The holidays are here! This is one of the most exciting times of the year for many, especially the little ones. Lucky them, New Orleans is a great place to celebrate, with several holiday activities taking place throughout December. Experience the magic of the season in a city steeped in traditions of the past, but with the food, music, and fun of today. Here is a list of some of the events happening this year:

NOLA Christmas Fest

Experience indoor family holiday fun featuring New Orleans’ only ice skating rink, the Kringle Carousel, Carnival rides and inflatables, Santa and holiday characters, children’s crafts, decorated trees, dazzling lights and more! For details about ticket prices and festival hours/dates, visit NOLAChristmasFest.com.

Celebration in the Oaks

This holiday season, head to New Orleans City Park to experience a spectacular light show, delicious food, amusement park rides, and family fun. City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks is a New Orleans winter wonderland filled with magical holiday lights, decorated Christmas trees, and amusement park rides. The annual family-friendly celebration begins November 25th and runs until January 1st, and is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.

”Celebration in the Oaks” Tour

Ride Santa’s bus on a narrated tour down holiday-decorated Esplanade Avenue and Faubourg Treme to City Park. Exhibits include the Cajun Night Before Christmas, a “Who Dat” Tree, Santa Gator, a life-size Nativity scene, and “A Jackson Square Holiday.” Live musical entertainment. Reservations recommended.

French Market Tree Lighting Ceremony

The French Market features holiday activities daily. Enjoy shopping, holiday decorations, costumed characters and even strolling carolers. On November 17th from 5-6, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park will play, and then the countdown to the lighting of the 27-foot fleur-de-lis topped tree begins! Caroling and a second line will follow the tree lighting.

Canal Street Lighting

Canal Street will light up with millions of twinkling lights for the holiday season. The lighting will take place in front of the Crown Plaza Hotel. After the lights turn on, stop by the hotel’s Grand Ballroom for special activities. November 22nd, 5 pm to 7 pm.

Santa Meet & Greets

Santa’s Arrival at Lakeside Shopping Center (November 19 | 9:30 am) featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty. The parade starts at 9:30 am at the Veterans Skylight near the Banana Republic and ends at Center Court with a sing-along, where Santa takes his seat, and the North Pole Express welcomes its first passengers of the season.

Santa at Oakwood Mall (November 11- December 24) Stop by Oakwood Mall in Gretna and visit with Jolly Old St. Nick while you get your photo taken. Unique pet photos with Santa are also available on select dates.