With our sub-tropical temperatures, New Orleans generally does not experience winter weather. What we lack in snowflakes, we make up for in a flurry of activities and events that are full of the joy and excitement of the season. The tinsel-time events below highlight some great options for everyone in the crescent city this holiday.
Celebration in the Oaks
Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country, with more than 165,000 visitors pouring into the Park to see the magical winter spectacle. City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays are scattered throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Admission is $9/person; entry for Friends of City Park is free. Train rides and amusement park rides are an additional fee.7 Victory Avenue, 70112
November 24, 2017 – January 1, 2018
(Closed November 27 – 30, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve)
Hours6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Monday – Thursday
6 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday
5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday
5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday
Réveillon Feasts & Cocktails
Réveillon dinners date back as far as the mid-1800s when Creoles started their Christmas season with a large opulent meal which they served at home after midnight mass. Today, more than 50 New Orleans restaurants continue this tradition with sumptuous multi-course meals “that showcase the feasts of Christmas past, present, and future,” says French Quarter Festivals, Inc. In addition to the decadent dinners, “local bartenders now create both classic and original cocktails to capture the spirit of Réveillon one-sip-at-a-time with Réveillon on the Rocks.” These Dinners range in price from $34 to $100. Cocktails prices vary.Restaurants throughout the Crescent City
December 1 – 31 (and in some cases through Twelfth Night, January 6th)
JLNO Sustainer Diane Lyons and her husband Jack snap a pic with the Accent DMC Christmas tree at NOLA ChristmasFest.
The 5th Annual NOLA ChristmasFest invites one and all to its indoor, family-friendly holiday festival. Approaching the entrance, Fest-goers will be dazzled by thousands of lights adorning the Julia Street façade of the Convention Center which twinkle in sync to holiday music.
Guests of all ages will enjoy an Ice Skating rink, 2 Ice Slides (over 8 feet high & 144 feet long), Kringle Carousel & Carnival Rides, life-size Amazing Maze & Snowball Fight Area, Children’s Crafts & Inflatables, Santa Claus & Holiday Characters, Decorated Christmas Trees, Walk-thru Gingerbread House, New Orleans-themed Gingerbread House Exhibit, plus lights & music! Santa Claus will be in attendance for pictures by Riverview Photography. There will also be concessions. Admission is $20/person and includes rides, inflatables, skating and skates (ages 2 and under, free). Santa pictures, face painting and concessions are an additional charge.New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd, 70113
December 21 – 31
Hours11 a.m. – 9 p.m., daily (exceptions below)
11 a.m – 5 p.m., Christmas Eve
2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Christmas Day
11 a.m – 5 p.m., New Year’s Day