1. Street Performers
No doubt about it, New Orleans is a music lover’s paradise. Aside from the plethora of live music venues, it seems like every street corner is a temporary stage for an aspiring musician or super-talented street performer. Is the entertainment free? Technically, yes — but you should still tip at least a dollar, especially if you enjoyed what you heard.
2. Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
If you have a need for speed, you’ll love the fast-paced action at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Take advantage of free grandstand admission, and place a bet on the winning horse. Or you can try your luck at the slot machines, many of which include penny, two-cent, nickel and quarter games. Ten dollars might not get you very far, but then again, you never know…
3. St. Charles Streetcar Ride
For only $1.25, catch this historic streetcar for a ride through the city. It’s an inexpensive way to get a self-guided tour through the picturesque Garden District (think: classic architecture, sprawling mansions and manicured gardens) and tree-lined City Park. Besides, it sure beats walking.
A New Orleans mainstay since the 1930s, sno-balls are a frozen delight that might seem simplistic (yep, it’s ice, color and flavoring), but this Southern city takes it to another level. Order a crazy flavor like roasted marshmallow, wedding cake or orchid cream vanilla, and load it up with add-ons like whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk.
5. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Half history lesson, half haunted house, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum will have you looking at the world of medicine in a whole new way. While you’re here, check out antique amputation kits, live leeches, voodoo potions and (scary-looking) medical tools. Who knew you could get education and entertainment for only $5?
Wander through the French Quarter, and you’re bound to run into a street cart selling pralines (that’s prah-leens, for you out-of-towners). These gooey confections don’t cost much, but their satisfying chewiness and irresistible combination of sugar, pecans, butter and vanilla is worth every penny.
7. Entergy IMAX Theatre
Sure, you could go to a regular movie theater, but you know the saying: go big or go home. See a flick on the (big) big screen at the Entergy IMAX Theatre, which plays everything from action-packed blockbusters to 3-D educational films. Adult general admission is $9.95. (Hey, it’s still under $10.)
8. Beignets at Café Du Monde
Beignets: are they breakfast or are they dessert? We’ll let you answer that question when you stop into New Orleans’ famous Café Du Monde for an order of these delicious squares of fried dough, which are covered in a white cascade of powdered sugar. Just one suggestion: don’t wear black.
9. Contemporary Arts Center
Get a much-needed dose of culture at the Contemporary Arts Center, a four-story creative enclave featuring local artist galleries, rotating exhibitions and performance art shows. Admission costs $5.
10. Golf at New Orleans City Park
Okay, so maybe you can’t play a round of golf for less than 10 bucks, but you can still hit a few golf balls at the New Orleans City Park driving range, where a medium bucket costs only $7.50.
Photo by Flickr/Mr. Littlehand