• A Lyons guide to Christmas in New Orleans

A Lyons guide to Christmas in New Orleans

*Cue Louis Armstrong*



Can you actually believe it’s December and we’re only one month away from the New Year? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. I’m sure we’re all equally excited for the end of the year parties filled with champagne and an air of hope for what is to come in the next 365 days but there are still so many Christmas festivities to enjoy with friends and family. Lyons Den wants to help take the pressure of planning off of you and offer a few fun ideas to add to your outing list this holiday season.



Celebration in the Oaks (November 27 – January 2): Rumor has it, this annual lavish light show that takes place in New Orleans City Park has upped the ante this year. CITO is fun for the whole family with food, more lights than you could ever imagine in one space, joyful caroling, and general merriment. This is a not-to-miss holiday event in New Orleans.

Photo Credit: neworleanscitypark.com
Photo Credit: neworleanscitypark.com


NOLA ChristmasFest at Christmas in the District (December 18-27): NOLA ChristmasFest is an indoor Christmas festival at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. It made the list because… ice-skating!


Nutcracker at the Saenger Theatre (December 26 | 3:00pm and 7:00pm):  Celebrate the beloved Christmas tradition with Moscow Ballet’s spectacular Great Russian Nutcracker as forty world-class Russian artists bring this charming classic to life. Experience Tchaikovsky’s master score with the magic of larger than-life-puppets, and life-sized Matrushka Dolls.


Krewe of Jingle Holiday Parade (December 5 | 1:00pm): If you’re missing Mardi Gras season, you better get out to New Orleans’ official holiday parade, the “Krewe of Jingle.” It’s everything you get during Mardi Gras except Christmas themed. As they say in Southeast Asia, same-same but different. Check out the route here.




Caroling in Jackson Square (December 20 | 7:00pm): Warm up your vocal chords and fa la la la la your way down to Jackson Square as it brims with thousands of candlelit faces singing all of the classic carols. Candles and song sheets are provided. Gates open at 6:30pm and Caroling begins at 7:00pm.


Brunch with Santa at the Bourbon Orleans (select days in December | 10:00am and 1:00pm): Mimosas and cocktails, Santa and his elves, mimosas and cocktails, a variety of food, and mimosas and cocktails. Did I mention the mimosas and cocktails are bottomless? Get there.


Running of the Santas (December 12 | 11:00am): Runners meet at the “South Pole” aka The Rusty Nail where you can enjoy live music and special holiday drinks. The four block “Fun Run” begins at 5:45pm and ends at the “North Pole” aka Generations Hall. If you’re a human being with common sense, you would know from the title that you should obviously dress up in your best Santa costume or most creative Christmas attire for a chance to win the treasured “Best Holiday Costume” award. Event organizers predict more than 4,000 costumed participants this year donned as Santa, Mrs. Claus, Scrooge, Jingle Bells, Jack Frost, Old Man Winter and so many more. Flow Tribe will headline this year’s event.




Holiday Movies on the Mississippi – If you can’t get enough of the Hallmark channel or ABC Family this time of year, join the Downtown Development District and The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk for three weekends of free outdoor holiday movies. Enjoy hot chocolate, tasty treats, and the beautiful Mississippi River as a backdrop.


Miracle on Fulton Street (December 4-27): What’s Christmas without a little bit of fake snow? The Fulton Street pedestrian corridor will be transformed into a winter wonderland. On Friday and Saturday evenings over the first three weekends of December you can shop a local holiday market, sip festive drinks and enjoy live music.


Café Du Monde – End your wintery cold night with a deliciously warm local delicacy. (Even if you have to pretend it’s cold) because New Orleans doesn’t always like to acknowledge the season of winter. But when it does, we celebrate properly.



LYONS INSIDER TIP: I asked the lovely Porter Lyons staff what their favorite New Orleans Christmas merriment consists of and the result was unanimous. ‘Tis the season to stroll through the Roosevelt Hotel after a night out with friends. Plus, it gives us an excuse to pay a visit to the Sazerac Bar. Whether your evening consists of one or many of the events on this list, make sure you take a pit stop to see the magical wonderland that is the New Orleans Roosevelt Hotel. Don’t forget to snap a pretty picture of your PL jewelry with the gorgeous decor in the background and tag us on Instagram: @lyonsdenblog.

Photo Credit: waldorfastoria3.hilton.com
Photo Credit: waldorfastoria3.hilton.com


*Featured photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images


Love & Lyons,


Gabrielle Lewis

Written by

When Gabrielle isn’t writing or traveling the world, she’s gallivanting around her hometown of New Orleans as her friends’ “yes woman.” She enjoys daily afternoon naps with her cat and trying out a new brunch place every Sunday after church. Cheese and waffles (but not together), and golden sunsets are a few of her favorite things.

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