Upcoming Easter Events in New Orleans

Easter Sunday falls on March 31 this year. In addition to the religious significance it’s also a time for parades, egg hunts and pictures with the Easter Bunny. Here are a few happenings to add to your Easter schedule.

Sat., March 2, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt and Pictures with the Easter Bunny at Lakeside Shopping Center. Lakeside Shopping Center kicks off Easter season with an Easter Egg Hunt at 9:45 a.m. Sat., March 2, in the Veterans Skylight area in the mall.

After the egg hunt, the St. Augustine Marching Band will second-line with the Easter Bunny to Center Court. The egg hunt also serves as the kick-off for the Education Expo, which features between 40 and 50 schools, summer camps and other resources for kid activities. There will be face painting and more activities for the kids from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

If you would like to get your child’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny, he will be available from March 2 through March 30. See the Easter Bunny during regular mall hours, but catch him before he leaves for the day, usually one hour before the mall closes.

Lakeside Shopping Center: 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-8000, LakesideShopping.com

Sat., March 9, 2013

Longue Vue annual Easter Egg Hunt. For little kids, one of the best parts of Easter is going to an egg hunt. One option is the Longue Vue annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sat., March 9, at Longue Vue House and Gardens. There will be plenty of eggs filled with Elmer’s chocolates to find plus crafts, lawn games and face painting. Loupe Photography will also be on hand to take pictures with the Easter Bunny.

Longue Vue members are invited for 9:30 a.m., with a hunt starting at 9:45 a.m. Non-members can join at 12:30 p.m. with a hunt starting at 12:45 p.m. Tickets to the egg hunt cost $6 for members and $8 for non-members and can be purchased online in advance.

Longue Vue House and Gardens: 7 Bamboo Road, 488-5488, LongueVue.com

Sun., March 10, 2013

Mount Carmel Academy’s annual Alumnae Easter Eggstravaganza. Mount Carmel Academy hosts the annual Alumnae Easter Eggstravaganza on Sun., March 10. The egg hunt starts at 11:30 a.m. at the school but there’s also an optional Mass at 9:30 a.m.

Hosted by the school’s Alumnae Association, the day is a very family-friendly event, and “a nice way to bring our alumnae and friends of Mount Carmel Academy to our school,” says Mount Carmel Academy Public Relations Coordinator Amy Smith. Tickets cost $12 in advance (by calling or online), or $15 at the door. One ticket includes a hot breakfast, the egg hunt, crafts and games. Kids will also get the chance to meet the Easter Bunny; photo packages with the Easter Bunny will be available for an additional fee.  

Mount Carmel Academy: 7027 Milne Blvd., 288-7626, extension 217, mcaubs.org

Upcoming Easter Events in New OrleansSat., March 16, 2013

New Orleans Museum of Art Egg Hunt. The third annual NOMA Egg Hunt happens from noon to 2 p.m. Sat., March 16, in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, is likely to attract more than 600 kids, says NOMA’s Kristen Jochem.

The event revolves around the egg hunt, of course, but there will also be a petting zoo, face painting and more activities. The Easter Bunny will make an appearance and children will be able to get their picture taken with him. “We will have the Elmer’s bunny who will be passing out chocolate,” Jochem says. “Kids can walk up and take a picture. We will have another bunny set up for a more formal picture that they can pay for.”

Advance tickets to the NOMA Egg Hunt cost $10 for members and $12 per non-members. Tickets cost $15 at the door, but kids 2 years and younger get in free.

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden: 1 Dueling Oaks Drive, City Park, 658-4100, NOMA.org

Sunday, March 31, 2013

City Park Easter Egg Hunt. On Easter morning, head to City Park for the annual City Park Easter Egg Hunt at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. The hunt starts at 10 a.m. but gates open at 8 a.m. “We suggest getting to the park early as crowds can get large,” says Amanda Frentz, a development associate at New Orleans City Park.

For this egg hunt, kids will be allowed to take 12 eggs home. Make sure your children open all of their eggs because some will have grand prizes in them, such as season passes to the amusement park. (The Carousel Gardens Amusement Park will also be open during the egg hunt.) In addition to the egg hunt, there will be face painting and pictures with the Easter bunny. Don’t forget to bring your own camera! There will also be the chance to see Carmen the Fairy Godmother at the Storyland Castle. Carmen will do two shows – one at 1 p.m. and the next at 3 p.m.

Tickets to the City Park Easter Egg Hunt cost $3 per person. You can also follow City Park on Facebook at facebook.com/citypark.

Carousel Gardens Amusement Park: 1 Victory Drive, 483-9402, NewOrleansCityPark.com

Sun., March 31, 2013

30th annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade. No major New Orleans holiday would be complete without a parade, so on Easter Sunday the main event is the annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade. As the first woman to be inducted into the New Orleans Musical Legends Park and the owner of the Chris Owens Club on Bourbon Street, Owens is an icon in New Orleans, so parade-goers often like to see her in person, says Kitsy Adams, Owens’ publicist of 25 years.
This year’s parade is a special one because 2013 marks the parade’s 30th anniversary. Some participants are coming from as far as Germany to ride in the parade. And while this year’s parade might be extra special, one of its biggest draws stays the same: what Owens will wear. “That’s the big to-do,” Adams says. “Everyone wants to know what she’s wearing. It’s always very exotic, over-the-top and beautiful.”    

The parade rolls at 1 p.m. on Easter Sun., March 31, on the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets. Adams recommends finding a spot on the parade route early because the event can draw up to 100,000 people. For more information and a parade map, visit FrenchQuarterEasterParade.com.

Sun., March 31, 2013

14th annual Official Gay Easter Parade. If you’d rather go to a parade later in the day, check out the 14th annual Official Gay Easter Parade at 4:30 p.m. on Sun., March 31.

The parade is the grand finale of a series of events that precede the parade. All events work toward the goal of raising money for Food for Friends, a program run by the NO/AIDS Task Force that delivers meals to AIDS patients and provides a food pantry for them. This year’s goal is to raise $30,00, but parade chairman Rip Naquin-Delain says he’s hoping for more. “Last year our goal was $25,000 but we raised $36,000,” Naquin-Delain says. “This year we’re hoping for $30,000 but I’m hoping for $40,000.” The parade has been going on for 11 years, raising a total of $147,439 for charity.

The parade happens in the French Quarter. For more information, visit GayEasterParade.com.

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