Monthly Archives: November 2012

New Orleans Attractions

Celebration in the Oaks: City Park’s Winter Wonderland

Live oak tree aglow with Christmas lights

Now in its 26th year, New Orleans’ annual Celebration in the Oaks in City Park is an event looked forward to by adults and children alike every holiday season. Located in the Mid-City neighborhood, City Park is transformed each December into a magical winter wonderland full of striking light designs and sculptures.

From the day after Thanksgiving—this year, November 23rd—until New Year’s Day, Celebration in the Oaks keeps City Park aglow long into the night with innumerable lights in a variety of colors and designs. Some strands wrap the majestic branches of the park’s live oak trees, and others wrap the Christmas trees that are sprinkled throughout the area.

You can take walks through the Botanical Garden, Storyland—the fairy tale-themed children’s theme park—and Carousel Gardens, an area of amusement rides. All of the park’s normal attractions will be specially decorated for the holidays, and the area will be filled with different animals, stars, icicles, and other picturesque shapes. You can also enjoy a Cajun rendition of the Night Before Christmas classic, complete with blinking lights, colorful characters, and a wonderful story perfect for your little ones.

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New Orleans Dining

A Thanksgiving Feast Fit for New Orleans

Photo courtesy of LA. Cookin’ Magazine

Like any other celebration, New Orleans ups the ante when it comes to the uniqueness and deliciousness of holiday dishes. From soul food to seafood, the city’s chefs and home cooks eagerly anticipate the chance to show off their latest and greatest recipes to family, friends, and customers alike.

If you’ll be in New Orleans this holiday season, but you or your hosts don’t have the time or energy to cook a huge dinner for family and friends, local restaurants have you covered. You can enjoy traditional holiday fare like turkey with roast chestnut and mushroom bread budding and oyster dressing from Commander’s Palace, just up the road from Southern Comfort B&B.

You could go traditional with a local twist, like turducken gumbo, fried turkey, and Abita root-beer glazed ham at Red Fish Grill. Or you can enjoy whatever meat, seafood, or sides you might be craving, such as steak, oyster stuffing, and gingered sweet potatoes at Besh Steak or grilled veal loin with sweetbread sauce or grilled grouper at Criollo in the Hotel Monteleone.

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New Orleans Attractions

New Orlean’s Aquarium of the America’s

An exterior view of the Aquarium of the America's in New Orleans from the Mississippi River

River View of the Aquarium










As the days get cooler in New Orleans, some visitors may seek fun and adventure indoors. During the late fall and winter months (and any other part of the year), you and your family can visit the Audubon Institute’s Aquarium of the Americas or the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium to get out of the cold and into exhibits displaying the wild, beautiful, and even unusual aspects of nature from around the world.

The city’s state-of-the-art aquarium is home to 15,000 creatures of the sea, representing nearly 600 species. The moment you walk in, you’re greeted by a mammoth whale shark hanging above the lobby, followed by the Caribbean Reef tunnel with fish and cownose rays on both sides and overhead as you pass through it. From there you’ll walk through dozens of exhibits featuring fish and underwater life from all corners of the globe, plus interactive and multimedia setups to enrich what you see and learn. There is also an IMAX 3D theatre where you can experience some of this underwater life in movie-form as you’re enveloped by the sounds and screens of IMAX projections. read more »


A Weekend Escape to the Past: Louisiana Renaissance Festival




The eagerly anticipated, annual Louisiana Renaissance Festival transforms 16 acres of Hammond, LA, into the town of Albright, which emulates an historical 16th-century village in England during its fall harvest festival. The entire staff is required to dress in the style of that time—which is encouraged for visitors, or “villagers,” as well—and there are a host of special activities to bring to life this truly Renaissance experience.

Located about an hour’s drive from New Orleans, the LA Renaissance Fest is not only entertaining, it’s educational and filling as well. There are forty stage shows every day, plus minstrels, jugglers, singing pirates, clowns, fire-eaters, sword-fighting, games, rides, and jousting for the delight of kids and adults alike. Every turn brings more craft demonstrations, from glassblowing and blacksmithing to candle making and woodworking. read more »