Like every day in The Big Easy, Christmas time is anything but ordinary in New Orleans. The gorgeous historic homes throughout the city are decked with holly. Christmas king cakes are on the grocery store shelves. And the ice skating rink is staged so New Orleanian children can experience the magic of ice skating in 70 degrees. From Cajun Christmas traditions to holiday parades, there are so many ways to experience Christmas with a NOLA flair.
Things to Do for the Christmas Season in New Orleans
Before your vacation to New Orleans, grab yourself a copy of The Cajun Night Before Christmas for a lesson in a traditional Louisiana Christmas. While Cajun culture is prevalent year-round in the city, it’s especially dear at Christmastime. Experience traditional Louisiana dishes at a Reveillon feast served at restaurants throughout New Orleans this time of year. Meet Papa Noel himself and Gaston the Gator with a Cajun Holiday Tea aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen. Meet some real alligators and explore the landscape of Cajun land on a swamp tour. Ride along the levee in the River Parishes to see the massive bonfires lighting the way for Papa Noel on Christmas Eve.
The city that’s one big party year-round becomes one big Christmas party this time of year! The Running of the Santas is a bar crawl from the “South Pole” to the “North Pole” in the Warehouse District. Spectate the Krewe of Krampus walking parade for freaky fun. Holiday displays are found throughout the French Quarter so you can take in the lights and sights with a seasonal cocktail in hand (no open container laws!)
In New Orleans, there’s always music! Free concerts are held in St. Louis Cathedral throughout the month of December, and holiday songs of all genres are played by musicians in Jackson Square. St. Augustine church in the heart of Treme hosts intimate gospel concerts. Caroling in Jackson Square is an event that’s dear to New Orleans where candles and song sheets are provided to all to join together for the season.
It may be in the 20s or 80s (even in the same day!), rainy or snowy, but there’s a 100% of a one-of-a-kind Christmas in New Orleans no matter the weather! Ride a decked street car, see the spectacular lights in City Park, and reserve your Reveillon and swamp tour. Experience Louisiana’s wonderfully cultural take on Christmas on your New Orleans vacation!