As I shared last year, one of my absolute favorite New Orleans holiday traditions is going to Celebration in the Oaks because I have so many fond memories of attending with my grandmother. It’s crazy to now take my own children to the very same celebration that I frequented 25+ years ago. Based on the popularity of last year’s giveaway, we know that this event is a favorite for many families in the New Orleans area, and we are excited to share this year’s details with you and, of course, another giveaway!
While New Orleans Moms Blog contributors received complimentary tickets to attend Celebration in the Oaks, all of us would have gladly paid and planned to attend anyway!
Behind the Scenes at Celebration in the Oaks
As you can imagine, Celebration in the Oaks is a massive undertaking. In fact, preparations take a full 6 months, so when we’re busy sweating the New Orleans summer away, City Park is already gearing up for the holiday season. A few fun facts…
- There are over 658,000 LED bulbs used throughout the park
- The “dripping snow tree” has 42,000 LED bulbs alone. The lights were also purchased in Paris, can be seen from 1/2 mile away and provide the most popular engagement spot at this annual event!
- There are 500 poinsettias throughout the magical event
- All of the designs and exhibits are designed and constructed “in house” by event staff
- Guests from 48 states attended Celebration in the Oaks last year
- If you’re lucky, you might just see a celebrity. Last year’s sightings included Drew Brees, Jennifer Garner, Marcia Gay Harden and Joe LaFont (of “Swamp People”)
Get a Sneak Peek at the Children’s Preview Party!
If you want to check it out with your little ones ahead of time and avoid the crowds, City Park also offers a Children’s Preview Party on Sunday, November 24 from 5:00 – 8:00pm. For $30 a person (children under 2 are free; members of City Park pay $25), there is unlimited food, unlimited amusement rides (including the train and carousel) and lots of fun activities. Or, if you want a fun date night in November, consider the Adult Preview Party (21 and older only) which features an open bar, food from 50 restaurants and entertainment.
2013 Celebration in the Oaks at City Park
When: Friday, November 29 – Saturday, January 4 (closed on December 24 and December 31)
Where: City Park in New Orleans (but we recommend the drive from surrounding areas!)
Admission: $8/person (children under 3 are free, as are Friends of City Park members); note that some activities, like the train, require additional tickets once you are inside
Why: Get in the holiday spirit and enjoy lots of fun for the entire family, including amusement park rides
Just for fun: Check out pictures from years past and add your own or get to know Mr. Bingle!
While the New Orleans Moms Blog team received admission tickets to Celebration in the Oaks, all opinions expressed here are my own; I have loved Celebration in the Oaks since I was a little girl and can’t wait to go again this year!
We love going to CITO!! I think my favorite part is the big oak tree with tons of white twinkle lights. But my kids favorite part is definitely playing in storyland!
My favorite memory of CITO is actually from pre-Katrina. I loved the driving tour. I wish they would bring it back.
I’ve never been to a preview party before but would love the opportunity to take my kids! It would be such a cool experience to see it before everyone else and very special for the kids!
I have only been to the preview party for adults, and it was fun, but that was a LONG time ago! I have never been to the kids preview party.
We aren’t always able to go because my daughter has asthma & the night air makes it flare up but we are hoping to be able to go this year. She would love it.
Can’t wait for CITO!
We have never been, We would love to add this to our family tradition to end a day of shopping.I would bring my 5 year old son and my 21 month old Grandson. How Magical !! This would be a memory set in these little minds forever.
Never even knew there was a preview party!
Went to the preview party with out of town family which was a blast. We put all the cousins in matching outfits!
I would love to take my family and make this a new tradition !! Im am so glad I moved to Louisiana !