Christmas in the Crescent City — the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Most people don’t think of the New Orleans when it comes to their holiday planning, but the Big Easy has a huge assortment of holiday events that will be sure to entertain everyone from the smallest elf to the oldest grinch.
If you’ve ever wondered “Is December a good time to go to New Orleans?” check out this event line-up to find all the excitement you need to have a holly, jolly Christmas this year!
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Twinkle, Twinkle, Christmas Star
New Orleans in December boasts an impressive display of holiday lights at every turn. For just the cost of a streetcar ride, you can take a scenic trip up St. Charles to admire the decorations.
If the temperatures drop, folks can also visit the Waldorf Wonderland in the Roosevelt Hotel lobby which features “112,000 lights, 1,610 feet of garland, 300 bows and 4,000 glass ornaments decorating 78 birch and 46 Christmas trees.” If outdoor lights are more your style, City Park’s annual Celebration in the Oaks is sure to leave visitors stunned.
With displays spread out over 25 acres of the park, including Storyland and the Botanical Gardens, this event has been a treasured New Orleans tradition for over three decades. For those who are looking to finish their holiday shopping while enjoying the sites, Luna Fête offers a nightly market during the annual event each December.
Taking place over three locations, this weekend event features holiday displays and art for visitors to admire, as well as food and drink stops to keep you warm and toasty. Downtown, the Miracle on Fulton Street offers a dazzling lights display, a gingerbread house display and events throughout December until Christmas.
For New Orleans kids who’ve never met Frosty the Snowman, the hourly “snowfall” that happens might be even more exciting than getting their photo taken with Santa. This exhibit also offers a champagne stroll event to help parents cope with all that excitement!
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way
While New Orleans doesn’t offer many chances to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, in typical Nola fashion visitors can enjoy a Christmas parade instead. The Krewe of Jingle parade marches on Canal Street the first Saturday of December. Children are sure to love seeing an entire parade full of Santas and elves as the holiday month begins.
If you’ve been more naughty than nice, the Krewe of Krampus parade might be for you. Rolling through the Bywater the first weekend each December, this one of a kind parade will stun visitors with costumes featuring fur, chains, horns, and of course, jingle bells! Krewe members pride themselves on unique throws that will leave you saying “Only in New Orleans!”
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Bananas Foster Roasting on an Open Fire – Holiday Dining in New Orleans
No visit to the Crescent City is complete without the food and Christmas in New Orleans is no different! For visitors who want to try out a new restaurant, this guide to Reveillon Dinners throughout the city offers something for even the pickiest eater. Although historically this dinner was held late on Christmas Eve, these days diners can enjoy the traditional meal throughout the month of December.
Resource: Guide to All Reveillon Dinners across New Orleans
People looking to enjoy a riverboat cruise during their trip to New Orleans can book a trip that will satisfy both their appetite and their sense of wonder. The Steamboat Natchez offers a Christmas Eve cruise with a massive holiday dinner buffet while floating down the Mississippi River.
For the little ones, during the weekend before Christmas, the Creole Queen hosts a Cajun Holiday Tea Cruise featuring Papa Noel! Not only will the whole family have the chance to enjoy a riverboat cruise, but there are classic Cajun characters, magic tricks, face painting, and other activities to put a smile on every face.
If you enjoy tea but would rather not have to drink it on a boat, the Teddy Bear Tea at the WWII museum is sure to light up your holiday. During three December weekends children and their families can enjoy a traditional tea experience with live Christmas music (thanks to the Victory Belles), a visit from Santa, and a special gift for every child!
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree – the Festival of the Bonfires
Louisiana will forever be known for its festivals and December is no exception! The Festival of the Bonfires in Lutcher, Louisiana offers visitors the unique chance to celebrate Christmas on the banks of the Mississippi River. The festival hosts live music, craft vendors, delicious food, rides, and Santa’s Very Merry Forest, all capped off with the nightly lighting of each gigantic bonfire!
Auld Lang Syne – Ringing in the New Year the Right Way!
It’s only American to start a new year watching football. For visitors in New Orleans, they’ll have the chance to do this in person at the 86th Annual Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. Tickets for this year’s match up at the Mercedes Benz Superdome between the Texas Longhorns and the Georgia Bulldogs are available for purchase here. The night before the game, Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris headline a New Year’s Eve Concert during the Allstate Fan Fest. No matter what you do, in New Orleans it’s impossible not to enjoy the most wonderful time of year!
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