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Christmas in New Orleans: Local Traditions and Events

Home City Tours Things To Do in New Orleans Christmas in New Orleans: Local Traditions and Events

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New Orleans Christmas Events

As the holiday season kicks in, New Orleans bursts with a special mix of festive traditions that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re a local resident or a holiday visitor, there’s a Christmas activity for everyone to enjoy. From holiday shopping and dazzling light displays to various tours, New Orleans has a range of seasonal delights. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some popular New Orleans Christmas traditions and activities that make the holiday season in the Big Easy truly special.

Holiday Home Tours

Home interior decorated for the holiday home tours during christmas in new orleans

Join in the annual Holiday Home Tours, presented by Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré! This delightful self-guided walking tour on December 17th showcases several festively adorned French Quarter residences, offering a peek into unique architectural styles, home furnishings, and a variety of Christmas decorations.

French Quarter residents generously open their homes between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Secure your online tickets for $35 each (free admission for children 12 and under). For day-of-event purchases, tickets are available for $40 each, payable in cash only. A limited number of tickets are available to ensure an intimate and enjoyable experience, minimizing disruption in the homes.

Not only do the Holiday Home Tours surround guests with historic charm and holiday spirit; they also serve as a fundraiser, supporting the highly anticipated Caroling in Jackson Square later in the evening. Don’t miss this opportunity to traverse the festively adorned abodes of the French Quarter and contribute to a memorable holiday season!

Caroling in Jackson Square

Christmas in new orleans

Dating back several decades, the annual Caroling in Jackson Square event is perhaps one of New Orleans’ most popular Christmas traditions. Proceeding the iconic Holiday Home Tours at 7:00pm on December 17th, this must-attend event takes place at Jackson Square in the heart of the historic French Quarter.

Provided with songbooks, choirs and individuals come together in harmony, filling the air with the timeless melodies of classic Christmas carols against the iconic backdrop of St. Louis Cathedral. This scene creates a heartwarming atmosphere, illuminated by the gentle flicker of candlesticks held by attendees. It’s a beautiful moment that becomes a treasured memory for families and friends, embodying the unity and joy of Christmas in New Orleans. The best part? This event is entirely free! Plan to arrive early for convenient parking and to secure a prime spot to enjoy the celebration.

Steamboat Natchez Christmas Eve Jazz Cruise

Christmas in new orleans

Embark on a Christmas celebration with a touch of jazz by joining the Steamboat Natchez Christmas Eve Jazz Cruise—an absolute must for festive enthusiasts. Step aboard this iconic steamboat, adorned with holiday lights, for a magical journey along the Mississippi River.

The festivities begin with boarding at 6:00 pm, and you can enjoy dockside activities from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. As the boat sets sail at 7:00 pm, indulge in the enchanting sounds of live New Orleans jazz against the backdrop of the city’s skyline. The festive music, the gentle sway of the boat, and the camaraderie of fellow revelers create a joyful atmosphere that encapsulates the vibrant holiday spirit of the city.

Engine on the steamboat natchez

Did You Know?

Though the current Steamboat Natchez was built in 1975, the vessel's two steam engines were originally built in 1925 for the Steamboat Clairton, powering that vessel until 1962.

The two-hour cruising experience lasts until 9:00 pm. Choose from two delightful dinner seatings— the first from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm, and the second from 7:45 pm to 9:00 pm. A popular attraction for both locals and tourists, you will want to book your tickets in advance before selling out! Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a truly unique and festive way on the Steamboat Natchez.

Celebrate Christmas in New Orleans with a City Bus Tour

As you experience the magic of beloved New Orleans holiday traditions and events, enhance your journey with a New Orleans City Bus Tour from Cajun Encounters. Our knowledgeable guides will take you to every essential neighborhood, landmark, and select New Orleans cemeteries, all within the comfort of our climate-controlled bus.

Discover iconic spots like the famous French Quarter, the Garden District, Treme, and more during our New Orleans City Bus Tour. In just two hours, you’ll gain profound insights into the heart of New Orleans, surpassing what you’d uncover on a self-guided walking tour. Plus, enjoy the opportunity to stroll around St. Louis Cemetery #3 and savor the delights of the famous Café Du Monde in City Park (8:30 am pickup only). Secure your spot on our New Orleans City Bus Tour and get ready to make special memories this holiday season!

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