Even during summer's swelter, New Orleans can feel pretty spooky, what with its Voodoo past, atmospheric architecture, crumbling cemeteries and mean trade in ghost tours. But in the dead of fall on All Hallows' Eve, it can get downright terrifying and by that, we mean absolutely bonkers. Next to Southern Decadence, Halloween is New Orleans' biggest gay event of the year and the entire city comes alive (with walking dead!).
Besides general costumed craziness and the official slew of parties for Halloween 27: Famous, from a black tie gala to circuity blowout October 28-31 all to benefit HIV/AIDS home Project Lazarus, other highlights of the long weekend include a Vampire Film Festival (www.vampirefilmfestival.com), Krewe of Halloween Parade on the 30th (www.kreweofhalloween.com) and the aural blowout Voodoo Music Experience (www.thevoodooexperience.com). Muse, Ozzy Osbourne, My Morning Jacket, MGMT, Drake, Hot Chip, Kelis, Macy Gray, Florence and the Machine, and the Crystal Method are some of the 60-plus acts for the 3-day festival.
Book the following hotel deals now before lost savings come back to haunt you.
- International House starting at $199/night (Thurs-Sun)
- Omni Royal Orleans (504-529-5333, www.omniresorts.com) petite queens from $249/night (two-night minimum)
- The Saint Louis (504-524-8200, www.stlouishotel.com) $199/night
- Wyndham Riverfront (504-524-8200, www.wyndham.com) $189/night (must be booked by Sept 28). Additional package below.
Those hotels booked out? Try these Frankenstein-like repurposed deals available well into winter.
Country Inn & Suites French Quarter (www.countryinns/neworleansla) A Halloween Spooks New Orleans package gets you rooms for $159/night (max two nights; through Nov 14) at this centrally located French Quarter property. Book by calling 504-324-5400 with code "Halloween Spooks".
Wyndham Riverfront The New Orleans Culinary Experience package gets you rooms for $219/night (through Dec 31), as well as a culinary tour, cooking classes at Crescent City Cooks, and a dinner for two at 7 on Fulton. Call 877-999-3223 to book with code "PKGCUL". Just save room for candy.
Loews New Orleans (www.loewsneworleans.com) Whether you've come by broom or car, their Drive and Stay package gets you a nightly rate of $119 through December 30, including valet parking and fitness center access. Book using code "Drive and Stay".
Maison Dupuy Hotel Anne Rice and True Blood have taught us there's nothing more erotic than a vampire, so sex up your sangre with the Romantic Rendez-Vieux package. Starting at $329 a night (through Dec 31), guests get two-nights accommodation, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, VIP breakfast for two, valet parking, and a pack of coupons for further savings. Call 800-535-9177 to book.
Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown-Superdome (www.hi-neworleans.com) A little far from the Quarter, free shuttle service and $99 rates (through January 3, 2011) more than makes up for it with this deal geared to sports fans. There is a Saints game that night, so expect carnage. Football player costumes not included. Call 504-581-1600 with code "SAINTSational" to book.