New Orleans transforms into a winter wonderland during December and the holiday spirit permeates every corner of the city. From dazzling light displays to timeless traditions you must incorporate some N'awlins magic into your holiday plans to make them truly sparkle. The gumbo's hot, the jazz is hotter, and you definitely don’t want to miss the top 10 New Orleans attractions and events happening in the city this holiday season!
1. Celebration in the Oaks – Through December 31st. Get the holiday ball rollin' with a trip to City Park's "Celebration in the Oaks." Picture this: over a million twinklin' lights, festive displays, and animated sculptures turn City Park into a winter wonderland like no other.2. Luna Fete – Dec. 7th-10th One of the top New Orleans attractions, Luna Fete transforms the outside of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the CBD into a mind-blowing light and sound show. It's a tech-meets-art extravaganza that'll leave you in awe. Colors, patterns and dance, creating a feast for your eyes…and did we mention it’s FREE?3. JINGLE JAM @JAMNOLA (Joy, Art, Music- New Orleans) – Thursday-Monday weekly. Tis' the season for JAMNOLA. New Orleans’ cultural funhouse showcases the iconic music, food and theatrics of the city through the eyes of over 30 local artists. On this topsy-turvy holiday stroll you’ll encounter larger-than-life crawfish, a bling bayou with golden gator, and so much more! Enjoy 17 joyous exhibits decked out for the holidays as well as iconic holiday characters popping in for additional photo opportunities on weekends leading up to the Christmas holiday. Ticket prices start at $30 for adults, $21 for kids (3-12). Kids under 3 are free. 4. Movies with Santa at Prytania Theater through December 23rd Create lasting memories with the fam by attending “Movies with Santa” at the historic Prytania Theater. Enjoy classic holiday films including Elf, Polar Express and How The Grinch Stole Christmas in a charming setting, complete with visits from Santa and other festive surprises. Movie plus popcorn and a soft drink just $10/person.
5. Caroling in Jackson Square – Dec. 17th at 7pm Join in the sweet NOLA tradition of caroling in Jackson Square. Gather 'round the St. Louis Cathedral, belt out them tunes, and share the joy of the holiday season with your fellow carolers. It's an iconic New Orleans holiday moment that should be on your NOLA to-do list.
6. Greenway Super Nova – Dec. 7th-9th Take a leisurely stroll along the Lafitte Greenway to catch the Greenway Super Nova, a light installation turnin' the green space into a twinklin' winter wonderland. Perfect for an evenin' walk or a cozy holiday picnic.
7. NOLA Christmas Fest – Dec. 21-30th Indoor holiday fun awaits at the NOLA Christmas Fest. Ice-skatin', amusement rides, holiday characters, and a visit from Santa—it's a festive playground for the young and the young at heart and a must-see New Orleans attraction. This 10-day event also features a remarkable walk-through maze and a Snowy Summit Climbing Wall. An authentic New Orleans experience you will not soon forget!
8. The Roosevelt Hotel's Annual Teddy Bear Tea and Waldorf Wonderland (Sunday, Nov. 27, through Tuesday, Dec. 27). Treat yourself to a touch of holiday luxury at The Roosevelt Hotel's Annual Teddy Bear Tea. Festive tea, delicious treats, and a teddy bear for the little ones—a holiday tradition that's downright classy and check out the wonderland in the lobby.
9. Christmas in Lafreniere Park. Watch Lafreniere Park transform into a magical holiday haven with lights, decor, and pure joy. Take a drive through the park, soak in the holiday spirit, and let the festivities surround you. Tickets range from $10-15.
10. Reveillon Dinners Savor the flavors of a New Orleans holiday with Reveillon Dinners. Local restaurants serve up special menus inspired by Creole traditions, bringing a delicious and festive vibe to your celebration. It’s the next best thing to having a big, festive holiday gathering at home.
So, this holiday season, let the spirit of New Orleans wrap you up tight. From twinklin' lights to time-honored traditions, New Orleans has got a celebration that'll leave you with memories as sweet as beignets. Laissez les bon temps rouler! 🎄✨