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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: LUNA Fête, Running of the Santas, and More

Luna Fête (Photo: Paul Broussard)

This weekend in New Orleans, we’re here for the holidays. The entire city will be aglow with holiday lights, be it via LUNA Fête downtown, Zoo Lights at the Audubon Zoo Uptown, or Celebration in the Oaks in Mid-City. Get into the holiday spirit with a seasonal show, or become part of the action with Running of the Santas on Saturday. This weekend, we’re celebrating Hanukkah with different events around town. Mark your calendars, then head out to experience some holiday joy in New Orleans this weekend.

LUNA Fête (Photo: Paul Broussard)


LUNA Fête – From Dec. 6-9, the Arts Council New Orleans creates a visual wonderland in downtown New Orleans. LUNA Fête, now in its fifth year, is free and open to the public and includes light projections, illuminated installations, and more as it explores new technology each year. In addition to the art installations, there will be a nightly arts market, drinks, and food from local vendors. LUNA Fête begins in Lafayette Square and runs 6-10 p.m. nightly. For the VIP experience, check out the Sonder LUNA Lounge where tickets start at $50.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – Those who love a true holiday classic will enjoy Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Le Petit Theatre this December. This first-annual production of the Christmas classic features 20 young artists from Le Petit’s Young Conservatory Program. See the performance Dec. 7-23. Tickets start at $15 for students and $35 for adults, and can be purchased here.

A latke dinner at Marjie’s Grill (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Celebrate Hanukkah in New Orleans – From Dec. 2-10, enjoy community Hanukkah celebrations in New Orleans. Enjoy nightly Hanukkah meals at Saba and Marjie’s Grill, where both restaurants have crafted special menus for the holiday. Catch the Mobile Menorah Parade on Saturday, Dec. 8 in downtown New Orleans at 7:30 p.m. Learn more about Hanukkah celebrations here.


Running of the Santas – Running of the Santas brings Santas from far and wide together for a good time. Join the masses in a run through the Warehouse District to a party with a costume contest and drink specials afterwards. The day starts with an outdoor party at Manning’s at 11 a.m. The Santas will proceed to “run” to Generations Hall at 5:45 p.m. where the costume contest will take place at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased here.

Holiday Spectacular: The Stompers Save Christmas – Everyone’s favorite all-male dance crew is here to ring in the holiday season this Saturday at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased here.


A Mexican Christmas Tamale Dinner – This Thursday, Dec. 6, enjoy a delicious evening of tamales, tequila, and other Mexican food and drink favorites at this dinner benefiting the Link Stryjewski Foundation. The family-style Mexican Christmas feast will be held at Cochon with the menu prepared by acclaimed Chef Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol in Atlanta and Tennessee. The cost of the dinner is $85 per person, and reservations are required and can be made by calling Cochon at (504) 588-2123.

Celebration in the Oaks (Photo: Paul Broussard)


Celebration in the Oaks – Enjoy the lights at City Park with Celebration in the Oaks, now open nightly through Jan. 1 (closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve). For some added fun this Saturday, participate in the Celebration in the Oaks Two-Mile Run/Walk at 3 p.m. The race will take place through the lights display and includes refreshments afterwards. Registration is $30.

Zoo Lights – Head to the Audubon Zoo for Zoo Lights, a holiday lights display featuring nightly entertainment and kids’ activities each weekend in December. Enjoy Zoo Lights this weekend from Dec. 6-7 and 9, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for Audubon Institute members.

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