New Orleans offers plenty of great places to see Christmas light displays. From one of the city's oldest and most well-known parks and festive store- and restaurant-lined streets to a historic hotel and even Santa's workshop, The Big Easy has many terrific spots to take your family to view spectacular holiday displays.
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Celebration in the Oaks is the city's must-see light display. Listed by "USA Today" as one of the top 10 holiday light displays in the U.S. the event, which kicks off every year on the day after Thanksgiving, "is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country," drawing more than 165,000 visitors annually, according to the City Park website. Held under century-old oaks, the display takes place in New Orleans' City Park, one of the oldest urban parks in the country, and lasts until Jan. 2.
The attraction also features vintage rides, including an antique wooden carousel and a miniature train that tours the park. There's a 14,000-square-foot elevated historic train exhibit that has almost 40 intricately crafted New Orleans landmark buildings between 1 and 3 feet tall and replicas of New Orleans streetcars. And, be sure to visit the Cajun village, the ice rink and a restaurant with some great food.
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Canal Street-Home for the Holidays is a series of events for children and adults of all ages who visit the downtown street throughout the month of December. Canal Street, a wide expanse that separates the French Quarter and American Sector, is beautifully decorated every year. Events include a Christmas parade, outdoor movie, block party and Reindeer Run and Romp, a 5K-race, 1-mile fun run and 1/2 mile "Eggnog Jog" that starts and ends at the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk in Spanish Plaza.
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Fulton Street, in the warehouse/arts district of New Orleans, is a pedestrian mall lined with restaurants and shops year-round. At Christmastime, the street comes alive -- it's beautifully decorated, features faux snow delivered on a regular basis as well as visits by Santa. That's why in December locals simply call the event, the "Miracle on Fulton Street."
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It's a little-known fact that Santa has a secret workshop in New Orleans. Set in a large, beautiful Victorian mansion, there's room for angle choirs, elves, Ms. Clause and of course Santa's sleigh in his control room. This is a first-class attraction that the whole family will love. It's only open on select nights in December so get your tickets online and ahead of time Santa's special website.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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A favorite tradition for everyone who grew up in New Orleans is taking a walk through the Roosevelt Hotel lobby in December. This lobby runs for an entire city block and, years ago, the ceiling was covered with angel hair and colored lights. Today the lobby is a beautiful sight with thousands of white lights twinkling in birch trees along the sides and over the ceiling. It's a magical sight and well worth the walk-through.