How To Do the Holidays in New Orleans

Santa sneaking some beignets

Photo by @nolachristmas

Get ready for a festive journey through the vibrant and soulful holiday traditions of New Orleans.

Not to toot our trumpet, but we do the holidays like no other hotel in the city. Since we don’t make these statements lightly, we’ve put together a list of must-see things you’ve got to do while you’re here.


Photo by @geauxsaints1313

The Children’s Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade is set to dazzle the streets of downtown NOLA on Saturday, December 2nd at 11am. It will extended its route this year, starting at the iconic French Market and winding through Downtown. Then, the family fun continues with a post-parade holiday experience and concert in Lafayette Square.  Not only will this event light up the city, but it’s also a chance to support the essential mission of Children’s Hospital. With 30 holiday-themed floats, high-flying helium balloons, more than a dozen dancing groups and marching bands, this is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in New Orleans!


Art installations by Luna Fete light the night

Photo by @lunafete

Be part of something extraordinary at the 10th anniversary of LUNA Fête, a unique event that will transform the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Pedestrian Park into a breathtaking spectacle. From December 7th to 10th, immerse yourself in the radiant world of art as local artists illuminate the night with their interactive light-based creations. Discover an array of captivating light artworks, explore arts markets, and savor delicious food and drinks, all at this free, public festival celebrating New Orleans’ vibrant creative community. LUNA Fête promises an unforgettable experience for all. 

3. Holiday Home Tour


Photo by @prcnola

See how the locals do the holidays as New Orleanians open their festively adorned doors for all to enjoy. The Preservation Resource Center Home Tour offers a glimpse into the historic Garden District’s seasonal charm with private homes, live music, and a festive boutique on December 9 and 10. Then, on December 17, embark on the Patio Planters’ French Quarter Holiday Home Tour, a self-guided adventure through elegant and historic residences in the Vieux Carré. Your tour experience not only unveils the festive spirit of New Orleans but also supports the cherished tradition of Caroling in Jackson Square later on the same day in the French Quarter.


Reveillon dinner table at Criollo Restaurant

Starting back in the 1800s, Révellion was traditionally a Creole dinner that was held on Christmas Eve and again on New Year’s Eve. Today, restaurants all over the city host Révellion dinners to celebrate this indulgent, multi-course meal designed to celebrate good friends and great memories. Reserve a table at Criollo today and indulge in a special 4-course prix-fixe menu every Thursday-Monday. Indulge in dishes like Salt-Roasted Beet Carpaccio with Frisée, Sweet & Sour Pancetta, Dijon-Honey Vinaigrette, Goat Cheese Grapes, followed by Veal Cordon Bleau with Truffled Risotto, Hunter Sauce and finished with Tuscan Tiramisu with Orange Crema, Espresso Soaked Genoise. A meal you won’t forget it!


Jackson Square at sundown, dressed for the Holidays

Photo by @visitneworleans

There’s no dreamier place to ring in the holidays than Jackson Square. This is, by far, one of the most magical holiday traditions the city has to offer. There’s just something wonderful about so many people gathering together to sing carols in front of Saint Louis Cathedral, the most iconic church in the city, that brings the meaning of the holidays into focus.  And for us, that’s spending the holidays with the people who mean the most – family and friends. Caroling kicks off promptly at 7pm, with gates opening at 6:30pm.



Holiday vibes at the Carousel Bar with festive decorations surrounding The Lounge

‘Tis the Season for Listening To Good Music. During December, our very own Carousel Bar & Lounge has lined up some incredible performances guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Imagine wrapping up a long day of exploring America’s most European city by listening to the James Martin Band, the talented Lena Prima & Band, or Richard “Piano” Scott. Don’t plan your evening without checking the entertainment schedule to see what local talent will grace the stage. While you’re there ate a peek at our extensive drink menu.

Looking for more travel tips? Our friendly Hotel Monteleone staff are always keen to share their New Orleans knowledge. Start planning your getaway today!


Explore some of our favorite things to do in New Orleans, including our suggestions for shopping, dining, and historic attractions.

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