New Orleans celebrates the holidays in grand fashion: there’s Celebration in the Oaks’ multi-acre driving tour, the Roosevelt’s lobby decked out with a million little lights, and the decadent, multi-course Réveillon dining tradition, just to name a few. Venture off the beaten path this holiday season and you’ll find gingerbread workshops, a Hanukkah parade, and Krampus lurking in the corner.
Here are a few events you can’t miss this December in New Orleans.
Head to a gingerbread decorating class at Acorn Café located within beautiful City Park. Kids will be seated at a table and receive all the gumdrops, icing, and candy they need to create a miniature winter wonderland. Classes are available throughout December.
This year, Hanukkah begins on November 28 and ends on December 6. Celebrate the season with the Mobile Menorah Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Watch as cars parade from Chabad (7037 Freret St.), down St. Charles in the CBD/French Quarter/Marigny and then back Uptown.
Chanukah at Riverwalk is an annual tradition here in New Orleans. Head downtown to the Riverwalk at 4:30 p.m. on the first night of Hanukkah to see the menorah lighting and more.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice – Krampus is coming to town. On December 4, hop in your car to drive through this year’s parade. The theme this year is Alpine Dreams; Krewe of Krampus is the best of both worlds: Christmas and Halloween. Get your tickets here.
Running of the Santas is back, transforming downtown into a sea of red and white. On December 11, run from the South Pole (Manning’s) to the North Pole (Generations Hall) for a costume contest, live music, and after party. Really, there’s far more drinking than running involved in this event. Purchase your tickets here.
Enjoy an outdoor holiday concert featuring music from jazz artist Nayo Jones at Paradigm Gardens. Come hungry and thirsty and enjoy garden fresh cuisine and drinks from Karibu Kitchen. This event is Friday, Dec. 10 with two time slots available.
Celebrate the holidays with a cocktail courtesy of Sazerac House. Upcoming seasonal events include Drink & Learn: Creole Holiday Traditions and Cheers to Cheese: Holiday Gatherings. Book your tickets online for these holiday-themed tasting experiences.
Looking for a holiday cocktail in a tropical setting? Sippin’ Santa is the place for you. The tiki pop-up will toast the season with over-the-top nostalgic holiday and Polynesian décor and a festive menu offering signature favorites such as the North Pole Punch, Runaway Sleigh, and Rum Rum Rudolph, to name a few. The pop-up opens on December 18, and reservations are recommended.
This time of year, various holiday markets pop up across New Orleans, featuring local vendors who sell art, jewelry, and one-of-a-kind creations. See here for our roundup of markets and plan to show some support to small businesses and local artists this December.
Shop the many businesses and dine in dozens of restaurants this holiday season on Magazine Street. From November 13-December 18, each Saturday will take on a different theme to encourage business along the six-mile stretch of retail, dining, and more. “It’s All About Art,” “A Taste of Magazine,” and “Home for the Holidays” are just a few of the themes. Shop local this holiday season; find more information here.
There are plenty of Nutcracker productions for you to choose from in the New Orleans Metro area, from the traditional Nutcracker at New Orleans Ballet Theater and Delta Festival Ballet to the Marigny Opera Ballet’s Jazz Nutcracker set in Jackson Square on Christmas Eve. Celebrate the season with tickets to this classic ballet.