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Things to Do

Weekend Picks: NOLA ChristmasFest, ELF the Musical, and More

Celebrate the season by ice skating at NOLA ChristmasFest. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

The holidays are here, and we’ve got a great roundup of events taking place across the city for your choosing. Listen to the sounds of the season at the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s Baroque Christmas. See the sights of the season at Celebration in the Oaks and Audubon Zoo Lights – two spectacular, holiday lights displays. Taste the season with Réveillon as restaurants prepare the traditional meal all December long. Here’s to the holidays!

Matt Kopec (Buddy) and the cast of ELF The Musical (Photo by Joan Marcus)


ELF the Musical – This hilarious movie-based-musical follows Buddy as he embarks on a journey to find his birth father during the magic of the holiday season. Watch as the tale comes to life this week at the Saenger Theatre, just in time for the holidays. Catch the show Dec. 18-23. Tickets start at $30.

NOLA ChristmasFest – NOLA ChristmasFest is back at the Convention Center from Dec. 20-31. At this indoor festival, you’ll find an ice rink, a carousel, an ice slide, and a winter wonderland. Bring the whole family out for amusement rides, photos with Santa, and more. Tickets are $20.

The Poinsettia Tree at Celebration in the Oaks (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Celebration in the Oaks – City Park’s magical lights display is open nightly through December (closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve), and it’s awaiting your arrival. See the poinsettia tree, the larger-than life displays, and ride the Polar Express train through City Park at Celebration in the Oaks. Tickets are $10.

Zoo Lights – Visit this holiday lights display over the weekend at Audubon Zoo. Complete with nightly entertainment and activities for kids, this is the perfect event for the whole family. Zoo Lights is open nightly from 5:30-9:30 p.m. through Dec. 23, then returns Dec. 26-30. Tickets are $10 for Audubon Institute Members and $15 for non-members.

Armstrong Park is home to the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts (Photo: Zack Smith)


The Nutcracker – This weekend, you can choose from a couple different productions of the Nutcracker. See the New Orleans Ballet Theatre’s production on Saturday and Sunday at the Orpheum Theater. Delta Festival Ballet will also be staging their production on Saturday and Sunday alongside the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.


Baroque Christmas – Enjoy the traditional program that returns every holiday season. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s Baroque Christmas includes popular Christmas carols as well as selections from a holiday favorite, Handel’s Messiah, including the famous Hallelujah Chorus. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 at First Baptist New Orleans (5290 Canal Blvd.). Tickets start at $20.

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