This time of year breaks the bank already. Between the parties and the shopping, it seems like a never ending flow of money. And while Holiday events like Celebration in the Oaks and NOLA Christmas Fest are amazing and fun, they also cost a lot of money to attend as a family. They are special and not something you can do all the time. To help you save money and still have some holiday fun we put together this list of FREE Holiday Events In New Orleans this holiday season.
Holiday Tree Lightings And Light Shows In New Orleans
Canal Street Christmas Tree Lighting
Get into the holiday spirit with the annual Canal Street Tree Lighting at the Astor Crowne Plaza on November 26, 2019 from 5-7 pm. Lights get turned on at 5:30 and there will be entertainment by The Voices of Peter Claver and a special appearance by Santa.
Miracle on Fulton St.
Hourly snowfall, lights, and a gingerbread display in the hotel lobby can be seen daily from 11 am – 10 pm starting November 30,2019 through December 22,2019. Live music and Santa every Friday and Saturday night starting at 6 pm.
French Market Christmas Tree Lighting
The tree lighting starts at 6 pm at Washington Artillery Park and Moonwalk followed by a concert by Heritage School of Music and fireworks on November 22,2019.
Gretna Christmas Tree Lighting
Meet Santa and sing Christmas Carols after a Santa Parade TBA . Tree lighting is at Huey P. Long and 2nd Street by the Arch.
Holiday Hotel Lobbies In New Orleans
See the holiday decorations, listen to the Victory Belles and visit with Papa Noel at the Holiday Ribbon Cutting Reception on November 26,2019 at 11 am in the Ritz-Carlton 3rd Floor Lobby. The decorations will be up throughout the season and are a must see.
The lobby of the hotel transforms into a winter wonderland with tons of lights starting on December 2, 2019 through Christmas. The Lobby Lighting Ceremony will be on December 2, 2019 at 5 pm.
Magical gingerbread display in the Lobby starting November 30, 2019.
Stop in throughout the season to see the hotel's holiday decor including their dazzling arcade of real trees.
Stop by the hotel's lobby to see the 19 1/2 foot tree decorated with 25,000 mini lights.
Free Holiday Concerts In New Orleans
Krewe de Voix Christmas Concert
December 7, 2019 at Trinity Episcopal Church, New Orleans and December 8, 2019 at Marigny Opera House from 7-8 pm. Listen to — Victoria’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium
St. Augustine Church Christmas Concert Series
Free holiday concerts with local New Orleans musicians from 4-5pm on various dates throughout the season.
- The Nayo Jones Experience – December 7, 2019
- Audrey Ferguson and the Voices of Distinction – December 14, 2019
- Loose Cattle – December 21, 2019
Christmas at Loyola
December 8, 2019 from 3-4 pm at Holy Name Of Jesus Catholic Church. Choir, strings, brass band, sing along and fun.
Holiday Performances at the Royal Sonesta
Performances from local school choirs at NOON on weekdays in December in the hotel lobby.
- Archbishop Chapelle – December 2, 2019
- Academy of Sacred Heart – December 3, 2019
- Kehoe France – December 4, 2019
- St. Ann – December 5, 2019
- Memorial Baptist – December 6, 2019
- St. Pius X – December 9, 2019
- St. Philip Neri – December 10, 2019
- Christ the King – December 11, 2019
- Andrew Jackson Middle School – December 12, 2019
- St. Joan of Arc – December 13, 2019
- St. Dominic – December 16, 2019
- Clearwater Junior High – December 17, 2019
- Lycee Francais – December 18, 2019
St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Concert Series
Free holiday concerts with local New Orleans musicians from 6-7pm on various dates throughout the season.
- Ellis Marsalis – December 2, 2019
- St. Peter Claver Gospel Choir – December 4, 2019
- Sweet Cecilia – December 5, 2019
- A Preservation Halliday with the Preservation All-Stars – December 9, 2019
- José Fermin Ceballos with Merengue-4 – December 11, 2019
- Opera Creole – December 12, 2019
- Quiana Lynell – December 15, 2019
- Zulu Gospel Choir – December 18, 2019
- Christmas Organ Spectacular, featuring Loriae Llorca – December 19, 2019
Caroling in Jackson Square
December 22, 2019 at 6:30 pm in Jackson Square. Sing your favorite Christmas carols by candlelight in Jackson Square. Gates open at 6:30 pm and caroling begins at 7 pm.
Free Santa Events In New Orleans
Santa's Arrival Lakeside Shopping Center
Santa arrives on November 23, 2019 with activities, crafts and a parade from 8-10 am (parade at 9:45 am).
Santa at Metairie Bank
Take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 5:30-7:30 pm on December 5, 2019. Free gifts for the kids, free raffle for adults, refreshments and more at the Metairie Bank Main Office Lobby (3344 Metairie Rd.).
Christmas On the Bayou
Starts with Mass at 6 pm at Cabrini High School on December 14, 2019. Following mass there will be a living nativity, performances by the Cabrini Cheerleaders and Eclipse Dance Team, and candlelight caroling from the Cabrini Chamber Ensemble to welcome Santa who will arrive by boat on Bayou St. John. After Santa arrives there will be hot chocolate, treats and Santa pictures in the gym.
Holiday Parade In New Orleans
Krewe of Jingle Parade
December 7, 2019 at 1 pm. New Orleans's very own Christmas Parade. Parade Route
Norco Christmas Parade
December 1, 2019 at 2 pm in Norco. This year's theme is “Santa Celebrates Our Local Sports”. Parade Route
Hammond Christmas Parade
Rotary Club of Hammond 60th Annual Christmas Parade Saturday, December 7, 2019 starting at 5:30 pm. This year's theme is “I'll Be Home for Christmas”. Parade starts and ends at Friendship Circle at SLU.
Folsom Horse and Wagon Parade
December 14, 2019 at 1 pm in Folsom, this year's theme is “Winter Wonderland”. Parade Route
Ponchatoula Christmas Parade
December 14, 2019 at 5 pm in Downtown Ponchatoula. This year's theme is “Christmas on the Bayou”.
Jingle Down the Boulevard
December 14, 2019 at NOON. This is the second year for this parade rolling through New Orleans East. Parades on Crowder Blvd, turns on to Haynes, then on Read and ends at the Lake Forest Plaza.
Harahan Christmas Parade
December 14, 2019 at NOON. Starts at Jefferson Hwy and Hord St, goes down Jefferson Hwy to Folse Ave.
Free Holiday Events In New Orleans
Kenner Christmas Village
Lights, snow, live entertainment and fun Friday and Saturday from 6-9 pm starting December 6, 2019 through December 28, 2019. While visiting the Christmas Village is free, there are some activities that have fee.
Movies on the Mississippi
Holiday movies shown on a 26 ft. screen at Spanish Plaza at the Riverwalk
- December 6 – The Grinch (2018 Version)
- December 13 – The Muppet Christmas Carol
- December 20 – Elf
Algiers Bonfire and Concert
December 7, 2019 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Algiers Ferry Landing. Light the way for Papa Noel with New Orleans's only bonfire and a concert.
Celebrate Yule and Harry Potter with this party at the Jefferson Parish Eastbank Regional Library on December 8, 2019 from 1-4:30 pm. Games, trivia, magical creatures, entertainment crafts and more. Pre-registration requested.
Holiday Open House
December 12, 2019 from 5-8 pm at Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana. Take a tour of our House and meet our staff and guests while enjoying food, drinks, and entertainment!
Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk
December 21, 2019 time TBA at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans. Quiet contemplative service of silently walking the candlelit labyrinth in the darkened sanctuary.
Holiday Markets In New Orleans
Old Metairie Christmas Market
Shop for presents while visiting with Santa at St. Francis Xavier School on December 7, 2019 from 9 am – 2 pm.
Holidays on Harrison
Enjoy local school choirs, trolley rides, snow, kids activities and Santa on December 11, 2019 at 5pm at the Harrison Ave. Marketplace.
Free Hanukkah Events In New Orleans
Hanukkah at the Riverwalk
December 22, 2019 from 4-6 pm. Public Menorah lighting with Kosher food, music, children's activities and more.
Community Chanukah Celebration
December 22, 2019 from 4-6 pm at the Uptown Jewish Community Center. Light the Menorah, eat fried chicken and lakes, and live music by The LeeVees.
Did we miss a FREE Holiday event in New Orleans? Let us know in the comments!