New Orleans is very classic...very south...and therefore, very hot in the summer. Therefore, if traveling May-August be prepared. Air conditioning is not something that is a top priority in most of the major attractions: jazz clubs, restaurants. I would bring a plastic fan, hand-held fan, water bottles, hats, sunglasses, cool clothing, etc, etc!
At least save a flyer or something to fan yourself with.....I'm telling you.....you'll thank me later!
There are plenty of deals you can get in New Orleans if you are visiting several attractions. Pick up any of the local visitor magazines for discount coupons or check when you buy any tickets that there are not deals for purchasing two attractions at once. You can do this with the Mississippi River Cruise and the Aquarium. There are a lot of touters around the streets also trying to give you good deals - not all of them are good so be careful. This is 'Scam City' beware.
February : Mardi Gras
March : Super Sunday, Mardi Gras Indians Festival
April : Jazz and Heritage Festival
May : New Orleans Wine and Food Festival
June : International Arts Festival (formerly Reggae Riddums)
July : Russian Summer Festival
August : Satchmo Summer Fest
October : Swampfest, New Orleans Film and Video Festival, Fresh Art Festival
December : Christmas New Orleans Style
Best advice: Go online and do as much homework as you possibly can before your arrival. Look at all the livecams around the clock, read the restaurant menus ahead of time. Visit sites like http://www.whereyat.com/ to pick up the local New Orleans dialect and speech inflections (we did *not* hear the same manner of speaking in the bayou, by the way, it seems to be particular to the city). There's simply way too much to see and do, so the better-prepared you are when you arrive, the more you can accomplish in a short space of time.
For the best consolidated information about what is happening around town, use the Gambit Weekly newspaper, which can also be found on the web at