Magic of Christmas Events

2018 Holiday Events Guide

Celebration in the Oaks
11/23 - 1/1
City Park
A month-long holiday show featuring millions of twinkling lights throughout the Botanical Garden and Amusement Park. Walk through the Botanical Garden, Storyland, a children's theme park, and Carousel Gardens,an amusement ride area aglow with holiday magic at every turn.  Nightly musical entertainment and a full service cafe featuring their famous hot-buttered rum.  Don't miss the "Who Dat Tree" and the 2-story tall Mr. Bingle! $10/person. Admission AND an Unlimited Ride Band with a dedicated entrance through Storyland: $28/person. Children under 3 and Friends of City Park members: Free.

Zoo Lights
11/23 - 12/30
Audubon Zoo
Audubon Zoo Lights presented by Children’s Hospital will bring the holiday spirit to our community by creating an enchanting nighttime winter dreamland in the heart of Uptown New Orleans. $10/Audubon members, $15/general admission.

Miracle on Fulton Street
11/30 - 12/26
Fulton Street
Harrah’s invites you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Holiday Season at Miracle on Fulton Street. Featuring daily, 11am-10pm, "snow", twinkling lights, a giant tree and a magical gingerbread display in the Harrah’s Hotel Lobby. Enjoy live music and visits with Santa Claus on Fridays and Saturdays, 11/30 - 12/22, beginning at 6 pm. 

Christmas in the Park
12/1 - 1/2
Lafreniere Park, Metairie
LED lights with fantastic displays such as a lighted 60-foot Sea Serpent in the lagoon, a princess and her magical castle & the gingerbread man!  Both driving and walking displays. The park sparkles for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights and displays.  $5.00 per vehicle (FREE Christmas Eve & Christmas Day) entrance on West Napoleon Avenue access gate of the park. Lights come on at 5:30pm each night. Children's Carousel open nightly through 9:00 p.m. - $1.00 per child

Magic of Christmas Gift Shop
12/15-12/16
Alario Center
Gifts and decorations for everyone all in one place. Open Sat and Sun from 9am-5pm. Shop dozens of local businesses with items you just cannot find anywhere else! Free admission and free parking.

Nola Christmasfest
12/20 - 12/31
Convention Center
A Christmas festival of fun for the whole family including the famous Indoor Ice Skating Rink, Carnival Rides, Kringle Carousel, Larger-than-Life Inflatables, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and all their pals from the North Pole, A-maze-ing Life-Size Maze, Crafts for Kids, Special Events, dozens trees decorated by local organizations, lighting displays inside and on Convention Center Blvd. and much more. Tickets are $20.

Reveillon Menus
Throughout the holiday season (varies by restaurant)
An old French holiday tradition that has become a citywide extravaganza of New Orleans’ finest cuisine. Four or five courses at a prix fixe dinner that allows you to sample Creole favorites and seasonal fare.

 

Canal Street Lighting
11/20, 5:30pm
Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel
Stroll along Canal Street and watch as they “flip the switch,” turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights. Keep a special eye out for Santa himself at the event.

Kenner Christmas Village
11/25 - 12/30
Kenner's City Park
The Annual Christmas Village will light up Kenner this holiday season. Transformed into a festive holiday village with beautiful Christmas lights and animated scenery! Featuring ice skating, Santa's Workshop, Food & Shopping, Christmas Tree Lot, Performances and Biergarten!

The Roosevelt's Lobby Lighting
11/27
The Roosevelt Hotel
Be a part of the magic as the block-long, gilded Waldorf Wonderland Lobby comes to life for the holiday season. Join locals and international guests as they continue our 80-year tradition at the annual lighting ceremony, Tuesday, November 27th at 5:15 pm. The lobby display features 44 Birch trees, more than 22,000 twinkling lights, and scores of festively dressed Christmas trees.

Christmas Under the Stars
11/30-12/1 and 12/7-12/8
Griffith Park, Olde Town Slidell
This event features visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, festive music, a life-size Christmas Village, Slidell’s Nativity, the Parade of Trees, plus more holiday surprises for kids of all ages. 6-9pm, admission is free.

Luna Fete
12/6-12/9
Warehouse District
New Orleans free festival of light, art, and technology. The celebration features a new Gallier Hall projection-mapping presentation, digital sculptures, and art installations animated with technology to delight audiences of all ages.

Ponchatoula Christmas Parade
12/8
Downtown Ponchatoula
Santa Claus will arrive on his sleigh along with floats, marching bands, dance groups and more will be included in the annual christams parade. The parade will leave Memorial Park and travel down 6th street to Pine Street, make a left hand turn on Pine street and travel to 3rd street turning right and ending at Ponchatoula Jr. High. Begins at 5pm.

Festival of the Bonfires
12/14 - 12/16
Lutcher Park
Christmas on the River...Cajun Style. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts and carnival rides throughout the weekend.  Each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting!  Experience a prelude to the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires: A tradition unique to St. James Parish and all the world.

 

Christmas Belles Are Ringing
November 30 – December 29
Stage Door Canteen at the WWII Museum
Ring in the holidays with our talented Victory Belles as they present classic holiday favorites sung in beautiful harmony. This musical smorgasbord features gems of the season such as "The Christmas Song," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Santa Baby," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas," and a sleighful of other holiday classics.

Holiday Movie on the Mississippi
11/30, The Star  |  12/7, The Santa Claus 12/14, Elf
Spanish Plaza
The Downtown Development District and the Riverwalk Marketplace present a special free outdoor showings. Enjoy hot chocolate, tasty treats and the beautiful Mississippi River with your family, friends, and neighbors in this truly unique setting. Admission is free.

Cathedral Christmas Concert Series
12/3 - 12/13
St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square
Enjoy the sounds of the season at St. Louis Cathedral. Concerts feature a variety of New Orleans artists performing beloved holiday classics and New Orleans favorites in one of the country’s most beautiful and historic churches. Begins at 6pm and lasts about an hour. Free, but donations are welcome

610 Stompers Holiday Spectacular
12/8
Mahalia Jackson Theater 
"The Stompers Save Christmas" - Santa came down to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and had so much fun, he never went back to the North Pole to prepare for the holidays. The 610 Stompers are on the case! Aided by local guest artists, they fight battles and travel far, but will they be able to save Christmas? Tickets $10-$140

Running of the Santas
12/8
Warehouse District
Participants dressed in Santa Claus costumes fill the streets and local establishments – with Mrs. Clauses and the occasional Elf. “Running of the Santas” in a pub-crawl style event. Activities start at Manning's and eventually makes it's way to Generations Hall for a post-party and concert. $30

Candyland Christmas featuring Vince Vance
12/8-12/9 and 12/15-12/16
Deanie's Seafood in the French Quarter
Parents and grandparents to get out with the kiddos and shake a leg, sing-along, and join in New Orleans’ favorite get-up-and-dance-style Christmas celebration in the French Quarter. Buffet breakfast, photos with Santa, crafts for the kids, and fun sing-along Christmas music by Vince Vance & The Valianettes. To make it a holiday party that everyone will love, we wrap up the fun with a one-of-a-kind dance train to Candyland, where the kids can feast like an elf on candy canes, gum drops, gummy bears, and more!

PRCNO Holiday Home Tour
12/8-12/9
Starts at 1329 Jackson Ave, Trinity Episcopal Church
Tour 9 historic homes in the Garden District. Enjoy history and architecture, accompanied by the tunes of talented New Orleans musicians. Visit the tour headquarters for regional cuisine and holiday shopping.  

LPO's Yuletide Celebration
12/13, Jefferson | 12/14, Hammond | 12/16, Slidell
The LPO’s annual holiday celebration returns with performances in Kenner, Hammond, and Slidell featuring yuletide favorites perfect for the entire family! Bring your holiday spirit and caroling voice.

Mannheim Steamroller
12/15
Saenger Theater
Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller.  Their holiday CDs have become synonymous with Christmas and continue to occupy top spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Charts every year.

Harry Shearer & Judith Owen's Christmas Without Tears
12/17 - 12/18
Le Petit Theater
An evening full of music, laughter and special guests with musician Judith Owen and her husband, actor and humorist Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap). They'll once again spread their special brand of yuletide cheer for the 10th anniversary of the Christmas Without Tears Tour, subtitled "Does this Tree Make Me Look Fat?" It's truly unique and fun.

JPAS' White Christmas
12/7 - 12/16
Jefferson Performing Arts Center
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin. Based on the movie, veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. An uplifting musical great for the Holiday Season!

Elf: The Musical
December 18 - 23
Saenger Theater
The hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
12/19
Smoothie King Center
Our Magic of Christmas concert with TSO is a multi-sensory extravaganza, which sells out venues year after year, has cemented the group’s status as a must-attend, multi-generational, holiday tradition.
 

Santa's Arrival at Lakeside
11/17
Lakeside Shopping Center
Holiday activities include crafts for children, Letters to Santa and Mrs. Claus Meet & Greet. Santa’s Arrival Parade begins promptly at 9:45am from Veterans Skylight to Center Court. Santa Photos will begin at 10am.

The Roosevelt's Teddy Bear Tea
11/25 - 12/24
The Roosevelt Hotel
At Teddy Bear Tea you will be taken on Santa’s journey to the rooftops of New Orleans.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your children while you enjoy a presentation of delicious holiday food, specialty teas, and tasty pastries, as well as sparkling wine and mimosas for Mom and Dad. Children will receive this year's commemorative Roosevelt Teddy Bear. Mrs. Claus will be reading her favorite Holiday Stories, and several Holiday Characters will parade through the ballroom and visit with the children.

Teddy Bear Tea
December 8, 15, 20, 21, 22
Stage Door Canteen at the WWII Museum
Third annual Teddy Bear Tea! It’s the perfect holiday experience to share with children and grandchildren, featuring delicious food and sweet treats, lively music from the Victory Belles, a visit from Santa Claus, and a special teddy bear gift for all children in attendance.

 

Festival of Trees Family Fun Day Pajama Party
12/1
Louisiana Children's Museum
The Festival of Trees will be a month-long exhibit featuring a forest of whimsically decorated trees by community partners that represent the arts, literature, food, culture, and businesses from throughout the region. Wear your PJ's and join in the holiday cheer at the Family Fun Brunch with a special meet & greet with Mr. Bingle.

Krewe of Jingle Parade
12/1
Downtown
New Orleans’ official holiday parade, the “Krewe of Jingle,” will once again delight locals and visitors alike with authentic parade floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, Christmas characters and many more magical surprises! Starts rolling at 1pm.

Christmas in Rivertown
12/1
Kenner's Heritage Park
A full day of activities including a craft fair, local school groups and choirs singing, photos with Santa, Laser Holidays show at the Planetarium, tree lighting at 6pm followed by the movie "The Star."

Jingle Bugs
12/8
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium 
Celebrates the holidays with activities and treats for the entire family. Meet Santa, meet "Pupa Noel," sample holiday treats like Fruit Fly Cake, and lots more fun. Free with admission or membership.

Reindeer Run & Romp
12/8, registration 8am, race 9am
Begins & ends at The Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk - Spanish Plaza
Annual holiday fun run for kids on Canal Street! Rudolph, Santa and friends will jingle their bells to signal the start of the race. Participants will receive antlers, a race t-shirt and a bag of holiday goodies. After the race, “Romp” around the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza and enjoy healthy activities like yoga for kids & parents, pictures with Santa, music, games, crafts and more.

Caroling in Jackson Square
12/16
Jackson Square
Join in a truly moving tradition as Jackson Square brims with thousands of candlelit faces and song-lit spirits as high as the spires of the St. Louis Cathedral.  Candles and song sheets provided. Gates open at 6:30 pm and Caroling begins promptly at 7pm.  Free and open to the public.

Caroling at the Trailhead
12/23
Mandeville Trailhead
Bring the family, blankets or lawn chairs to Mandeville Trailhead for Christmas caroling with classic seasonal songs, Sunday, Dec. 23 from 5pm to 6:30pm. Candles and song sheets provided. Rain or shine (covered area). Admission is free.

New Orleans Ballet's The Nutcracker
12/15 - 12/23
Orpheum Theater
New Orleans Ballet Theatre performs Tchaikovsky's timeless favorite.  The performance will include over 60 young local dancers. Lead rolls will be performed by the internationally acclaimed dancers of New Orleans Ballet Theatre. Tickets $25-75.

Delta Festival Ballet's The Nutcracker
12/22 - 12/23
Tulane's Dixon Hall
The Ballet joins forces with the LPP to recreate Tchaikovsky's Christmas classic. Bring the whole family for an enchanting and magical adventure that continues to thrill audiences and keeps the spirit of the holiday season alive.

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
12/26
Saenger Theater
World class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls – Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages. “Kids wide-eyed with delight!” says the New York Times.

 

Kid's Countdown to Noon
12/31
Louisiana Children's Museum
Ring in the New Year at the annual New Year’s celebration! Don’t miss the LCM’s countdown to NOON that culminates with a colorful confetti toss and a balloon release. Make a noisemaker and festive paper bag party hat. Enjoy live music and ring in the New Year in style!  $10 per person for non-members.

Zoo Year's Eve
12/31
Audubon Zoo
Audubon Zoo invites families and kids of all ages to celebrate the new year in style with music, games and prizes. Pick up a party hat and noise maker, grab a Pepsi drink for toasting, and countdown to Noon to ring in the New Year with "The Pop Princesses."

Big Night New Orleans
12/31
Hyatt Regency
Get ready for the biggest and Best New Years Celebration anywhere! Make your plans to ring in your new year with over 3,000 people. Different party rooms with different performers and all with open bars.

NOLA New Year's Eve
12/31
Riverfront
The organizers of the Sugar Bowl bring in national performers which is televised as part of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve, there's the official countdown and fleur de lis drop at Jax Brewery and fireworks over the River at midnight.