A Holiday Happening
Visiting the inaugural NOLA ChristmasFest
I am betting that you’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas, but this year there are 10 days in December that you’ll want to mark on your calendar. December 18-27, The Ernest Morial Convention Center will play host to NOLA ChristmasFest, a celebration of the season for families with activities for all.
As you drive down Convention Center Blvd, it’ll be hard to miss the literally hundreds of thousands of lights decorating the exterior of Hall B and signifying the holiday fun inside. In its third year, NOLA ChristmasFest offers a wide variety of activities, all in the comfort of the climate-controlled Convention Center, so the weather outside doesn’t need to impact your experience.
Inside you’ll find a variety of amusement park rides, including the Winter Whirl and the Snowy Summit Climbing Wall. Perhaps the most popular ride, and the most picturesque, is the beautiful Kringle Carousel. Most rides have no minimum age or height requirement if the child is accompanied by an adult.
If inflatables tend to be more of a draw for your crew, ChristmasFest has several huge ones from which to choose. They are even staffed with helpers from the North Pole to oversee the fun as the kids jump, run, climb and slide their way through the bouncy obstacle courses.
Interested in meeting Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Frosty or Rudolph? They will be on hand to chat and even snap a picture. And of course, there are fun crafts to keep the younger set happily busy.
Skating On Real Ice
The biggest attraction of the ChristmasFest is a special – and unusual – treat for anyone in South Louisiana. If you’ve been in New Orleans for as many Decembers as I have, you know that there have been some holidays that we barely needed jackets to go outside. But this year, thanks to NOLA ChristmasFest, I can guarantee that there will be ice! Well, ice-skating, at least.
The ChristmasFest is proud to offer New Orleans’ only indoor ice-skating rink. The large rink measures 50-by-80 feet and is real ice. In the unlikely event that you own your own ice skates you can bring them with you, but if you don’t, there’s no need to worry. Skates in sizes Youth 9 to Adult 14 are provided at the rink. There is no minimum age or height for the ice-skating. If you can fit in the skates, the rink is yours!
Tickets & Parking
Tickets range in price from $5 to $20. If you’re purchasing tickets for a group of 10 or more, the all-access ticket becomes just $15 each. Children ages 2 and under do not require a ticket. If you suspect that your kids or grandkids will be repeat customers, a season pass is also available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
Discount parking is available at the nearby Whale surface lot and the Hilton World Trade parking garage. Just be sure to bring your parking ticket with you for validation. So if visiting cousins or grandchildren are part of your holiday plans, add NOLA ChristmasFest to list of fun things to do in our city to celebrate the season. You will keep the whole gang entertained and in the holiday spirit in addition to making wonderful memories with the people you love.
For complete ticket information and a schedule with daily times and special events, visit NolaChristmasFest.com.