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

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 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. 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.

is New Orleans kid friendly

New Orleans Family Friendly Featured Holiday Events 

The 2021 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!

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.

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.

Caroling in Jackson Square (December 19 | 7:00pm) :: 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. Gates open at 6:30pm, and Caroling begins at 7:00pm. 

French Quarter Holiday Home Tour (December 19 | 1:00pm) :: 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.

PRCNO Holiday Home Tour (December 11-12 | 10:00am) :: A creative new format for our beloved Holiday Home Tour! Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and the destruction brought by Hurricane Ida, the PRC is moving its annual holiday celebration outdoors, transforming private yards and secret gardens into winter wonderlands! Working with some of the city’s most talented landscape architects and artists, these lush Garden District landscapes will be stunning holiday showcases filled with custom-designed, larger-than-life art installations. The décor and the gardens will delight visitors young and old.

Jewish Children’s Regional Service Latkes With A Twist (Date & Time TBA) :: 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. 

Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch With Santa (December 20-23) :: Santa will be visiting the Court of Two Sisters December 20-23 for our special Brunch With Santa events. These are separate from our regular Live Jazz Brunch and reservations must be made by calling 504-522-7261 ext. 24 or emailing [email protected]

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Spectacular (December 3rd) :: 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!

Holiday Tea at the Windsor Court (Select Dates November 27th through December 30th) :: 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.

Papa Noel Tea, Ritz Carlton Hotel (Every Saturday & Sunday from November 27 – December 12. Daily, from December 18 – 23. 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.

Build Your Own Gingerbread House, Main Lobby, Ritz Carlton Hotel (Every Saturday & Sunday from November 27 – December 12.
Daily, from December 18 – 23. Starting time: 12 pm & 3 pm.)
:: 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.

Santa’s Pajama Party at the Royal Sonesta  (December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 offering two seating at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
December 20-23 offering one seating at 12:30 p.m.)
:: 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 (Chef John Folse’s famous recipe of course)!

Teddy Bear Tea at The Roosevelt (select days in December) :: 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!

Ponchatoula Christmas Parade (December 11th) :: Please join us for our Annual Ponchatoula Christmas Parade! The theme this year will be “Very “Berry” Merry Christmas”! It’s going to be a great time, so bring the family out to watch! Parade begins at 5 and starts at Memorial Park and ends at Ponchatoula Jr. High School.

Holiday Teas at La Petite Palace (Various dates in December) :: La Petite Palace will host a variety of holiday parties. Check back soon for updated information!

NOLA Christmasfest (December 17-22, 25-30) :: 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.

Caroling Down the River: Christmas Eve on the Creole Queen (December 24) :: 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.

Christmas Under the Stars (December 3 & 4, December 10 & 11) :: The City of Slidell celebrates the 33rd annual Christmas Under the Stars in Griffith Park, a celebration of twinkling lights, festive decorations, life-size Christmas Cottages and other family fun. The 2021 holiday celebration is four nights, December 3, 4, 10 and 11, 6-9 p.m. each evening. Admission to all displays and activities is free.

Steele’s Christmas Tree Farm (Opens Thanksgiving Day at 2:00pm) :: 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!

Nutcracker Tea (December 11-12 | 12:30-2:30pm) :: 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. Tickets go on sale November 15th.

Annual Festival of the Bonfires (December 10-12) :: 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!! 

Christmas Eve Bonfire Express (Date & Time TBA) :: Celebrate a time-honored Louisiana tradition: the lighting of the bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi River!  The Bonfire Express includes round-trip transportation to view the bonfires that light the way for Papa Noel (our Cajun Santa Claus) to bayou country. For many years this Cajun community has built mammoth wooden structures such as cabins, tepees, & riverboats along the Mississippi River levee. Come see the “feux de joie” (fires of joy)! Some walking is necessary.

Holiday Gingerbread Workshop at Red Fish Grill (December 5, December 12, December 19, two seatings each Sunday at 10am & 12:30pm) :: 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.

Storytime with Santa (December 11 | 9am-12pm) :: 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).

ACHS Breakfast with Santa (December 4 | 8:30am-10:30am) :: We hope to see you on December 4th for our annual Breakfast with Santa on Chapelle’s campus! Cost is $50 per Family (includes 2 adults and children) – Additional adults are $10 each. Cost is inclusive of pictures with Santa, breakfast, crafts/games, and performances!

A Very Merry Christmas Spectacular (December 3-12) :: Recurring weekly on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, and 2:30pm Sundays, the 30 by Ninety Theater in Mandeville presents this fun Christmas production.

A Visit to Santa’s Land & Reindeer Rowe (December 4) :: A Visit to Santa’s Land has become a tradition for children in Thibodaux and the surrounding areas. Join us for a family holiday event featuring kid’s crafts and activities, games, snacks and pictures with Santa.

Covington Heritage Foundation History & Holly Home Tour (December 5) :: Please join the Covington Heritage Foundation for its 2021 History and Holly Home Tour! This annual event has quickly become a Northshore holiday tradition that you won’t want to miss. This year, five homes on 22nd and 23rd Avenues will be on tour. 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. Refreshments will be provided. Tickets are limited, so purchase yours today! On event day, exchange your online ticket for a required wristband at Fuhrmann Auditorium on 317 N. Jefferson Avenue, our tour headquarters. Tickets are also available at the Southern Hotel and Braswell Drugs.

The Columbia Theatre’s Holiday Extravaganza (December 3 – 11) :: Put on your most festive pajamas and join us for a holiday celebration! Explore our decorated lobby, meet Santa Claus, take selfies, listen to live holiday music, and enjoy a special screening of The Polar Express. Free popcorn, hot cocoa and holiday “swag bag” included with your purchase while supplies last. *The film begins at 7 pm.

Christmas on the Bayou (December 9th) :: The annual family Christmas event begins with Mass at 6:00 p.m. in the Cabrini gymnasium. Following Mass, gather on Moss Street to experience the living nativity and enjoy special performances by Cabrini cheerleaders and the Eclipse dance team. Plus, the Cabrini Chamber Ensemble will spread holiday cheer with candlelight caroling in anticipation of the arrival of Santa Claus on Bayou St. John. Follow Santa and his elves to the Cabrini cafeteria for hot chocolate, cookies, and sweet treats compliments of the Cabrini Dads’ Club, then have a complimentary picture taken with Santa!

Hammond Rotary Club’s 63rd Christmas Parade (December 17th | 5:30pm) :: Hammond Rotary Club’s 63rd Christmas Parade will roll on December 17th at 5:30pm. The club is grateful for the sponsorship of Professional Heating and Air! The theme is Christmas Movie Marathon. We are accepting applications to participate in the parade, please submit your request for an application to [email protected] or for more information.

Brunch with Santa at English Turn (December 5th | 11am-2pm) :: Bring your camera, Santa will be visiting all the kids on the nice list! Reservations are required. Email [email protected]

Christmas High Tea at the English Team Room in Covington (December 1st – January 9th | Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm) :: Please join us for our Annual Christmas High Tea for adults and children. The Christmas High Teas will feature: Tiered Trays of Specialty Tea Sandwiches, Hot and Cold Appetizers, Fresh Fruit and Christmas Desserts , Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Fresh Baked Scones with Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream; Unlimited Pots of Holiday Themed Tea and Cadbury Hot Chocolate. Cost is $40/adults and $20/children. Email us at [email protected] to book your family and friends Holiday Tea!

Winterland at the Shops (December 10th – 12th) :: Winterland at The Shops is a magical holiday celebration right in the heart of Mandeville featuring family fun events & attractions to get everyone in the holiday spirit! On Friday December 10th, Join us as we kick off our event weekend with an official tree lighting ceremony & caroling with the beautiful sounds of the choir from St. Scholastica Academy. Santa will arrive at 5:30pm for meet & greets & free selfie sessions. The concert will start shortly after Santa’s arrival. After the concert, lace up your skates and try out our new ice rink! (ticket purchase required to skate)

Old Metairie Caroling Under the Oak (December 18 | 5:30pm) :: Caroling, cookies and a night of entertainment. Corner of Elmeer and Metairie Road.

Winter on the Water Santa and Boat Parade- Mandeville (December 4 | 4pm ) :: Don’t miss the Winter on the Water Santa Street and Lighted Boat Parades on Saturday, December 4th. Santa Parade begins at 4:00 p.m. The Lighted Boat Parade begins at 5:30 p.m.

Merry Madisonville 2021 Christmas Parade (December 5 | 2pm ) :: Merry Madisonville Christmas Celebration has been a Town of Madisonville tradition for more than 30 years that kicks off with a parade & the arrival of Santa & Mrs. Claus & features Santa pics, music, shopping, arts & crafts, hot cocoa & lighted displays.

12th Annual Christmas at TerraBella (December 3 | 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!

Santa’s Soiree at the East Jefferson YMCA (December 11 | 7pm) :: This family friendly special event will be held on Saturday, December 11th at the EJ Branch. Santa’s Soiree features two parties in one. Bring the whole family out to enjoy exclusive activities separated for kids and adults. Pictures with Santa, Live Music, Dancing, Silent Auction, Wine Pulls, Cookie Decorating, Christmas Karaoke and more awaits you on this magical evening.

Winter Fest at the University of Holy Cross (December 10 | 2-8pm) :: Come out and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year! Ice skating, winter games, s’mores station, activities for all ages and more!

Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival ( December 3rd-5th) :: 75th Annual Festival! Rides, music and more at historic Fort Jackson in Buras, Louisiana.

Teddy Bear Tea at BB’s Stage Door Canteen (Saturday Mornings and Afternoons):: 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!

 

 

Santa Meet & Greets

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

Santa’s Arrival at Lakeside Shopping Center SOLD OUT (November 20th | 9am) :: Join Lakeside Shopping Center as we welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus with their friends Rudolph, Frosty and other Christmas favorites! Don’t miss Santa’s parade – it’s sure to be a spectacular show to kick off the holiday season! The parade begins at Veterans Skylight and ends at Candy Cane Lane (Center Court) with a Holiday Sing-A-Long with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Tickets are $15 per family of 5 to attend. Children 1 year old and under are free. The $15 Family Pass includes one food voucher and train tickets for the children. Purchase tickets HERE. Book your photos in advance HERE.

Photos with Gentilly Santa (December 12,19,21 & 23) :: Let’s get the season started! Gentilly Santa is coming to town! Make sure to follow his social media pages for the most up to date information.

Santa Pictures at the Southern Hotel (November 21, 26, 28, December 5, 12, 17) :: Santa will visit the beautiful Southern Hotel in Covington on six dates in November & December. Photos will be taken by Heidi Bower; reservations required.

Santa at Oakwood Mall (December 2nd – December 21st) :: Ho ho ho, Santa’s in town! His helpers have been working hard decking the halls for you and your family, so make this holiday one to remember and capture merry moments with St. Nick! Click HERE to make your reservations.

Santa at the Book and the Bean in Mandeville (December 11th) :: Free Photo Opportunity with Santa & Mrs. Claus December 11th from 1pm-3pm The Book & The Bean 235 Girod St. Mandeville.

Franco’s Kids Jingle Bell Bash in Mandeville ( December 11th | 1-3pm ) :: Pictures with Santa & the Elves, Surprise Holiday Character Visits, Holiday Arts & Crafts, Inflatables, Snacks & Hot Chocolate!

The North Pole comes to Bayou Metairie Park in Old Metairie ( December 4th | 2:30 – 6:30pm) :: Come get your shopping done and meet Santa! Free admission, train rides, face painting, music and more!

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.

Celebration in the Oaks (November 25 – January 2, closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) :: Make memories with your loved ones in City Park this holiday season. City Park’s famous oaks will be swathed in over a million twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays will be scattered throughout the 2.25-mile driving tour of the Park. The driving tour experience is approximately 30 to 47 minutes. A limited number of tickets will be sold per day and time slot. Guests are encouraged to purchase their desired day and time, as slots are anticipated to sell out. Tickets are only valid for the day and time slot purchased. ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE IN ADVANCE. For more event details or to purchase Celebration in the Oaks tickets, visit CelebrationInTheOaks.com.

Supernova on the Greenway (December 9-11) :: Supernova is a free, outdoor light-based art exhibit at the Greenway Station and Plaza (436 N. Norman C. Francis Pkwy). A joyous community holiday celebration, this outdoor installation safely fills a need for connection to arts, culture, community, joy, and family fun with holiday spirit while safely social distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Station and Plaza will come alive with fun activities for all with live music, arts activities, food vendors, and an arts market.

Light Display at Lafreniere Park (Dates TBA) :: The park sparkles for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights and displays. $10.00 per vehicle – you must use the entrance on West Napoleon Avenue access gate of the park.  You can also park and walk to see the lights for no extra charge. Sunday-Thursday 5:30pm-9:30 pm and Friday-Saturday 5:30pm -10:30 pm.

Kenner Christmas Village (Fridays & Saturdays, Dates TBA) :: The Annual Christmas Village will light up Kenner this holiday season. Transformed into a festive holiday village with beautiful Christmas lights and animated scenery! Due to COVID, there will be no organized activities like performances, vendors, Santa photos, etc. Heritage Park will be open every day and evening for people to wander through on their own to view the display.

Holiday of Lights on Koop Drive (December 3-19, December 24-25 | 5:00pm – 8:30pm) :: The annual Holiday of Lights on Koop Drive in Mandeville returns for its 22nd year, kicking off Friday, December 3, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Typically featuring entertainment from local schools and area performance groups, due to Covid-19 concerns, a modified version will go forward this Christmas season as a drive-thru only event. The drive-thru Holiday of Lights display runs Fridays through Sundays from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. each night from December 3rd to 19th, and on Christmas Eve and Christmas night, Dec. 24-25.

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!

Christ Episcopal Mistletoe Market (November 11-12) :: Join us for this premier holiday shopping event on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 11 and 12, at the Christ Episcopal School Christwood Boulevard Campus. Featuring a wide variety of carefully selected vendors, you’ll be able to shop for everyone on your list prior to the Christmas rush!

JA Jolly Jingles Market (November 13 | 9am-4pm) :: Grab a friend or bring the family to the 6th Annual Jolly Jingles Market for a festive day of shopping. General Admission is $4 online / $5 at the door, age 10 & under are free. 

St. Matthew the Apostle Holiday Market (November 20th | 10am-4pm) :: One stop shopping extravaganza! Numerous vendors, live performances, music, food, raffles, door prizes and more!

Sugar Plum Market (December 4) :: The Junior League of Greater Covington is excited to hold our first annual Sugar Plum Market! This holiday shopping event is open to the public and will be held on Saturday, December 4th at the Castine Center in Mandeville. Come out and shop the numerous small businesses selling items that are sure to complete your holiday wish lists! Food Truck! Over 35 Vendors!

Waldorf School Winter Faire and Tree Sale (November 27) Crafts, a book fair, magical forest, puppet show, gifts and entertainment await you at the Waldorf School!

St. Tammy Christmas Celebration Expo (December 3, 4 & 5 | 9am-5pm):: Featuring more than 500 artists and craftspersons from a multi-state area, plus 20 food booths, at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds in Covington. Tickets are $5, Parking is free.

Sips of the Season Stroll (December 3rd | 5pm-9pm) :: 9th Annual Sips of the Season Stroll! 35+ Stroll Stops all offering an alcoholic & a non-alcoholic drink & a light snack (popcorn, Chex mix, …). Mugs can be purchased for the event ahead of time at The Book & the Bean (235 Girod Street), Cameo Boutique (302 Girod Street), and Das Schulerhaus Gift Gallery & Christmas Boutique (611 Girod Street) for $25 each.

Holiday Marketplace at The Cannery (December 5th | 3pm-5pm) :: shop with 40+ New Orleans vendors for apparel, accessories, art and home decor at The Cannery. Admission is free.

St. Francis Xavier’s 3rd Annual Old Metairie Christmas Market (December 4th | 9am-2pm) :: St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Metairie is hosting it’s 3rd annual Old Metairie Christmas Market on Saturday, December 4th from 9am to 2pm. Due to COVID, all booths will be outdoors this year. However, we will be able to have our Parade of Prizes inside, along with concessions inside. We also have a booth for Pictures with Santa.

Sip n shop at St. Rita- Harahan (November 20 | 10am-2pm) :: Various craft vendors, specialty food booths and much more. Come complete your holiday shopping early.

VFW Christmas Craft Event (November 20 & 21 | 9am-4pm) :: Crafts. Kids Crafting Table, woodworking crafts, boutique, crochet, clothing. Epoxy cups jewelry wreaths and more. Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt
Santa is coming.

Holiday Sip & Shop at St. Philip Neri (December 10 | 6pm-9pm) :: Shop local this holiday season & all in one spot! Adults only please.

St. Mary Magdalen Craft Fair (December 4 | 9am-3pm) :: Get your holiday shopping done! Free admission, concessions, parade of prizes and 50/50!

McGehee School Holiday Boutique ( December 4 | 9am-5pm) :: Outdoor Admission Free Event on McGehee’s Campus. There will be local boutiques, one of a kind crafters, artwork, baked goods, and many options for gifts and decorating for the Holidays!

Nutcracker 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.

Delta Festival Ballet (December 18 & December 19) :: 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.

Saenger Theatre (Date & Time TBD) :: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is returning to theaters Christmas 2022! Become a Member now! Bring your family back to a simpler time filled with that special Christmas magic of your favorite Holiday tradition. Members get early access to the best seats in the house, up to 30% off on tickets and a stockingful of gifts! The magic of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker returns with dazzling new costumes, hand-worked sets and state of the art video mapping projections! Give your family the gift of Christmas the way it was meant to be: bundled up under the glow of the tree!

Ballet Apetrei (December 10th, 11th & 12th):: Join Ballet Apertei and creative director Kelly Fortier in Mandeville for their annual performance of the classic Nutcracker Ballet.

Jefferson Performing Arts Society (December 18 & 19 | 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.

Ballet Louisiane and Ballet Hysell Present The Nutcracker (November 21st) :: It’s time to celebrate the holidays this winter by bringing live performances back to a New Orleans’ stage. Two historic New Orleans Ballet Organizations are doing just this with the holiday classic,The Nutcracker. Ballet Louisiane and Hysell Ballet Arts will be coming together this holiday season to bring performers, both young and old, back to the stage. The Ballet Louisiane and Ballet Hysell Nutcracker will be Sunday, November 21st at Ursuline Academy, 2635 State St. Showtimes are 1:00pm and 6:00pm. Tickets are $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for children under 12 and can be purchased online at www.lhballet.comwww.ballethysell.org, or by calling 504-905-3430. New Orleans’ COVID restrictions will be enforced.

Playmakers Theaters Presents Babes in Toyland (December 3-5, 10-12) :: Mother Goose Land is all astir over the rivalry between miserly, mean-hearted Uncle Barnaby and young, handsome, gentle Alan for the love of Mistress Mary Quite Contrary. Getting in the act are Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep, and as many other Mother Goose characters as the director wants to use, along with Barnaby’s clownish hit men, Roderigo and Gonzorgo. Trying to escape, Alan and Mary have to pass through the dangerous Spider’s Forest. Even in Toyland they are not safe, and the fast action and beautiful music continue.

New Orleans Ballet Theatre (December 11-12, 18-19) :: New Orleans Ballet Theatre is thrilled to return to live performances at the Orpheum Theater this year for its production of The Nutcracker. With 6 performances over a two-weekend engagement, this beloved two-act ballet will be performed by the professional company and the charming addition of over 120 local children. Come see this classic Christmas tale in all of its glory with 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! For tickets, visit NOBT.org

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 :: 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!

Christmas in Lafreniere Park Run/Walk (December 11) :: HOORAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS! The Crescent City Classic will hold their holiday run/walk in beautiful Lafreniere Park on Saturday, December 11, 2021 (start time is 3pm). 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!

2021 Running of the Santas (December 11) :: The annual run, walk and shuffle of colorful, costumed revelers through the streets of the city’s Warehouse District, will return for its special 10th anniversary to spread holiday cheer and craziness on Saturday, December 11, 2021. This year’s “run” will send spirited, decked out Santas jingling through the streets between the South Pole at Manning’s on Fulton Street to the North Pole at Generations Hall with live holiday entertainment and an extravagant and often wacky costume contest with entrants from both the nice and naughty list.

Q50 Races Santa on Trails 5K Run / Walk (December 11) ::Come and run/walk this 5K in a Santa suit and bring a toy for the children of the New Orleans Mission shelter. This Q50 race takes place in Mandeville’s beautiful Fontainebleau State Park on a fast, flat track by Lake Pontchartrain on Saturday, December 11, 2021, starting at 9 a.m. Refreshments will be provided by the New Orleans Mission. All ages welcome, and all participants will get a Santa suit and handmade medal.

Lutcher Bonfire Festival 5k & Kids Run (December 12) :: Part of the St. James Parish tradition of lighting the way for Santa Claus, join runners from the River Region for a 5k and 1/2 mile kids fun run. Lutcher Park • 2601 Lutcher Avenue Lutcher.

Jingle Bell Virtual Run – New Orleans (estimated date – December 2) :: The Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get out, get moving and raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. Kick off your holidays by helping conquer arthritis once and for all! Wear a holiday-themed costume, tie jingle bells to your shoelaces, show off your ugly Christmas sweater, and complete a 5-kilometer run or walk with your team members, spreading smiles, good cheer, and a winning spirit … and be a Champion of Yes!

Dashing through the Dome (December 18th) :: This unique 2-mile race runs participants through the Caesars Superdome, up and around the Dome’s Ground, Plaza and Terrace Levels, and then down to the field to cross the finish line! This event is fun for competitive runners looking for a new challenge and those interested in a festive activity during the holidays, kids and football fans alike. Online Registration is open until Friday, Dec. 17th at 4:00pm. Race day Registration ($45 for adults, $40 for kids) & Number Pick Up will open at 7:00am on Race Day at Gate A Ground. The race begins at 8:00am on the field!

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