There is no more unique place to visit during the Christmas season than New Orleans. Our colorful residents, restaurants, and attractions truly put on a great celebration of the season, offering more than you can possibly hope to see in a single weekend. Why not plan a cozy Christmas Season getaway to Avenue Inn, and take part of everything our great city offers?
We’ve already told you about the Celebration in the Oaks, but there is tons more to see and do during this Holiday Season! The following are just highlights of the major annual events. You can find many more at New Orleans Online’s Holiday Events Page for unique shopping opportunities, concerts, cooking demos, art exhibits, family activities, and one-of-a-kind events that you’ll only find here in New Orleans!
Month of December, 2013: Reveillon Dinners
Traditionally, the Creoles started Christmas with a huge (and late!) family dinner after midnight mass consisting of dishes like gumbo, meat pie, soup, souffles, and great desserts and drinks. While the tradition largely died out in the 1940s, some of our best area restaurants took up the torch in the 1990s by offering fixed-price Reveillon Dinners during the month of December and, in some cases, on New Years’ Day (some are even open on Christmas Eve and Christmas day). Prices range from $34-100, depending on the restaurant and dishes offered. A fixed-menu offers up to five courses – some actually give you a selection to choose from! Reservations are required for these dinners – we’ll be glad to help make a restaurant selection and reservation if you need it!
Month of December, 2013: St. Louis Cathedral Concerts
Located on Jackson Square, the Cathedral hosts 14 concerts throughout the month of December featuring Jazz, Gospel, Opera, Brass Band, Folk, and Classical music (depending on the concert). A full schedule can be found on the French Quarter Festivals, Inc. Facebook page. Concerts are free (donations are welcome to help fund the concerts), and commence at 6pm on scheduled evenings.
Saturday and Sunday, December 14-15, 2013: Garden District Holiday Home Tour
Eight Garden District beauties can be visited in all their Holiday finery during this self-guided tour. The event headquarters at Trinity Episcopal Church offers food and shopping throughout both days. Tickets are $40 per person if purchased in advance ($45 on-site), and are good for either, or both days.
Sunday, December 22, 2013, 1-4pm: French Quarter Holiday Home Tour
Some of the French Quarter’s beautiful historic homes are decked out in all their Holiday splendor, and you’re invited to see them all! This self-guided walking tour is just $20 per person.
Sunday, December 22, 2013, 7pm: Caroling in Jackson Square
Locals and visitors alike enjoy this magical evening of candlelight and song in the French Quarter’s Jackson Square. The event is free to all – candles and song sheets are provided. All you need to bring is your voice and your Christmas spirit! Singing commences at 7pm, but we recommend an early arrival due to the event’s popularity. Why not let us make you dinner reservations at an area restaurant beforehand?
December 24: Bonfires on the Levee
The shores of the river are bathed in firelight on Christmas Eve when a number of bonfire structures are set ablaze! This tradition was also started by the Cajuns: either as a way to light the path for “Papa Noel” to bring goodies to the kids, or a path to the nearest Catholic Church for Christmas Eve services – we’ll let you decide which appeals to you more. Historic bonfires were simple pyramid-cones approximately 20 feet in height, but today’s structures range from elaborate cone structures to wooden cabins, trucks, and more, some with firework finishes! The fires can be found 30-40 miles upriver from downtown in St. James Parish – we suggest you arrive early, as traffic to these areas is HEAVY in the hours leading up to lighting. We’ll be glad to suggest some activities to do in that area during the day.
If you’d rather see the spectacle a little closer to Avenue Inn, the Algiers Economic Development Foundation will sponsor a bonfire and concert on Algiers point (across the river from the French Quarter) on Saturday, December 7 from 5-9pm! Head to Algiers Point for the fun, or watch from across the Levee with Cafe du Monde coffee or cocoa in-hand!
With so much happening here, we can’t think of a any time in December is the perfect time to enjoy a bed and breakfast getaway in the heart of New Orleans. Reserve your favorite Avenue Inn room and enjoy an unforgettable Holiday Season in NOLA!