.

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