Much of the fun at Christmas time in New Orleans is touring the wonderful old homes decorated for the season. There are many chances to see inside homes not normally open to the public, or to see familar landmarks decorated for a traditional Christmas, a Creole Christmas or as it would have been in the 19th century. Here are some of the best tours.
The Preservation Resource Center sponsors a tour of New Orleans' Garden District homes bedecked for Christmas. It's in mid-December on a Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Local musicians provide music and there is an opportunity for lunch and shoping in the boutique, located at Trinity Eposcopal Church at 1329 Jackson Avenue. Group rates are available, and tickets are cheaper if you buy them in advance from the PRC.
Beauregard-Keyes House in Holiday Dress
Open to the public every day in December, except Sundays and Christmas Day, this home located at 1113 Chartres Street in the French Quarter offers a peek into the past celebrations of Christmas. Hourly tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. include the 1826 House, Frances Parkinson Keyes' doll collections and folk costumes
Creole Christmas Home Tour
This event is usually held on the Monday and Tuesday after Christmas from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, each day. Take a walk with the friends of the Cabildo to visit three historic houses dressed in Creole Christmas decorations, followed by the Creole Christmas Story and refreshments. Location is 523 St. Ann St. Cost is $15 per person, $12 Senior, Kids. For more information and tickets go to the official website.
French Quarter Holiday Home Tour
Five French Quarter residences are open to the public and dressed up for the holidays. This tour is held on the same day as the caroling in Jackson Square and is a great prelude to that event usually starting about 6:30 that evening. Call 504-319-6226
Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses in Holiday Dress
Located at 820 St. Louis Street in the French Quarter, these homes will be decorated in the Creole style and are open from early December 8 through January 6. Tours are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10 and 11 am. Cost is $10.00. Official website.
Every year the 1850 House does "A Creole Christmas" all through the month of December from 9 am to 5 pm except Mondays and Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It's part of the Louisiana State Museum and located at 523 St. Ann Street in the French Quarter. This is a great way to take a trip back in time to see how the Creoles celebrated the holidays in the antebellum era. Call (800) 568-6968. Cost is $3 adults, $2 seniors and students. Children 12 & under free when accompanied by an adult.
Historic New Orleans Collection Holiday Home and Courtyard Tour.
Held throughout December Tuesday through Saturday, at 10am, 11am, 2pm, and 3pm, and Sunday (fewer tour times.)The cost is $5. Vist the festivaly decorated home and courtyard of General and Mrs. L. Kemper Williams. Get tickets at the New Orleans Historic Collection located at 533 Royal St. The Historic New Orleans Collection has a wonderful gift shop for unique gifts. Visit the official website for more information.
Holiday Tea & Tour at Longe Vue House & GardensHeld throughout December. (1:30pm - 3:30pm. Longe Vue House and Gardens. The home and gardens are beautiful at any time of year, but especially wonderful at Christmas time. You'll need reservations. Longe Vue House is located at 7 Bamboo Rd, New Orleans. Cost is $30.
French Quarter Holiday Home & Patio TourThis tour presented by the Patio Planters is always a special event. Every year there are different homes and patios open throughout the French Quarter, all beautifully decorated. It's a rare chance to peek inside the private gardens and homes of the French Quarter. It's usually just before Christmas from 2pm - 4:30pm. The cost is $15 that price includes maps for the self-guided tour. Go to the official website for more information.