Decembers are different in New Orleans. One-of-a-kind holiday celebrations and activities, uniquely NOLA cuisine and craft cocktails, and some of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year take place all month long. If you’re considering spending December in the Crescent City, browse below for suggestions on where to go and what to do for a memorable holiday getaway.
Close out the year with a number of different holiday celebrations, outdoor activities and a wide selection of light shows and displays this December.
December in New Orleans kicks-off in true New Orleans fashion with a larger-than-life holiday parade. This downtown parade is sure to fill you with holiday cheer that will last the entire month. Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Mr. Bingle, Rudolph, and more make special appearances along the route. If you’re looking for a great reason to check out New Orleans East, look no further than Jingle on the Boulevard, a celebration of family, community, and the joy of the holiday season that features local dance teams, marching bands, and more!
Stretching throughout the month of December, Celebration in the Oaks is an annual holiday tradition. Beautiful holiday-themed decorations illuminate the historic oak trees within City Park. Bring your friends, family, or a very special someone to admire the displays and enjoy the rides throughout the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, New Orleans Botanical Garden, and beyond
The annual LUNA Fête turns the Convention Center Pedestrian Park into a beautiful display of high-tech installations. LUNA Fête has become one of the iconic events of the New Orleans holiday season. The event is free to the public and great for a December photo-op.
The ultimate Christmas precursor takes place atop the levees along the Mississippi River with the Christmas Eve bonfires. Friends and families gather together in anticipation of the coming holiday while stunning bonfires light the way for Santa and his reindeer.
Réveillon is a French tradition where families and communities come together for a feast to celebrate Christmas Eve, and many restaurants in New Orleans carry on this tradition throughout the month of December. At participating restaurants across the city, enjoy specially crafted prix-fixe menus and cocktails. Everything from traditional New Orleans cuisine to international twists can be found on these decadent holiday menus.
December is filled with football in New Orleans. Both the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and the coveted Allstate Sugar Bowl both take place in the Crescent City. Each game hosts several fan fests and events perfect for all ages. If you’re looking for the classic New Orleans sports experience, be sure to check out one of the regular season games for the Saints and Pelicans.
This is just a small glimpse of all December in New Orleans has to offer. Browse the events below, our list of 10 Things to Do in December as the month gets closer, or our official holiday site for more.
Unlike most places, New Orleans is the perfect place for parades, fireworks, and outdoor sporting events in December. While temperatures do drop, it rarely gets below freezing. With an average high of 64℉ and a low of 45℉ layers, scarves, and gloves are encouraged.
December in New Orleans means Réveillon dinners. Treat yourself to the pre-fixe menu at one of the legendary restaurants around the city. Pair it alongside one of these holiday craft cocktails for the perfect meal. With the colder weather, it is also the perfect time to try Cafe Brulot Diabolique, a special flaming twist on after-dinner coffee.
For those looking to ditch the holiday cooking and cleaning browse this list of restaurants open during the holidays and make a reservation.
Christmas Day in New Orleans is filled with national traditions with local twists. Caroling in Jackson Square and holiday tea parties throughout New Orleans’ French Quarter hotels are among the many other activities and events to look forward to. For all there is to do during the most wonderful time of year, check out our holiday site.