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Things to Do

Weekend Picks: Caroling in Jackson Square, Harry Connick, Jr.’s Tricentennial Celebration, and More

Caroling in Jackson Square (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

This weekend in New Orleans, the holiday fun continues. Head out to New Orleans East for the inaugural Jingle on the Boulevard Parade. Hear New Orleans’ own Harry Connick, Jr. perform a special hometown Tricentennial show this Saturday at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Enjoy a performance of the Nutcracker, then get your holiday shopping done at the Music Box Village Holiday Art Market. Finally, participate in the New Orleans tradition of Caroling in Jackson Square on Sunday evening. It’s all holiday, all the time this weekend, and we love it!

Santa’s North Pole Steam Train (Photo courtesy of The Louisiana Steam Train Association)


Santa’s North Pole Steam Train – All aboard for a trip to…. Mardi Gras World? That’s right, last year’s popular train ride for kids is back, this time with two chances to experience the holiday magic. Departing from the Fly at Audubon Park, the train will head to Mardi Gras World for a Polar Express movie party before returning back to the Fly. Tickets ($125) are only available online and must be purchased before Dec. 14.

Jingle on the Boulevard Parade – The Jingle on the Boulevard Parade is a new holiday parade in New Orleans East, rolling from Crowder Boulevard to Lake Forest Plaza. The parade, spearheaded by Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen, will feature some of the city’s best marching units along with signature souvenir throws and surprise celebrity guest appearances. Go out and experience the parade in its inaugural year this Saturday at noon.

Harry Connick, Jr. – A New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration – Wish NOLA a Happy 300th Birthday one last time with a show from New Orleans’ own Harry Connick, Jr. as he stops at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Dec. 15. His New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration Tour has taken him all over the country and the world, celebrating NOLA everywhere he goes. When the tour stops here, he will perform both New Orleans and holiday favorites, and the proceeds from the show will benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, which he co-founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. For VIP experiences benefiting the Ellis Marsalis Center, see here. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $18.

The New Canal Lighthouse (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Lights on the Lake – From 2-8 p.m. Saturday, head out to the New Orleans Lakefront for Lights on the Lake. Enjoy music, food, crafts, raffle prizes, pictures with Santa, and the holiday boat parade at 5:30 p.m. Take a tour of the New Canal Lighthouse while you’re there. Admission to the Lighthouse is $5, and children under 12 are free.

The Orpheum Theater (Photo: Rebecca Todd)


The Nutcracker – Catch the New Orleans Ballet Theater’s production of this classic holiday tale with three performances at the Orpheum Theater this weekend. Revel in the spirit of the season with fun costumes, sets, and dancing during this two-act ballet. Tickets start at $38.50.


Pythian Market Holiday Drag Brunch – The Pythian Market is gearing up for the holidays with a very festive Drag Brunch this Sunday, Dec. 16. From noon to 2 p.m., enjoy brunch items from the market’s 13 vendors as well as live holiday-themed performances by queens Taze-Ya Ballz, Gia GiaVanni, and Lana O’Day, along with cocktail specials.

The Music Box Village (Photo: Zack Smith)

Music Box Village Holiday Art Market – Shop from over 40 vendors at the Music Box Village’s Holiday Art Market this Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Shop jewelry, handmade soaps, antique and vintage items, art, fresh produce, and more while enjoying local food pop-ups. Happy hour is from 4-5 p.m. and will feature assorted snacks and beverages from the in-house bar.

Caroling in Jackson Square (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Caroling in Jackson Square – Get into the holiday spirit on Sunday, Dec. 16 by spreading joy with this holiday tradition that started in 1946. Gates to Jackson Square open at 6:30 p.m., and candles and song sheets are given to those who wish to participate. Caroling begins at 7 p.m. and is open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Be sure to arrive early as this special event typically draws thousands of people.

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