Many travelers head to New Orleans during the holiday season to see the Big Easy all done up and ready for the season's pageantry. From Réveillon dinners to the stunning Roosevelt Hotel, Christmas traditions in New Orleans are unlike any other. There is a lot going on in December, which makes New Orleans a perfect holiday destination for someone traveling alone.
New Orleans December Events:
Celebration in the Oaks - All Month Long
Head to City Park for one of the grandest and most spectacular light festivals in the country! The Park's centuries-old live oak trees are illuminated with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking displays. You can even see the iconic Mr. Bingle! Admission is $9 for adults and Celebration in the Oaks is open all of December until January 1, 2018.
Merriment on Magazine - All Month Long
During the holiday season fabulous Magazine Street has all that you need for decorating, shopping, pampering and entertaining. From the CBD to Audubon Park, New Orleans’ historic Magazine Street offers six miles of shopping, dining, art, activities and entertainment for the discriminating as well as the fun-loving solo traveler. Many business are offering Merriment Specials - click here to view. Check out some of our favorite shops on Magazine Street here.
Holiday Home Tours - Select Dates
New Orleanians love pageantry and decorating their homes for the holidays is not to be taken lightly. Some French Quarter and Uptown residents are gracious enough to open their doors for the holidays! Two local organizations, the Preservation Resource Center and the Patio Planters, conduct New Orleans holiday home tours on selected weekends during the month of December. Check out the holiday home tours here to experience the magical ambiance of New Orleans homes.
Beignet Fest - First Week in December
With a celebration for almost every food and beverage imaginable, it’s no surprise that the city honors this iconic French treat! This event is FREE and open to the public. The festival is held in early December from 10 a.m. to 6 p,m. at New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds. Awards will be given for the Best Sweet Beignet, Best Savory Beignet, Most Original Beignet, and “Crowd Favorite Beignet. YUM!!
Algiers Bonfires on the Levee - First Week in December
A South Louisiana tradition like no other, bonfires on the levee light the way for Papa Noël! Most bonfires are lit on Christmas Eve, but Algiers is getting the celebration started early in the first week of December from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The site is on the west bank of New Orleans, near a bend in the river directly opposite the French Quarter. It can be viewed from the Moonwalk adjacent to Woldenberg Riverfront Park or from Algiers Point itself.
LUNA Fête- First and Second Week in December
One of the most impressive and unique holiday celebrations, LUNA Fete, uses the city's iconic architecture as the canvas for large-scale, awe-inspiring outdoor light installations across the CBD. This multi-day celebration is free and open to the public and features illuminated installations, digital sculptures, video-mapping projections, and art animated by technology. The festival will take place in Lafayette Square and along Lafayette St. to Fulton St.
Caroling in Jackson Square - Mid-December
One of our favorite holiday traditions, taking place a few days before Christmas, is when residents and visitors of New Orleans alike join together to sing carols by candle light, lifting their voices high into the night. Sponsored by Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre, caroling in Jackson Square attracts hundreds of people who gather in the square after dark, with the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral looming in the background.
NOLA Christmas Fest - Third and Fourth Week in December
Hosted at the Convention Center, NOLA ChristmasFest opens in the third week of December and runs through December 31st. NOLA ChristmasFest is home to a wide array of fun things to do and sights to see including New Orleans' only real ice skating rink, ice slides, carnivals rides, snowball fights, gingerbread house exhibits, decorated trees and more! Get into the holiday spirit sola at this fun Fest!
New Years Eve
New Orleans is known for putting a twist on every holiday, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Whether it’s the fleur-de-lis drop, the fireworks, or the parties throughout the city, New Year’s Eve in New Orleans is one-of-a-kind. Annually New Years Eve activities start early on December 31st and will last throughout New Years Day.
Make New Orleans your end of the year solo destination for creating many great travel memories.
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Author: Astrid Clements
Astrid Solo Travel Advisor CEO and founder, Astrid, has spent over 40 years traveling around the world. She is passionate about embracing the world’s diverse cultures and sharing with others the global need and personal benefit of cultural literacy. Her focus is on affordable luxury travel that is both substantive and fun! To read more about her and each one of our Solo Travel Advisors, head over to the About page!