New Orleans is overflowing with fun, healthy activities in December. With the weather perfect for running, there are a half-dozen races taking place across the city, all of which include a great after-party. If you find yourself needing to slow down during the holiday rush, you can find community yoga classes in breathtaking locations, like beneath the dazzling lights in Celebration in the Oaks, or in the serenity of Longue Vue House and Gardens. Now all you need to do is go.
Each winter, City Park strings 500,000 lights through its trees and gardens for a dazzling holiday display. This year, you can practice yoga amidst it all during Kindred Yoga at Celebration in The Oaks. This 60-minute gentle flow class is available to all levels of practitioners and will help you slow down during the busy holiday season. Class takes place beneath a magnificent oak tree adorned with shimmering lights in the Botanical Gardens and will be taught by local yoga teachers and sisters Kim and Kandice Doley. Make sure to bring your mat.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: City Park Botanical Gardens, 5 Victory Ave.
Cost: $10 admission to the park
This two-mile fun run is family-friendly and takes place in beautiful City Park. You’ll spot runners in Santa outfits and reindeer antlers as they make their way through the course, and the post-race party includes music, dancing, and complimentary refreshments like hot chocolate, beer, and gumbo. Your race bib grants you access to the Botanical Gardens plus the Celebration in The Oaks light display, so make sure you carve out time to tour the park afterward.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2 p.m.
Where: Storyland in New Orleans City Park, 7 Victory Ave.
This festive, family-friendly 5K benefits The Arthritis Foundation. Participants are encouraged to don their favorite holiday-themed costume as they run (or walk) the scenic route through Audubon Park. Afterward, enjoy fun activities and complimentary refreshments.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, 9 a.m.
Where: Audubon Park, 6500 Magazine St.
Here’s a recipe for a healthy Saturday: First, enjoy 60 minutes of fun, invigorating yoga with local instructor Mark Berger at True Food Kitchen in the CBD. Then, grab a table and enjoy 15 percent off healthy brunch options that include delectable, plant-based dishes at the newly-opened True Food Kitchen in the Warehouse District. True Food Kitchen’s philosophy is to make food that is both healthy and delicious, and this event is sure to be a treat.
When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m.
Where: True Food Kitchen, 801 St. Charles Ave.
Cost: Yoga by donation, brunch is 15 percent off
Unroll your mat in the grassy gardens of Longue Vue House and Gardens and soak in the beautiful scenery. This all-levels yoga class will be taught by instructors from nearby Pilates & Yoga Loft and will help you unwind amidst the holiday season. If the weather is chilly or rainy, the class will be moved indoors. Make sure to bring your mat.
When: Sunday, Dec. 15, 10-11 a.m.
Where: Longue Vue House and Gardens, 7 Bamboo Rd.
Cost: $10 or free for members
Feel the exhilaration of sprinting across the middle of the Superdome during “Dashing Through Dome,” a two-mile fun run. Brought to you by the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the race circles the outside of the Dome before finishing in the middle of the field. Admission includes post-race refreshments, a t-shirt, and one ticket to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, December 21. Bonus: Save $10 when you purchase tickets to Dashing Through the Dome and Yoga in the Dome together.
When: Friday, Dec. 20, 6 p.m.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr.
It’s official: Yogis are taking over the Superdome. Join NOLA Tribe Yoga and The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl for Yoga in the Dome, an all-levels class that takes place in the middle of the field. All participants will receive a custom water bottle, t-shirt, post-event refreshments, and a ticket to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 21. Mat rentals are available for $3, and parking is free.
When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr.
This inaugural fun-run takes place in Crescent Park and runs along the French Quarter, Marigny, and Bywater. The race benefits Big Easy Pet Rescue and is kid-friendly: participants can choose to run the half-mile or 5K, and kids and seniors receive discounted race entry. After the run, stick around for complimentary food and refreshments.
When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m.
Where: Crescent Park – Mandeville Street Wharf
With a philosophy of “always go out,” this local run club meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The route is 3-5 miles and is always a secret—the club announces the run location the day before on Instagram. A run leader will lead you through a carefully planned path with stops to share local history, and the pace is for all levels of runners, from joggers to sprinters. Keep an eye out on Instagram to find out the exact meetup location.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 31, 7 p.m.
Where: Announced the day before on Instagram