New Orleans is rich in flavorful food, colorful music, and unique cultures, but you need not be rich to experience the best of the city. In fact, for just $50 a day you can soak up the magic of New Orleans. The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit, with colorful celebrations, many of them free to attend. Enjoy the magic of the holiday season without breaking the bank and follow our itinerary below.

*Editor’s Note: Totals for all food and beverage purchases include tax and gratuity. Please always remember to tip your servers and musicians.

Start your day at The Roosevelt Hotel. South Louisiana may not have a white Christmas, but the Winter Wonderland in the Roosevelt Hotel’s lobby will leave you in awe. Over 60,000 little lights adorn 20+ birch trees and 40+ Christmas trees. While at the Roosevelt, enjoy lunch at Teddy’s Café, the quaint and elegant eatery in the hotel’s grand lobby. The fried chicken sandwich comes with fries, salad, or Zapp’s chips for $14. Our total was $18.10 with tax and gratuity.

A Winter Wonderland at The Roosevelt New Orleans
A Winter Wonderland at The Roosevelt New Orleans


Once you’ve enjoyed lunch, head down Canal Street towards the French Quarter. During the holiday season, Canal Street is adorned with lights and wreaths, making for a fun and festive atmosphere. 

Treat yourself to a hotel lobby lights tour of New Orleans. Right on Canal Street, the Ritz-Carlton lobby features dozens of string lights, a colorful ornament tree, and a decorated streetcar with famous New Orleanians as passengers. New this year is the Bingle Bar, a pop-up bar on the third floor named for Mister Bingle. Mister Bingle was the holiday mascot of Maison Blanche, the department store that previously occupied the building.

Devonte Williford, New Orleans Tourism

Next, head to Hotel Monteleone. This famously haunted hotel offers nothing but holiday cheer in the form of Christmas trees and traditional décor. Close by, the Royal Sonesta also has a stunning lobby worth checking out.

After all that touring, stop at St. Louis Cathedral for their holiday concert series. Throughout the month of December on select nights, local musicians will perform classic holiday tunes. This year’s performers include Benny Grunch & the Bunch, Irma Thomas, Charlie Gabriel & friends, the Zion Harmonizers, and more. Each show is from 6-7 p.m. The best part–it’s free to attend! Don’t forget to tip your musicians.

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

After enjoying the sounds of New Orleans, head to a festive Creole restaurant for dinner. There are plenty to choose from in the French Quarter, but Red Fish Grill is a classic. Many restaurants participate in Réveillon, a feast consisting of multiple courses ranging from $50-$100+, but since we’re on a budget, you can still enjoy delicious cuisine à la carte. Order the Shrimp Creole, a tomato-based stew served over white rice. Yum! Our total for dinner with tax and gratuity was $33.65.

There are so many ways to experience the Holidays New Orleans Style. See here for more information and enjoy a December spent in NOLA.


Teddy’s Café: $18.10

Redfish Grill: $33.65

Grand Total: $51.75