Check these 7 “to-do” events off your Christmas list

Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee

One of the longest standing Cajun Christmas traditions is lighting bonfires along the Mississippi River on Christmas Eve. The vibrant, fun, community centered atmosphere embodies all there is to love about Christmas time in New Orleans. The bonfires that draw so many to the levee on Christmas Eve are said to light a path for Papa Noel (the Cajun Santa Claus). Gumbo and other traditional Cajun foods are enjoyed as crowds line the Mississippi River while bonfires are lit and fireworks go off. Many joyful and spirited people gather in celebration and anticipation of the magic associated with the Christmas season.

Haunted Pub Crawl

Sure, it’s Christmas time, but Marley and I know that Christmas also can include ghosts (yes, that’s a Dickens reference)! There is no better way to learn and experience the haunted culture of one of the oldest cities in America than by drinking your way through the haunted restaurants and bars of the French Quarter. This two hour crawl will definitely require some liquid courage with stops at various local bars as well as classic locations such as Laffitte’s Blacksmith Shop and the Lalaurie Mansion. Whether you’ve been a long time resident of New Orleans, or you are just visiting, this haunted pub crawl is a guaranteed fun learning experience. Come with a friend or meet others on the tour for a once in a lifetime adventure! You can book it here

From December 17th to Thursday, December 30, 2021  NOLA ChristmasFest is a magical experience that happens once a year. Taking place in the New Orleans Convention Center,  It’s incredibly family friendly with an indoor winter wonderland featuring skating with santa, nightly story times with santa and the elves, and other events that have not been released to the public yet. In New Orleans you don’t have the winter wonderland snow and ice that you get up at the North Pole, so I think it’s wonderful to have that indoor warm cozy Christmas feeling for everyone to enjoy.  You c an get information and tickets here.

Come visit the great New Orleans City Park for a spectacular evening of our annual holiday event, Celebration in the Oaks! During this wonderful time of year, all 13 acres of park are transformed into a magical light show. There is no better way to get you and your family in the Christmas spirit than driving through the sparkling flurry of lights among the magnificent oak trees. If the lights were not enough, there is a fully functional amusement park and train ride around the entire park for a small additional fee. The experience is fun for all ages! Snacks and hot drinks will be available as well! We look forward to seeing you there! Tickets are $10 per person. Children under 3 get in free. The amusement park is $4 per ride or $18 for unlimited rides. The train ride is $5. You can get your tickets here.

Join the Saenger Theatre this Christmas Eve for this year’s enthralling production of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas! Chip Davis’s Mannheim Steamroller Christmas is an experience like no other! If you are looking for an exciting Christmas concert, this is the one for you! Mannheim is the #1 best-selling Christmas artist of all time, outranking Elvis Presley and many others. The production is guaranteed to be a good time, with the New York Times calling it a “Christmas miracle” and a show that is “seeped in joy”. Buy your tickets here at for a fun night at the Saenger!

Come visit JAMNOLA all decked out for the winter season! JAMNOLA is normally a pop-up art and music installation that is being transformed into a holiday wonderland this winter. New holiday additions have been added to this 12-room exhibition including Santa Claus and a holiday elf inside a snow globe. Come with family and friends to start getting into the holiday spirit once the cold weather starts coming in. This is a great way to see inside the minds of some of the artists living in New Orleans with the mission to create joy through art and music in the New Orleans community. You can get your information and tickets here.

We know what Christmas really means in New Orleans…prepariation for Mardi Gras. That’s why we’re throwing in a little “to-do” to get you ready for Carnival. The traditional cinnamon-flavored dough covered in green, gold, and purple icing is sure to satisfy your craving this upcoming Carnival Season. At the King Cake Festival, take as many bites as you want into the soft dough with sweet icing that melts in your mouth. With distinctive flavors such as strawberry cream cheese, gooey butter snickerdoodle, or coconut chocolate cherry, there is something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. These delicious, freshly-baked king cakes will be available for your tasting until 4:00 pm, where you might decide your sugar rush is summoning you back to bed. This free festival is a great way to taste your way through New Orleans Mardi Gras Season. Surrounded by friends and family, the sound of live music and sweet savory cake is sure to kick off the Carnival Season with a (sugar) rush.


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