Local Businesses Announce Holiday Happenings

         We haven’t even tasted the turkey yet, but many local businesses have already announced grand plans for the holidays this season:


         Thanksgiving feasting started early at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Yesterday, Tuesday, Nov. 22, and today, Wednesday, Nov. 23, at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, 423 Canal St., guests are kicking off the holiday season as Audubon Executive Bug Chefs stir things up at Bug Appetit by offering visitors the opportunity to taste new twists to traditional Thanksgiving family recipes. From 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., visitors get to taste traditional dishes with a particularly exotic flair including turkey with cornbread and mealworm stuffing, waxworm cranberry sauce and cricket pumpkin pie.

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         The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk® celebrated its 3rd annual tree lighting ceremony yesterday at the corner of Julia Street and Convention Center Boulevard. Many gathered to enjoy the beautifully decorated 50-foot tree and a seasonal display featuring more than 2 million twinkling Christmas lights strung along two miles of Convention Center Boulevard to Canal Street.

         There was complimentary food, Café du Monde hot chocolate, live music and special guest appearances from Santa's friends.

         The event was just a warm up for The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk®’s Black Friday shopping event. On Friday, Nov. 25, from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., shoppers will enjoy exclusive after-Thanksgiving deals in addition to the regular 25-65 percent savings at more than 75 stores including the recently opened Le Creuset Outlet and Nordstrom Rack.

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         The Downtown Development District and The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk® will also co-host “Movies on the Mississippi,” three weekends of free outdoor holiday movies along the Mississippi River, at Spanish Plaza, 500 Port of New Orleans Pl.:

Friday, Dec. 2 – "Home Alone"

Friday, Dec. 9 – "Frozen"

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Friday, Dec. 16 – "Elf"

         All movies start at 6:30 p.m., and the first 50 families at each showing will receive a free fleece blanket. (Limited one per family)

         The Canal Street Lighting Ceremony was also held yesterday at the Astor Crown Plaza, 739 Canal St.

         Reps with the Downtown Development District and the Astor Crowne Plaza “flipped the switch” at 5:30 p.m., turning on more than 1 million twinkling lights along historic Canal Street and throughout Downtown New Orleans brightening the historic street for holiday shoppers, diners, visitors and revelers. There was entertainment by The Voices of Peter Claver and a special visit from Santa Claus.

         On Tuesday, the Grinch started his Thanksgiving holiday run at the Saenger Theatre, 1111 Canal St. “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” will be performed through Sunday, Nov. 27, and features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome, Christmas” from the original animated series. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday-loving Whos. Sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville.

         For more information

         And the Fulton Street Pedestrian Corridor got all lit up for Miracle on Fulton Street, which transforms the Fulton Street pedestrian corridor into a winter wonderland through Monday, Dec. 26. Enjoy twinkling lights, interactive ornaments and daily “snow” falls. On Friday and Saturday evenings, from Dec. 2 – Dec. 24, there will be live entertainment and visits with Santa.

         For more information

         On Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26, Kay’s boutique on 5419 Magazine St., owned and curated by New Orleans native Kay Charbonnet who recently won “Fashion Retailer of the Year” at the New Orleans Fashion Awards Gala, will offer an “around the clock” sale:

From 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: 30 percent off the entire store

From 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: 20 percent off entire store

From 2:00 p.m. – Close: 10 percent off the entire store

         From Sunday, Nov. 27, through Saturday, Dec. 24, The Roosevelt New Orleans will host a series of Teddy Bear Teas where Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your children to enjoy a presentation of delicious holiday food, specialty teas and tasty pastries, as well as sparkling wine and mimosas for Moms and Dads.

         For more information

         Next week, Windsor Court Hotel will welcome guests to visit its winter wonderland featuring a 19 1/2-foot Christmas tree boasting more than 25,000 mini white lights, a classic toy train around the base and more than 1,500 feet of gold magnolia garland. Additional décor includes ten Colorado blue spruce trees, donning more than 3,000 ornaments, and four, 6-foot gold magnolia wreaths in the main lobby windows. The grand stairwell is lined with 75 feet of gold magnolia garland, along with 500 sparkling mini lights. A new gingerbread masterpiece by Pastry Chef Shun Li will also be on display.

         The Windsor Court is also celebrating its grand opening of Café Anglais, the hotel’s new eatery. Featuring French Truck Coffee, house-made pastries, salads, sandwiches, ice cream and more, Café Anglais will be a one-stop shop for hotel guests and on-the-go locals.

         The Royal Sonesta New Orleans presents the 11th annual “Lighting of the Balconies” at 300 Bourbon St., on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6:00 p.m.

         Hosted by WGNO ABC 26’s Kenny Lopez, the Lighting of the Balconies ceremony will officially usher in the French Quarter holiday season at the newly renovated landmark hotel.

         Two young patients from Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, Avery Brink and Riheem Westerfield, will ceremoniously “flip the switch” to illuminate thousands of twinkling lights that adorn the hotel’s expansive wrought iron balconies. This year’s show will include appearances by the New Orleans Saintsations, the Saints mascots Gumbo and Sir Saint, along with a visit from Santa and entertainment designed to make the holiday season bright.

         The event is free and open to the public.

         The National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St., will celebrate a “Vintage Christmas” on weekends and select weekdays from Friday, Dec. 2 – Monday, Dec. 26.

         The Victory Belles, joined by Tom Hook as Burl Ives, will present musical favorites such as “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” at this all-new Canteen production.

         The Museum will also host a Teddy Bear Tea on Saturdays Dec. 3, 10, and 17, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bring the kids and grandkids to sample food and sweet treats, lively music from the Victory Belles and an extra invitation for their favorite teddy or doll. Young guests will be entertained by favorite holiday songs, a festive photo station, a visit from Santa and will receive their own teddy bears at this all-new holiday event.

         The Krewe of Jingle Parade will roll down the streets of downtown New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1:00 p.m. New Orleans’ official holiday parade will showcase authentic parade floats, marching bands, stilt-walkers, Christmas characters and magical surprises.

         View the parade route here

         Also on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, 420 Julia St., celebrates the magic of the season at LCM’s Annual Festival of Trees, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

         The Patron Brunch and Family Fun Day will feature live entertainment, holiday crafts, cookie decorating and a festive collection of whimsical trees decorated by local schools and community partners.

         The Downtown NOLA Saturday Shopping Spree, presented by the Downtown Development District, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk®, The Shops at Canal Place and Harrah’s New Orleans, takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3, featuring shopping, restaurant specials and entertainment and a one-day only bonus 15 percent off at these participating merchants:

• Barre3

• Company Burger (South Market District)

• Fischer’s Jewelry

• Hattie Sparks

• Haute Boutique

• Jos A. Banks

• Ritz-Carlton Signature Shop

• Serenity Boutique

• Rubensteins

• Ruby Slipper

         Download the coupon here


         Entertainment will include:

11:30 a.m. – Kinfolk Jazz Band in the South Market District

1:00 p.m. – Krewe of Jingle Parade

2:30 p.m. – The Chee-Weez in front of Harrah’s Casino

         The Arts Council New Orleans’ LUNA Fête takes place at Lafayette Square/ Gallier Hall, 545 St Charles Ave., from Wednesday Dec. 7 – Saturday, Dec. 10, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

         LUNA Fête is a visionary event utilizing the city’s iconic landscape as the canvas for outdoor public artworks created with light and technology. This multi-day celebration features illuminated installations, digital sculptures, video-mapping  projections and a local arts market.

         Audubon Nature Institute is celebrating the holidays this year with its first ever Holiday Film Fest at the Entergy Giant Screen Theater – one of the largest movie screens in the region, featuring a 4k digital projection system and state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos multidimensional sound, the world’s most advanced motion picture technology.

         Screenings include:

"The Muppet Christmas Carol"

Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16 at 10:00 a.m. (limited seating)

Dec. 17 at 4:00 p.m.



Dec. 10 at 4:00 p.m.



Dec. 11, 23 at 4:00 p.m.


"The Polar Express"

Dec. 18 at 4:00 p.m.

         The Downtown Development District and Entergy present the 2016 Reindeer Run & Romp on Saturday, Dec. 10. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., and the race starts at 9:00 a.m.

         The annual holiday fun run for kids begins and ends at The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk® at Spanish Plaza.

         Participants receive antlers, race T-shirts and a bag of holiday goodies. After the race, participants “romp” around Spanish Plaza and enjoy healthy activities, games, music, crafts and more.

         Register here

         You’ll get three chances to enjoy the LPO Holiday Spectacular, featuring “Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Moves,” the 610 Stompers, at the Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way, on Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2:30 p.m.

         Experience a trip around the world in this celebration of the season through the eyes of different cultures.

         Jingle Bugs at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, 423 Canal St., takes place Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Meet Santa Claus, join in a buggy reading of a holiday favorite, sample buggy holiday treats, face painting and holiday balloons.

         NOLA ChristmasFest brings 15 days of Christmas fun to the New Orleans Morial Convention Center’s Hall I, 900 Convention Center Blvd., from Friday, Dec. 16 – Friday, Dec. 30. NOLA ChristmasFest brings more than two weeks of holiday festivities and winter activities all to one venue in the Crescent City including indoor skating rinks, inflatables and a Gingerbread House exhibit.

         The 2016 Running of the Santas kicks off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17.

         The annual extravaganza starts at the “South Pole” located at Manning’s, 519 Fulton St., where the bevy of Santas will depart for the four block “Fun Run” at 6:00 p.m. to the “North Pole” located at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Dr. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. at Manning’s where partygoers will indulge in holiday food and specialty drinks.

         Aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, 1 Poydras St., enjoy a Creole Queen’s Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel on Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

         Papa Noël, Mrs. Noël, a real alligator and other jolly characters will attend this family festivity. Enjoy a classic holiday tea and treats, storytelling, face painting, magic tricks and children’s activities while cruising the Mississippi. Children will get a special gift. Limited seating is available.

         On Saturday, Dec. 31, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, 420 Julia St., will host a Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown celebration from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. with a 12:00 p.m. countdown to 2017.

         New Year revelers will create one-of-a-kind paper bag party hats and festive noisemakers and shout out a countdown to the New Year at the stroke of noon with lively music, a colorful confetti drop and balloon release.

         For more information




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