It's the holidays, and what better way than to celebrate than in the Big Easy? After Halloween, the city transforms into a city of festive colors, dazzling lights, a forest of evergreen, and a sea of red ribbon, complete with Creole Christmas classics, attracting dozens of tourists and locals. Every day is a party in New Orleans, regardless of the season.
Now that COVID-19 in the state has eased up, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is once again hosting its 37th Annual Holidays New Orleans Style, in conjunction with the New Orleans Company, to help friends and family plan activities for the holidays. There's something for everyone, and with so many dining, shopping, and attractions options to choose from, the possibilities are endless!
Join more than 25 of New Orleans' renowned restaurants for a four-course meal that adds a twist to réveillon, a Christmas tradition celebrated by Creoles in the 19th century. You can either enjoy classic réveillon meals at Arnaud's and the Rib Room or relish the art of innovative recipes at Commander's Palace and The Bower. If you want to let loose, visit participating bars for some holiday-themed cocktails such as the sweet and spicy Diable de Noël, the spiced Winter Old Fashion, and the classic Aged Creole Eggnog.
Get into the holiday spirit with New Orleans' talented jazz musicians, gospel choirs, classical ensembles, and swing dancers. Free concerts will be held at St. Louis Cathedral at 6 p.m. on December 1, 5, 6, 13, and 15, with a Christmas concert at 5:30 p.m. on December 19, and St. Anna's Episcopal Church at 4 p.m. on December 4, 11, and 18.
There are also plenty of activities that kids will love! Celebration in the Oaks welcomes the whole family with lights illuminating from historic oak trees, a miniature train traveling through an old Creole town, and a life-sized Mr. Bingle smiling at guests. Santa's Pajama Party invites kids to send their wish list, visit Santa and the Sugar Plum Fairy, and decorate cookies--all while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa or apple cider. Holiday Movies on the Mississippi invites families to the Riverwalk to watch Christmas classics like The Grinch (2018 version), A Muppet Christmas Carol, and Elf.
Still need to go holiday shopping for your loved ones? Head to the city where you can choose gifts from a plethora of shops, vendors, and galleries like Aunt Sally's Praline Shop, Dutch Alley Artist's Co-Op, NOLA Couture, and Muse Inspired Fashion. For those planning to pop the question on Christmas or New Year's Eve, visit Tiffany & Co. or Diamonds Direct in Metairie for the perfect engagement ring. For the little ones, stop at the Little Toy Shop or Magic Box Toys for toys and games.
Don't forget about late night events like the Algiers Bonfire & Concert on Saturday, December 4, where revelers celebrate with live music performances, mouthwatering food from vendors, and a 30' sculptural bonfire. There's also LUNA Fête from December 16-19 where guests can check out more than seven acres of innovative, interactive lights spread across the new Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Pedestrian Park.
Are you ready to kick off the holidays New Orleans style? Be sure to visit holiday.neworleans.com to get started on your holiday excursion.