The French Quarter is a very active place - that's an understatment. Bars are open 7-24. Bourbon Street is always lively, there are multiple places with street musicians, shops with crazy stuff in the windows and inside, lots of bars and restaurants, and people walking around looking like they are having a good time. The houses are colorful with lots of balconies and various extra decor. We were there for Easter Weekend and there was the gay Easter Parade and several other parades as well - but often Bourbon Street looks like a parade anyway.