Christmas in the Oaks [Courtesy, City Park-NOCP]

10 Festive Christmas Events in New Orleans

09:00 November 29, 2023
By: Arielle Gonzales

Uncover Winter Magic in NOLA

New Orleans is known for its vibrant street decorations and awe-inspiring light displays, which come alive during the holiday season.

The city streets are adorned with twinkling lights, wreaths, and garlands, creating a magical ambiance that can't be missed. As you stroll through the French Quarter, you'll be mesmerized by the stunning decorations at the iconic St. Louis Cathedral. Adorned with beautiful lights and festive ornaments, the cathedral, and Christmas in NOLA in general, is a sight to behold. Here's a scope of some local events happening this year.

1. Celebration In The Oaks

Through December 30

Celebration in the Oaks [Courtesy, City Park-NOCP]

Experience the captivating charm of City Park during the beloved Celebration in the Oaks event. As you wander through the park, prepare to be truly enchanted by the breathtaking light displays.

Countless twinkling lights, meticulously placed wreaths, and garlands transform the park into a winter wonderland, casting a spell of wonder and joy. Let yourself be captivated by the mesmerizing charms of Celebration in the Oaks.

2. Réveillon Dinners

Throughout December

Local Restaurants

[Jed Owen, Unsplash]

Indulge in the annual réveillon dinners, a treasured New Orleans tradition that promises a feast for the senses. Immerse yourself in the enticing aromas and harmonious flavors of Creole and Cajun cuisine skillfully crafted by renowned chefs.

Traverse a culinary journey through the vibrant city's culinary history, savoring the robustness of gumbo, the tantalizing complexity of jambalaya, the luxuriousness of crawfish étouffée, and so much more. Prepare to have your taste buds ignited, leaving you craving more of this immersive gastronomic experience.

3. NOLA Holiday Parade

December 2

[Courtesy of NOLA Holiday Parade]

Get in the holiday mood with the NOLA Holiday Parade. This parade will start from the French Market at 11 a.m., with an extended route through downtown, and will end with a post-parade holiday experience and concert in Lafayette Square.

Join the crowds of locals and visitors as they line the streets dressed as Santa, elves, and Christmas enthusiasts. This lively parade spreads joy and merriment to all, bringing the city to life with a sea of red and white. It's a sight that will bring a smile to even the grumpiest Scrooge.

4. Krewe of Krampus NOLAuf Parade

December 2

[Courtesy of Krewe of Krampus, Facebook]

This parade is a highly anticipated event during the Christmas in NOLA celebrations. It pays homage to the age-old folklore character Krampus, who is believed to roam the streets of New Orleans during the festive season.

The Krewe of Krampus dons elaborate costumes, skillfully bringing this mythical creature to life and delighting crowds of all ages with their animated march through the bustling city streets. The parade will start at 7:30 p.m.

5. Porter Lyons Christmas Wonderland + Meet Santa

December 9

[Jason Mata, Unsplash]

Bring the whole family to the Porter Lyons Christmas Wonderland on 623 Royal St. and meet Santa Claus himself. This festive event will involve little ones meeting Santa, writing letters, decorating cookies, and "ho, ho, ho" much more.

The atmosphere will be filled with twinkling lights, joyful music, and mouthwatering foods. Don't miss the chance to capture a memorable photo with Santa and his elves. RSVPing is free.

6. Running of the Santas

December 9

Santa Claus Run [Gustavo Escanelle]

Celebrate the holiday season in New Orleans with the Running of the Santas. Join crowds of Santa Claus impersonators and Christmas enthusiasts aged 21 and above for this beloved tradition. Start the run at the corner of Lafayette Street and South Peters, admiring the city's holiday decorations and landmarks, and finish at Generations Hall.

Proceeds will benefit the That Others May Live Foundation, supporting military families in need. Enjoy music by the Bucktown All-Stars, as well as drink specials. Don't forget to dress up in your best holiday costume.

7. "The Magic of Christmas" with Tim Laughlin Trio featuring Yolanda Robinson

December 10

[Hal Gatewood, Unsplash]

Experience the enchanting beauty of the holiday season with "The Magic of Christmas" concert at the Historic BK House and Gardens. Immerse yourself in the soothing tunes of the Tim Laughlin Trio as they take you on a melodious journey through the wonderland of Christmas.

When you hear the soulful voice of Yolanda Robinson, you'll be swept away to a world of musical bliss that captures the essence of holiday cheer. This delightful performance is a must-attend for anyone looking to fully immerse themselves in the magic of Christmas.

8. St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Choir & Orchestra Concert

December 17

[Mary Hammel, Unsplash]

Experience the joy of live music at the St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Concert. Attendees can enjoy beautiful arrangements of classic Christmas carols, as well as the Nativity story.

The concert, which will run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., will be under the musical direction of Sarah Jane McMahon and Jesse Reeks.

9. ChristmasFest

December 21-30

[Courtesy of NOLA ChristmasFest, Facebook]

The NOLA ChristmasFest is the place to go if you want to get into the holiday mood. The ice skating, rides, and activities at this fun family event are appropriate for both children and adults.

Skating on the ice while surrounded by beautiful lights and upbeat music will undoubtedly warm your heart. Live entertainment, mouthwatering food vendors, and a special appearance by Papa Noel are all included in the celebration.

10. Steamboat Natchez Christmas Eve Jazz Cruise

December 24

[Courtesy of Steamboat Natchez]

Don't miss the festive riverboat trip on Christmas Eve for a spectacular Christmas experience in New Orleans. This gorgeous steamer gently cruises over the Mississippi River, tastefully decked with holiday lights and ornaments.

During this delightful river trip, you may enjoy live jazz and Christmas music, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking views of the city skyline. From the vast outdoor decks or the artistically decorated dining room, take in the stunning vistas of New Orleans.

The Most Festive Time in NOLA

Christmas in New Orleans is a lively celebration of the city's rich culture and customs. From the Krewe of Krampus parade to the Running of the Santas, NOLA Christmas Fest, and so on, there's no shortage of exciting events that capture the unique spirit of a New Orleans Christmas. If you're seeking to experience the magic of the city and create unforgettable memories, consider planning a visit to the Big Easy during the holiday season. With its festive atmosphere and unparalleled cheer, Christmas in New Orleans is truly an experience unlike any other.

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