Our Favorite New Orleans Holiday Events
Each year, the city pulls out all the stops to celebrate Christmas New Orleans Style. With 79 different seasonal events this December—including 13 free events—and numerous hotels offering special Papa Noël packages to entice visitors to visit New Orleans, Deanie’s offers 10 Must-See holiday events to celebrate Christmas in New Orleans. At the top of our list, of course, is Deanie’s Holiday Kids Sing-Along & Dance Party at Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant in the French Quarter.
1) NOLA Christmas Fest
The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center brings Christmas to life with carnival rides, children’s crafts, a “Kringle Carousel,” Christmas trees decorated by local organizations, a life-size Maze, and even an Ice Skating Rink. Meet holiday characters like Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Frosty too! The 15-day indoor family festival takes place December 16-30.
2) Luna Fête
A visionary mission created by the Arts Council of New Orleans utilizing the city’s iconic landscape as the canvas for outdoor, public artworks created with light and technology. Luna Fête features tailor-made animated video projections splashed across the façade of Gallier Hall on St. Charles Avenue. Free and open to the public, Luna Fête takes place from 6-9 p.m. nightly, Dec. 7-10 at Lafayette Square.
3) Miracle on Fulton Street
Kick off your holiday season with a trip down Miracle on Fulton Street—daily “snowfall,” interactive ornaments, a giant tree and gingerbread display. Visit with Santa Claus and his elves (beginning at 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in December). Running Nov. 22-Dec. 24, this district is closed off to traffic, making it an ideal kids destination. Admission is free.
4) Deanie’s Holiday Kids Sing-Along & Dance Party
Deanie’s Seafood in the French Quarter presents its annual holiday program, Deanie’s Holiday Kids Sing-Along & Dance Party with Vince Vance. Enjoy breakfast and free photos with Santa, face painting, arts & crafts, and songs of the holiday season performed by Vince Vance & The Valianettes. Benefiting Angels’ Place of New Orleans. Four shows Dec. 10-11 & 17-18. Tickets are available online, and seating is limited.
5) Celebration in the Oaks
Bring the whole family to enjoy a true New Orleans tradition, City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks! View hundreds of thousands of glittering Christmas lights, ride the train through the park, and don’t miss Mr. Bingle. Choose from a walking or driving tour Nov. 25 through Jan. 1 (see website for specific days/hours). General admission: $9 per person.
6) French Quarter Hotel Holiday DISPLAYS
Hotels in the French Quarter offer some of the most stunning New Orleans Christmas displays in the city. Stroll through these hotel lobbies for beautifully decorated trees and artfully displayed lights. Walk by Deanie’s five holiday window displays along the way to the Roosevelt Hotel’s Waldorf Wonderland Lobby, The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans’one-of-a-kind gingerbread display (and even an opportunity to make your own gingerbread house), or the Hotel Monteleone’s sparkling lobby to get you in the holiday spirit.
7) Free Photos with Santa at Deanie’s French Quarter
8) Kenner Christmas Village
The annual Kenner Christmas Village will light up what is Main Street USA, the Rivertown historic district along the Mississippi River this holiday season. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays is caroling, costumed holiday characters and Santa, along with craft and food vendors and entertainment by local school and dance troops. Opening night for the Kenner Christmas Village is Sat., Nov. 26. Free admission; $2 admission to the Planetarium.
9) Jingle Bugs at Audubon Insectarium
Looking for a unique holiday experience, brought to you by one of the city’s favorite attractions? Jingle Bugs at the Audubon Insectarium is right up your alley. Sample buggy holiday treats, listen in for story time, check out “Pupa Noel,” (including his sleigh and 8 tiny Beetle-deer) and enjoy games, face painting, and balloons for the kids on December 10. Admission is free for Audubon members.
10) Holiday Movies on the Mississippi
The Downtown Development District & The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk present Free outdoor holiday movie showings this month! Watch holiday classics at Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza each Friday before Christmas, including “Home Alone” on Dec 2, “Frozen” on Dec 9, and “Elf” on Dec 16.
Wherever you celebrate this year, we wish you a joy-filled holiday season!