We just can’t get over it! This year seemed to fly past, and now we’re at the end of 2015 ready to start the holiday celebrations. We’ve got a great list of fun events for you and your family when you’re visiting our beautiful city this December!
December 3 through January 3, Celebration in the Oaks is a must-do every year. City Park is filled with incredible light displays. You can walk through or ride the miniature train. You’ll love the view of the whole shebang from the ferris wheel, or take a whirl on the century-old Carousel, or any of the eight amusement park rides. It’s best to buy tickets early and print them at home. The Celebration is open Sunday – Thursday : 6pm -10pm and Friday & Saturday: 6pm -11pm. Keep in mind that the last entry is 20 minutes prior to closing and get there a bit early. The event is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Eves.
On the 5th, the Krewe of Jingle Parade rolls through Downtown at 1pm. The parade starts at Lee Circle, wends it way down St. Charles to Canal Street, then back down Baronne, ending at Howard Ave. You’ll see Christmas floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, maybe even catch a glimpse of the Man in Red himself!
Since 1946, the Sunday evening before Christmas has found thousands packing Jackson Square for caroling. This free event is magical, with candles filling the square as joyful songs rise up from the huge crowd. Gates open at 6:30, and singing starts at 7, but you have to get there early, as the number of people sometimes exceeds the venue’s capacity. Candles and song sheets are graciously provided by Patio Planners, who also host the French Quarter Holiday Home Tour on the same day.
Our last wonderful holiday event is a distinctly Louisiana affair. The Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee are a tradition that can’t be missed. Huge bonfires, as much as 20 feet tall, are built and lit at dark to guide Papa Noël on his yearly flight, or lead you to church for Midnight Mass, depending on who you talk to. Maybe both! You’ll travel to St. James Parish. where you can usually park and then walk down the levee, or even better, take a narrated excursion on a tour bus, which gives you great “seats” without the hassle of driving through traffic.
No matter how you celebrate the holidays, all of us at 1896 O’Malley House wish you joy and love this holiday season!