Here's a list of December holiday traditions, events, activities, festivals, concerts, and things to do during Christmas and the holidays in New Orleans, along with shopping and gift options. Check out all the ways you can make the holiday season and Christmas the best ever in 2012.
Celebration in the Oaks is a fantastic Christmas light display in and around the ancient oaks of City Park in New Orleans. There is also nightly entertainment, a cafe, decorated Botanical Garden Walk, a miniature train display, available horse carriage rides, and more.
The holiday festival and walking tour of lights in City Park's Botanical Gardens, Amusement Park/Carousel Garden and Storyland opens Thanksgiving weekend and is open every night in December and New Year's Day.
Check out the latest list of holiday theater offerings. In 2012, there are
It's a Christmas Day Night tradition at Rock n Bowl on Christmas Day Night. It's an open Christmas open party with the lowest cover price anywhere - it's usually about 35 cents. It's family friendly - lots of kids are always running around. Benny Grunch and Bunch entertain and include all their unique, original, and beloved Yat New Orleans Christmas songs, plus some good old rock and roll too. Dancing is encouraged. You can also drink, eat, and bowl, of course.
4. Krewe of Jingle ParadeDec 1, 2012 - A Mardi Gras style Christmas Parade in downtown New Orleans - 1 p.m. - Be there!
Holiday Cooking Demonstrations will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays during the first three weeks of December. Learn to cook New Orleans Revellion recipes from New Orleans chefs and have a taste. These holiday cooking events last about 45 minutes and space/seating is limited.
Take a break from the holiday bustle with free yoga classes to live music in the French Market in November and December on Wednesday and Friday mornings. It's Yoga with meditational Jazz piano music by Peter Nu and instruction by Susan Landry. The Sun Salutations Gentle Hatha Flow yoga and meditation sessions start at 9:30 a.m. but get there 10 minutes early to sign in and meet the instructor.
Take a road trip or a tour to see the tall stacked structures lining the levee. They are set afire on Christmas Eve to light the way for Papa Noel, aka Santa Claus. The Cajun tradition can be seen at various locations on the Mississippi River levee especially in Lutcher and Gramercy.
On Dec. 8, 2012 - Super Saturday in Algier - the historic neighborhood will be alive with Christmas Spirit with Holidays on the Point, Noel on Newton, the annual Holiday Bonfire and the Algiers Point Home Tour. Businesses throughout Algiers Point will have special events, activities, and live music as part of the celebration.
The annual Hubbell Library Christmas Tree and Holiday Sale will be on Sunday, November 24-25,2012, in front of Gulf Pizza, 446 Pelican Ave, Old Algiers. Buy your live Christmas tree and greens here and you'll benefit New Orleans oldest library, the Hubbell Library, which is closed for repairs currently. Baked good, art, books,jewelry and gifts should also be on sale. Usually Santa is there and Confetti Park across the street has kid activities during the day. .
Holiday Reveillon Dinners are a modern revival of a very old New Orleans tradition. New Orleans Creoles in the old days would go to midnight mass at St. Louis Cathedral and return home for a very late-night and very lavish Revillion dinner on Christmas Eve.
Now you can enjoy special holiday Reveillon multi-course dinner throughout much of December (and earlier in the evening too) at many, many New Orleans restaurants including iconic places like Galatoire's, Antoine's, Emeril's and Broussard's. The specially priced Reveillon dinners are usually good deals too.
Restaurant chefs who are serving Reveillon Dinners this Christmas season will also be sharing secrets at these Holiday Cooking Demonstratives at the French Market Fare Stage in the Farmers Market. Learn how to create the recipes and have a taste too. At 2 pm on Tuesdays - Fridays during the first three weeks of December.
Another old Catholic tradition. St. Louis Cathedral and other churches hold Christmas Eve midnight mass, and many Protestant churches hold late night Christmas Eve services as well.