Holiday Hullabaloo 2021: 76 Events on Both Shores & Beyond

It’s been a challenging couple of years, so if you’ve made it through with your sanity, it’s definitely time to celebrate! Many special holiday events that were cancelled last year due to the pandemic have returned. We’ve searched high and low for as many festivities to celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, and New/Noon Year’s Eve as we could find on both shores and beyond, and have sorted our results into categories — Santa visits, ongoing events, and single-day events — then, put them in chronological order.

Some events are back to normal, while some have health and safety measures in place, so be sure to check each link for details. 

Ready, set — start filling those holiday calendars! 

Santas Visits & Photos

Santa and the North Pole Express at Lakeside  (Metairie)

Now through December 24. This year, Lakeside Shopping Center allows you to book your Santa photos online to save time, but walk-ups are welcomed as well. Monday–Saturday: 10am – 7:30pm; Sunday:  Noon – 6pm. The North Pole Express Train runs through January 2, $2 per Child OR 10 rides for $10 – Cash Only. 

Gentilly Santa 

Now through Christmas. Gentilly Santa serves the New Orleans and surrounding areas during the holiday season. For private bookings, email or call 504-535-5399.

Hammond Square Mall Santa Photos

Now through December 23. Becky Blount Photography is back at Hammond Square this holiday season, offering Santa portraits for customers. Portrait sessions are by appointment only. Visit Becky Blount Photography via the link above to schedule an appointment.

Santa Photos at Oakwood Mall (Gretna)

December 6, 13 & 20. Visit the JCPenney Wing of Oakwood Mall to get your professional pics with Santa taken. Hours are: December 6 from 4-7pm; December 13 from 4-7pm; and December 20 from 4-8pm. Reservations are required. 

Photos with Santa Paws – Old Mandeville 

December 11 from 10am-4pm. It’s time for photos with Santa Paws on site pet adoptions at the Old Mandeville Shop Local Saturday. The photographer, Mark Mascar, will be there until 3, so bring your fur baby and join the holiday fun.

Santa Paws Pictures – Pelican Park (Mandeville)

December 11 from 1-3pm. Santa is stopping by the Castine Center in Mandeville’s Pelican Park for an afternoon photo opportunity with furry friends. Bring your pet for a holiday photo with Santa, including a one-of-a-kind backdrop and props.

Ongoing/Multi-Day Events

LCM Holiday Camps (New Orleans)

Now through December 30 from 9am to 3pm. Louisiana Children’s Museum camps will be held daily with supervised and structured exploration indoors and outdoors. Children will be split into groups according to their age. They will have 4 – 5 year old groups and 6 – 8 year old groups. Before and after care will be available for an additional fee.

Christmas at the Southern Hotel (Covington)

Now through January 1. Stop by to see the bright, beautiful decorations throughout the grounds and enjoy a specialty cocktail at the Cypress Bar. Pictures with Santa are available by appointment through December 12, and holidays past have featured live  music performances in the courtyard, including Jazz on Sunday afternoons throughout December, and Christmas Caroling by area student choirs. A “Holiday Sip & Shop” annual market has something for everyone, with items for the women, men, children and pets in your life. It all begins on November 24 with “Family Night Before Thanksgiving,” a festive evening of free live music, with food and beverages available for sale. Follow their Facebook page for updated details. 

Celebration in the Oaks (New Orleans) 

Now through January 2 (closed December 24 & 31). Visitors to this year’s celebration can choose a driving experience, Carousel Gardens experience, or both. City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in over a million twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays are scattered throughout the 2.25 mile driving tour of the Park. Proceeds from Celebration in the Oaks benefit the park’s maintenance, care, and beautification The Carousel Gardens experience includes unlimited rides, marshmallow roasting, cup of hot chocolate, photo opportunities, dancing light shows, a new festive train experience with on-board entertainment, “snow” area, access to the outdoor bar in the Botanical Garden (does not include beverage and food). HOURS: Sunday – Thursday 6pm to 10pm and Friday & Saturday 5pm to 11pm; Christmas night abbreviated hours: 5pm to 10pm. 

Holiday Tea in Le Salon

Now through December 31 from 10am – 3pm. This elegant tradition includes a properly brewed pot of tea, a glass of sherry, sparkling wine or specialty cocktail, an enchanting selection of English tea sandwiches, seasonal scones with clotted cream, and a final course of gourmet desserts. Visitors can also marvel at the elaborate decorations, including multiple trees, with one that measures 19 1/2-feet high with a classic toy train around the base. There’s also a Letters for Santa mailbox in the lobby. Seatings are daily, except December 1, 6, 7, and 13. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (504) 596-4773 or visiting the link above. 

Christmas in the Country (Covington)

Now through December 18. Every Saturday until Christmas (and the Friday after Thanksgiving), historic downtown Covington will host special shopping events, along with live music and refreshments. Holiday shoppers can enjoy an old world shopping experience in a romantic setting, while discovering everything from couture fashions to original fine art, home furnishings, and antique treasures in dozens of boutiques and galleries, plus entertainment in the Covington Cultural District.  Most shops are open 9am-5pm. Restaurant and bar hours vary. 

Ritz-Carlton Gingerbread Build (New Orleans)

Now through December 23 at 12pm & 3pm. Children of all ages are invited to build a festive gingerbread house. Price includes one gingerbread house with all the decorating essentials. Adult supervision and reservations are required. Every Saturday & Sunday from November 27 – December 12. Daily, from December 18 – 23. Starting time: 12 pm & 3 pm.

Ritz-Carlton Papa Noel Tea (New Orleans)

Now through December 23 at 11am & 2:30pm. Visit the hotel’s Davenport Lounge for a special holiday celebration featuring an appearance by Papa Noel. Every Saturday & Sunday from November 27 – December 12. Daily, from December 18 – 23.Starting time: 11 am & 2:30 pm.  

New Orleans Reveillon Dinners  (New Orleans)

Now through December 31. A Creole tradition from the mid-1800s, dozens of New Orleans’ finest restaurants serve up decadent four-course holiday feasts with all the trimmings for the month of December. Reveillon Dinner menus and specials typically begin following Thanksgiving Day. Make sure to reach out to individual restaurants for participation dates and offers.

Kenner Christmas Village

Now through Christmas from 6-9pm. Every year, the streets and buildings in Rivertown from the railroad tracks to the river are adorned with dazzling lights and displays for the holidays.The festivities culminate in Kenner’s Heritage Park, located at the center of the district and open every day and evening. Visitors can wander through and view the festival displays, shop local food and craft vendors, find a unique gift, take a photo with Santa or catch a song or dance performance by community churches and school groups. Children revel in the sudsy “snow” that blankets the park throughout the evening and a special holiday-themed musical laser light show plays in the Planetarium theater right across the street. 

St. Louis Cathedral Holiday Concert Series 

Now through December 18 (Select Dates). The historic St. Louis Cathedral and Basilica plays host to an annual holiday tradition of staging free concerts by prominent New Orleans musicians, church choirs, and singers in the jazz, classical, gospel, and pop genres. Within the Gothic splendor of one of America’s oldest and most architecturally significant churches, the acoustics lend an air of reverence to the performances.

O Wondrous Night: NPAS Chorus Concerts (Mandeville)

December 3 at 7:30pm, December 5 at 3pm. Northlake Performing Arts Society Chorus will perform two holiday concerts at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville.

Holiday Movies on the Mississippi (New Orleans)

December 3, 10 & 17 from 6:30-8:30pm. Please join the Downtown Development District and The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk for three weekends of free outdoor holiday movies. December 3rd: The Polar Express – December 10th: The Grinch (2000 Version) – December 17th: Elf.

Holiday of Lights (Mandeville)

December 3-25 from 5-8:30pm. The annual Holiday of Lights on Koop Drive in Mandeville returns for its 22nd year, typically featuring entertainment from local schools and area performance groups. Due to Covid-19 concerns, a modified version will go forward this Christmas season as a drive-thru only event. The drive-thru Holiday of Lights display runs Fridays through Sundays from December 3-19, and on Christmas Eve and Christmas night, Dec. 24-25.

A Very Merry Christmas Spectacular (Mandeville)

December 3-5 & 10-12. Bring the whole family to 30 by Ninety Theatre’s spirited celebration of the holidays featuring a variety of acts by local performers of all ages. Singing, dancing, comedy and so much more will certainly get you ready for the holidays. See website for various showtimes. 

Christmas Under the Stars (Slidell)

December 3, 4, 10, 11 from 6-9pm. This annual holiday celebration at Griffith Park in Olde Towne Slidell is a celebration of twinkling lights, festive decorations, life-size Christmas Cottages and other family fun. 

Babes in Toyland (Covington)

December 3-5 & 10-12. Playmakers Theater is putting on this classic story from 1903.Mother Goose Land is all astir over the rivalry between miserly, mean-hearted Uncle Barnaby and young, handsome, gentle Alan for the love of Mistress Mary Quite Contrary. Getting in the act are Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep, and as many other Mother Goose characters as the director wants to use, along with Barnaby’s clownish hit men, Roderigo and Gonzorgo. Trying to escape, Alan and Mary have to pass through the dangerous Spider’s Forest. Even in Toyland they are not safe, and the fast action and beautiful music continue.

Rivertown’s Elf The Musical (Kenner)

December 3-19. Rivertown takes on a modern-day holiday classic. Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Slidell)

December 3-19, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm. The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world–so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. It’s up to Bradley and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes in this buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic.

Lafreniere Christmas in the Park (Metairie)

December 3-20. Lafreniere Park sparkles for the holidays with millions of twinkling lights and displays. Constructed with over 10 million LED lights, this year’s new exhibit is an interactive Christmas tree. Elaborate decorations, artificial snow, and festive lighted displays illuminate Lafreniere Park and include themes such as Star Wars, Marvel & D.C Comics, Minions, Disney Princesses, a pirate ship and so much more.

Teddy Bear Tea at the Roosevelt (New Orleans)

December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 & 22-24. Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your children to enjoy a presentation of delicious holiday food, specialty teas, and tasty pastries, as well as sparkling wine and mimosas for Mom and Dad. Individual seats are available for pre-paid, non-refundable purchase. Reservations and seating times via the link above. 

Santa’s Pajama Party at Restaurant R’evolution (New Orleans)

December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 & 20-23. Prepare for the holidays in your pajamas at Restaurant R’evolution within Royal Snownesta! Children can wear their favorite holiday pajamas, deliver their wish list and visit with Santa and the Sugarplum Fairy Princess. Sip only the best house-made hot chocolate, warm apple cider and enjoy delicious food while decorating your own cookies (Chef John Folse’s famous recipe of course)! December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 seating at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; December 20-23 offering one seating at 12:30 p.m.

La Petite Holiday Teas (Metairie)

December 5 & 11. La Petite Palace in Metairie hosts these holiday teas that sell out quickly, so don’t delay in placing reservations. The theme for Dec 5 is Who-liday Tea and Dec 11 is Nutrcracker Tea. Each feature storytime, crafts, photo ops, and tasty treats. Visit website for seating times.

English Tea Room Nutcracker Christmas Tea (Covington)

December 5, 12 & 19 AT 11am & 2:30pm. This festive tea will include delicious treats and special entertainment. While Nutcracker ballerinas perform and provide a special dance session with the children, guests can nibble on assorted tea sandwiches, hot and cold Hors d’oeuvres, holiday themed desserts and fresh baked English scones served with in house made lemon curd, clotted cream & strawberry jam. Holiday tea selection includes pots of Chocolate Chai, Nutcracker Tea ( no caffeine), Cinnamon Holiday Blend Tea and White Christmas Tea. Plus, Santa Claus will visit for photos.

Supernova on the Greenway (New Orleans)

December 9-11 from 5pm-9pm. The Lafitte Greenway will host a free, socially distanced light-based outdoor art exhibit highlighting the holidays and New Orleans.

Festival of the Bonfires (Lutcher)

December 9-12. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts, Santa’s Very Merry Forest and carnival rides throughout the weekend. Each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting, a prelude to the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires. 

Prytania’s Very, Merry Christmas (Canal Place) 

December 10-24 (Fridays & Saturdays) at 11am. Prytania’s Canal Place location is the place for crafts, cupcakes & classic Christmas movies this holiday season. Each date is a double feature: December 10 & 11- The Year Without a Santa Claus & How the Grinch Stole Christmas; December 17 & 18- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Frosty the Snowman; December 23 & 24- Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town & A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Ballet Apetrei’s Nutcracker (Covington)

December 10 & 11 at 7pm & December 12 at 2pm. Ballet Apetrei presents its 33rd annual performance of The Nutcracker at Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington.

12 Days of Christmas Displays (Covington)

December 10 – January 6. From a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, downtown Covington will be aglow with holiday images this month “Covington’s Twelve Days of Christmas” returns for a second year. The tableau features twelve lighted silhouettes depicting larger-than-life images from the traditional Old English Christmas carol, exhibited at various locales in the downtown historic district. The public is invited to stroll through the city to view “four calling birds, three French hens,” and other familiar images from the well-known Christmas carol. 

PRC Holiday Home Tour (New Orleans)

December 11 & 12. Preservation Resource Center’s annual event will be part video series, part art & garden tour. The video series showcases the incredible diversity of New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods, with fascinating details about the history of each house and the community around it. The art & garden tour (10am – 3pm on Saturday, 10am – 4pm on Sunday) is all about transforming private yards and secret gardens into winter wonderlands. Working with some of the city’s most talented landscape architects and artists, these lush Garden District landscapes will be stunning holiday showcases filled with custom-designed, larger-than-life art installations.

Nutcracker Tea (Kenner)

December 11 & 12 from 12:30 – 2:30pm. A New Orleans annual holiday tradition, The Studio-School of Dance’s Nutcracker Tea will delight and engage your family this holiday season. Her Royal Highness, the Sugar Plum Fairy, has made sure that your afternoon is nothing but whimsical and has invited her dear friends from The Nutcracker to celebrate the defeat of the Mouse King with a fanciful afternoon tea party. Held this year at the Chateau Golf & Country Club in Kenner, activities will include mingling and taking photos with costumed Nutcracker dancers, making holiday crafts, writing letters to Santa, interactive games, a live performance, a visit from Santa, and more. Proceeds benefit NOLA DANCE PROJECT, their youth dance company. 

Deutsches Haus Christmas Market (New Orleans) 

December 11 & 18 from 10am – 6pm. This annual outdoor event typically features visits from the Christkind and St. Nicholas, arts and crafts for sale, and German treats and beverages. 

CMST Sugar Plum Celebrations (Mandeville)

December 16 & 17 from 10am – Noon. Children’s Museum of St. Tammany’s two-day event will feature cookie decorating, STEM and Art winter activities, refreshments, and more. Guests are encouraged to wear Christmas pajamas.

Luna Fete (New Orleans)

December 16 – 19 from 6-10pm. Arts Council New Orleans’ LUNA Fête 2021, presented by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and New Orleans & Company, offers a fresh new take on the fete — celebrating Earth and Space and the science and scientists that share their secrets, Light-based artworks by artists and scientists exploring the wonders of the natural world will be spread across 7.5 acres of the new Convention Center Pedestrian Park for visitors to safely enjoy via social distancing. A nightly arts market, delicious food, drinks, and other glowing features will be available to enjoy each night.

NOLA ChristmasFest 

December 17-22 & 25-30. This dazzling, family-friendly seasonal event is held at the convention center. Highlights include a real indoor ice skating rink, ice slides, carnival rides, Santa and friends, Gingerbread houses, decorated trees and more. It offers timed ticketing for two daily sessions.

Slidell’s Bayou Christmas

December 17-19 from 6-9pm. Presented by the Boys and Girls Club and  located at Heritage Park in Slidell, this event typically features light displays animated to holiday music, food and drinks prepared by local restaurants, live entertainment from local groups, churches and schools, handcrafted gifts, and photos with Santa. 

Nutcracker Ballet at Rivertown (Kenner)

December 18 & 19 at 2pm. Toy soldiers, the Mouse King, and the Sugar Plum Fairy–experience these classic characters again this holiday season as part of the fantastical journey with The Nutcracker. Travel to the Land of Sweets with Clara as she befriends a nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve to wage a battle against the evil Mouse King. This dancing and dreaming fantasy reminds us of the importance of imagination, love and childhood.

Single-Day Events

Abita Springs Christmas Tree Lighting & Night Market

December 3 from 6-10pm. The Town of Abita Springs hosts the 2nd Annual Fête de Noël Christmas Market and tree lighting ceremony at the Abita Springs Trailhead. The festive event includes live music from the Abita Springs Children’s Academie, market vendors with food and crafts, and festive holiday drinks.

Christmas at TerraBella (Covington)

December 3 from 6-9pm. Enjoy live holiday music from local talent, food trucks, Christmas crafts, and more at this festive event. There will be a pictures and visits with Santa, and the Christmas tree will be lit at 6pm. They are also collecting new and gently worn coats, scarves, gloves, blankets and hats to benefit the local homeless population.

LPO Holiday Spectacular (New Orleans)

December 3 at 7:30pm. The festive Holiday Spectacular returns to the Orpheum Theater. The LPO and special guests will bring an exciting holiday program to you with a few musical surprises. Perfect for the entire family.

Merry Market at Longue Vue (Metairie)

December 4 from 1-4pm. This festive event includes shopping with local vendors, crafts, and snacks from Edith and Edgar’s Museum Cafe. Photos with Santa by Loupe Photography will take place from 2PM to 3PM for an additional price. 

Deck the Rails (Covington)

December 4 from 4-6pm. Enjoy Christmas Caroling by the Northlake Performing Arts Society chorale, Christmas craft activities, a visit from Santa Claus and individually wrapped holiday treats. All activities are free and open to the public.

Covington Holiday Art Market

December 4 from 10am-2pm. St.Tammany Art Association, in partnership with the City of Covington, presents the holiday version of the Covington Art Market,  a juried market of visual arts and crafts held ten times per year on the first Saturday of the month. The event features a variety of work from local and regional artists, including jewelry, photography, paintings, woodworking, fiber art, pottery and more. 

Breakfast with Santa (Covington)

December 4 from 9am-12pm. Hosted by Lakeview Regional Medical Center, this event, designed to bring holiday cheer to the children served by Youth Service Bureau, features breakfast, train rides, a Christmas movie showing, holiday crafts, face painting and the much anticipated visit and photos with Santa. Open to the public, it also provides opportunities for guests to learn more about and support the invaluable services offered by YSB programs. 

Krewe of Krampus Drive-Thru Parade (New Orleans)

December 4 at 7-9pm. Take a scenic drive from New Orleans to the Alps this holiday season for this unusual annual event. Just beware that you are driving into the land of Krampus and his punishing Krewe. And like any dream, this “Alpine Dream” might end up being on the bizarre side as your favorite dance Krewes become Dance of the Edelweiss and a brass band gets confused on if they should play jazz or Oompah polkas. Viewers will drive through a designated route in the safety of their car and with their family or pods of friends. To experience this unique holiday performance, just purchase a ticket for your vehicle. 

Chanukah on the Avenue (New Orleans)

December 4 at 6pm. This annual tradition of lighting the Temple SInai’s outdoor Chanukah Menorah on St. Charles Ave. will begin with a lighting ceremony at 6pm, followed by Chanukah songs, latkes, and celebration. At 6:30pm, they will move into the Sanctuary for the Shabbat of Chanukah Family Service and indoor lighting ceremony.

Winter on the Water Street & Boat Parades (Mandeville)

December 4 at 4pm. Mandeville’s Lakefront is the place to be for a street parade that starts at 4pm at the Harbor at Jackson Street and ends at the Gazebo. A lighted boat parade begins at 5:30 p.m. There will be entertainment including music, face painting, lighting of the oaks, and pictures with Santa at the Gazebo.

Olde Towne Slidell Community Christmas Parade

December 5 at 5-7pm. The old-fashioned parade of decorated golf carts, holiday costumes and Santa & Mrs. Claus starts in front of Slidell City Hall, 2055 Second Street, and travels to Griffith Park, 333 Erlanger Street, for the annual lighting of the Christmas trees and Christmas under the Stars.

Miracle in the Manger: Live Nativity (Covington)

December 5 from 9:30-11am. First Baptist Church of Covington hosts this free event, designed for children from Kindergarten through 6th grade. Highlights include a special guest, Christmas crafts, treats, live animals and more. 

A Merry Madisonville Fair & Parade

December 5 from 2-8pm. Ring in the holiday season and Christmas with a fun, family event including Santa, a parade, caroling, and kids’ activities. Get photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus in “Santa’s Workshop,” sponsored by the Town of Madisonville. The parade kicks off at Lake Pontchartrain Maritime Museum. Visit link for the full route.

Festival of [Neon] Lights (New Orleans)

December 6 from 6-8pm. Join JNOLA and JP Nola – the LGBTQ+ program of the Jewish Federation – at Big Sexy Neon (1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.) on this last night of Chanukah, where they’ll present the JNOLA Cohen-Jacobs Emerging Leader Award while serving tasty food from Bertie’s Intergalactic Diner (they have latkes!) and drinks. Plus, you’ll get an exclusive demonstration by a neon artist from the gallery. Space is limited so register for this free event today. Vaccines required.

Candlelight Caroling at Covington Trailhead

December 10 from 7-8:30pm. All are invited to join the fun for music and sing-along at the second annual Candlelight Caroling at the Trailhead, where families can listen and sing along with favorite holiday tunes performed by local musicians and singing groups and more. The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating at the open-air pavilion. 

WWII Museum Holiday STEM (Virtual)

December 11 from 10:30 – 11:30am. The National World War II Museum hosts this Virtual Innovation Studio session that allows participants to explore binary code by making a candy cane with binary letters, create a light-up circuit greeting card, and make a snow ball catapult to learn about trajectories.

Ponchatoula Christmas Parade

December 11 from 5-6pm. Visit Downtown Ponchatoula and enjoy the 2021 Ponchatoula Christmas Parade: A Very “Berry” Merry Christmas!” The parade starts at Memorial Park and will travel through Downtown Ponchatoula, ending at the Ponchatoula Junior High School.

Breakfast with Santa (Mandeville)

December 11 from 9-11am. Pelican Park’s Castine Center is hosting this special holiday event for kids ages 2-10 years old. Each child will be served breakfast, meet Santa and create holiday crafts. Parents are invited to take pictures.

Holiday Drive-In Movies at Lafon Arts Center (Luling)  

December 11 at 5:30pm. Lafon Arts Center is hosting a double feature, starting with “The Grinch” followed by Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” And be sure to be on the lookout for a certain jolly North Pole resident too! 

Folsom Horse & Wagon Christmas Parade

December 11 at 1pm. Santa arrives in a horse-drawn wagon, there’s caroling, an antique tractor exhibit, and contests for most original wagon, best dressed horse & rider. 

Running of the Santas (New Orleans)

December 11 at 6pm. In this annual pilgrimage of costumed revelers through the streets of the city’s Warehouse District, the Santas will “RUN” from the “South Pole- Mannings” to the “North Pole – Generations Hall” (only a few blocks).   The Runners will assemble on Lafayette Street at the corner of South Peters.  Costume contest at 8:00pm!  A portion of the proceeds benefits “That Others May Live” Foundation. 

Santa on Trails 5K Run/Walk (Mandeville)

December 11 at 9am. Participants in this 5K run/walk to benefit New Orleans Mission shelter are invited to wear a Santa suit and bring a toy for the children of the shelter. The event takes place on the beautiful, flat trails of Fontainebleau State Park. Refreshments provided. All ages welcome, and all participants will get a Santa suit and handmade medal. Check in 7 am–8:30 am, race begins at 9 am.

Lights on the Lake (New Orleans)

December 11 from 4-8pm. Join Pontchartrain Conservancy for a beautiful night on the lake and enjoy the best spot to view the holiday boat parade – the New Canal Lighthouse. In addition to the fantastic music line-up, delicious food from local food trucks, and tantalizing hot toddies and refreshments, there will be kids craft & educational activities, and pictures with Santa.

Breakfast with Santa at Pelican Park (Mandeville)

December 11 from 9-11am. Kids ages 2-10 years old (and their families) will enjoy a magical morning featuring breakfast, crafts, games, and the chance to meet Santa. Breakfast will be served by seating arrangement. Be sure to register for the time slot of your choice as space is limited. 

St. Timothy Christmas Concert (Mandeville)

December 12 at 7-8:30pm. The annual musical celebration of the holidays is hosted by the Big Easy Award-winning St. Timothy Choir at St. Timothy on the Northshore United Methodist Church. For its 18th year performing a holiday concert for the public, the choir presents a single performance entitled When Stars Shone Down: A St. Timothy’s Christmas Special featuring The St. Timothy Choir. The performance will also be livestreamed on the church’s website. As a gift to the community, the concert is free. No reservations/tickets will be taken; admission is first-come, first-served.

Classical Christmas With The LPO (New Orleans)

December 16 at 7:30pm. Visit the Orpheum Theater to experience the glory of the Messiah alongside the holiday’s greatest classical music by Bach, Schubert and Vaughan Williams.

Caroling in Jackson Square (New Orleans)

December 19 at 7pm. Since 1946, Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre has been presenting Caroling in Jackson Square, a free community singalong for visitors and locals alike. The historic Square is illuminated by candlelight as thousands enjoy belting out holiday favorites. Complimentary songbooks and candles are provided. To keep the holidays merry and protect Carolers, current safety protocols will be enforced. Those who cannot attend may join in virtually on WLAE or via live streaming on where songbooks may be downloaded. Families, restaurants, hotels and businesses are encouraged to have their own simultaneous Caroling festivities for even greater virtual participation.

Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise on the Creole Queen (New Orleans)

December 24 at 6-8pm. Creole Queen Paddlewheeler invites guests to spend an enchanting Christmas Eve enjoying unparalleled views of the city from the elegant, garland-adorned dining rooms or from the open air of the upper deck. They will also create a New Orleans style experience with a delicious Creole dinner and a live jazz band playing New Orleans and holiday favorites. Boarding begins at 5pm at the Riverwalk/Canal Street dock, departure is 6pm, returning at 8pm. 

Christmas Eve Bonfires (St. James Parish)

December 24 at dusk. These bonfires, erected on the river levees by the keepers of this old tradition, are intended to light the way for “Papa Noël,” the Cajun Santa Claus, on his airborne journey to the area. Or, according to some sources, the bonfires may have also been a way of lighting the path to the nearest Catholic church for Midnight Mass. 

Christmas Eve on Riverboat City of New Orleans

December 24. The Riverboat City of New Orleans will host a dinner cruise on December 24th.  Enjoy a beautiful view of our city, sunset on the Mississippi River, with a dinner buffet, optional bar, and live music on board. Check their website for boarding and cruising times. 

CMST Noon Year’s Eve Bash (Mandeville)

December 31st from 10am – Noon. Wear your tiaras and top hats as Children’s Museum of St. Tammany counts down to a balloon drop at noon. Highlights include face painters, New Year’s treats, photo spots, and fun activities.

New Year’s Eve Gala  on Riverboat City of New Orleans

December 31 from 10pm-12:30am. The Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS will host a special dinner cruise on December 31st.  Enjoy a beautiful view of our city, sunset on the Mississippi River, with a dinner buffet,and much more. A late night Celebration Cruise will feature open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and music, returning after the stroke of midnight.

Creole Queen New Years Eve Cruise (New Orleans)

December 31 from 11pm-1am. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New Orleans aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen with a front row seat to the fireworks extravaganza over the Mississippi River. Enjoy a variety of hors d’oeuvres, a tasty buffet, and call-brand drinks at the open bar. Dance your way into 2022 as live bands play an assortment of musical styles on each of their three levels. Toast the New Year with Champagne and festive party favors. Boarding begins at 10pm. Reservations are required and holiday attire recommended. 

Noon Year’s Eve at LCM (New Orleans)

December 31 at 9:30am. Louisiana Children’s Museum’s famous countdown will ring in the “NOON” year with an explosion of colorful confetti and bubbles. Before that, guests can get into the holiday spirit by making their own noisemakers and designing a festive paper bag hat. There will be music, dancing, and lots of fun.