With its mild winter weather and holiday activities for the whole family, New Orleans offers festive family events across the city this holiday season including Celebration in the Oaks, Audubon Zoo Lights and NOLA ChristmasFest.

Visitors can begin their holiday adventure amongst iconic oak trees and breathtaking handmade light displays at New Orleans City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks. More than 165,000 visitors pour into the Park to see the magical winter spectacle with over 1 million lights, marshmallow roasting, nightly ‘snow’, and a 100-plus-year-old Carousel.

Next, travelers to the Big Easy can marvel at the larger than life, silk lighted replicas of some of Audubon Zoo’s most popular animals. Audubon Zoo Lights presented by Children’s Hospital New Orleans brings the holiday spirit to the heart of Uptown New Orleans by creating an enchanting nighttime winter dreamland featuring a range of activities for children and adults, including craft tents and live entertainment.

With nearly 350,000 sq. ft of holiday entertainment, NOLA ChristmasFest presents a dazzling, family-friendly seasonal event offering opportunities to create lasting memories with a real indoor ice-skating rink with nightly snowfall, two 15’-high ice slides, carnival rides including a 50 ft. Ferris Wheel, inflatables, Santa and friends, gingerbread houses, decorated trees and so much more! Additional attractions include but are not limited to a walk-thru Gingerbread House, step-inside snow globe for group selfies, snowball fight area, entertainment, crafts and for those 21 and older, an adult-themed Tinsel Terrace Tavern.

NOLA ChristmasFest, in its seventh year, opens December 20th through the 31st at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center along the Mississippi Riverfront. Tickets will be available online starting November 1st at www.nolachristmasfest.com or at the door beginning December 20th!

As you build out your plans this holiday season, put New Orleans on your wish list and enjoy Big Easy holiday fun with the family.

New Orleans City Park Celebration in the Oaks:
Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park is the most spectacular holiday lights festival in the country. City Park’s famous centuries-old oaks are swathed in over a million twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays are scattered throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and a 2-mile train route. Enjoy amusement park rides, smore making over an open fire, colossal cotton candy, santa, live entertainment, and strolls through the lighted gardens. Don’t miss the newly revitalized Storyland; a storybook themed fairytale land where kids can play while learning. Celebration in the Oaks kicks off the night after Thanksgiving and runs through New Years night. Check CelebrationIntheOaks.com for dates, hours, tickets, and details. Celebration in the Oaks is open November 29th through January 1, 2020. (Closed 12/24 and 12/31).

By the numbers:

  • 8 months of preparation + 2 months of the show
  • 1,116,700 LED bulbs
  • 42,000 LED bulbs in the 'Dripping Snow' Tree from Paris
  • 65,600 linear feet of rope light
  • 9,500 4'' cable ties
  • 16,000 linear feet of zip cord (lamp cord)
  • 4,000 linear feet of heavy gauge wire
  • 56 animals to ride on the antique Carousel
  • 500 live potted poinsettias
  • 17 Amusement Park Rides

Media Contact: Amanda Frentz, New Orleans City Park, afrentz@nocp.org, 504.722.0735

Audubon Zoo Lights Presented by Children’s Hospital New Orleans:
Ranked as one of the top zoos in the country, Audubon Zoo is the latest attraction in New Orleans to celebrate the holidays. Audubon Zoo Lights presented by Children’s Hospital New Orleans brings the holiday spirit to the heart of Uptown New Orleans featuring life-size, light-up silk replicas of animals found in the Zoo as well as a range of activities for the family. The partnership with Children's Hospital includes a craft tent where guests can write holiday messages to be delivered to patients embodying the true spirit of the holidays. Audubon Zoo Lights presented by Children’s Hospital kicks off on Friday, November 29 and runs select nights through December 30 from 6 – 9pm. For more information, visit AudubonZooLights.org.

By the numbers:

  • 40 silk lantern animal displays
  • 800 acrylic pegs for our larger-than-life Light Bright
  • 78 pressure-sensitive light pads make up our Gum Drop Hop snowflake
  • 201 Child Life gifts purchased by Zoo Lights guests brought to Children’s Hospital New Orleans
  • 1,000+ pounds of used lights for Lights for Lions to benefit The Ruaha Carnivore Project
  • 128 volunteers donated 618 hours of their time during Zoo Lights

Media Contact:
Lauren Messina Conrad, Audubon Zoo, lmessinaconrad@auduboninstitute.org, 504.222.8014

NOLA Christmas Fest:
NOLA ChristmasFest brings the spirit of the holidays indoors at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center transforming 350,000 square feet of space into an eye-popping "Winter Wonderland" with attractions and activities for both kids and adults including carnival rides, giant ice slides, real ice skating rink, inflatables, snowball fights, Santa and friends, and more. NOLA ChristmasFest will be open every day, rain or shine, from 11 am until 9 pm, December 20-31, including special hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Convenient, nearby parking will be available for visitors and locals alike, and visitors are encouraged to take advantage of very affordable Papa Noel hotel rates to enhance their holiday stays. Tickets for this magical celebration will go on sale November 1, 2019. For more information, please visit www.nolachristmasfest.com.

By the Numbers:

  • 350,000 sq. ft. of holiday fun
  • 50,000 attendees
  • 8,270 sq. ft of real ice
  • 1 indoor ice-skating rink (real ice!)
  • 2 15’-high Ice Slides
  • 3 bounce houses in the Tiny Tot Zone
  • 50ft. Ferris Wheel
  • 15 ft. step-inside snow globe

Media Contact:
Anna Corin Koehl, NOLA Christmas Fest, akoehl@bmfcomms.com, 504.524.3342


About New Orleans City Park:
New Orleans City Park is distinguished by its large menu of sports and recreational activities, attractions for children, and its natural beauty. City Park has a special place in the hearts of generations of New Orleanians and is a must visit for visitors to the city. The 1,300 acres of parkland provide enjoyment for people no matter their age. City Park is home to the world’s largest collection of mature Live Oak trees in the world. Attractions include: an amusement park, mini golf, Cafe Du Monde, botanical garden, sports

fields, lagoons, and meandering paths. City Park is a 90/10 Park. Self-generated revenue makes up 90% of the $19.5 million annual operating budget; City Park receives no general fund operating dollars from the city or the state. The Park receives approximately $2 million each year from the state for capital projects. To learn more about the Park, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com.

About Audubon Nature Institute:
Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center features an award-winning staff and first class amenities and is the sixth largest convention center in the nation. A consistent Top 10 host of the largest conventions and tradeshows in the nation annually, the Convention Center is also one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $85.7 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.4 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.