2017 Guide to Holiday Teas, Concerts, and Merriment In New Orleans

Teddy Bear Teas, Caroling, Concerts and parades (of course) … there’s something for everyone no matter what holiday you celebrate or how you celebrate it.

2017 Guide to Holiday Teas, Concerts, and Merriment in and Around New Orleans

Candy Cane Lane at the Renaissance Arts Hotel (December 15 & 16) :: Bring the family to Candy Cane Lane for an evening of celebration filled with sweets, treats, and festive eats! Santa, the reindeer, and his elves are rolling out the red carpet for a magical holiday evening! Your family will enjoy pictures with Santa, stories with the Snow Princess, cookie & ornament decorating, holiday crafts, gourmet waffle station, and festive beverages!

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical at the Saenger Theatre (December 19-24) :: Based on the 1954 movie starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera‐Ellen, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of a song‐and‐dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written including “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” “Snow” and the unforgettable title song. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas promises to be a merry and bright musical for the whole family.

Louisiana Children’s Museum Festival of Trees and Family Fun Day (December 2 | 12:00pm – 4:30pm) :: Get into the spirit of the season and explore the Museum’s whimsical display of trees decorated by local schools, artists, and community partners. The day will begin with a Patron Brunch at 10:00am followed by Fun Day general admission featuring festive performances by New Orleans Dance Academy and Dancing Grounds. Ski around a snowy forest with faux Fraiser firs, help Mr. Bingle find his nose in a special new scavenger hunt around the Museum, create a family crest necklace and a family photo frame to take home, get your face painted with a wintery design, and more!

Krewe of Jingle Holiday Parade (December 2 | 1:00pm) :: There’s always a reason to have a parade! New Orleans’ official holiday parade, the “Krewe of Jingle,” will once again delight locals and visitors alike with authentic parade floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, Christmas characters and other magical surprises!

Holiday Movies on the Mississippi (December 8, & 15 | 6:30pm) :: The Downtown Development District and The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk present two weekends of special outdoor movie showings at Spanish Plaza! Check back soon for movie titles!

Caroling in Jackson Square (December 17 | 7:00pm) :: This local favorite event is free and open to the public. Join in a truly moving annual tradition as Jackson Square brims with thousands of candlelit faces and spirits lift as high as the spires of the St. Louis Cathedral. Candles and song sheets provided. Gates open at 6:30pm, and Caroling begins at 7:00pm. 

French Quarter Holiday Home Tour (December 17 | 1:00pm) :: Savor the holiday spirit as Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré presents French Quarter residences and historic homes dressed for the season. The tour includes interesting architectural styles and home furnishings, as well as a variety of collections of Christmas decorations. This December fundraiser is a prelude to the highly anticipated Caroling in Jackson Square later in the evening.

PRCNO Holiday Home Tour (December 9 and 10 | 10:00am) :: This is your chance to tour beautifully trimmed homes in the Garden District and admire the architecture and history of the neighborhood. The tour is a self-guided walking tour starting at Trinity Church, with stops at 8 gorgeous, decked out homes. The tour also includes access to an extensive holiday boutique featuring dozens of local artists, craftsmen, and retailers; as well as regional cuisine, located at the tour headquarters at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Home for the Holidays With the Victory Belles (November 29 – December 27 | Weekends and Select Weekdays) :: The Victory Belles will harmonize their way through the holiday season presenting sacred and secular favorites, Rockettes-style choreography, and an array of costumes.

Teddy Bear Tea at the WWII Museum (December 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23) :: The second annual Teddy Bear Tea is the perfect holiday experience to share with children and grandchildren. The event will feature delicious food and sweet treats, lively music from the Victory Belles, and an extra invitation for their favorite teddy or doll! Young guests will be entertained by favorite holiday songs, a festive photo station, and even a special visit from Santa at this all-new holiday event. Young guests will leave with a teddy bear—and warm memories they’re sure to treasure for years!

Chabad-Chanukah at the Riverwalk (December 12 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm) :: A celebration of Jewish pride on the Mississippi River and the lighting of Louisiana’s largest Menorah. Gather with hundreds of community members for this public Chanukah celebration. Includes food, music and much more.

Chabad-Kid’s Chaunakah Extravaganza at Whole Foods (December 10 | 2:00pm) :: Bring the kids for Latke cooking, menorah making and more!

Car Menorah Parade (December 16 | 7:00pm) :: Do Chanukah the New Orleans way! Parade through the French Quarter, throw dreidels and gelt, and have a fun family evening!

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (various holiday concerts) :: Enjoy the sounds of the season, with a wide variety of concerts around the metro area, including the  LPO Holiday Spectacular on December 9th and 10th, featuring none other than the 610 Stompers! The Yuletide Celebration concerts are on November 30, December 1, and 2 and the Baroque Christmas Concerts are on December 14 and 15. Each concert will feature their own special holiday twist. Check the LPO website for full details and event information.

Beignet Festival (December 2) :: Bring the family to City Park to celebrate New Orleans’ most iconic dessert: the beignet. From traditional sweet treats to savory delicacies that feature seafood, cheese and more, Beignet Fest serves up the best beignets in the South. In true New Orleans tradition, Beignet Fest features a myriad of restaurant vendors; local and regional musical entertainment; and family-friendly activities in the Kid’s Village.

Treme’s Breakfast with Santa (Saturdays in December):: Join us for breakfast with Treme’s own Santa Claus! Tickets include breakfast, picture with Santa & Holiday crafts!

Holiday Tea at the Windsor Court (November 24- January 3) :: The centerpiece of the New Orleans Holiday Season, seatings include a properly brewed pot of tea; a glass of sherry, sparkling wine or specialty cocktail; an enchanting selection of English tea sandwiches; seasonal scones with clotted cream; and a final course of gourmet desserts.

Tea and Photos with Santa at the Southern Hotel (December 10 | 2pm-4pm) :: The beautiful Southern Hotel will host tea and photos with Santa. Start a new family tradition on the Northshore with an elegant afternoon of live harp music, champagne and tea service by Scott’s Coffe Bar.

Papa Noel Tea at the Davenport Lounge, Ritz Carlton Hotel (select days in December) :: Head to the Davenport Lounge for a special holiday celebration featuring an appearance by Papa Noel. Children will enjoy cookie decorating, viewing The Ritz-Carlton’s one of a kind gingerbread display, and other holiday surprises. Seatings at 11:00am or 2:30pm.

Build Your Own Gingerbread House, Main Lobby, Ritz Carlton Hotel (select days in December) :: Continue the tradition with The Ritz-Carlton as children of all ages are invited to build a festive gingerbread house. Price includes one gingerbread house with all of the decorating essentials and holiday refreshments. Each house can accommodate up to four guests. Adult supervision and reservations are required. 12:00pm or 3:00pm seating times available.

Breakfast with Papa Noel at the Ritz-Carlton (December 22 | 9am) :: Continue the holiday tradition with family, friends and Papa Noel.  Enjoy a breakfast jubilee sure to put you in the holiday spirit.  Children will enjoy cookie decorating, festive crafts and plenty of holiday cheer. Bring the entire family because Papa Noel will be visiting with each guest.

Royal Teddy Bear Tea at Royal Sonesta New Orleans  (December 10, 21, 22, 23 at 11:00am & 2:00pmDecember 17 at 10am and 1pm) :: Little Princess & Princesses are invited into our Magical Royal Kingdom where their fantasies come to life! Featuring story time with Mrs. Claus, a sing-a-long with Rudolph, the Sugarplum Fairy and Marching Toy Soldiers for an interactive holiday adventure that children of all ages can enjoy! Word has it that Santa himself will make a special appearance all the way from the North Pole! Photos with Santa will be available for purchase after each seating. Every weekday in December at noon, elementary and high school choirs will spread holiday cheer with mini-concerts in the main lobby.

Teddy Bear Tea at The Roosevelt (select days in December) :: Our elves are busily preparing for this popular event that delights and excites children of all ages!  At Teddy Bear Tea you will be taken on Santa’s journey to the rooftops of New Orleans. Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your children while you enjoy a presentation of delicious holiday food, specialty teas, and tasty pastries, as well as sparkling wine and mimosas for Mom and Dad. Insider’s tip: The Roosevelt has one of the most spectacular light displays to enjoy if you don’t want to splurge for the tea itself!

Brunch with Santa at the Bourbon Orleans (select days in December | 10:00am and 1:30pm) :: The Bourbon Orleans Hotel invites you and your family to celebrate the magic of Christmas at Brunch with Santa and his Elves at our historic Orleans Ballroom. A variety of food will feature specialty stations to traditional brunch fare. Adults will enjoy free flowing mimosa and poinsettia cocktails. There will also be a special appearance by historic New Orleans characters, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Santa & Mrs. Claus and live musical entertainment.

Nutcracker Tea at the Studio School of Dance (December 10th & 16th | 12pm-3pm) :: Join the Studio School of Dance dancers for an enchanting afternoon of cookie decorating, pointe shoe autographing, a visit from Santa, and excerpts from The Nutcracker.

Vince Vance Kids Holiday Sing-Along & Dance Party at Deanie’s Seafood French Quarter (December 9, 10, 16 & 17) :: Treat your kids and family to a Christmas celebration featuring Vince Vance New Orleans’ premiere family entertainer. Enjoy delicious treats, traditional Christmas caroling, pictures with Santa, a full buffet breakfast and more. 

Ponchatoula Christmas Parade (December 9 | 6pm) :: Stay tuned for more information!

Hammond Christmas Parade (December 2 | 6pm) :: Stay tuned for more information!

Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm (Opens November 18th) :: Choose and cut your own from the trees tagged. The field will contain trees from 3 to 10 ft in height.  A number of Fraser Firs in all sizes are shipped in from the higher elevations of Mitchell County in North Carolina arriving for the week of Thanksgiving.  Pre-cut trees will be trimmed and placed in water upon arrival to keep them fresh.

Breakfast With Santa at Benedict’s Plantation (December 10th | 10am-12pm) :: Santa and a festive feast await at Benedict’s Plantation. More information available soon!

Mount Carmel Academy Breakfast with St. Nick (December  9 | 9:30am) :: Fun for the whole family including Christmas-themed arts and crafts, games, pictures with Santa, and a full breakfast. Activities and Santa Photos begin at 9:30 a.m., and breakfast will be served from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Cookies With Santa at St. Martin’s Episcopal School (December 9 | 10 am-Noon) ::  Join St. Martin’s Episcopal School for a fun-filled event for the entire family. Take pictures with Santa, listen to storytelling by Mrs. Claus, create a holiday craft, and enjoy delicious treats. 

Breakfast with Santa at Zea (December 9 | 9:30am-11:30) :: Zea gets into the Christmas Spirit with a full breakfast, kids activities, and photos with Santa!

Holiday Teas at La Petite Tea Room (Various dates in December) :: La Petite Tea Room will host a variety of holiday parties, including a Teddy and Me Christmas Tea, Santa Cookie Decorating and Hot Cocoa Tasting, and a Holiday Tea party!

Breakfast with Santa at Brennan’s (December 21 | 10am) Snow in the courtyard, Photo Opportunities with Santa, Holiday Cookie Decorating Station, Reindeer Games, Brennan’s Holiday Jingle Bells, and a Special Takeaway Treat await guests at this very special event.

NOLA Christmasfest (December 21-31) :: On December 21, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center magically transforms into the North Pole. Admission to the Christmasfest gets you access to a Kringle Carousel & carnival rides, giant inflatables & climbing wall, indoor ice skating rink (includes skate rentals), a life-size maze, snowball fight & ice slide, children’s crafts & New Orleans-themed gingerbread house exhibit, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and other holiday characters. Dozens of decorated Christmas trees and millions of lights will be on display for attendees to enjoy.

Caroling Down the River: Christmas Eve on the Creole Queen (December 24) :: A Christmas Eve Cruise on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen is the perfect New Orleans way to spend the night before Christmas. Enjoy a delicious feast with family and friends among beautiful holiday decorations in an elegant dining room. Dance and sing along to a live jazz band under the stars from the upper deck, offering the best views in the city.

Creole Queen Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel (December 23 | Boarding: 10:00am AND 1:30pm) :: Come pass a good time aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen with Papa Noel, Mrs. Noel, Gaston the Gator and other jolly Cajun characters during this enchanting family festivity. Enjoy a classic holiday tea with tempting treats, storytelling, face painting, magic tricks, children’s activities and merriment while cruising the mighty Mississippi. Come hold a real live alligator and, as lagniappe, each child gets a special present. Seating is limited, so make your reservations early!

Holiday Teas at the English Tea Room in Covington (select days in December) :: Celebrate Christmas with your family at these special events. The Teddy Bear Tea includes a visit and photo opportunity with Santa Claus and a gift from Santa Claus for the children. The Nutcracker Tea includes Christmas High Tea with ballet dancers and a visit from Santa. Reservations required.

Christmas Under the Stars (December 1 – 9) :: Join the City of Slidell for a holiday celebration at Griffith Park in Olde Towne Slidell on December 1st, 2nd, 8th, & 9th from 6 to 9 pm. This event features thousands of twinkling lights, festive decorations, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Parade of Trees, and a life-sized Christmas Village. Admission is free.

Holiday Concert with the Northshore Community Orchestra (December  21 | 7pm):: The City of Slidell invites you to attend a Holiday Concert with the Northshore Community Orchestra on Thursday, December 21st at 7 p.m. in the Slidell Municipal Auditorium. Admission is free.

Steele’s Christmas Tree Farm (Opens Thanksgiving Day at 2:00pm) :: Make family memories at this Christmas tree farm in Angie, Louisiana. A short drive from New Orleans, you can give your children the experience of cutting down their very own tree. Steele’s has been in business for over 30 years and has hundreds of trees to select from, up to 12 feet tall!

Norco Christmas Parade (December 3 | 2:00pm) :: A yearly tradition, the Norco Christmas Parade is a holiday favorite in the River Parishes. Featuring this year’s theme “Santa Salutes Our First Responders,” this parade features visits from local marching bands & dance groups, festival queens, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Local teams compete with creative floats and marching groups to match this year’s theme. Starting on Washington Street and ending at River Road & Apple Street, it finishes with a community celebration that includes caroling, the lighting of the Christmas tree and visits with Santa & Mrs. Clause (and pictures, too!)

Cooking with Mrs. Claus at the New Orleans School of Cooking (December 10, 2-4pm) :: Join us for a fun-filled afternoon Cooking with Mrs. Claus! You’ll have a ball with Mrs. Claus, listening to stories, watching a hot cocoa and praline demonstration, and decorating Christmas sugar cookies! Kids get to bring home their cookies and apron. There is even a surprise for the parents! Your family will remember this magical experience for years to come.

Oak Alley’s 41st Annual Christmas Bonfire Party (December 2 | 7:00pm) :: This year marks the 42nd anniversary of this joyous event at Oak Alley. Celebrate the Christmas Season in one of the Southland’s most beautiful settings. The mansion will be dressed in fresh fruit, greenery and seasonal floral arrangements, reminiscent of Creole Christmases past. Delicious Cajun/Creole buffet, open bar, lively dance band, and plenty of good cheer combine to heighten the holiday spirit throughout the famous alley of oaks and the lovely antebellum mansion.

Annual Festival of the Bonfires (December 8-11) :: Christmas on the river, Cajun style! Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts, Santa’s Very Merry Forest and carnival rides throughout the weekend. Each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting. Come out and experience a prelude to the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires: A tradition unique to St. James Parish and all the world!

Christmas Eve Bonfire Express (December 24 | 4:30pm) :: Celebrate a time-honored Louisiana tradition: the lighting of the bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi River!  The Bonfire Express includes round-trip transportation to view the bonfires that light the way for Papa Noel (our Cajun Santa Claus) to bayou country. For many years this Cajun community has built mammoth wooden structures such as cabins, tepees, & riverboats along the Mississippi River levee. Come see the “feux de joie” (fires of joy)! Some walking is necessary

The Polar Express New Orleans (Various Dates) :: Do you believe? Powered by Amtrak and featuring local actors, this one-of-a-kind experience opens December 7th and runs through January 1st.

JPAC Presents Lightwire: A Very Electric Christmas (December 23 | 1pm-5:30pm) :: The Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center presents a magical and captivating tale of family, friendship, and hope set to timeless holiday hits.

Holiday Gingerbread Workshop at Red Fish Grill (December 2 & 9) :: Executive Chefs Brett Gauthier and Austin Kirzner will lead the family in a magical pastry building experience.

Christmas at TerraBella ( December 3 | 3pm-6pm) :: Come to TerraBella Village in Covington to ride the TerraBella Express, enjoy crafts, treats, mini horses, Santa pictures, and even write a letter to Santa!

Cirque Dreams Holidaze (December 5 | 7pm) Singing, dancing, and gravity-defying acts with a Holiday twist come to the Saenger Theater. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Jazz Brunch with Santa at The Court of Two Sisters (December 9, 20, 21 & 22 | 10am & 12:30pm) :: Santa will visit The Court of Two Sisters for live Jazz, a full buffet brunch, and he will have a gift for every child. Reservations required.

Holidays on Harrison (December 6 | 5pm) :: Holiday choirs, snow, caroling, cookie decorating, and so much more will be happening in the schoolyard of St. Paul’s Episcopal as Lakeview comes together to celebrate the season.

Breakfast With Santa at Bravo! (December 2) Enjoy a delicious brunch with Old Saint Nick! Proceeds go to the March of Dimes.

Love Among Us: A Christmas Concert With the Daughters of St. Paul (December 10 & 11) :: Come see the talented Daughters of St. Paul celebrate the season in song at Loyola University.

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