The Ultimate Guide to Family Holiday Events In and Around New Orleans

The 2023 Ultimate Guide to Family Holiday Events In and Around New Orleans

Holiday events in New Orleans
Photo credit :: The Nutcracker photo by John B. Barrois, The French Market, Royal Sonesta New Orleans and Lights on the Lake.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the Crescent City. New Orleans is kid friendly year round, and the holidays are no exception! There’s no end to the festivities and fun that the holiday season brings to New Orleans. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of family-friendly holiday events in and around New Orleans. Check back frequently; we will be adding more New Orleans holiday events for kids as they are announced. Click on the category of holiday fun you’re seeking and you’ll be brought to the listing of those holiday events in New Orleans.

If you are seeking the opportunity to serve a charity, adopt a family or involve children in community service in New Orleans, we have community service opportunities in New Orleans covered, too. Because it’s always better to give than receive.

Can you cut down your own Christmas tree in Louisiana? Yes, you can – there are a handful of Christmas tree farms within driving distance of New Orleans. Here’s a guide to everywhere you can cut down a Christmas tree in Louisiana and Mississippi. Specifically, here is everything you need to know before you head to Steele’s Christmas Tree Farm just a short drive from the city.

If you are looking for the best Christmas light displays or New Orleans area neighborhoods with spectacular holidays lights, we have you covered there, too.

If you are worried about where to park to experience all of the holiday fun – we have you covered there as well. Check out our guide to parking in, and around, New Orleans. 

Finally, if you are looking for the best family photographers in New Orleans to capture your holiday card pictures, we have recommendations for that as well.

The entire team at New Orleans Mom wishes you and your family a peaceful, festive, and fun holiday season.

This guide has been updated as of December 13, 2023.

Special Thanks to Our Title Sponsor: Bryan Subaru 

Bryan Subaru Blue

Bryan Subaru is a family owned and operated dealership that has been open since 2011, and the Bryan Family has been in the automotive industry in the metro area since 1955. We pride ourselves on giving our customers an positive experience in a low pressure, comfortable environment whether they are buying a car or having it serviced. We want them to feel like family while they are here and leave with the satisfaction that their automotive needs were met by our friendly, experienced staff.

During the holiday season, we know busy Moms are juggling present shopping, kids out of school and all of their regular daily task. We offer complimentary refreshments and a wonderful kids play area to help those Moms on the go, have a chance to take a break while they are getting their oil changed. We are also dog friendly, and love hanging out with our customers furry friends!
Bryan Subaru is proud to be a Subaru dealer and truly believes in Subaru’s philosophy of being “more than a car company.” As happy as we are to satisfy our customers, giving back to the community we live in, has just as high a priority.

Beginning November 16th, we are participating in the Subaru Share the Love program that runs through January 2nd. During that time, Subaru of America will donate $250 for any vehicle leased or purchased to one of five charities, including LASPCA and Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and Bryan Subaru will match that donation.

Let’s all Share the Love this holiday season!

The 2023 Guide to Family Holiday Events In and Around New Orleans

Check out our event categories included below and jump straight to that section by clicking below to see all of the family-friendly holiday events in and around New Orleans this year!


This guide has been updated as of December 13, 2023.

Holiday Teas, Concerts & Merriment | Santa Meet & Greets | Holiday Lights | Sips & Shops | Nutcracker Performances | Charity & Service |Fun Runs & Races

Holiday Teas, Concerts & Merriment

Teddy Bear Teas, Caroling, Concerts and parades (of course) … there’s something for everyone no matter what holiday you celebrate or how you celebrate it.


Events in & Around New Orleans

Jingle Bells & Beer  (November 18 | 7:00 – 10:00 pm):: ‘Tis the season to bust out those ugly sweaters! Join us in Carousel Gardens for food, rides, entertainment, and, of course, BEER! Must be 21+ to attend. Tickets are $40 general admission, $65 VIP.

Holiday Tea at the Windsor Court (Select Dates November 24 – December 31 | seatings between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm) :: The centerpiece of the New Orleans Holiday Season, seatings include a properly brewed pot of tea; a glass of sherry, sparkling wine or specialty cocktail; an enchanting selection of English tea sandwiches; seasonal scones with clotted cream; and a final course of gourmet desserts. Reservations are required.

Christmas Movies at Prytania Theatres at Canal Place (Every Saturday November 25 to December 23 | 10:00 am) :: November 25th is Arthur Christmas. December 2nd is Jack Frost.  December 9th is Elf. December 16th is Polar Express. December 23rd is How the Grinch Stole Christmas Movie goers will be able to enjoy a special holiday movie, popcorn and a soft drink for $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased here.

Teddy Bear Tea at The Roosevelt (Select Dates and Times November 26 – December 27) :: Our elves are busily preparing for this popular event that delights and excites children of all ages! At Teddy Bear Tea you will be taken on Santa’s journey to the rooftops of New Orleans. Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your children while you enjoy a presentation of delicious holiday food, specialty teas, and tasty pastries, as well as sparkling wine and mimosas for Mom and Dad. Insider’s tip: The Roosevelt has one of the most spectacular light displays to enjoy if you don’t want to splurge for the tea itself!

Holiday Teatime at Edith & Edgar’s (Monday – Saturday through January 6) :: Enjoy tiered treats along with your choice of loose-leaf tea on the patio at Edith & Edgar’s Museum Cafe. Available through January 6; registration required.

Atchafalaya Christmas at Mcgee’s Swamp Tours (Select Days November 24 – December 23) :: Beyond the world famous airboat and swamp tours offered at McGee’s, we also host special events throughout the year that celebrate our joie de vie (joy of life)! Christmas themed tours led by Papa Noel are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays! The family fun doesn’t stop with Christmas, as these tours also introduce guests to Louisiana’s unique swamp environment and heritage.  Book here.

Build Your Own Gingerbread House, Main Lobby, Ritz Carlton Hotel(November 25th | December 2, 9, 16, 23 | 9:30 to 11:30am) :: Children of all ages are invited to build a festive gingerbread house. Price includes one gingerbread house with all the decorating essentials. Adult supervision and reservations are required.

Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival ( December 1 – December 3) :: Rides, music and more at historic Fort Jackson in Buras, Louisiana.

Papa Noel Tea, Ritz Carlton Hotel (Every Saturday & Sunday from December 2 – December 21 | Starting time: 11 am & 2:30 pm.) :: Join us in the French Quarter Balcony for a special holiday celebration featuring an appearance by Papa Noel.

Santa’s Pajama Party at the Royal Sonesta (Select dates from December 2 – December 23 | offering two seating at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm) :: Prepare for the holidays in your pajamas at Restaurant R’evolution within Royal Snownesta! Children can wear their favorite holiday pajamas, deliver their wish list and visit with Santa and the Sugarplum Fairy Princess. Sip only the best house-made hot chocolate, warm apple cider and enjoy delicious food while decorating your own cookies!

PRCNO Holiday Home Tour (December 2 | 7:00pm to 10:00pm) :: Kick off the Holidays at the party of the season – the PRC’s 48th Holiday Home Tour Patron Party presented by Gallo Mechanical! This lavish cocktail reception will be held at the stunning home of Amy and Garrison Neill on Coliseum Square. New this year is our special VIP hour which includes a champagne welcome, as well as exclusive entertainment and nibbles. Every Patron Party ticket includes 2 tickets to the Holiday Home Tour.

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Spectacular(December 2) :: The festive Holiday Spectacular returns to the Orpheum with all your holiday favorites! The LPO and special guests will bring an exciting holiday program to you with a few musical surprises. Perfect for the entire family – make this concert a part of your holiday traditions!

A Visit to Santa’s Land & Reindeer Rowe (December 2 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) :: Reindeer Rowe is a Christmas market by Thibodaux Service League. The market features unique holiday shopping with local merchants, including fashions and foods–all to benefit our local community. Tickets are $25 VIP, $10 General Admission.

NOLA Holiday Parade (December 2 | 11:00 am):: A first-of-its-kind, family-centered Holiday Parade starting from The French Market through Downtown, and ending with a holiday experience and concert in Lafayette Square from 5-7 pm!

Christmas Tea at Lafreniere Park (December 2nd | 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm) Enjoy a Christmas Tea presented by Dawn Busters Kiwanis at Lafreniere Park. Tickets are $55 each. Purchase tickets here.

Winter Fest Open House at Young Audiences Charter Schools (December 2 |11:30 am to 2:00 pm) :: For Orleans Parish Residents, YACS at Burmaster (grades advanced PK, PK – 12th), the Winter Fest will be on December 2nd at 11:30 at 1000 Burmaster Street in Gretna. To reserve your spot, click here. There will be photos with Santa, cookie decorating, game truck, hot cocoa and more!

Children’s Hospital Holiday Parade (December 2 | 11:00 am) :: The parade is back with more than 30 floats, high-flying balloons and Santa himself!  Bigger and better this year, the parade starts at The French Market with an extended route through Downtown and ends with a post-parade holiday experience and concert in Lafayette Square featuring Trombone Shorty!

Santa Brunch at The Westin New Orleans Canal Place (December 2 | 7:00 am to 1:00 pm) :: Coinciding with the Children’s Hospital Holiday Parade, The Westin will host a Santa Brunch right alongside the parade route. The feast will include pastries and donuts, hot breakfsast items, a cookie decorating station and a hot chocolate bar.  Doors open at 7:00am. For reservations, call The Westin New Orleans at 504-566-7006.

Ringing in the Arts (December 2 | 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) :: An Outdoor Evening of Fine Art & Entertainment in Downtown Historic Gretna. Join us for a magical evening under a covered outdoor gallery in the heart of historic Old Gretna at the Gretna Market Pavilion on Huey P. Long Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets. Gretna’s annual fine arts festival includes live music, local artists, and refreshments. Bottomless wine and champagne glasses will be offered for purchase. With the sale of each bottomless glass, patrons will get to cast their vote for favorite artist of the night. Free to the public. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Jewish Children’s Regional Service Latkes With A Twist (December 3rd) :: JCRS will host its annual community-wide Hanukkah party, “Latkes with a Twist.” The Washington Post has listed our event as one of the Top 10 Hanukkah parties in the US! Frank Brigsten, chef and owner of Brigsten’s, will be the featured “Latke Master” along with NOCCA culinary students and friends. 

Brunch with Santa at English Turn (December 3) :: It is never too early to plan for Santa. We are offering two days for Santa Brunch this year. We do expect a sell-out.  Please make your reservation early.  Reservations must be emailed to [email protected].

Teddy Bear Brunch in Gretna (December 3 | 9:30 am to 11:30 am) :: Treat your children to a most memorable breakfast with Santa, where every child will receive a teddy bear. Free reservations required, price per person is according to their breakfast order. To make a reservation, call (504) 513-2606 or visit Open Table.

Gretna Christmas Parade & Christmas Tree Lighting (December 3 | 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm) :: Catch Santa parading on Huey P. Long Avenue (route to be announced). Watch Santa light the Christmas tree and enjoy the family friendly festivities. Refreshments will be available. The German- American Cultural Center will have pretzels, brats, and beer for purchase.

LUNA Fete West: River Connections (December 7 – 10 | 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm) :: Celebrating the Mississippi River and the connections it creates with an exhibition of projections, light artworks and a parade of lit puppets. Every night will also present other types of art and music.

Chanukah at the Riverwalk (December 7 | 5:30 pm) :: On Thursday, Dec. 7 Riverwalk Outlets is partnering with Chabad-Lubavitch of Louisiana for Chanukah at the Riverwalk. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the event presented at Spanish Plaza by Chabad-Lubavitch includes the lighting of a giant Menorah in honor of the beginning of Chanukah. The event will feature live traditional Jewish music and kosher cuisine, along with complimentary delicious latkes, Jewish gelt (chocolate candy), dreidels (toys), crafts and more for the whole family.

Annual Festival of the Bonfires (December 8 – December 10) :: Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts, Santa’s Very Merry Forest and carnival rides throughout the weekend. Each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting! Come out and experience a prelude to the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires: A tradition unique to St. James Parish and all the world!!

Munholland Family Fun Night (December 9 | 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm) :: Join us for pictures with Santa, games, and crafts.

Munholland Caroling Under the Oak (December 9 | 5:30) :: Join us to sing Christmas Carols under the oak following our family fun night.

Santa’s Soiree at the East Jefferson YMCA (December 9) :: Join the “Nice List” just in time for the holidays by supporting East Jefferson YMCA’s 2nd Annual Santa’s Soiree. The soiree will feature local cuisine, live music, silent auction, pictures with Santa and other holiday themed activities. Cocktail attire. Early bird tickets are $30 by November 24th; $40 after.  Tickets include food and 2 drink tickets.

Abbeville’s Cajun Christmas Celebration (December 9) :: Join us for Abbeville’s second Cajun Christmas Celebration put on by community organizations and powered by the Rotary Club of Abbeville. There will be live music, shopping, kid crafts and a parade with Santa! More information to come.

Porter Lyons Christmas Wonderland & Meet Santa (December 9 | 9:30 am to 1:00 pm) Make lasting memories with a holiday tradition. Be transported to a magical winter wonderland right in the heart of the French Quarter with Porter Lyons. Join us for a festive family affair for all ages. Bring your little ones for a photo with Santa and his elves, complete with cookie decorating, a hot cocoa station (with a little something extra for the parents), breakfast, and ho ho ho so much more. Get your holiday shopping + celebration done all in one. Create your Porter Lyons jewelry wishlist and ‘send a hint’ to mom’s Santa. Start building your wishlist HERE.

Harahan Christmas Parade (December 9 | 12:00 pm) :: Happy Holidays, our favorite Christmas parade is BACK for 2022! Gather your family & friends and head to the parade route for a hometown holiday tradition, the Harahan Christmas Parade! The parade route will start at the intersection of Hord Street and Jefferson highway proceeding in the westbound lanes of Jefferson highway. The parade will disband at the intersection of Folse Street and Jefferson Highway.  Filled with entertainment from all over the city, the Harahan Christmas Parade is always a family event everyone enjoys.

Winter Fest Open House at Young Audiences Charter Schools (December 9 |11:30 am to 2:00 pm) :: For Orleans Parish Residents, YACS at Lawrence D. Crocker (grades Pk – 8th), the Winter Fest will be on December 9th at 11:30 at 2301 Marengo St in Uptown New Orleans. To reserve your spot, click here. There will be photos with Santa, cookie decorating, game truck, hot cocoa and more!

BK House’s Annual Kids Holiday Tea Party! (December 9th, 10am-1pm) :: Join us at The Historic BK House & Gardens on Saturday, December 9 for our annual Holiday Tea party! Kids and guardians are welcomed to attend the party filled with snacks and fun activities ranging from storytelling, holiday crafts, and a visit from a surprise guest! (Refreshments will be available for adults and kids alike!) Kids can bring their favorite doll to show off as well! Space is limited! Tickets are required for each adult and child attending. Children 2 years old and younger may attend for free, no ticket required.

Teddy Bear Tea at BB’s Stage Door Canteen  (December 9 & 16 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,  December 23 at 10:00 am):: Teddy Bear Tea is the perfect holiday experience to share with children and grandchildren—delicious food and sweet treats, lively music from the Victory Belles, and a special visit with Santa!

Munholland Celtic Christmas Festival of Music (December 13 | 6:30 to 8:30 pm) :: Celebrate Celtic Christmas Music sung by Munholland’s Choir.  An event you don’t want to miss.

Munholland Cursillo Christmas Party (December 14 | 6:30 to 8:30 pm) :: If you are interested in finding out more about Cursillo and our three day retreats come to our Christmas party! RSVP – Church office 504.834.9910.

Light of the Stable: A Divine Mercy Christmas Spectacular (December 15 ) :: The event will begin with an elegant and festive concert in the church sanctuary at 6:30pm featuring the grandeur of a full orchestra. Festivities continue outdoors in Mercy Square with candlelit caroling. Sip and savor complimentary food and beverages to stay toasty and warm while the kids delight in decorating cookies and making homemade keepsake crafts. Doors open at 6:00 pm; admission is free and open to all.

Holiday Gingerbread Workshop at Red Fish Grill (select dates from December 16th to December 23rd| two seatings each Sunday at 10:00 am & 1:00 pm) :: Kids of all ages are invited to partake in this festive and fun tradition of building and decorating gingerbread houses at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill. Spend time with family decorating pre-assembled gingerbread houses with handfuls of holiday candy, royal icing, and celebratory sprinkles, personally procured by Santa’s elves.

Nutcracker Tea (December 2nd and 9th at 11:30 | December 3rd and 10th at 12:30) :: A New Orleans annual holiday tradition, The Nutcracker Tea will delight and engage your family this holiday season. Her Royal Highness, the Sugar Plum Fairy, has made sure that your afternoon is nothing but whimsical and has invited her dear friends from The Nutcracker to celebrate the defeat of the Mouse King with a fanciful afternoon tea party.

Tunes for Toys (December 16 | 6:00 pm) :: The Trombone Shorty Foundation and the Gia Maione Prima Foundation in partnership with Warren Easton Charter High School are proud to present the annual “Tunes for Toys” toy drive and concert, held outdoors at Warren Easton High School’s Legacy Field. Food trucks and vendors will be on-site with refreshments available for purchase. There will be refreshments and photos with Santa from 1pm-3:30pm, also free and open to the public (any child who attends will receive a free toy).

Krampus Haunted Holiday Pop-Up (December 8 & 9) :: The haunted holiday experience is back with his band of devilish elves and menacing nutcrackers to take over Christmas once and for all, bringing the horror-filled festivities to a whole new level.  There is a maze attraction, themed photo ops, special holiday drinks at Bar 13.  There are add on experiences: Phobia: Sensory Overload, a photo with Krampus, Mini Escape Rooms, the Shot in the Dark Secret Bar (21+), and the new Respawn Pass, allowing you to experience the thrills again and again.  Tickets are on sale now, starting at $29.99.  New Orleans Nightmare is located at 319 Butterworth St, Jefferson, LA 70121.  This event may be too intense for children under 12.

Caroling on the Huey (December 15 | 7:00 pm) :: Join us for caroling on Huey P Long in downtown Gretna.

French Quarter Holiday Home Tour (December 17) :: Savor the holiday spirit as Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré presents French Quarter residences dressed for the season. The tour includes interesting architectural styles and home furnishings, as well as a variety of collections of Christmas decorations. This December fundraiser is a prelude to the highly anticipated Caroling in Jackson Square later in the evening.

Santa Brunch at Tableau (December 17 | 11:30 to 2:30 pm) :: Join Santa for Tableau’s Annual Santa Brunch on Sunday, December 17th. Santa riding in his sleigh for photographs.

Caroling in Jackson Square (December 18) :: This local favorite event is free and open to the public. Join in a truly moving annual tradition as Jackson Square brims with thousands of candlelit faces and spirits lift as high as the spires of the St. Louis Cathedral. Candles and song sheets provided. Details coming soon!

Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch With Santa (December 19-22 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) :: Santa will be visiting the Court of Two Sisters on December 19-22 for our special Brunch With Santa events. Santa is NOT included with regular brunch reservations on those dates. You must pre-purchase tickets for Brunch with Santa that are only available at 10am and 1pm. Purchase your tickets online or by calling 504-522-7261 ext. 24. 

Home for the Holidays (December 20 | 6:30 pm) :: An unforgettable night of music and art to benefit the Daniel Price Memorial Fund for Aspiring Artists.

R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (December 21 | 8:00 pm) :: Take in college football big easy style at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

NOLA Christmasfest (December 21 – December 30) :: NOLA ChristmasFest, presented by Coca-Cola, is a dazzling, family-friendly seasonal event, offering your group the perfect opportunity to get into the holiday spirit, make a little joy, and spread a little cheer. Experience a real indoor ice skating rink, ice slides, carnival rides, Santa and friends, Gingerbread houses, decorated trees and more! Convenient parking nearby.

Christmas Eve Dinner Jazz Cruise or Bonfire Cruise (December 24 | 6:00 pm) :: Spend an enchanting Christmas Eve in New Orleans on the Creole Queen! Enjoy unparalleled views of the city from our elegant, garland-adorned dining rooms or from the open air of our upper deck. Have a true Christmas, New Orleans style experience with a delicious Creole dinner and a live jazz band playing New Orleans and holiday favorites. After dinner, enjoy your favorite cocktails and sweet Mississippi River breezes on the promenade deck as the city skyline slips by under a canopy of stars. This is one-holiday tradition your family will never forget.

Events on the Northshore

Movie Night Under Stars at Cate Square Park (November 18 | 4:00 pm) :: Hammond Rotary Club’s 9th annual Movie Night Under the Stars is a free event at Cate Square Park in Hammond. Children’s activities will be from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, and The Polar Express Movie will begin at 6:00 pm. Concession stands and photos with Santa will be available. Bring food donations for Our Daily Bread on the evening of the event.

Starry Saturday (November 18 | 8:00 am to 9:00 pm) :: Join this all day event including Holiday Market (8:00 – 12:00), Jingle Jubilee (12:00 – 3:00), Holiday Wine & Cheese Walk (4:00-7:00), Move Night Under the Stars (4:00-8:00), Train Rides (4:00-6:00), and a Night Market (6:00-9:00).  The Hammond Downtown Development District excitedly announces its annual event, Starry Saturday, as the holidays draw near!  Celebrate this signature holiday event in Downtown Hammond on Saturday, November 18th by shopping & dining from dozens of locally-owned establishments all day. In addition, enjoy pictures with Santa Claus, cookie decorating, the Hammond Farmers & Artisans Market, a free movie showing in Cate Square Park, the Holiday Wine & Cheese Walk and more! Join us for an incredible full-day event an immerse yourself in the magic of the holiday season only in Downtown Hammond.

Steele’s Christmas Tree Farm (Opening Thanksgiving Day!) :: Make family memories at this Christmas tree farm in Angie, Louisiana. Here’s everything you need to know about heading to Steele’s to cut down your own Christmas tree before you go. A short drive from New Orleans, you can give your children the experience of cutting down their very own Christmas tree in Louisiana. Steele’s has been in business for over 30 years and has hundreds of trees to select from, up to 12 feet tall!

The Columbia Theatre’s Holiday Extravaganza (November 30 – December 10) :: Head on over to Columbia Theatre for performances of The Nutcracker, a screening of the Nightmare Before Christmas, and Southeastern’s Big Band Christmas concert.

14th Annual Christmas at TerraBella (December 1 | 6pm ) :: Kick off the holidays at TerraBella Village with our Lighting of the Village Tree and Holiday Marketplace! Enjoy musical performances by local musicians and schools, take a photo with Santa, ride the train, make reindeer food, try food and beverage from delicious local vendors and more!

Christmas Under the Stars (December 1st – December 30th) :: The City of Slidell celebrates the holiday season with Christmas Under the Stars, an annual celebration of twinkling lights, festive decorations, the Parade of Trees, the life-size Christmas Cottages, Slidell’s Nativity, Christmas songs, and much more. Griffith park will be lit up nightly from 6-9 pm beginning December 1st and going through December 30th. Admission is free!

Slidell’s Bayou Jam (December 1 | 5:30 to 7:30) :: Vince Vance & The Valiants perform at the Bayou Jam Christmas Spectacular in Heritage Park. Admission is free.

A Very Merry Christmas Spectacular (Select Days December 1 -10 | 7:00 pm Fri-Sat, 2:30 pm Sun) :: Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la…. Bring the whole family to this spirited celebration of the holidays featuring local performers of all ages. A glittering spectacle of singing and dancing that will certainly get you ready for the holidays! Complimentary MILK & COOKIES at every performance!

Annual Christmas Extravaganza Arts & Crafts Expo (December 1 – December 3 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) :: Held each year on the first full weekend of December, the Christmas Extravaganza Arts & Crafts Expo is fun and easy to shop under covered pavilions, making this an ideal Christmas Village shopping experience. Some 400 vendors from a multi-state area have anything you will want to fill your Christmas list with unique products made by artists and craftspersons. Mediums include woodwork, original art, jewelry, leather crafts, ladies’ and children’s clothing, metal art, candles, stained glass, floral, hair bows, furniture, home decor, gifts & boutiques and more. Admission at the gate is $5 for persons age 13 and up, free for kids 12 and under. Parking is free but limited inside the grounds.

Storytime with Santa (December 2 | 9:00 to 11:00) :: Come out to the Junior Auxiliary of Hammond’s Storytime with Santa!! Enjoy donuts, a hot chocolate bar, sweet treats and holiday crafts. Take your own photos with Santa! Tickets are available online or at the door for $10 per person (ages 1 & up).

Winter on the Water Santa Street & Boat Parade- Mandeville (December 2 | 4:00pm ) :: Wrap up the holidays with a celebration of winter and Christmas on the Mandeville lakefront, beginning with the Santa Street Parade at 4:00 p.m.  A boat parade follows.

Olde Towne Slidell Community Christmas Parade (December 3 | 5:00 pm) :: The old-fashioned parade of decorated golf carts, holiday costumes, and Santa & Mrs. Claus starts in front of Slidell City Hall, 2055 Second Street, and travels to Griffith Park, 333 Erlanger Street, for the annual lighting o the Christmas trees and Christmas under the Stars.

Merry Madisonville Parade and CelebratioN (December 3 | 2:00 pm) :: After the parade, go to the Madisonville Park f or Santa pictures, The Market Munchkins, entertainment by local school groups and more in the Madisonville Park & Playground.

Covington Heritage Foundation History & Holly Home Tour (December 3 | 2:00 – 5:00 pm) :: This is a perfect outing to enjoy with friends and family as you walk the pedestrian-friendly route, touring the festively adorned homes, sipping wine (provided), and enjoying the sounds of the season from the strolling carolers. Tickets can be purchased online for $20.

Candlelight Caroling at Covington Trailhead (December 8 | 2:00 pm) :: All are invited to join the fun for live music and a sing-along at Candelight Caroling at the Trailhead. The free family event features the Northlake Performing Arts Society chorale, caroling on the open-air stage. Admission is free.

Folsom Horse & Wagon Christmas Parade (December 9 | 1:00 pm) :: The parade begins at 1 p.m., parade-goers will enjoy the Antique Tractor Exhibit and contests for Most Original Wagon, Best Dressed Horse & Rider, caroling and, of course, Santa Claus!

Krewe of Dionysus Christmas Party & Toy Drive (December 9 | 8:00 am to 5:00 pm) :: The Krewe of Dionysus invites you to their Christmas Party & Toy Drive Toy drive, Saturday, December 9 at the Slidell Auditorium. The event includes food and an open bar with live music.  Cost is $50 for KOD members (limit 2 tickets); $60 for the public.  Each person must also bring an unwrapped toy valued at $10 for donation. Dress is casual or Dirty Santa/Tacky Sweater.

Christmas Past Festival in Mandeville (December 9 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) :: In addition to some of the Northshore’s best shopping from local merchants, attendees can enjoy food and drink from several local food vendors, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, arts & crafts and train rides in the Children’s Village, plus onsite pet adoptions and Santa pet pics! Live musical performances will take place throughout the day including a very special performance!

Enchanted Brunch (December 11 | 10:00 am & 11:30 am) :: Join us at Fat Boy’s Pizza Mandeville for a magical brunch with the princesses of Arendelle & their carrot-nosed friend! There will be two separate seating times for this event, please make sure you are purchasing tickets for the time frame you wish to attend. Children will receive a drink and a half slice of cheese or pepperoni, an interactive meet & greet with Elsa, Ana, & Olaf, and a photo opportunity with the characters.

Hammond Rotary Club’s 65th Christmas Parade (December 15 | 6:00pm) :: The Grand Marshall of the 65th Hammond Christmas Parade will be Dr. William Wainwright. The theme will be “Christmas at the Farm”. Line up will be at Southeastern’s University Center parking area.

Striking with Santa (December 16 | 10:00 am to 2:00 pm) :: The “Striking With Santa” event at Tangi Lanes is the perfect way to kick off the holiday festivities with a fun-filled morning of bowling, delicious breakfast, and Christmas crafts.  Reservations are required. Please make your reservation online at My Bowling Passport to ensure availability.

Caroling on the Trailhead (December 16 | 5:00 to 7:00 pm) :: Join us on the Mandeville Trailhead for a festive evening of Caroling. Song books and candles provided.

Global Wildlife North Pole Express Safari (December 17 |8:00 am to 12:30 pm) :: ALL ABOARD!!! Put on your pajamas and join Global Wildlife Center on the North Pole Express Safari on Sunday, December 17! It’ll be a magical Winter Wonderland complete with plenty of “reindeer!”  All children receive a Golden Ticket and a Believers Bell. Hot chocolate bar and Santa pictures are also available.

Noon Year’s Eve Bash (December 31 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm) :: Children’s Museum of St. Tammany presents Noon Year’s Eve Bash with the Imagination Movers.

Santa Meet & Greets

Santa loves the Crescent City! More Santa sightings and photo opportunities will be added as they are announced.

Santa In & Around New Orleans

Santa at the Riverwalk (Starting November 24) :: Come and meet Santa at Riverwalk Outlets, beginning Black Friday and happening every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 31, 2023. Riverwalk guests will have the opportunity to get their photo taken by The Picture People with Santa. Photos will take place inside Riverwalk Outlets on Level B across from the Ralph Lauren store during mall hours.

Gentilly Santa :: Gentilly Santa is headed back from the North Pole to New Orleans and we have all the details on how you can meet him. Please note that you must book an appointment in advance to secure your spot. You can do so by visiting here.

Santa’s Arrival Celebration at Lakeside Shopping Center (November 18 | 9:00  – 10:30 am) :: Join Lakeside Shopping Center as we welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus with their friends Rudolph, Frosty and other Christmas favorites! Tickets are $20 per family of 5 to attend. Children 1 year old and under are complimentary and do not need to be counted in your party of 5. The $20 Family Pass includes one food voucher and train tickets for the children. Guests are able to choose one (1) food voucher from Reginelli’s Pizzeria or Café du Monde. Get tickets here!

Santa at Oakwood Mall (December 1 – December 24) :: Embark on an enchanted adventure to take pictures with Santa. Join him to create magical memories you and your family will always remember! Click HERE to make your reservations!

Santa Pictures at the Rink (December 2 & 3 | 10:00 am to 2:00 pm) :: Santa is returning to the Rink! Guests will be able to take their own pictures with Santa.

Santa Pictures at the Crossing in Kenner (December 2 | 9:00am to 12:00 pm) Come tot he Crossing in Kenner to take pictures with Santa. $30 at the door. Parking is across the street.

Santa’s Pajama Party (December 2 and 9 | 10:00 am) :: Wear your favorite holiday PJ’s to join Santa and his elves in a Winter Wonderfland Filled with holiday treats.  The party includes crafts, games, milk and cookies, photo with Santa, keepsake photo ornament, entertainment by Santa’s Elves, and SNOW!!  Ages 4-10 years old.  $40 per child.  Register here.

Breakfast with Santa at Archbishop Chapelle High School  (December 2 | 8:30 – 10:30 am) :: Pictures with Santa, games, breakfast, crafts, and more! The $50 registration fee includes 2 adults and children. Additional adults $10.

Letters to Santa (December 2 | 8:00 am to 12:00 pm) :: Let your little ones write their letters to Santa at the Gretna Farmers’ Market. Get your passport stamped while you’re there!

Santa Cares Day at Oakwood Mall (December 3rd | 10:30 to 11:30 am) :: Join us before the mall opens for Santa Cares Day. Children within all spectrums of special needs and their families are welcome to a sensory-friendly visit for fun family photos with Santa! Be sure to reserve your time slot HERE!

Pet Nights with Santa (December 4th and 5th | 4:00 – 7:00 pm) :: Get your furry friends together to strike a pose with St. Nick, capturing paw-fect holiday moments to share with family and friends! Be sure to reserve your time slot HERE!

Santa at Old Metairie Farmers Market (December 5 | 2:30 – 6:30 pm) :: Presented by Old Metairie Civic Club. Santa, activities, and all your favorite vendors! Please bring a toy for the Toy Drive.

Free Photos with Santa (December 9 | 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm) :: Exceptional Dental of Kenner located on 1305 West Esplanade Ave in Kenner, LA. Call 504-469-6333 with questions. Holiday treats, hot cocoa, and arts and crafts while supplies last.

Rouse’s Coca-Cola Santa Truck (various dates, times, and locations) :: Rouses Market 91 on Westbank Expressway in Gretna, Saturday, December 9th from 3pm-4pm.  Rouses Market, 2851 Belle Chasse Hwy in Gretna, Tuesday, December 12th from 5pm-6pm.  Rouses Market 1644 Gause Blvd., Slidell, Saturday, December 16th from 3pm-4pm. Rouses Market 400 North Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, Saturday, December 23rd from 3pm-4pm.

Brunch with Santa & Friends | Christmas at The Cannery (December 17 | 10:30 am – 12:30 pm) :: Join us for a Christmas Brunch with special guests Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Holiday Princess! Activity stations include a hot chocolate bar, holiday cookie decorating, and more. We’ll have a professional photographer on site offering photo packages with Santa. Ages 2 and under are free. Purchase tickets here.

Cookies with Santa’s Elves :: Santa and his elves are stopping by @lardergourmetmarket to decorate cookies with us! Tickets are $50 for kids and $75 for adults, and they include brunch, cookie kits and an apron set for the kids, and bottomless brunch for the adults! Call 504-766-6157 to book your reservation today.

Santa at the Market (December 16 | 10:30 am) :: Bring the little ones to visit with Santa Claus at the Gretna Farmer’s Market. Santa will draw the winner of the Passport to Christmas promotion.

Santa on the Northshore

Pancakes with Santa at Barnhill Preserve (November 18th to December 17th) :: The event occurs every Saturday and Sunday from November 18th through December 17th. The time slots run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Ages 2 and under are free! All tickets must be booked in advance here.

Breakfast with Santa(December 9 | 8:00 – 9:00 am) :: Pelican Park invites you to make this holiday season special for your child (ages 2-10 years old) by participating in their Breakfast with Santa event. Each child will be served breakfast, meet Santa, and create holiday crafts! Children must be registered to attend; chairs fill up fast so make sure to register early. Registration opens on October 2nd for district residents and October 23rd for non-district residents.

Breakfast with Santa at Papillon’s (December 9 and 16) ::Get ready to celebrate Breakfast with Santa at Papillon’s, with festive activities, delicious food, and joyful holiday spirit!

Grinch Lunch (December 17 | 10:00 am) :: Olde Towne Pizza Company is bringing back their Grinch Lunch again this Christmas for an awfully good time! $25 per person, includes a table visit from the Grinch, 2 slices of cheese or pepperoni pizza, a drink and a little prize from the Grinch. Register and Prepay only by calling 985-445-1273.

Holiday Lights

Pack the kids up in the car, turn up the holiday music, get a go-cup of hot cocoa, and check out the amazing light displays NOLA has to offer. Some neighborhoods have some larger than life lights displays that are worth a detour and a later-than-normal bedtime.

In & Around New Orleans

Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party (November 18 | 7:00 – 10:30 pm) :: One of the premier parties of the holiday season, this dazzling soiree kicks off the annual lights display. Guests get the first glimpse of the Celebration in the Oaks experience and are given exclusive access to the Botanical Garden.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (November 21 | 4:30 – 6:30 pm) :: On Tuesday, Nov. 21, join Riverwalk Outlets for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. During this ceremony, a beautifully decorated 30-foot tree will be illuminated to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Guests will enjoy the sounds of the Abramson Sci Academy High School Band, a beignet and beverage voucher from Café Du Monde, special appearances from Santa and his friends and an opportunity to purchase an exclusive keepsake photo by The Picture People. In collaboration with the Downtown Development District, this event will culminate in the lighting of Downtown New Orleans.

Canal Street Holiday Lighting Ceremony (November 21 | 5:25) :: The Downtown Development District along with Santa, city officials and downtown business leaders invite everyone to join us at Canal Place as we officially kick off the holiday season with the lighting of Canal Street!

Celebration in the Oaks (November 23 – December 30, closed 12/24 from  5:00 pm to 11:00pm) :: The Park’s premier holiday fundraiser, Celebration in the Oaks garners over 135,000 visitors, celebrating what has become the New Orleans family tradition. This incredible light festival has enchanted park visitors since the 1980s and is vital to the park’s maintenance, care, and beautification year-round. All tickets must be purchased in advance.

Light up the Huey Christmas Lights :: All of December along Huey P. Long Avenue.

Picnic Under the Lights (December 1-17) :: Experience the Holiday Lights from a different perspective, inside a personal bubble tent! Available for rental from Thursday through Sunday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Bring a picnic meal or drinks. Two sizes of tents fit 6 or 8 people per tent. For more information or to book your night, call (504) 363-1580.

Kenner’s Magical Christmas Village (December 1 – December 31) :: Join the seasonal fun at the City of Kenner’s Magical Christmas Village in Heritage Park located at 2015 Fourth St.  Vendors and entertainment will be present every Friday and Saturday from Dec. 1 – 23 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM where attendees can enjoy snow, music, food, arts, crafts and a special appearance from Santa Claus himself.  Christmas Village will be open nightly from Dec. 1 – 31 for those who wish to view light displays.

Christmas in the Park (December 1 – 30 | 5:30 pm) :: Lafreniere Park sparkles for the holidays with millions of twinkling lights and displays! Attendees can enjoy Santa’s Express Mail Center, including an interactive walking tour and a place for children to write a letter to Santa. The admission is $10 per vehicle in advance; $15 at the gate. Credit and debit cards only. No cash will be taken at the gate. Tickets can be purchased online. Weather permitting. Closed December 25th.

Supernova on the Greenway (December 7 – December 9) :: Supernova is a free, outdoor light-based art exhibit at the Greenway Station and Plaza, highlighting New Orleans artists, musicians, and food in celebration of the Lafitte Greenway Community.

Lights on the Lake (December 9 | 5:00 – 8:00 pm) :: Join Pontchartrain Conservancy for the most festive holiday event on the Lakefront! We invite you to our annual Lights on the Lake event. In addition to being the best spot to view the boat parade, Lights on the Lake will feature food from local food trucks, refreshments, live entertainment, kids crafts & more! Admission for all is $10.00 (free for children 5 and under). Tickets will be sold at the door or can be purchased in advanced online via the attached Eventbrite link!

On the Northshore

Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival (November 24 – December 31 | 5:30 pm- 10:30pm) :: The most magical show in Mississippi! Includes lights, light shows, rides, a Santa train, and more all right on the water. General admission is $15 Monday through Thursday. General Admission is $20 Friday & Saturday.  Ages 5-12 is $5. Ages 4 and younger are free. Tickets available November 1st. Purchase tickets online HERE or at the gate.

Holiday of Lights at Koop Drive (December 1 – December 2, December 8 – December 9 | 6:00 – 8:30 pm) :: The Holiday of Lights is an annual tradition on Koop Drive, and we are proud to bring it back to its full glory this year! Fun for children and families, Holiday of Lights is free and open to the public. Sing along with carolers, visit with Santa, ride the kiddie rides, and enjoy fare from our local food truck vendors. Those interested can also visit the Children’s Museum for more holiday fun!

Covington’s 12 Days of Christmas Lighted Displays (December 1 – January 6) :: From a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, downtown Covington will be aglow with holiday images this December with “Covington’s Twelve Days of Christmas” lighted displays. Admission is free.

Sips & Shops

Need to get some holiday shopping done? New Orleans has plenty of art markets and holiday sip & shop events to offer. Check back for more additions as the holidays get closer!

Shopping In & Around New Orleans

St. Matthew the Apostle Holiday Market (November 18 | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm) :: Music, 50+ vendors, door prizes, and performances. Admission $10 and includes 1 complimentary drink ticket and 1 door prize ticket.

Garden Therapy: Holiday Wreath Making (November 18 | 3:30 – 5:00 pm) :: Join us for the final session of a seasonal favorite at Longue Vue, led by Amy Graham and featuring leaves from our majestic magnolias. All supplies and light refreshments provided. Tickets are $55.

Deutsches Haus hosts Christkindlmarkt (December 1 – December 3 | Friday, 4:00 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm) :: Experience an outdoor holiday market just like in Germany. There are up to 70 vendors with everything from authentic German ornaments to one-of-a-kind handmade gifts, German food, stollen bread, mulled wine, hot chocolate, visits from St. Nick, and live holiday music under beautiful decorative lights. Free and open to the public.

Waldorf School Annual Winter Faire & Tree Sale (December 2 | 11:00 am – 4:00 pm) :: The Winter Faire is an opportunity to promote community, showcase the school for potential students & families, as well as fundraise to support school programs.

Ringing in the Arts – Fine Arts Festival in Gretna (December 2 | 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm) :: Held in beautiful downtown Gretna on Huey P. Long Avenue under the marketplace. Patrons from across the area will enjoy an evening to meet, interact, and conduct business with artists, creating an outdoor gallery against the backdrop of our quaint city.

Merry Market: A Holiday Celebration (December 2 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm) :: Celebrate the season amid our festive house and gardens! Shopping with local vendors, festive crafts and music, and photos with Santa. $10 per person; $5 members.

Christmas Sip & Shop Hosted by Lanyard Lovebirds (December 3rd | 3:00-6:00 pm) :: 3rd Annual New Orleans Christmas Sip & Shop at the Cannery hosted by the Lanyard Lovebirds! Over 40 local vendors! Free admission.

Holly Jolly Market by Junior League of New Orleans (December 7 | 6:00 to 8:00 pm) :: Join us for Sips and Snacks. You Shop, We Wrap! Located at the Academy of Sacred Heart, 4521 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115. Over 30 Vendors!

Shop the Huey Holiday Market (December 9 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm) :: Take advantage of a day of boutique holiday shopping inside and outside of the Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts while you sip on bottomless mimosas! Get all of your gifts in one place!

Sips & Shops at The Rink (November 30, December 7, December 14, December 21 | 5:00 until 7:00 PM) :: The Rink is your one stop shop this holiday season! Select tenants including the Garden District Book Shop, The Chicory House, Judy and Maisonette will be open late until 8:00 pm to fulfill all of your holiday needs. Lite bites and beverages will be available at each event, and, newly, beer will be available at The Chicory House.

Holiday Sip and Shop at the Riverwalk (December 5, 12, 19 | 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm) :: Tuesdays in December, shoppers will be able to participate in an exclusive holiday Sip and Shop event. Taking place Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. customers can enjoy a free glass of wine from Nola Tropical Winery at Riverwalk Outlets. Attendees must be 21+ to participate.

Gonzales Holiday Market (December 8th – 10th | 10am – 4pm) :: The debut of the new public holiday market will take place December 8-10, 2023, at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. The special holiday market will feature booths for shoppers to browse the newest and hottest trends in jewelry, home décor, women’s apparel and holiday merchandise all under one big roof. Tickets for the holiday market are $10 per day or $25 for a weekend pass and can be purchased online at or at the Lamar-Dixon Expo ticket office.

Riverwalk Outlets Magical Christmas Arts & Craft Show (December 16 | 10:00 am to 6:00 pm) :: On Saturday, December 16, Riverwalk guests can enjoy a variety of art and craft vendors out on Spanish Plaza for some last-minute holiday shopping. Guests can also stay to enjoy Riverwalk’s Movie Under the Stars showing of The Polar Express.

Shopping on the Northshore

Christmas Extravaganza Expo (December 1 – December 3 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) :: Featuring hundreds of artists and craftspersons from a multi-state area, plus 20 food booths, at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds in Covington. Tickets are $8, kids under 13 are free, parking is free.

Sips of the Season Stroll (December 1 | 5:00 – 9:00 pm) ::  Annual Sips of the Season Stroll. There are stroll stops offering alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks & a light snack. in Historic Old Mandeville.

SBCA Christmas Craft Fair (December 2 | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm) :: Join us for  a craft fair and so much more! There will be children’s activities, 50/50 raffle, parade of prizes, concessions, and a special appearance by Santa and The Grinch!  Located at 4316 E Judge Perez Dr. Mereaux, LA.

Christmas Past Festival (December 9 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) :: Get ready for one of the Northshore’s premier holiday events– the Old Mandeville Business Association’s 18th annual Christmas Past Festival. The event will feature some artists, craftsmen, and merchants from across the Greater New Orleans area, as well as a children’s arts & crafts area, local food vendors, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause, and train rides in the Christmas Village, plus onsite pet adoptions and Santa pet pictures! Admission is free, and attendees are encouraged to get in the holiday spirit – costumes and holiday attire add to the festive atmosphere! You can even enter for a chance to win the festival’s Ugly Sweater Contest!

Sugar Plum Holiday Market (December 6 | 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm) :: The Junior League of Greater Covington invites you to attend the 3rd Annual Sugar Plum Market hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Covington.  A VIP experience ($20) includes two complimentary cocktail tickets, a VIP swag bag and more! General Admission is free.

Mandeville Trailhead Market (every Saturday at 10:00 am) :: The Mandeville Trailhead Community Market, the weekly market offering produce, prepared goods and artisan crafts, plus live music, expands for the holidays to give shoppers extra time to find that perfect handmade gift.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nutcracker & Holiday Performances

The classic Nutcracker ballet is a Christmas favorite for young and old. Sugar Plum Fairies, dancing snowflakes, and a growing Christmas tree will make for magical memories to last a lifetime.

Southeastern’s Big Band Christmas Concert (December 1 | 6:00 pm) :: Join us for our second annual holiday celebration! Explore our decorated lobby, meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, take selfies, listen to live carolers…and that’s just in the lobby. After all of that, stroll into the beautiful Hainkel Hall for some phenomenal, live, big band holiday music. The lobby festivities begin at 6:00 pm and the band performance will start at 7:00 pm.

Holiday Spectacular at the Orpheum Theater (December 2 | 7:30 PM ) :: Seasonal favorites from various holiday celebrations will be performed live on the Orpheum Theater stage by LPO musicians. This family-friendly concert features holiday classics including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Carol of the Bells, music from the iconic film Home Alone, and more.

Lightwire Theatre’s Very Electric Christmas (December 2, 2023 | 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm) :: Follow the story of a young bird, named Max and his family, as they begin their journey south for the winter. When Max gets blown off course and ends up at the North Pole…his adventure begins! Dancing toy soldiers, caroling worms, and performing poinsettias light up the stage in Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas.

Movies at The Chloe Hotel (December 17 | 4:00 – 9:00 pm) :: Grils Play Trumpets Too at 4:00pm.  Movie starts at 6:30. As the sun sets, indulge in a special screening of the holiday classic, The Polar Express. Follow the magical journey of a young boy on a train ride to the North Pole, discovering the true spirit of Christmas. Snuggle up under twinkling lights with a soft blanket, savor your warm drink, and let the holiday magic unfold on the big screen. Don’t miss this magical experience that promises to create lasting memories.

Johnette Downing Free Family Concerts and New Book (December 2 at 10:00 am | December 7th at 11:00 am) :: Free family concert at 916 North Peters St in New Orleans.  Johnette Downing will be performing at the Dutch Alley Outdoor Stage at the French Market.  Her new book is called “My Parrain is the Loup Garou.”

Playmakers Theaters Presents Miracle on 34th Street (December 2 – December 17 | 7:00 to 10:00 pm) :: Join the Playmakers Theater in Covington for a performance of A Christmas Story. Tickets are $15-20.

Crescent City Stage Presents A Christmas Carol (Select days December 7 – December 21 | 2:30 pm and 7:30pm) Patrick Barlow has retold Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol.  This thrilling adaptation uses only five actors to bring some of Dickens’ most beloved characters to life.  From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Barlow’s A Christmas Carol uses nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality, and the power of imagination to convey this timeless story of redemption.  Witness Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long, in this highly theatrical adaptation.

Riverwalk Holiday Choir (TBD) :: On Thursdays in December make sure to stop by the Riverwalk’s food court from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to take in the sounds of the holidays with talented choirs.

Riverwalk Holiday DJ (TBD) :: On Fridays in December DJ Polo 504 will be spinning holiday favorites from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the mall. Catch DJ Polo at the Riverwalk.

Classical Christmas Handel’s Messiah at the Orpheum Theater (December 8 | 7:30 PM) Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra musicians perform one of choral music’s most famous works, Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria in D major. Audiences are invited to experience attractive melodies and popular hits such as the Hallelujah Chorus – a performance filled with passion and drama for some of the most inspiring music ever written.

Hammond Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker (December 8 – December 10) :: Featuring the combined talents of professionals and all-star locals, the Hammond Ballet Company brings their timeless classic home to the Columba just in time for the holidays. Tickets are $40 for adults; $20 for students/children.

Musical Storytime: The Snowy Day at Popp Bandstand in City Park (December 9 | 10:30 am) :: The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra returns to New Orleans City Park for its next Musical Storytime featuring Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snow Day” with a live reading and performance by LPO Principal Oboe Virginia McDowell.

Ballet Apetrei (December 9 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm | December 10 at 2:00 pm):: Join Ballet Apetrei and creative director Kelly Fortier in Mandeville for their annual performance of the classic Nutcracker Ballet.

Christmas Concert at Victory Church (December 10 | 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) :: Join us for a Christmas Concert at Victory Church. The Groovy 7 band will be playing.

Slidell Little Theater Presents Nutcracker Twist (TBD) :: Nutcracker Twist is a theatrical dance work and modern adaptation of the timeless classical ballet, The Nutcracker. Written, directed and choreographed by Tianna Pourciau Sykes, this old tale is brought to life with a modern twist, taking us into the holiday season with Clara as she embarks on a magical, musical journey to other lands.

Movies Under the Stars on Spanish Plaza (December 16 | 3:30 to 6:00 pm) :: Bring the entire family out to watch the Polar Express at the Spanish Plaza. Complimentary holiday treats will be available along with selfies with Santa under the Riverwalk’s Christmas Tree.  Free admission.

New Orleans Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker (December 15 – December 23rd select days/times at 2:00 and 7:00 pm) :: Come see this classic Christmas tale and experience the incredible talent that is New Orleans Ballet Theatre’s company of dancers, stunning sets and costumes, and the iconic score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The holiday season isn’t complete without The Nutcracker, and NOBT’s production is not one to be missed!

River Region Ballet, Inc. The Nutcracker Sugar Plum Party (December 16, 2023 | 3:00 pm) This will be an abbreviated one hour performance of The Nutcracker. The performance will be followed by a “Sugar Plum Party”. The audience members will be invited to join the Sugar Plum Fairy onstage and experience “The Kingdom of the Sweets” for themselves. They can meet and talk to their favorite characters, experience what it is like to be on the stage under the glowing lights, and take pictures. Each young audience member will be given a special gift to remember their Nutcracker performance.

Delta Festival Ballet (December 16 & December 17) :: This year’s ballet will be performed by DFB’s outstanding local professionals and a Youth Corps of over 100 young dancers from the Greater New Orleans Area. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will accompany the performances at Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.

Jefferson Performing Arts Society (December 16 – December 17 | 2:00 pm):: Toy soldiers, the Mouse King, and the Sugar Plum Fairy–experience these classic characters again this holiday season as part of the fantastical journey with The Nutcracker. Travel to the Land of Sweets with Clara as she befriends a nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve to wage a battle against the evil Mouse King. This dancing and dreaming fantasy reminds us of the importance of imagination, love and childhood.

50th Anniversary Edition of Cajun Night Before Christmas (TBD) :: The Garden District Book Shop will be hosting a festive storytime for the 50th anniversary of Cajun Night Before Christmas beginning at 11 AM. Take the classic story of jolly old St. Nicholas, place it in a Louisiana bayou setting, dress Santa Claus in muskrat “from his head to his foot,” pile his skiff high with toys, and hitch it to eight friendly alligators. The result is this modern classic.

Living Nativity by St. Joseph Church (December 17 | 6:00 pm) :: In front of the Christmas tree on Huey P. Long Avenue and 6th Street.

Happy Hour at Tipitina’s (December 20 | 6:00 pm) :: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra musicians present their next Happy Hour concert at the historic Tipitina’s with a program of holiday favorites curated by LPO string and brass musicians. Audiences can enjoy popular tunes including excerpts from The Nutcracker by an LPO string quartet, Jingle Bells, Sleigh Ride, and more. The program also highlights local talent with a performance by LPO musicians and members of New Orleans pop and rock band, Sweet Crude. Special guests include LPO Academy students of The Plessy Honors Quartet from Homer Plessy Community School will join the LPO for a holiday selection. This is an 18+ performance.

Saenger Theatre (December 30 | 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm) :: This Christmas, bring the whole family back to a simpler time with NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet!  Gather friends and family to re-live your fondest childhood dreams, overflowing with larger-than-life puppets, breath-taking acrobatics and dazzling costumes. Experience the exquisite artistry of the international cast, featuring stars of Ukraine ballet, performing at the highest level of classical technique.  Share in the message of Peace and Harmony at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans!

Charity & Service

If you are seeking the opportunity to serve a charity, adopt a family or involve children in community service in New Orleans, we we have community service opportunities in New Orleans covered, too.

NOLA Families in Need Toy Drive :: (December 10 | 3:00 pm) NOLA Families in Need along with JPRD is hosting a Christmas party for all ages! This year our goal is to provide gifts for over 2,000 under privileged children and families throughout the greater New Orleans area for Christmas! Head to their website to get all the details.

Ways to Give Back in New Orleans ::  We are often asked for ways to get kids involved in community service in New Orleans or how to adopt a family at the holidays in New Orleans. We agree that it is important to give back to others, especially at the holidays, and that it is critical for our children to see the impact of their service. This holiday season, we challenge each of you to find at least one meaningful way to get your New Orleans children involved in community service. To make it even easier, we’ve compiled some ideas for you!

Broussard’s Toy Drive :: Broussard’s will also host a toy drive throughout the holiday season to benefit children in need. Unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at the restaurant and will be donated to families within our community through a partnership with the New Orleans Mission.

Fun Runs & Races

December weather is beautiful in south Louisiana; less humidity makes everyone want to get outside. Load up the family for a holiday fun run, race, or people-watching along a race route!

Reindeer Run (December 2 | 8:00 am) :: Reindeer Run is an annual Christmas themed chip timed 5K race and 1-mile run/walk held in Hammond, Louisiana’s historic downtown district.  ALL participants in both the 5K and 1 Mile run can expect to receive a custom finisher medal after their events. This will be an exciting event for both seasoned runners and families – a great time for all!

Santa on Trails 5K Run/Walk (December 9  | 9:00 am) :: Come and run/walk this 5K (3 miles) in a Santa suit and bring a toy for the children of the New Orleans Mission shelter. This Q50 trail race takes place in Mandeville’s beautiful Fontainebleau State Park. Registration/packet pick-up opens at 7:00 a.m. Last day to register is December 7th!

2023 Running of the Santas (December 9 | 2:00 – 11:00 pm) :: Running of the Santas returns to the Warehouse District for an unbelievable day of events! Must be 21+ to participate. View the event on Facebook here.

Christmas in Lafreniere Park Run/Walk (December 9 | Festivities at 2:30 pm; Run/Walk starts at 4:00 pm) :: HOORAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS! The Crescent City Classic will hold their holiday run/walk in beautiful Lafreniere Park on Saturday, December 9, 2023 (start time is 4:00pm). The 2-mile course takes you through Lafreniere Park during their annual Christmas in the Park Lights Display.  The park is decorated with over 10 million LED lights. The park’s festive displays include traditional Christmas lighted figures, the 60-foot Sea Serpent in the lagoon, and many NOLA favorites! The event is filled with hot cocoa, a visit with Santa, a holiday costume contest, and much more.

Jingle Bell Jog (December 16 | 9:00 am to 11:00 am) :: Free Admission!  Free day at the St Tammany Children’s Museum.  Takes pictures with the Grinch! There will be snow in the Natural Wonders Gallery!
Rachael Rayes
Rachael lives in Kenner with her husband Steven and her two sons, Wyatt and Sawyer. After graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University, she began working as a Speech Language Pathologist. Her current focus is adults with neurological disorders in an outpatient setting. When not at work, her favorite place to be is on her swing in her backyard watching her kids play. From the outside, people think she's the organized, crafty mom, but that is far from the truth. Like most moms, she's doing her best to survive the chaos of this crazy, beautiful life of motherhood. In 2024, she dreams of living a more minimalistic life and really focusing on the present.



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