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The Ultimate Guide to Christmas in New Orleans

Posted on: Dec 03 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December in New Orleans is filled with vibrant Christmas displays and decorations, cooler weather, and cheerful holiday events. With New Orleans’ Tricentennial year ending, we’re "doing it big" in the Big Easy! If you’re lucky enough to spend some time in New Orleans during December, here’s a few ways to get in the holiday spirit.

LUNA Fête- Lafayette Square- December 6-9

From December 6-9, the Arts Council New Orleans creates an art and technology wonderland through creative and innovative applications of technology through light-based projection-mapping and digital sculptures in Lafayette Square and the Arts District. Want to experience LUNA Fête like a star? LUNA Lounge, presented by Sonder, is a heated oasis in Lafayette Square where guests will find food and drinks from some of the best names in dining in the city as well as private restrooms and special art installations.

Running of the Santas- Warehouse District- December 8

Running of the Santas brings Santas from all over for a “run” in the Warehouse District. The starting line begins at the “South Pole” at Manning’s and finishes 6 blocks away the “North Pole” at Generations Hall. Join the creative variations of Mr. and Mrs. Clause as they “run” and party the night away with a costume contest, live music and drink specials at bars throughout the Warehouse District.

 The Ritz Carlton’s gingerbread streetcar- photo by Ritz Carlton

New Orleans Holiday Tour

Give New Orleans any reason to celebrate and decorate and they’ll go above and beyond your expectations. In addition to Christmas festivals and events, the city has many lights and decorations to explore. Take a drive through Uptown or hop on a streetcar and ride down St. Charles to see historic homes dressed in garland and lights or walk around the French Quarter and visit the elegantly decorated hotels and establishments like the Roosevelt Hotel, the Ritz Carlton, or the Miracle on Fulton Street

Photo by Nola ChristmasFest

NOLA ChristmasFest - New Orleans Convention Center- December 20-31

Throw on your best Christmas gear and bring the kids to NOLA ChristmasFest for a truly magical experience. From December 20-31, The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center turns into a Winter Wonderland with carnival rides, an ice-skating rink, a carousel, and special appearances by Santa and his friends.

Caroling in the Square- photo by Cheryl Gerber

Caroling in the Square- Jackson Square- December 16

Get into the holiday spirit on Sunday, December 16 with a holiday tradition that started in 1946. Gates to Jackson Square open at 6:30pm and is illuminated by hundreds of candles held by visitors and New Orleans residents singing Christmas favorites. We recommend getting there early as this event is very popular.

Celebration In The Oaks- City Park- now-January 1

A trip to New Orleans during the holiday season isn’t complete without a trip to Celebration in the Oaks. For the last 32 years, City Park’s famous oak trees are draped in hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights and vibrant Christmas displays that are scattered throughout its 25 acres of the Park. When you’re done checking out the lights, head over to the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park for an exhilarating time.

Papa Noel- Paddlewheeler Creole Queen- December 22 & 23

Come pass a good time aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen with Papa Noel, Mrs. Noel, Gaston the Gator and other jolly Cajun characters during this enchanting family festivity. Enjoy a classic holiday tea with tempting treats, storytelling, face painting, magic tricks, children’s activities and merriment while cruising the mighty Mississippi. Come hold a real live alligator and, as lagniappe, each child gets a special present. Seating is limited, so make your reservations early!

Reindeer at the Zoo Lights- photo by Chris Granger with The Advocate

Zoo Lights- Audubon Zoo- Select Dates in December

For the first year, Audubon Zoo is bringing the holiday spirit to the community by creating an enchanting winter dreamland in the heart of Uptown New Orleans with Zoo Lights. The new addition is complete with vibrant lights and displays, nightly entertainment and activities for kids and will be open select nights until December 30.

New Years Eve Cruise- Paddlewheeler Creole Queen- December 31

The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen hosts the premier New Year's Eve celebration in New Orleans right on the Mississippi River. Feast on a variety of delicious hors-d'oeuvres and a tasty buffet, then celebrate the new year with call-brand drinks and champagne from the open bar. Grab a front row seat to the fireworks display and then dance your way into 2019 as live bands play an assortment of musical styles on all three levels. All this plus festive party favors and more make the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen the best place to ring in the new year!

December 3rd, 2018 | Author: Rachel Tumminello