December offers traveling singles, families (yes, New Orleans can be a family destination), and holiday shoppers deals throughout the month. Thirty-one days of festivities awaits every traveler.

Hotels offer discounted rates called Papa Noel rates. Everything from 5 star to boutique is discounted making a trip to the Big Easy a lot easier on your wallet. If the discounts weren’t enough to make you book, to woo travelers, the New Orleans Tourism marketing Corporation includes a $25 gift certificate in December good for use at the world famous Commander’s Palace or Café Adelaide.

As if that weren’t a good enough deal, New Orleans most notable eateries also offer special réveillon menus (réveillon is the French tradition of a long dinner, and possibly party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year's Day). These prix fix menus are the perfect way to taste the best New Orleans cuisine has to offer.

Family Fun

Cafe du Monde at Christmas

 Citywide events designed for the whole family are on tap. If staying Downtown or near the French Quarter, start with a streetcar ride (only $1.25/way per person) down historic Canal Street to City Park for Celebration in the Oaks - the annual holiday light display and musical performances is perfect for every age that begins the Friday after Thanksgiving, and continues through the end of December. City Park's Botanical Garden, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and Storyland playground are decked out in holiday merriment. Merchants are on hand with unique gifts, hot chocolate and sweets abound, Santa makes appearances and he available for pictures nightly. Cost is $6 per person, and frees for children under 3

On the ride back, be sure to stop at Angelo Brocato's for an egg nog gelato, hot cocoa, or hand stuffed cannoli.  This is a local favorite, and there is usually a line. But don't be afraid, it moves quickly.

The Louisiana Children’s Museum also gets into the spirit with Gingerbread Junction. Groups or families can work together to create memories while building gingerbread houses. LCM presents Wintery Wonderland by building a snowman, decorating gingerbread cookies, creating an ice sculpture and watching water magically turn to snow, and Four Multicultural story times, you and your child can learn how winter is celebrated around the world!

 

Many families wrongly label the French Quarter as an “adult only” area, although that distinction is only true of Bourbon Street. History truly comes alive during December through the Living History Project.  Costumed characters from Louisiana history can be seen roaming the French Quarter, entertaining and educating visitors and locals alike with their tales, songs and dances.

Holiday Concerts at St. Louis Cathedral are a highlight of the season. New Orleans musicians and local choirs come to this historic church in the French Quarter showcasing songs of the season through classical music, jazz, gospel and holiday carols.

Caroling in Jackson Square is a moving over 60 year tradition held on the Sunday before Christmas. Candles and song sheets are distributed to every one of the hundreds of people who turnout to celebrate the season.

Other events around town include breakfast with Santa at area restaurants and hotels, tea parties with dolls, bears and lions throughout town, and many more holiday events in New Orleans

 

Find Unique Holiday Gifts

From antiques and art on Royal Street, to jewelry and handmade items in the French Market shopping for unique and eclectic gifts is easy when done in New Orleans.

Don’t forget about Magazine Street . Stretching 6 miles through Uptown and the Garden District, stores showcase antiques, furniture, clothing, dining, gifts and jewelry.