Whether you’re a child or just feel like one during the holidays, you’ll find New Orleans a sheer delight during the Christmas season. You can learn how to make traditional holiday favorites at the New Orleans School of Cooking, enjoy Réveillon dinners all over town, and experience any or all of the festive Christmas New Orleans Style events listed here. And as far as shopping goes, Santa’s most unique workshop is right here in New Orleans where hundreds of artists create gifts in all price ranges. Shop, eat and get in the holiday spirit this year in NOLA.
Holiday Parties at New Orleans School of Cooking, All December
Gather together this year for a holiday dinner party at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Groups of 8 or more can enjoya private, hand-on cooking class with one of their entertaining chefs. You'll prepare the feast together and then dine on your creations. Make reservatons today.
Celebration in the Oaks, through January 1
All aboard for a miniature train ride through Celebration in the Oaks! For more than 30 years, New Orleans has been heading out to City Park for one of the most popular holiday displays in America. Experience ancient live oak trees dripping in hundreds of thousands of lights and 25 acres of holiday displays.
Miracle on Fulton Street, December 1-23
Who says you can't have White Christmas in New Orleans? Miracle on Fulton Street features simulated snow, twinkling lights, a giant tree and an awesome gingerbread display in the lobby of Harrah’s Hotel. Come hear live music and share your holiday wish list with Santa on Fridays and Saturdays between December 1 - 23, beginning at 6 p.m.
Krewe of Jingle Parade, December 3
The city's annual holiday parade rolls at 1 p.m. on Canal Street on Saturday, December 3rd. Sponsored by the Downtown Development District and The Roosevelt New Orleans. Get ready to yell, "Throw me something, Santa!"
Luna Fête, December 6-9, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Bring the whole family to Lafayette Square for the 4th annual Luna Fete, sponsored by the Arts Council New Orleans. Come see light projections, illuminated installations and more. Free!
Waldorf Wonderland, All December
For decades, New Orleanians have kicked off the Christmas season with a stroll through the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. The Waldorf Wonderland features 50 Christmas trees and over 60,000 lights. Free!
NOLA Christmas Fest, December 21-31
Get in the spirit of the season at the New Orleans Convention Center, home to NOLA Christmas Fest. Go ice skating, ice sliding, bounce on giant inflatables, and more. Admission: $20.
Bonfires on the Levee, December 8-10 & Christmas Eve
Every year, St. James Parish lights bonfires on the levee to guide Papa Noel on Christmas Eve. If you’re too busy on Christmas Eve, you can experience the tradition at the Festival of the Bonfires (they light a bonfire every night between December 8-10). You can also see it all with Gray Line Tours.
Jazz Brunch with Santa at the Court of Two Sisters, December 21 & 22
Every year, Santa takes a break from filling stockings to fill his plate at the Court of Two Sisters. There’s nothing like dining outside in December with the merry old elf himself on Creole delicacies while a jazz trio plays holiday tunes in the background. Make reservations now.
Merriment on Magazine, All Month Long
Get your holiday shopping down on Magazine Street and support local businesses. Check out what's happening here.
Preservation Resource Center’s Holiday Home Tour, December 9 & 10
This season, seven Garden District homes are open to the public for self-guided tours. If you’ve always wondered what these homes look like inside, here’s your chance. Tours include food, performances by local musicians and a holiday boutique at Trinity Episcopal Church showcasing local artists and retailers. Purchase tickets for the Holiday Home Tour at prcno.org.
Candlelight Caroling in Jackson Square, December 17
Since 1946, Candelight Caroling in Jackson Square has been a cherished event of the holiday season in New Orleans. Candles and song sheets are provided by the Patio Planters, a nonprofit group dedicated to the horticultural beautification of the French Quarter. Free!
Crescent City Countdown, December 31
Come celebrate with live music, the fleur-de-lis drop at midnight, and the Symphony in the Sky fireworks show. Plus, Dick Clark’s New Years’ Rockin’ Eve will be back in Jackson Square to ring in the New Year in the central time zone. Free!
Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve on the Steamboat Natchez, December 24 & 31
Join Old Man River for a Christmas Eve Celebration aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ with a holiday dinner buffet and live jazz music by the Steamboat Stompers Trio. Or welcome 2018 with a buffet, premium open bar, a live dance band and a great view of the fireworks. Make reservations now.
New Year’s Eve Parade, December 31
The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade begins at the intersection of Elysian Fields Avenue and Decatur Street at 3:30 p.m. and rolls through the French Quarter, passing by AllState Fan Fest (in the parking lot of Jax Brewery) on its way to Canal Street.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1
On New Year’s Day, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will pack the seats of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It’s the second-oldest bowl game in the country (since 1935) and we think it’s the most fun!