You might think of New Orleans as the place to be during Mardi Gras or a Super Bowl game, but it's great fun over the winter holidays, too. It has great shopping, and you might find that very special gift that will knock someone's socks off in the French Quarter or in a shop on Magazine Street. Get in the holiday spirit -- and some ideas -- at holiday home and garden tours. And, of course, there's great college football. NOLA during the holidays is filled with festivals, tree lightings, caroling and concerts. And if you need a break from all this Christmas stuff, get yourself to Frenchman Street in Faubourg Marigny and relax with your favorite kind of music. It's all there, every night in every season.
01 of 09
Celebration in the Oaks is New Orleans' most beloved holiday event. From the day after Thanksgiving until early January, City Park is turned into a most beautiful wonderland. A must-see for all locals and visitors of all ages.
- City Park photos
- The Sculpture Garden in City Park
- Pictorialof the Sculpture Garden
02 of 09
These Christmas concerts at St. Louis Cathedral are scheduled at 6 p.m. on many days in December. If you're staying in the French Quarter or the Central Business District, stop in for some holiday inspiration.
03 of 09
A wonderful 19th-century Creole tradition, reveillon dinners are still celebrated in restaurants all over New Orleans. These events, which trace their roots to Creole French families, only happen over the holidays. Top line restaurants offer these dinners, which have special menus and during which large families are often seated around large tables.
04 of 09
Whether it's the Beauregard-Keyes House, Gallier House, the Lousiana Museum's 1850s house, the Old Ursuline Convent or and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum in the French Quarter or the Garden District, New Orleans residences are beautifully decorated for the holidays, and many are open to the public for tours.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
There's just nothing more elegant than a Christmas tea that includes the holiday decorations, music and festive munchies. They are a festive way to spend and afternoon. Many teas are Teddy Bear Teas, specially designed for moms and grandmothers to enjoy with the kids.
06 of 09
The Sugar Bowl is a great time for college football fans. It's played every year in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. So if football's your game, this is the place to be around New Year's. Party afterward on Bourbon Street (win or lose) for a total NOLA experience.
07 of 09
Skip the malls and shop New Orleans style on Magazine Street and the French Quarter for antiques, decor, accessories and only-in-New Orleans stocking stuffers.
08 of 09
The “Louisiana Living History Project” sponsors this popular tradition. Famous Louisiana characters stroll through the French Quarter, telling their stories and cementing their place in history. This happens all through the month of December.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Canal Street, the great divide between the old Creole section of the city and the so-called American sector, is one of the widest main streets in America and the center of New Orleans' holiday lights and celebrations. The lighting of Canal Street usually takes place right before Thanksgiving and includes a parade and street parties.