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Things to do in New Orleans for Christmas: Celebration in the Oaks 2023

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Christmas in New Orleans

Step into the enchanting world of New Orleans at Christmastime, where the air is infused with the sounds of jazz, the aromas of Creole and Cajun cuisine, and the heartwarming spirit of community celebration. Amidst the myriad ways to revel in the spirit of Christmas in New Orleans, one event stands out as a cherished tradition for both locals and visitors alike: Celebration in the Oaks.

Celebration in the Oaks

Celebration in the Oaks light displays in the Botanical Gardens of City Park

Since its inception in the late 1980s, Celebration in the Oaks has become synonymous with the holiday season in New Orleans, captivating the hearts of over 135,000 visitors from around the world each year. From November 23 to December 30, this annual spectacle transforms City Park into a dazzling wonderland adorned with over a million twinkling Christmas lights, creating a magical setting for holiday festivities.

Beyond the radiant Christmas lights, Celebration in the Oaks embodies the spirit of family and community in New Orleans at Christmastime. It has evolved into a time-honored tradition that brings people together to create lasting memories against the magical backdrop of City Park. The event also highlights the park’s commitment to providing access to natural and cultural resources, including the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Couturie Forest and Arboretum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, and a stunning grove of mature live oaks—some of which are nearly 800 years old.

Admission Costs & Different Tour Options

Celebration in the Oaks Driving Tour

Visit Celebration in the Oaks Monday to Thursday and Sunday, 6 pm to 10 pm, for the 2.25-mile Driving and Walking Tours, showcasing Christmas beauty in New Orleans. Fridays and Saturdays extend the magic from 5 pm to 11 pm. Pricing varies depending on which tour option you select:

  • Driving Tour: $40 per Cars/SUVs; Dasher Pass: $80 for expedited entry; Value Night: $25.
  • Combined Walking and Driving Tour: $25 per person; Stand Alone Walking Tour: $35 per person for a personalized encounter with holiday lights.

This pricing structure not only caters to diverse preferences but also contributes to the crucial support needed for the continuous care and enhancement of New Orleans City Park.

Supporting City Park in New Orleans

celebration in the oaks

Celebration in the Oaks, once a local tradition, has grown into a spectacular holiday lights festival that truly embodies the Christmas spirit in New Orleans. Beyond its dazzling displays, this annual event serves a crucial role in supporting City Park’s year-round maintenance and beautification, a necessary responsibility which has sustained the park over its 170-year history. 

When visitors attend Celebration in the Oaks, they’re not just enjoying the festive Christmas lights; they’re actively contributing to the well-being and growth of City Park. The funds generated from the event play a direct role in maintaining the park’s landscapes, preserving its historical landmarks, and ensuring access to cultural attractions. In essence, attending Celebration in the Oaks becomes a meaningful investment in City Park’s legacy, guaranteeing its continued vitality for generations to come. 

Exploring Different Parts of New Orleans at Christmastime

As you bask in the festive charm of New Orleans at Christmastime, consider exploring the city’s historic French Quarter with a guided New Orleans walking tour. Let the magic of Celebration in the Oaks be complemented by a journey through the rich history and vibrant culture of the French Quarter, adding an extra layer of enchantment to your holiday season.

Whether you’re captivated by the twinkling lights of Celebration in the Oaks or strolling through the historic streets of the French Quarter, New Orleans offers a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience that combines tradition, community, and the spirit of the season. Book your New Orleans French Quarter walking tour today and get ready to make lasting holiday memories this Christmas in New Orleans!

New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours

New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours
French Quarter Tour  |  Garden District Tour  New Orleans Ghost Tour  |  New Orleans Cocktail Tour

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