Christmas Lights in New Orleans

If you're planning a trip to New Orleans during the winter holiday season, the city plays host to a number of great Christmas light displays throughout November and December.

From the festive store at one of the city's oldest and most well-known parks to the Christmas remodeling of one of the city's most historic hotels, New Orleans offers tourists and residents alike plenty of opportunities to experience the spirit of the season.

Explore the following list and plan your trip to New Orleans this winter so that you won't miss out on any of the world-class light displays happening this time of year—the Big Easy has many terrific spots to take your family to view spectacular Christmas lights that you certainly won't want to miss.

  • 01 of 05
    Celebration in the Oaks
    CC/Flickr/ Infrogmation of New Orleans

    Celebration in the Oaks started as a small fundraiser for the New Orleans Botanical Gardens called "A Tribute to a Christmas Tree," but has now evolved into the city's must-see light display during the holiday season that funds 13 percent of the Park's annual budget with its fundraising success each year.

    Listed by USA Today as one of the top 10 holiday light displays in the United States, CIO kicks off every year on the day after Thanksgiving and "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 January 2. The attraction also features vintage rides, including an antique wooden carousel and a miniature train that tours the park.

  • 02 of 05

    Canal Street Holiday Celebrations

    Trolley and Lights
    CC/Flickr/ Erik Larson

    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, one-mile fun run and a half-mile "Eggnog Jog" that starts and ends at the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk in Spanish Plaza.

    Be sure to check out the official website for up-to-date listings on special events, performances, and attractions before planning your trip to New Orleans for Christmas.

  • 03 of 05
    Miracle on Fulton Street
    CC/Flickr/ black.stilettos

    Fulton Street, in the warehouse and arts district of New Orleans, is a pedestrian mall lined with restaurants and shops year-round, but at Christmas time, the street comes alive—it's beautifully decorated, features faux snow, and offers visitors a chance to meet Santa Claus.

    Dates are released each year on the official Facebook page for Fulton Street NOLA, so be sure to visit their website for more information about upcoming events and when's the best time to check out the lighting displays down Fulton Street.

  • 04 of 05

    NOLA ChristmasFest

    Santa giving out Christmas gift
    Blend Images - KidStock/Getty Images

    Located at the New Orleans Convention Center, this annual event brings all the magic of Christmas with a 10-day, indoor Christmas festival featuring an ice skating rink, snowball fighting area, decorated Christmas trees, a life-sized maze, and even an ice slide.

    The event usually takes place in the last two weeks of December, and its dates for 2017 are December 21 through 31, and you can catch Santa Claus for a picture between the 21st and 24th for an additional fee. Be sure to check out the official website for pricing details, hours, and the special events' calendar.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Roosevelt Hotel Lobby

    Roosevelt Hotel lobby, New Orleans
    CC/Flickr/ Infrogmation of New Orleans

    A favorite tradition for everyone who grew up in New Orleans is taking a walk through the Roosevelt Hotel lobby in December, and in 2017 the Roosevelt Hotel Lobby lights up its display on November 28.

    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.

    If you're planning on visiting on Christmas Day, the Roosevelt Hotel's Christmas Day brunches and dinners are among the best meals available in New Orleans during this holiday. Reservations sell out quickly, though, and prices are—as expected from luxury hotels—rather high, but the experience and ambiance on Christmas Day are completely worth the cost.