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December French Quarter Event Listings

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Listings courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. producer of Christmas New Orleans Style.

1850 House Christmas
December 1-30, except Mondays, 24 & 25

Louisiana State Museum’s 1850 House, 523 St. Ann Street
Take a trip to Christmas past to see how the Creoles celebrated the holidays in the antebellum era – less extravagantly, but with a greater emphasis on Christmas’ religious importance. Decorations include typical small gifts and trinkets that were given around a wax myrtle tree. Closed Mondays and official State holidays. 9am-5pm. Call (800) 568-6968 or visit http://lsm.crt.state.la.us. $3 adults, $2 seniors and students. Children 12 & under free when accompanied by an adult.

Beauregard-Keyes House in Holiday Trim
December 1-31, except 25

Beauregard-Keyes House, 1113 Chartres Street
Step into Christmas past for a look at the house in Victorian-style trim, dressed in greenery, velvet ribbons and lace. Hourly tours include the 1826 House, Frances Parkinson Keyes' doll collections, folk costumes, fans, dolls, and veilleuses (tea pot/nightlight). Tours on the hour. Monday through Friday. 10am-3pm. Closes at noon on Dec. 13, 24 & 31. Call (504) 523-7257. $5 adults, $4 students, $2 children 6-12.

Candlelight Caroling in Faubourg Marigny
December 12

Frenchmen and Royal Streets
The Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association hosts its annual candlelight caroling in historic Washington Square. Song sheets and candles provided. Coffee and cookies served. 6-7pm. Call (504) 945-8014 or visit www.faubourgmarigny.org for more information. Free.

Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes and Landmarks
December 9, 5-8pm

French Quarter Landmarks & Homes
Experience the romance and heritage of New Orleans on a tour of 19th-century homes and landmarks. Walk through the treasured Beauregard-Keyes House, Gallier House, The Louisiana State Museum's 1850 House, The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, The Old Ursuline Convent, and The Historic New Orleans Collection, all decorated in the style of Christmas past. Self-guided tour with refreshments. Advance tickets available through TicketWeb (click here).   Tickets purchased through TicketWeb may be picked up on the evening of the tour at the kiosk located next to Cafe du Monde, on the corner of St. Ann and Decatur Streets.  Tickets may also be purchased at any of the properties on tour night. $15 adults, $5 children 12 and under.

Caroling in Jackson Square
December 19
      
Jackson Square
Join in a truly moving 58-year-old tradition as Jackson Square brims with candle-lit faces and song-lit spirits as high as the spires of the St. Louis Cathedral.  Led by Patio Planters, the Garden Club of the French Quarter.  Candles and song sheets provided.  Gates open at 6pm and caroling begins promptly at 7pm. For more information visit www.patioplanters.org. Free and open to the public.

Cathedral Christmas Concerts
December 1-23, except 5, 15 & 19

St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square
Local choirs and New Orleans artists herald in the season with nightly concerts of Christmas carols and gospel favorites in one of the country's most historic churches. The ecumenical celebration will make Christmas New Orleans Style one of your treasured holiday memories. 8pm.  See page 13
for schedule. Free.

Celebration in The Oaks™
December 1-31

New Orleans City Park
New Orleans’ premier holiday light show features grand live oaks and bayous transformed into a holiday wonderland, toured by car, horse-drawn carriage or by foot.  Unique exhibits include a Cajun Village decorated for the arrival of Papa Noël, Dinobration™, where the Jurassic past comes to life, a pirate ship, a three-ring circus and an animated jazz band.  Separate self-guided garden tours include nightly entertainment, train garden, amusement rides, miniature train tours of the lights and Creole delicacies. Open nightly 5:30-10:30pm.  (Garden tour closed December 24, 25 and 31). For more information call (504) 483-9415 or visit www.neworleanscitypark.com. The driving tour is $12 per car, $20 per limousine.  Garden tour is $5 per adult (children under age 4 free).

Chefs' Holiday Cooking Demonstrations
December 1-23

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré, 616 St. Peter Street
Learn the secrets of local cuisine from the chefs that make New Orleans the hottest culinary city in the world! Acclaimed chefs from throughout the area share their favorite recipes at free daily cooking demonstrations and samplings that are guaranteed to spice up your holidays. Sponsored by AmSouth.  All seating is completed before 3pm and space is limited - so come early! Demos last about 45 minutes. See page 19 for schedule. Free.

Christmas Eve at St. Louis Cathedral
December 24

St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square at Chartres Street
Come celebrate, as we have for generations, by capping off your Christmas Eve with the pageantry of the traditional Midnight Mass. Doors open at 11:15pm. Christmas carols, with the St. Louis Cathedral Concert Choir, begin at 11:30pm. Vigil Masses also at 4pm and 6pm on the 24th. Christmas carols, with the St. Louis Cathedral Boychoir, begin at 3:30pm. On Christmas Day, Masses will be at 9am, 10:30am, and noon. For information, please call (504) 525-9585.  Free.

Cooking up Christmas I – Children’s Workshop
December 21

Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis Street
Children will celebrate the holidays (and give their parents a much-needed rest) by making 19th-century sweets in the Hermann-Grima House’s authentically restored 1830s kitchen.  The children will be able to see the historic house in holiday dress as their goodies bake.  Advanced registration required. For children ages 9-13. 1-4pm. Call (504) 525-5661 or visit www.hgghh.org for tickets and more information. $12 members, $15 non-members.

Cooking up Christmas II – Children’s Workshop
December 28

Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis Street
Children will celebrate the holidays (and give their parents a much-needed rest) by making 19th-century sweets in the Hermann-Grima House’s authentically restored 1830s kitchen.  The children will be able to see the historic house in holiday dress as their goodies bake.  Advanced registration required. For children ages 9-13. 1-4pm. Call (504) 525-5661 or visit www.hgghh.org for tickets and more information. $12 members, $15 non-members.

Creole Christmas
December 1 – 31, except Mondays & 25

Old Ursuline Convent, 1112 Chartres Street
Almost as old as Christmas itself!  Visit the 258-year-old Ursuline Convent, with its 276-year-old staircase, and the 158-year-old Chapel of the first Archbishop of New Orleans. One highlight is the garden of herbs the nuns used for medicinal purposes.  Call (504) 529-3040 for more information.  Tuesdays-Fridays, 10am-3pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 11:15am-2pm. $5 adults, $4 seniors, $2 students, free for children under 8.

Friends of the Cabildo Creole Christmas Tours
December 29

1850 House Museum Store, 523 St. Anne on Jackson Square
Join the Friends of the Cabildo on a seasonal stroll through the French Quarter with stops at five historic homes.  Call (504) 523-3939 for advance tickets or visit www.friendsofthecabildo.org for more information. $25 per person, $20 for friends of the Cabildo members.

French Market Holiday Caroling
December 4

Washington Artillery Park, 700 block of Decatur Street
Holiday caroling at Washington Artillery Park across the street from Jackson Square in the French Market – a local tradition! 11am-5pm. For more information, please call (504) 522-2621 or visit www.frenchmarket.org. Free.

French Market Holiday Marching Bands
December 11, 18, & 25

810 Decatur Street
Second-line with some of the most famous New Orleans brass bands as they march through the market and interpret holiday tunes in jazz idiom. Parade starts at Aunt Sally's, just beyond Café du Monde on Decatur Street. 1-3pm. Call (504) 522-2621 or visit www.frenchmarket.org for more information. Free.

French Market Tree Lighting
December 4

1000 Decatur, corner of St. Phillip Street (Joan of Arc statue)
Join the French Market in a traditional tree-lighting ceremony.  Come early, shop in the French Market for the holidays and stay for the lighting ceremony. 6pm. For more information, please call (504) 522-2621 or visit www.frenchmarket.org. Free.

French Quarter Walking Tour
December 1-31, except 25

419 Decatur Street
A National Park Service ranger leads a 90-minute exploration of the French Quarter, emphasizing the history and culture that make New Orleans unique. Beginning at 9am, 25 free tour tickets will be given out. Each person must be present to receive a ticket. 9:30am daily. Call (504) 589-2636, ext. 1, or visit www.nps.gov/jela for more information. Free.

Friends of the Cabildo Walking Tours
December 1 – 30, except 24, 25 & 31 (and year round)
 
1850 House Museum Store, 523 St. Ann Street
Take a memorable walk with the Friends of the Cabildo through the historic Vieux Carré, decked out for the holidays. Tours emphasize the history, architecture, and folklore of this fascinating city.  Tuesdays through Sundays, 10am and 1:30pm. For more information, call (504) 524-9118 or visit www.friendsofthecabildo.org. $15.00 adults, $10 students, free for children under 12 when accompanied by an adult. Tour price includes admission to the 1850 House Museum.

Heralding the Season at Armstrong Park
December 12

Armstrong Park, Louis Armstrong Statue on Rampart Street
Come hear the voices and sing along! Local choirs, featuring Kermit Ruffins as “Swingin’ Santa” and other traditional holiday groups, will rejoice in song with the sounds of the season. Refreshments served.  2:30-5pm.  For information, call 504-565-8104.   Free and open to the public.

Historic Holiday Houses
December 6-30, except 24 & 25

Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis Street, and Gallier House, 1132 Royal Street
Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses will be decking the halls for the holidays.  From the Empire grandeur of the Hermann-Grima House to the Victorian splendor of Gallier House, we invite you to experience an old-fashioned Creole Christmas.  Guided tours of the completely restored houses offer a wealth of sights and smells that recall the rich traditions of New Orleans’ past.  Holiday cooking and baking demonstrations in the 1830s open-hearth kitchen will be offered throughout the month at the Hermann-Grima House. For more information, call (504) 525-5661 or visit www.hgghh.org. Free with regular $6 admission.

Historical Characters – “Louisiana Living History Project”
December 2-25, except Mondays

Various locations in the historic Vieux Carré
Crescent City’s grand history comes alive this holiday season with guests from the past.  Listen to tales of old from an infamous riverboat gambler, a noted restauranteur, a Latin dancer, a freed slave, a world-renowned American cowboy and other historic characters – all transported into the present with the dress and mannerisms of their period.  See complete schedule on page 70 of this booklet, visit www.fqfi.org or call (504) 522-5730.  Free.

History of New Orleans Stroll
December 1-31, except 25

419 Decatur Street
National Park Service ranger leads a 45-minute lesson in local history with stops at the Mississippi River and Jackson Square. Beginning at 9am, tour limited to 25 people. Each person must be present to receive ticket. Tour begins at 11:30am daily. Call (504) 589-2636, ext. 1, or visit www.nps.gov/jela for more information. Free.

Holiday Home and Courtyard Tour
December 4-30, except 24 & 25

The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street
Visit the festively decorated residence and courtyard of General and Mrs. L. Kemper Williams, founders of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Browse through the shop at The Collection for unique gift items on your holiday list. Residence Tours at 10am, 11am, 2pm, and 3pm.  Closed Mondays. Call (504) 523-4662 or visit www.hnoc.org for more information. $5.

Holiday Homes Tour in the Vieux Carré
December 19, 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.

French Quarter
Savor the holiday spirit on Sunday, December 19th as Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre presents French Quarter residences and historic homes dressed for the season. The tour includes interesting architectural styles and home furnishings as well as a variety of collections of Christmas decorations. This December fundraiser is a prelude to the highly-anticipated Caroling in Jackson Square later in the evening.

Gallier House will be included on the Holiday Home Tour! Papa Noel will be available for Christmas photographs and to greet your family! (If you are careful, you may also catch a glimpse of New Orleans' own wonderful Lloyd Sensat!)

From 1:30 until 2:30 p.m., Peggy Scott Laborde and John Magill will be on hand to sign their book Christmas in New Orleans. Books will be available for purchase in the Gallier House Gift Shop, where a clearance sale will also be taking place. Join us for last-minute Christmas shopping!

French Quarter residences and historic homes are opened for a self-guided walking tour between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 each (children under 12 are free) and will be available for purchase prior to the tour at Creole Delicacies, 533 St. Ann Street (at Jackson Square) and at French Quarter Gem & Lapidary, 527 St. Philip Street (near Decatur). Call 1-888-756-6250 for more information. Credit cards for ticket purchases will only be accepted at French Quarter Gem & Lapidary. www.patioplanters.org

Holiday Spectacular
December 10 & 11

Morris F.X. Jeff Municipal Auditorium
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season as your Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Tulane Summer Lyric’s Michael Howard, presents a holiday show sure to please the entire family! Individual seating is available, as well as tables of eight for entertaining friends, family or business associates. Catering will be available. Call (504) 523-6530 or toll free (866) 523-6530 or visit www.lpomusic.com for tickets and information. Adults, $30-60; children $15 (balcony seating only).

Lars Edegran’s Riverwalk Jazz Band with Big Al Carson
December 18

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Visitors Center, 916 North Peters Street
Celebrate a traditional jazz Christmas with the Riverwalk Jazz Band, featuring the soulful voice of the boogie woogie Santa Claus Big Al Carson. 2-3pm.  Call (504) 489-4841 Tuesdays through Saturdays or (504) 589-4806 on Mondays, or visit www.nps.gov/neor.  Free.

Marine Forces Reserve Big Band
December 11

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, 419 Decatur Street
The Marine Corps Big Band performs holiday favorites in the courtyard. 2-3pm. Call (504) 589-4841 Tuesdays through Saturdays or (504) 589-4806 on Mondays, or visit www.nps.gov/neor.  Free.

Merry Fishmas
December 18 & 19

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Canal Street at the River
“Merry Fishmas” is a fun-filled way to spend the holidays!  Don’t miss Johnette Downing on the World of Water stage at 11:30am and 1pm.  Get a temporary holiday tattoo, make an aquatic craft, have your face painted, or have breakfast with otters for an additional fee from 8-9:30am.  Pre-registration is required.  Call (504) 378-2665 for more information or visit www.auduboninstitute.org.  10am-5pm.  Event is free with regular Aquarium admission- $15 adults, $11 seniors 65 and over, $8 children 2-12, and free children under 2.

Navy Band New Orleans Christmas Concert
December 4

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Visitors Center, 916 North Peters Street
The Navy Big Band swings in the holidays with this special concert. 2-3pm. Call (504) 589-4841 Tuesdays through Saturdays or (504) 589-4806 on Mondays, or visit www.nps.gov/neor.  Free.

Pharmacy Museum Celebrates the Season
December 2-30, except 23-26 (closed Mondays)

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, 514 Chartres Street
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum will be decorated for the holidays and will feature a seasonal exhibit. 10am-5pm. Call (504) 565-8027 or visit www.pharmacymuseum.org. $5.

Reveillon, a Creole Dining Tradition
Participating Restaurants

Throughout December (dates vary)
Creole families of yesteryear celebrated this traditional dining custom twice during the holiday season – on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Today's Reveillon has been expanded to include various dates during December so that everyone can share in this special holiday meal. Menus have been adapted to combine ageless Creole cuisine along with more contemporary New Orleans dishes, but the spirit of the past remains. Reveillon menus and featured dates for participating restaurants may be found in pages 24-33 of this guide.

St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Concert
December 19

St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square at Chartres Street
Herald the season with this joyous annual holiday concert by the St. Louis Cathedral Concert Choir and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra musicians, directed by Dreux Montegut.  5:30pm. For more information, call (504) 525-9585.  Free.

St. Louis Cathedral Tours
December 1-31, except 25

St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square at Chartres Street
Experience the true spirit of the season with a tour of the stately St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest active Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States. Open daily 9am-5pm; Sundays, 1-5pm. For more information, call (504) 525-9585. Donations accepted.

Tea Party for the Dolls
December 11

Beauregard-Keyes House, 1113 Chartres Street
Boys and girls enjoy a Christmas tradition at the Beauregard-Keyes House. Bring your favorite doll or toy, take part in a sing-a-long, hear a story in the elegant ballroom and see dolls "at tea." Parents tour house, and then all guests have refreshments and meet Santa Claus by the old-fashioned Christmas tree. 2-3pm, doors open at 1:45pm. Reservations required. Call (504) 523-7257 for more information.  $5.

Tonics & Tinsel Tour
December 17

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, 514 Chartres Street
Your prescription for holiday cheer! Explore 19th-century pharmacy and healthcare on a unique evening tour.  Refreshments provided. 6pm. Please call (504) 565-8027 or visit www.pharmacymuseum.org for tour reservations. $10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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