This weekend in New Orleans, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, a college football rivalry, and Small Business Saturday. Kick off the weekend early with a meal (or two, or three) at New Orleans’ famed restaurants. Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to explore the city, and we’ve got a few recommendations below. Support local business all throughout the weekend, and get a jump start on your holiday activities with Celebration in the Oaks and Audubon Zoo Lights. It’s the holiday season, y’all.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Bayou Classic – Bayou Classic is the ultimate college football rivalry between Grambling State and Southern University held every November in New Orleans. The 46th annual game will take place Saturday, Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Greek Show & Battle of the Bands will be held Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Superdome. Participate in the Fan Fest, Doc Griggs 2x Around the Dome race, and more throughout the weekend. Tickets for the game start at $16.
Tank and the Bangas – Fresh off a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, Tank and the Bangas play Tipitina’s this Saturday alongside CASME’ and The Suffers. At this “Tanks-giving” Weekend Bash, you’ll hear everything from hip-hop to R&B to jazz and soul. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $27.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Palmer Park Art Market – The intersection of S Carrollton and S Claiborne avenues is home to Palmer Park, which transforms into an arts market once a month. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and browse jewelry, pottery, printmaking, soap, clothing, and goods from over 100 local artists. Food vendors and music are also part of the fun. The market is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Thanksgiving Day, skip the holiday cooking headache and eat out at one of these restaurants. If you’ve already got your meal planned, run in the Turkey Day race, attend a yoga class, volunteer, or attend one of these events on Thanksgiving Day.
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday – Shop local this holiday season beginning on Thanksgiving weekend. Visit the businesses in Algiers Point, on Bayou Road, on Magazine Street, and other hot spots in the city for the best gifts you’ll find this season. The Historic New Orleans Collection, Vintage Rock Club, Krewe of Krampus, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art with all be hosting special holiday markets featuring local vendors over the weekend.
Miracle on Fulton Street – Beginning on Friday, Miracle on Fulton Street is a month-long holiday celebration in downtown New Orleans. The intersection of Fulton Street and Lafayette Street will transform into a winter wonderland with a towering 30-foot Christmas tree and “snow” fall daily from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. at the beginning of each hour. New this year is “Lamplighter,” an interactive human-scale lantern created by local artist Nolan Beaver and provided through Harrah’s partnership with the Arts Council of New Orleans’ LUNA Fête. Every Friday and Saturday evening, guests can enjoy activities including face painting and live entertainment. Visit through December 28.
Christmas Miracle Pop-Up – From November 25 to December 31, Longway Tavern and Barrel Proof will transform into a winter wonderland. Clever cocktails and over-the-top decorations are trademarks of the internationally sought after Christmas Miracle Pop-Up, which is essentially an ugly Christmas sweater come to life. This is the pop-up’s first time in New Orleans. Visit Miracle at Longway Tavern Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until close, and from 10 a.m. to close Friday through Sunday. Visit Miracle at Barrel Proof every day from 4 p.m. until close. No reservation necessary.
Celebration in the Oaks – Officially open for the holiday season, Celebration in the Oaks brings joy to the New Orleans community through massive lights displays over 25 acres of City Park. Enjoy Campfire Village, take photos with Santa, listen to a local choir, or take a carriage ride through the park this season. Enjoy Celebration in the Oaks from Friday, Nov. 29 through January 1. Tickets are $10 and visitors are advised to buy them online in advance.
Audubon Zoo Lights – On weekends from November 29 through December 30, the Audubon Zoo will transform into a dazzling lights festival complete with food and drink, entertainment, and children’s activities. Stop by the 30-foot endangered species tree, take a photo with Santa, or say hello to the elves during your visit. Tickets are $15 online in advance.