Rockin’ Around The Big Easy

Gingerbread houses, candy canes, and Christmas movies are just a few things that come to mind when the holiday season rolls around. But what about when you’re confined to the wooden walls of a library cubicle studying for finals? Have no fear; here are just a few ways to help you get into the holiday spirit for your much needed study breaks:

Waldorf Wonderland Lobby at the Roosevelt Hotel

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PHOTO: TheAdvocate

One of the spots you can’t miss this holiday season in the Big Easy is the Waldorf Wonderland Lobby at the Roosevelt Hotel. This historic hotel has been transforming their lobby into a Winter wonderland since the 1930s.The lobby, full of 44 birch trees, 22,000 twinkling lights, and festively decorated Christmas trees, is sure to make you feel like St. Nick this holiday season.

Hot Chocolate & Carols in Jackson Square

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PHOTO: Lauren Loves To Eat

Anyone living in New Orleans has their share of sugar dusted beignets from Cafe du Monde. Since the 1860s, Cafe Du Monde has been serving up the freshest of beignets to anyone who has ventured under their famous awnings. But, who knew they also served the best hot chocolate in New Orleans? There is no better way to feel festive in NOLA than dipping some Cafe Du Monde beignets in their homemade hot chocolate while listening to Christmas carolers in Jackson Square. Be sure to head here on December 17th, where Jackson Square will be flooded with carolers of all ages and talents.

Bonfires on the Levee

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PHOTO: Candy’s Blog

One of the best renditions of Santa Claus is New Orleans’ Papa Noël. Papa Noël delivers his gifts Cajun style, lounging in a boat led by eight alligators. But who would Papa Noël be if he didn’t have a well-lit way into New Orleans on Christmas Eve? In St. John and St. James parishes on December 24th, intricately built wooden structures that are set ablaze along the Mississippi River once the sun goes down. Bonfires on the Levee is a Christmas tradition in Louisiana that gathers families, friends and visitors to bring in the holiday together. Who wouldn’t want to roast chestnuts on an open bonfire?

Don’t head home for winter break before checking out “Celebration in the Oaks” in City Park, which occurs all through the month of December. Huge oak trees decorated with thousands of lights, photos with Papa Noël himself, and a festive train riding around the park are sure to put you into the holiday spirit!

All in all, New Orleans is one of the most cultural and spirited cities in the country. But in December, it only becomes more magical. With many places to go and treats to indulge in, New Orleans never fails to make anyone feel festive this holiday season.

How do you celebrate Xmas in NOLA? Let us know in the comments!

About Hayley Meisel

Hayley Meisel is a writer and the editor of our NOLA 360 team, from Westchester, NY. As a Communications major and English minor, she loves to write and explore the city. In between that, you can find her eating white cheddar Cheetos or Vietnamese food.

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