There are several traditional holiday celebrations in New Orleans, but the premier celebration is Celebration in the Oaks in City Park. Under century-old oaks trees, gloriously lit with lights too numerous to count, you will find a magical enchanted wonderland. There are different ways to enjoy the festival.
Tour by Walking, or Train:
The driving tour is still not up since Hurricane Katrina; but, no matter because the walking tour has been extended. It costs $7.00 per person, kids under 3 are free, and it allows you to stroll at your leisure through the Botanical Gardens, Storyland and the Carousel Garden. Everyone in the family will enjoy a ride on the miniature train, decorated for the holidays, that runs on a 2 1/2 mile track through the park. The depot is in the Carousel Garden and a ticket is $3.00 per ride onr $15.00 for unlimited rides.
What You'll See:
The attractions of the walking tour include the thirteen vintage rides in the Carousel Garden. The two favorites for my family are the antique wooden carousel and the miniature train that tours the park. The gallery of childrens' trees is a collection of trees decorated with handmade ornaments by local students from over 200 schools. They line the walkways in the Carousel Garden & Storyland. There's a 14,000-square-foot elevated historic train exhibit that has almost 40 intricately crafted New Orleans landmark buildings between one and three feet tall. It also has replicas of the New Orleans Streetcars.
The Cajun Night Before Christmas exhibit is a tribute to James Rice, the noted children's author and artist who is responsible for the much loved book by the same name. The exhibit features several life-size characters from the book around a Cajun cottage. The 10 minute narration, which runs continuously, is computer operated and the lighting of the characters is perfectly choreographed resulting in a wonderfully animated telling of the story.