Holiday travel is always one of the most anticipated events for many families during the Christmas and New Year season. While the state as a whole, and indeed the country at large, is a very different place than it was last Christmas, there are still places to travel and sights to see. Listed in this article are five such places. Be sure to practice safe social distancing and proper masking during any travel or holiday activity, especially those that might put you in a group beyond your family.
You do not have to go anywhere in particular in the city of Natchitoches if you go during the Christmas season; the gorgeous lights will act as a guiding light for you to follow as you see fit. Natchitoches is renowned throughout the state for its outright fabulous lights and Christmas decorations, so if the trip is at all possible for you to make, then it will almost certainly be worth it.
Festival of the Bonfires
The event is as grand as the name makes it out to be. The prelude to the famous bonfires of St. James Parish is the Festival of the Bonfires, located in the Lutcher Recreational Park in the town of Lutcher. This weekend-long festival will have live music performed by a variety of local personalities as well as a bonfire lighting each night. The events kick off Friday, December 11, and ends Sunday, December 13.
Celebration in the Oaks
Situated right here in New Orleans, this event should be an
easy and cost-effective family trip that most anyone with a vehicle can make.
New Orleans City Park has seen large success in recent years with their
extravagant light arrangements draped over the myriad of oaks that grace the
park. Seeing as how this year's celebration marks the 35th anniversary of the
tradition, City Park is eager to continue celebrations while maintaining safe
COVID-19 precautionary measures. As a result, this year's lights can be marveled
at from the safety of your car, as the City Park organizers have designed a
festive driving tour. You can purchase tickets (which will be issued per
carload) as well as choose your date and time for touring by visiting neworleanscitypark.com.
Lafayette's extremely commendable fundraising event, the Acadian Christmas Village, is fortunately continuing its run this year. A fabulous village with all sorts of wooden homes and abodes brimming with unmatched vibrancy and lights, the Acadian Village is truly a difficult spectacle to outdo for a Louisiana holiday trip, especially if you have children with you. Last year's iteration had an excellent series of live performances by talented music classes from the Episcopal School of Acadiana, but as to whether that will be present with the COVID-conscious version this year is up in the air. Regardless, this is a great event, and you can purchase tickets by visiting their website at acadianvillage.org.
Lighting of the Village
Rounding off this list of spots to spend a holiday getaway is Opelousas's own Lighting of the Village. A city with a storied history, Opelousas strings Le Vieux Village Heritage Park up with lights on December 4 to the continual amusement and enjoyment of onlookers. The park houses a variety of historic structures, including the National Orphan Train Complex and the Venus House, all of which will be aglow with cheer through the New Year.