New Orleans Bowl weekend: Things to see & do

New Orleans Bowl weekend: Things to see & do

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDAM) - The Big Easy is known for its Cajun and Creole cuisine, Saints football and bustling nightlife. And if you plan to stay for the weekend of the New Orleans Bowl, you might as well make the most of your trip, right? The city is more than just Mardi Gras and parties. It's full of rich history and culture dating back to the 1700s.

If you plan to stay for the weekend, here are some fun activities:

Southern Miss Fan Headquarters: Hang out before or after the game at Poppy's Time Out Bar and Grill and you'll be sure to see some Golden Eagle fans around. The restaurant is located at The Outlet Connection at Riverwalk, 500 Port of New Orleans Place.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 16, New Orleans Marriott (555 Canal Street) 

Famed New Orleans Saints Steve Gleason will be the keynote speaker for the event. Gleason is known around the globe for his fight against ALS and will share an inspirational story. Tickets for the lunch are $65 and can be purchased online here.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Friday Night Concert

The Gin Blossoms and Better Than Ezra will perform at 7 p.m. Friday night in Champions Square. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, click here. To learn more about R+L Carriers, click here.

NOLA Christmas Fest

Get in the Christmas spirit with an expanded ice skating rink, fun amusement rides, inflatables and a 120-foot ice slide inside the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Doors open at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, and will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. each day until Dec. 30.

For more information, click here.

French Quarter: Full of shops, street dancers and the famous Bourbon Street, the French Quarter has a little bit of everything. It's a great place to explore after a big Cajun lunch that you need to walk off.

Shops at Canal Place & N Peters Street: Looking to buy some last-minute Christmas presents? Check out the Shops at Canal Place where you'll find a two-story Anthropologie, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. And if you wander down North Peters Street, you'll also run into a huge H&M and Urban Outfitters.

Royal Street shops: Royal Street is full of art galleries, antique stores and eclectic shops, not just your typical souvenir shops. If you need a break, one Trip Advisor reviewer said to make a pitstop at CC's Coffee.

Art District: If you're an art lover, head over to Julia Street where you'll find more than a dozen art galleries. And just a few blocks away down St. Charles Avenue is the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Robert E. Lee Monument. Also, check out New Orleans Museum of Art at City Park.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum: Take a spooky tour of an apothecary museum circa 1823. The museum has exhibits of early medicines, superstitious cures and more.

Audubon Nature Institute: Spend a day celebrating the wonders of nature! The Audubon Park includes the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. The zoo houses an exotic mix of animals and unique natural habitat exhibits like the Louisiana swamp and Jaguar Jungle.

The National WWII Museum: Rated New Orleans' No. 1 attraction, the National WWII Museum is one of the best places in America to learn about U.S military history. For more info, click here.

St. Louis Cathedral: Walk inside one of New Orleans' most notable landmarks and oldest cathedral in the United States. Located in Jackson Square, you can take a tour of the prestigious building or even attend a weekend church service. For more info, click here.

Frenchmen Street: Check out this street for cozy clubs with live jazz music. Many of the clubs are near the intersection of Frenchmen Street and Decatur Street and Frenchmen Street and Chartres Street. One reviewer on Trip Advisor said Frenchmen Street is the "best alternative to Bourbon Street."