It’s never too early to plan the perfect holiday trip to New Orleans! November and December are jam-packed with activities and events, assuring that your stay at our New Orleans bed and breakfast will be fun and festive!
Last year we told you a little bit about the Celebration in the Oaks. Now in its 26th year, the event mixes our beautiful city park, amusements, synthetic ice ring, seasonal decorations as the bright light in the center of our city each year. Said to be one of the best holiday lighting displays in the United States, over 2 million lights decorate hundred-year-old oak trees, structures, shapes, and characters through the start of 2013. Residents and visitors alike skate on the synthetic ice rink (a gift from the New Orleans Saints and Coca Cola) and take a ride on the carousel and other amusement rides. Music will play as model trains and streetcars will follow routes through the miniature City of New Orleans display, and the 20-foot poinsettia tree graces the Conservatory. Artists bring their wares to the Artist Village. Snow will fall in Dreyfus Meadow a few days before Christmas, and Santa will be there throughout many of the event evenings, paying close attention to the wishes of the young. Evening admission to the park is just $7 per person, with children under the age of three admitted for free (during the November 23-25 weekend and nightly from November 30-January 1, 2013). Rides are an additional cost of $3 per single ride, or $17 for an unlimited ride band.
Canal Street hosts a number of seasonal events for the holiday season!
- Tuesday November 20, 2012: The Canal Street Lighting Ceremony happens at 5:30 pm when over 1 million lights will be lit over the entire Grand Corridor!
- Friday, November 30, 2012: Holiday Movies on the Mississippi offers outdoor movie viewings at the Riverwalk Spanish Plaza (6:30 pm)
- Saturday, December 1, 2012: The Krewe of Jingle Parade steps off at 1:00 pm and offers floats, marching bands, and a full spectacle of Christmas surprises.
- Friday, December 7, 2012: Second showing of the Holiday Movies on the Mississippi.
- Saturday, December 8, 2012: the Reindeer Run & Romp for kids! A 1-mile footrace for the youngsters followed by holiday festivities and activities, games, and a scavenger hunt!
The French Market is another great destination during late November and through December. Besides the great shopping opportunities, the Christmas Tree Lighting happens on November 15, 2012. The St. Nicholas Day Fair on December 1, 2012 offers music, kids’ activities, food, and more.
December 14-16, 2012 brings the Lutcher Festival of the Bonfires to featuring food, crafts, life entertainment, and carnival rides. A single bonfire will be lit each evening of the event.
While visiting the French Quarter on Sunday December 16, 2012, you can partake in Caroling In The Square. Held in Jackson Square, this moving tradition brings thousands to sing Christmas Carols by candlelight. Candles and song sheets are provided at this free event. The gathering begins at 6:30pm, and the singing starts at 7:00pm.
Spending Christmas proper in NOLA? Then venture out on Christmas Eve to St. James Parish, where bonfires are lit for miles along the river to light the way for Santa! You can also attend one of hundreds of Christmas Eve Services at area churches.
The Fulton Street outdoor mall provides both shopping and atmosphere during the season. The Miracle on Fulton Street features another popular outdoor lighting display, rotating color Christmas Trees, music, Santa, and snow! (Okay, the event snow is simulated, but you never know when it might snow for real!)
Magazine Street is a great place to do some seasonal shopping! With the abundance of unique stores and restaurants, it is easy to spend an entire day checking off your gift list.
For those celebrating Chanukah instead of Christmas, Chanukah at the Riverwalk is the place to be! Featuring the largest Menorah in Louisiana, Jewish music, free latkes, and kids activities, all at the Riverwalk Spanish Plaza. Or you can choose “Chanukah on the Avenue” at Temple Sinai’s Reform Judaism Temple on Saint Charles Avenue: this outdoor ceremony features a traditional Menorah lighting and the Temple’s Youth Choir, with a family service also offered in the sanctuary.
Throughout much of December, many NOLA restaurants feature Reveillon Dinners in honor of a very old Creole tradition of enjoying a lavish Christmas Eve dinner after midnight mass. 47 area eateries offer great deals on special dinners which feature 4-5 courses of seasonal specialties from a prixe fixe menu throughout the Holiday Season. Prices range from $30 to $95, depending on the establishment.
This is only a sampling of choices happening this November/December: there just isn’t time to cover them all! However, we will be glad to help you find the perfect New Orleans activity during your stay at our Garden District inn. Our Jing-a-Ling/Papa Noel Holiday Rates during December will help you enjoy your holiday time away from home. The rate is available for many days during the month with some restrictions. So give us a call to find out if we have your date available. Ask for Joe, and make your reservations today!