This weekend in New Orleans is full of holiday celebrations. As the last weekend before Christmas, and with Hanukkah beginning on Sunday, there’s plenty of holiday cheer to go around. NOLA ChristmasFest returns this weekend with its larger-than-life ice skating rink, and Christmas carols will be sung both in Jackson Square and Algiers Point. Attend the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, or take part in Yoga in the Dome earlier that morning. The grand Menorah lighting takes place on Sunday at Riverwalk in honor of the first night of Hanukkah.
A Christmas Story, The Musical – A Christmas Story, The Musical brings the 1983 film of the same name to life in a hilarious production perfect for families. Set in 1940s Indiana, a young Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. The whole family will get a kick out of this musical, arriving just in time for the holidays. Catch the production December 17-22 at the Saenger Theater. Tickets start at $30.
NOLA ChristmasFest – The Convention Center transforms into the ultimate winter wonderland complete with a 52-by-140-foot ice skating rink, carnival rides, a carousel, an ice slide, inflatable bouncy houses, a 15-foot interactive snow globe, pictures with Santa, and a whole lot more. Truly, this is something you have to experience first-hand in New Orleans. NOLA ChristmasFest is open December 20-31, including Christmas Day. Tickets are $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends.
Home for the Holidays Concert – Trombone Shorty and Friends, the Preservation Hall Band, Water Seed, James Andrews, New Breed Brass Band, Rockin Dopsie, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, Alexis and the Samurai, and Tarriona “Tank” Ball of the Grammy-nominated Tank and the Bangas will take the stage at the House of Blues in concert this Friday. Preceding the 8 p.m. Home for the Holidays concert is the Patron Party, which includes food and drink and features an intimate concert from Irma Thomas and John Boutte at 6:30 p.m. Patron party tickets cost $147.25 and concert tickets cost $47.25. Proceeds benefit the Daniel Price Memorial Fund for Aspiring Artists, which honors the memory of NOCCA alumnus Daniel Price and provides scholarships for visual arts and music students at NOCCA.
Yoga in the Dome – The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and NOLA Tribe Yoga have partnered to bring you the first and only large scale yoga session in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Taking place on the field, participants will be treated to a fun and energetic session that is good for people of all skill levels. Tickets are $30 and include a t-shirt, water bottle, and ticket to that evening’s Bowl Game between Appalachian State and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Rental mats are available for $3 and parking is free. Yoga in the Dome begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Caroling & Holiday Shopping in Algiers Point – Algiers is home to great shopping as well as food and drinks. Why not combine that with the sounds of the season? Caroling will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21 at Compass Point Events. International Jazz singer Anaïs St. John will lead the group of carolers in a stroll that features stops at different businesses with drink specials and goodies along the way. Stop in to shop, or continue with the carolers as they journey across the neighborhood. Songbooks will be provided.
Patio Planters Holiday Home Tour – From 1-4 p.m. Sunday, French Quarter residents will open their homes for all to see. Decked out for the holidays, the tour includes interesting architectural styles and home furnishings, as well as a variety of collections of Christmas decorations. Tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased online.
Chanukah at Riverwalk – On the first night of Hanukkah, celebrate with the community as the Menorah is lit on the Riverfront. Enjoy music, kosher food, entertainment, and children’s activities at this event. The grand Menorah lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the terrace overlooking the Mississippi River. Chanukah at Riverwalk is free and open to the public from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For more Hanukkah festivities, see here.
Caroling in Jackson Square – Caroling in Jackson Square is a New Orleans tradition. Gather around St. Louis Cathedral and join your fellow carolers in song. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the caroling begins at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Baroque Christmas – A holiday classic in New Orleans, Baroque Christmas from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra features S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah. See the show this Thursday, Dec. 19 at the Orpheum Theater. Tickets start at $20 and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m.
Tunes for Toys – Tunes for Toys, presented by the Trombone Shorty Foundation and the Gia Maione Prima Foundation, is back for a sixth year this Thursday, Dec. 19. New Breed Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, Trombone Shorty Academy students, and special guest Trombone Shorty will be performing in a special toy drive benefit concert at Tipitina’s. The show is 18+ and open to the public, but be sure to bring a new, unwrapped toy for admission. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.
All month long, experience the holidays in New Orleans. Start by seeing the lights at Celebration in the Oaks, Zoo Lights, and the Roosevelt Hotel. Visit Miracle on Fulton Street to see the snow. Between holiday concerts, tea, Réveillon, and holiday shopping, there’s plenty to see and do this month in New Orleans.