The holiday season has finally arrived, and that means New Orleans is coming to life. The city provides all kinds of opportunities to celebrate the holidays. From bonfires to tasty food, you can’t beat Christmas in New Orleans.
Get the scoop on the best the city has to offer.
Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee
If you’ve lived in New Orleans for very long, you know all about Papa Noel, a.k.a. the Cajun Santa Claus. Each Christmas Eve, people build some creative bonfires on the levee to light the way for the Cajun Claus. When dusk hits, the bonfires will be lit, and it’ll look like the entire sky is on fire. Be sure to stop by and see if you can spot Cajun Santa Claus making his way to New Orleans.
Go ice skating, ride on a carousel, enjoy an ice slide, carnival rides, or inflatables—even meet Santa at the NOLA ChristmasFest. The indoor, family-friendly event takes place at the New Orleans Convention Center Dec. 20-31. Most days, the festival is open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., except special hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets are $20.
Celebration in the Oaks
Celebration in the Oaks is one of the most beautiful holiday traditions in the city. You’ll get to see hundreds of thousands of lights and holiday displays at City Park. It’s all stunning, but the lights on the enormous oak trees will take your breath away.
Stop by on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. or Sundays through Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The festival runs through Jan. 1, but it’s closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $10 a person, and you can also take a train ride for $5.
In the mid-1800s, Creole families celebrated Christmas with huge family meals after midnight mass. The tradition continues in New Orleans, thanks to local restaurants. You can have a four-course meal at some of the French Quarter’s best restaurants. Imagine seafood gumbo, goat cheese crepes, and other treats. You can enjoy some cocktails as well.
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Hang out at Jackson Square so you can listen to Christmas carols, gospel choirs, and more. The entire square fills with the sounds of holiday music during the season. You will have a heavy dose of holiday cheer when you leave.
There’s a lot to be thankful for this Christmas season. You can add one more item to your list by picking up some new wheels from Barker Buick GMC in Houma, Louisiana. Get your car, truck, or SUV, and then head right over to New Orleans and enjoy these festivities.
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