nola christmas

Christmas in New Orleans

New Orleans during the holidays is a magical blend of festive cheer, rich culture, and unique traditions that make Christmas an unforgettable experience. From twinkling lights adorning historic streets to lively celebrations steeped in tradition, here’s a guide to the fun-filled Christmas traditions and must-do activities in the vibrant city of New Orleans.

1. Celebration in Lights:

The holiday season in New Orleans kicks off with a spectacular display of lights that transform the city into a sparkling wonderland. Head to the Roosevelt Hotel to witness their iconic lobby decorations, featuring a stunning Waldorf Wonderland and a colossal Christmas tree. Stroll through the French Quarter adorned with dazzling lights and decorations that add an extra charm to the historic streets.

2. Reveillon Dinners:

One of the most cherished traditions in New Orleans is the Reveillon Dinners. This Creole dining tradition originated in the early 19th century and involves a lavish, multi-course meal typically served after midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Many restaurants across the city offer their own modern take on Reveillon dinners, showcasing the best of Creole cuisine.

3. Cajun Christmas Caroling:

Join in the merriment with a unique twist on the traditional Christmas caroling. Experience Cajun Christmas Caroling in the streets of New Orleans where locals gather to sing carols in Cajun French, spreading joy and holiday spirit.

4. NOLA Christmas Fest:

For a family-friendly extravaganza, visit the NOLA Christmas Fest. This indoor holiday festival features an ice skating rink, carnival rides, giant inflatables, and holiday-themed activities for kids of all ages.

5. Holiday Home Tours:

Explore the city’s architectural wonders adorned with festive decorations by joining a Holiday Home Tour. Many neighborhoods open their doors to showcase beautifully decorated historic homes, allowing visitors to admire the unique holiday decor and immerse themselves in the local holiday spirit.

6. Bonfires on the Levee:

Just outside of New Orleans, along the Mississippi River, experience the Bonfires on the Levee tradition on Christmas Eve. Gigantic bonfires are lit along the riverbanks to light the way for Papa Noel (Santa Claus) as he makes his way to deliver gifts.

7. Shopping at French Market:

Embrace the spirit of gift-giving by visiting the French Market for unique holiday shopping. Find local crafts, artisanal gifts, and festive decorations while enjoying the lively atmosphere filled with music and delicious treats.

8. Preservation Hall Jazz Band Holiday Concert:

Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies of New Orleans jazz with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band Holiday Concert. Experience the joyous sounds of the season performed by talented local musicians.

9. Miracle on Fulton Street:

Fulton Street transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season with the Miracle on Fulton Street. Enjoy festive decorations, live music, and a dazzling light show, creating a magical ambiance for visitors.

10. Celebration in Jackson Square:

Join the locals and visitors alike in Jackson Square for a festive celebration featuring live music, local artisans selling unique gifts, and the beautiful backdrop of St. Louis Cathedral illuminated by holiday lights.

New Orleans during Christmas is a captivating blend of traditions, celebrations, and unique experiences. Whether you’re indulging in Creole cuisine, joining in the lively caroling, or exploring the enchanting holiday lights, the city offers a festive celebration like no other, making it an ideal destination to create lasting holiday memories.

11. Celebration in the Oaks

Join the festive wonder at Celebration in the Oaks in City Park! Embark on a train journey with your cherished ones and immerse yourself in 25 acres adorned with holiday displays. Witness the mesmerizing sight of 600-year-old live oak trees aglow with lights and adorned with Spanish Moss. Calling all Saints’ fans! Make sure not to overlook the incredible “Who Dat” tree amidst the enchanting scenery.