If there is one thing the city of New Orleans does well, it is getting down. Boasting over 130 festivals a year( including some little get together called Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest,) the city has no shortage of unique entertainment experiences. New Orleans also enjoys celebrating the traditional holidays, like Halloween, Memorial Day and 4th of July. The city always adds some flair just to remind you that you are in New Orleans. One of the cities unique celebrations takes place in the historic City Park and is called Celebration in the Oaks.
Originally a fundraiser started in the mid 80’s to help keep the park going, the Celebration of the Oaks has taken on a life of its own. Now in its 32 year, the Celebration in the Oaks celebrates the holidays through the unique decorations hanging in the City Park oak trees. Established over 150 years ago and one of the largest urban parks in America, City Park has always been tied with the history of New Orleans,(Many duels were held under the oak trees.) And with some of the oak trees over 600 years old, the addition of the holiday lights only adds even more to nature’s beauty. Each night beginning at 5 pm, or sundown, the park comes alive with a beautiful LED light extravaganza. This year some 500,000 LED lights will be used to showcase the unique beauty of the oak trees with the magic of the holiday season.
Guests can view the lights from the 2 mile train tour that gently cruises the park, perfect for a quiet view of the park and you can definitely catch some of the lights. To really get a great view of the lights, take a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens. A beautiful space filled with beauty and variety of the many plants and trees growing in New Orleans; accentuated by a half a million holiday lights. Oh and make sure to stop by the train garden. A model of New Orleans from the early 1900’s made from electric trains. A super cool, and fun little journey through one of the most unique perspectives of New Orleans. The final piece is the Carousel Gardens, with 17 different amusement park rides. Along the way make sure to stop at the Flying Horse carousel. One of only 100 carousels left in America and the only carousel in Louisiana. Each of the 56 animals on the carousel were hand carved and are still hand painted. A great spot for an impromptu instagram shot.
The Celebration starts November 23 and begins each night around 5pm and goes until New Years day. Purchase tickets online at website below and if you are going to make an evening, check out some of the restaurants in the area, Ralph’s on the Park, Mopho, Toup’s Meatery or Blue Oak BBQ. Enjoy the holidays with a twist of New Orleans thrown in for good measure.