Lifestyle

12 things you absolutely have to do in New Orleans this December

Published On 11/26/2014 Published On 11/26/2014
Celebration in the Oaks at New Orleans City Park

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Celebration in the Oaks You want a spectacular holiday light display? Every year, City Park plays host to a celebration of illumination that would make even Clark W. Griswold blush, with its centuries-old live oak trees festooned with hundreds of thousands of lights. Make sure say hi to Mister Bingle, NOLA’s favorite iconic snowman.

City Park

Celebration in the Oaks City Park You want a spectacular holiday light display? Every year, City Park plays host to a celebration of illumination that would make even Clark W. Griswold blush, with its centuries-old live oak trees festooned with hundreds of thousands of lights. Make sure say hi to Mister Bingle, NOLA’s favorite iconic snowman.

Bayou Classic

Date

Event

Location

Nov 29 Sat

The Bayou Classic For 40 years, the Southern and Grambling University football teams have been duking it out in the Superdome on Thanksgiving weekend. Alumni stream in from all over the country and the globe, making the city a hopping place to be after you’ve gotten your Turkey Day fill.

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Bayou Classic Mercedes-Benz Superdome For 40 years, the Southern and Grambling University football teams have been duking it out in the Superdome on Thanksgiving weekend. Alumni stream in from all over the country and the globe, making the city a hopping place to be after you’ve gotten your Turkey Day fill.

Antoine's Restaurant

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1-31

Reveillon Dinners Based on an old Creole tradition of feasting at midnight on Christmas Eve, Reveillon Dinners have become a NOLA tradition in their own right, giving the city’s thousand-plus restaurants an occasion to whip out their favorite Creole holiday recipes and provide special, seasonal menus. Will there be oyster dressing? Oh, yes, there will be oyster dressing.

Various restaurants

Reveillon Dinners Various restaurants Based on an old Creole tradition of feasting at midnight on Christmas Eve, Reveillon Dinners have become a NOLA tradition in their own right, giving the city’s thousand-plus restaurants an occasion to whip out their favorite Creole holiday recipes and provide special, seasonal menus. Will there be oyster dressing? Oh, yes, there will be oyster dressing.

Flickr/Brett Kiger

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1-31

Christmas New Orleans-style With hotel deals, restaurant specials, and 79 holiday events (almost 40 of which cost exactly nothing), Xmas NOLA-style brings holiday joy to the masses through the month of December.

All around New Orleans

Christmas New Orleans-style All around New Orleans With hotel deals, restaurant specials, and 79 holiday events (almost 40 of which cost exactly nothing), Xmas NOLA-style brings holiday joy to the masses through the month of December.

Flickr/Michael Porter

Date

Event

Location

Dec 5-12

Holiday Movies on the Mississippi Wait, isn’t it a bit odd to have an outdoor movie screening in the dead of December? Not in New Orleans, it ain’t! The typically mild winters make it perfectly suitable to fire up a Thermos of hot toddies (or just a flask full o’ whiskey) and enjoy The Polar Express and Elf in the glory of nature.

The Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza

Holiday Movies on the Mississippi The Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza Wait, isn’t it a bit odd to have an outdoor movie screening in the dead of December? Not in New Orleans, it ain’t! The typically mild winters make it perfectly suitable to fire up a Thermos of hot toddies (or just a flask full o’ whiskey) and enjoy The Polar Express and Elf in the glory of nature.

Sam Baar

Date

Event

Location

Dec 5-21

The Amazing Acro-Cats Meowy Christmas Show Yeah, so you know about that lady who trained her many felines to ride skateboards, climb ropes, jump through hoops, play in a cat band, and other things that are very, very normal? Well, she’s having a Christmas Spectacular. Take that, Rockettes.

The Marigny Theatre

The Amazing Acro-Cats Meowy Christmas Show The Marigny Theatre Yeah, so you know about that lady who trained her many felines to ride skateboards, climb ropes, jump through hoops, play in a cat band, and other things that are very, very normal? Well, she’s having a Christmas Spectacular. Take that, Rockettes.

Flickr/C. Paul Counts

Date

Event

Location

Dec 6 Sat

Algiers Bonfire & Concert How does Santa find his way around South LA? The Cajuns light a whole bunch of stuff on fire, of course. Huge holiday bonfires are a tradition out on the bayou (specifically in Lutcher, where fireworks are also awesomely incorporated), but even if you’re in the big city, you can still head out to Algiers Point for a free bonfire w/ concert, food trucks, and more.

Algiers Point Ferry Landing

Algiers Bonfire & Concert Algiers Point Ferry Landing How does Santa find his way around South LA? The Cajuns light a whole bunch of stuff on fire, of course. Huge holiday bonfires are a tradition out on the bayou (specifically in Lutcher, where fireworks are also awesomely incorporated), but even if you’re in the big city, you can still head out to Algiers Point for a free bonfire w/ concert, food trucks, and more.

Downtown Development District of New Orleans

Date

Event

Location

Dec 6 Sat

Krewe of Jingle Parade It’s not an official holiday in New Orleans without a parade, so naturally, there has to be a big one for Papa Noel. Yes, there will be floats, and also bands, and stilt-walkers, and all kinds of other fun, free stuff to enjoy.

Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza

Krewe of Jingle Parade Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza It’s not an official holiday in New Orleans without a parade, so naturally, there has to be a big one for Papa Noel. Yes, there will be floats, and also bands, and stilt-walkers, and all kinds of other fun, free stuff to enjoy.

Runningof theSantas

Date

Event

Location

Dec 13 Sat

Running of the Santas For 15 bucks, you can dress like Babbo Natale with hundreds of other folks, compete in a costume contest, drink like a crazy person, and basically raise hell. Also, Flow Tribe will be playing.

From Barcadia

Running of the Santas From Barcadia For 15 bucks, you can dress like Babbo Natale with hundreds of other folks, compete in a costume contest, drink like a crazy person, and basically raise hell. Also, Flow Tribe will be playing.

Flickr/Timothy Krause

Date

Event

Location

Dec 18 Thu

Tales of the Toddy You don’t have to wait until next summer to get a dose of Tales of the Cocktail. This new, winter addition to the booze industry’s most heralded event is a boon for spirits-lovers of all stripes.  And in New Orleans, that’s a lot of stripes.

House of Blues

Tales of the Toddy House of Blues You don’t have to wait until next summer to get a dose of Tales of the Cocktail. This new, winter addition to the booze industry’s most heralded event is a boon for spirits-lovers of all stripes.  And in New Orleans, that’s a lot of stripes.

Flickr/TheeErin

Date

Event

Location

Dec 23 Tue

Home For The Holidays A killer concert to benefit NOCCA and the Daniel Price Memorial Foundation, this is one holiday show you don’t want to miss, featuring Kermit Ruffins, Shamarr Allen, Rebirth Brass Band, and more. Good times for a good cause. Plus, you know, plenty of hot music and cold drinks.

House of Blues

Home For The Holidays House of Blues A killer concert to benefit NOCCA and the Daniel Price Memorial Foundation, this is one holiday show you don’t want to miss, featuring Kermit Ruffins, Shamarr Allen, Rebirth Brass Band, and more. Good times for a good cause. Plus, you know, plenty of hot music and cold drinks.

Flickr/Venson Kuchipudi

Date

Event

Location

Dec 31 Wed

NYE in NOLA Ever feel like New Year’s in New York could do with, say, no open container laws? Unlike those suckers in Times Square, NYE in the French Quarter is overflowing with hooch, as well as good cheer, all the better to get your sauce on when the “baby” at Jax Brewery drops to signal the arrival of 2015, right along with the requisite fireworks show over the Mississippi River.

The French Quarter

NYE in NOLA The French Quarter Ever feel like New Year’s in New York could do with, say, no open container laws? Unlike those suckers in Times Square, NYE in the French Quarter is overflowing with hooch, as well as good cheer, all the better to get your sauce on when the “baby” at Jax Brewery drops to signal the arrival of 2015, right along with the requisite fireworks show over the Mississippi River.