Although we haven’t yet passed Halloween, it’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays – and New Orleans is a great place to get ready for the big celebrations! Our weather cools off deliciously (60°-70°), the huge festival crowds are still months away, and the city starts to sparkle with Christmas decorations. 1896 O’Malley House stands ready to be the home base for your pre-holiday getaway!
Celebration in the Oaks starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs through New Year’s Day. It’s a NOLA tradition, and it gets better each year! Held at City Park, Celebration in the Oaks is a holiday lights festival that includes hundreds of thousands of lights, amusement rides, and hot chocolate or hot buttered rum. Tickets are $10 and up, and it’s $5 to take the train ride ’round the park. Keep an eye out for Mr. Jingle!
Head to Downtown, December 12 – 15th, 6pm – 10pm for Luna Fête – an interactive multi-media art experience consisting of light-mapping, illuminated installations and music, using New Orleans’ unique architecture as its background – there is nothing else like it! Entry is free and open to the public.
If you are a fan of parades, never fear- we got you! The famous Krewe of Jingle parade rolls on December 7, 2019 at 1pm in Downtown NOLA with floats, stilt-walkers, holiday characters, marching bands and special holiday throws. Later that evening, the scary Krewe of Krampus Krampus NOLAuf stalks Bywater, starting at the corner of Royal and Lesseps St.at 7pm. Be nice and not naughty so Krampus doesn’t toss you into one of his baskets! On December 14th at Noon, the Jingle on the Boulevard parade will roll through District E, with marching bands, dance troupes, and vehicles ranging from farm tractors to motorcycles!
Since you’ll probably be home on Christmas Eve, you won’t want to miss the Festival of the Bonfires, taking place December 13-15 in Lutcher, LA, about an hour from New Orleans. These three days are jam-packed with activties like live music, a Chirstmas tree display, cook-offs, pageants, bike and foot races, even a visit from Santa! Each night includes a bonfire lighting. Free entry, but you’ll want to bring cash for the food and crafts vendors. Get a little shopping done while you enjoy yourself!
Speaking of shopping, the French Market is a great place to check off that holiday guest list with over six blocks of unique shopping opportunities, from food to clothing to home decor and art.
Pack a suitcase full of comfortable, light weather clothes and get down here for some fun for yourself before the holiday haze begins in earnest!