New Orleans is full of beloved holiday traditions, from Christmas Eve bonfires on the levees to five-course Reveillon dinners like the ones available at our sister hotel’s restaurant, Criollo. Another perennial favorite this season is Celebration in the Oaks, an ongoing event in New Orleans City Park where all decorations are completed in house. While the light show is a local favorite, we encourage visitors to experience it for themselves! Here’s what to expect:

A Twinkle in the Trees

Celebration in the Oaks starts the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 28, offering a perfect way to cap off your day of shopping. Centuries-old oak trees get a holiday makeover thanks to thousands of sparkling lights, creating a magical spectacle for guests who walk under the glistening boughs. Children will delight in themed trees (the Who Dat tree is a local favorite for Saints fans) and the kid-friendly light displays in Storyland. For adults, head to the Botanical Garden for glittering lights that adorn the more than 2,000 varieties of plant life on the property. Along the way, you’ll see charming walkways decorated by local schools. Are your feet tired yet? There’s also a two-mile train ride to take you through the exhibit.

Christmas in the Oaks is kid-friendly but also romantic. Here, the Botanical Garden greenhouse is drenched in light and holiday decor. (Photo courtesy Justin McGregor on Flickr)

Christmas in the Oaks is kid-friendly but also romantic. Here, the Botanical Garden greenhouse is drenched in light and holiday decor. (Photo courtesy Justin McGregor on Flickr)

Overall, the light display spans more than 25 acres, and our typically mild winters make the park an excellent spot for meandering and admiring (with a cup of hot cocoa, perhaps?) at your own pace.

Getting There

While you can drive and park at City Park, we suggest taking the streetcar for fun and festive transportation. Our hotel is just steps from Canal Street, where the streetcar line runs to take visitors all the way to the Celebration in the Oaks venue. While the streetcar is iconic, though, it’s not always the quickest. If you can’t wait to get there, let us know so we can arrange a taxi!