NOLA sleighs the Christmas game.
So the chances of it being a white Christmas might not be high, but that doesn’t mean New Orleans doesn’t get into the spirit of the season.
There are lots of ways to celebrate Christmas around town, and as the season goes on, we’re sure we’ll add to this list. In the meanwhile, here are a few ways to get your merry and bright on!
Celebration in the Oaks
One of the city’s premier events, this holiday display is celebrating its 32nd year. The lights extend over 25 acres of the park, and if the lights don’t interest you, the rides and signature carousel should do it. The display is constantly evolving, with new light displays every year. It even features a fire pit to roast marshmallows over while “sneaux” falls over you!
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Lights at the Roosevelt Hotel Lobby
Many of the hotels in town do holiday lobby displays, but The Roosevelt is surely one of the most impressive. This year, the block-long lobby at the Roosevelt Hotel will feature a canopy of 112,000 lights, 1,610 feet of garland, 300 bows and 4,000 glass ornaments. The lights are on display until New Year’s Eve, so there’s lots of time for you to put on your best outfit and get your holiday Instagram posts in! Do it for the ‘gram!
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Audubon Zoo Lights
A new contender to the Christmas scene, the Audubon Zoo is joining in the fun with its brand new zoo Lights exhibit. This is the first year for the display, which is open to the public until Dec.30 from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The lights depict lots of Audubon Zoo residents, including giraffes, elephants, alligators and lions. There are also interactive exhibits, including animal encounters, fireside stories and pictures with Santa. Click here for more information.
The tradition of Reveillon dinners goes back to the early 19th century. According to the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, French colonists would fast all day and then feast on big, hearty meals following Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Many restaurants in the area offer a Reveillon menu, including The Country Club, Galatoire’s, Upperline, and the Bombay Club. Click here for more information.
NOLA Christmas Fest
For 10 days, the Morial Convention Center will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland. NOLA Christmas Fest is complete with an indoor ice skating rink (yes it’s real ice!), an ice slide, amusement rides, space walks, an indoor maze and arts and crafts. New this year is Bouncy, ‘The World’s Tallest Snowman,’ and Snowzilla Jr., with a 90′ slide. There will also be a step-inside snowglobe for all those cool selfies. The fest starts Dec. 20 and goes until Dec. 31. Click here for more information.
Santa’s North Pole Steam Train
Here’s your chance to live out your Polar Express dreams! For one day only on Dec. 15, the Louisiana Steam Train Association will operate the historic Southern Pacific steam locomotive #745 on a special route with holiday pizzaz. The train will leave from the tracks on the Fly at the back of Audubon Park and travel to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World on the river. Once at Mardi Gras World, riders can attend a holiday pajama party including a special showing of “The Polar Express” with cookies and hot chocolate. After the party, everyone will get back on the train and continue to the Moonwalk, where Santa himself will be waiting. Tickets start at $125. Click here for more information.
Are we missing your favorite NOLA Christmas event? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media @VeryLocalNOLA.