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December 2013 in Nola

Planning a trip to New Orleans this holiday season?  December is a lovely month to be here. It can get pretty chilly, but it’s not cold enough to keep you indoors! It’s a great time to be out and about to enjoy all that this city can offer.

Paddling with my pals in City Park last weekend.

Paddling with my pals in City Park last weekend.

All Month

  • You MUST go to my favorite place– City Park!
    On a sunny day, grab some snacks(and wine), and maybe a blankie and rent a paddleboat at Wheel Fun Rentals. (There is a groupon). They told me that they will be open almost all winter, so I would check to make sure they are open before you go. You could also just sit in the grass under some huge oaks and have a lovely day.
  • Also, stroll or drive through the beautiful lights in the park at night. Celebration in the Oaks will be open November 9th through January 4th. Finish the evening with beignets at Morning Call in the park.
  • Miracle on Fulton Street is put on by Harrah’s Casino and might be really cheesy, but… they have SNOW! Every hour starting at 5pm each night, there will be a few moments of snow in this city. There will also be reindeer, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. And there will be live music throughout the month, so check it out.
  • Live Horse racing at the Fair Grounds every Thursday through Sunday in December!
New Orleans Fair Grounds

Great friends and I at the New Orleans Fair Grounds for zebra and ostrich races!

Friday, December 6th

  • Grab some blankets and head to the Riverwalk Spanish Plaza for an outdoor Christmas movie. This week featuring: How The Grinch Stole Christmas
    Click for more details: Movies on the Mississippi.

Saturday, December 7th

  • Practice for Mardi Gras at the Krewe of Jingle Parade in downtown Nola at 1pm on Saturday, December 7th.
  • After the parade, you can ride the (free) ferry across the river to Algiers for a bonfire and concert by Soul Rebels Brass Band and Amanda Shaw. Music starts at 5pm and goes through 8 when the bonfire will be lit. Santa will be here on a Segway!

Friday, December 13th

  • Grab some blankets and head to the Riverwalk Spanish Plaza for an outdoor Christmas movie. This week featuring: Elf
    Click for more details: Movies on the Mississippi.

Thursday, December 19th

  • Ogden After Hours– The Ogden Art Museum is open late for a performance featuring Benny Grunch & the Bunch. The Ogden has other performances scheduled “after hours”, but this is the one I would pick to go to! Concert starts at 6pm.

Sunday, December 22nd

Celebration in the Oaks

Celebration in the Oaks

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To do in Nola: Checklist


To do in Nola Checklist

Stroll the French Quarter
Have a drink.  Check out the beautiful Saint Louis Cathedral.

Visit City Park
Have a picnic. Try paddle boating.
Play mini golf. Climb a tree.

Eat beignets
Check out Morning Call in City Park
or Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter.

Enjoy a Brass band
Wander down Frenchmen St.

Cool off with a snowball
Hansen’s Sno Blitz, Piety Street Snowballs.

Enjoy Local Art
Palmer Park Art Market(the last Saturday each month),
Frenchmen Art Market(each weekend 7pm-1am),
Jackson Square(every day).

Oysters any way– Raw, chargrilled, fried..!

Order a poboy
Parkway Bakery(Mid-City),
Verti Marte(French Quarter),
Johnny’s(French Quarter).

Try some boiled crawfish
Check out Mid-City Yacht Club on Fridays
or stop by Schaefer & Rusich to get some mudbugs to go.
Call ahead to make sure they’re in season!

Click this link for a printable checklist:  New Orleans Checklist

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A day in the French Quarter

Planning a Weekend Trip to New Orleans? What can you accomplish in only a few days in the beautiful crescent city? LOTS!


If this is your first time in New Orleans, you will definitely want to spend some time in the French Quarter. This is the heart of the city and is bustling with life. I’d suggest checking out the array of artists, street performers, and fortune tellers around Jackson Square.  Admire the St. Louis Cathedral and the beautiful architecture.  If you’re in town to party, you can walk right over to Bourbon Street for some afternoon drink specials–3 for 1 drinks!  You can wander in and out of any number of bars, but some of my favorite daytime Bourbon St. haunts include RazzooThe Swamp, and Lafitte’s.

Hungry in the quarter? This can get tricky… I find Yelp to be pretty accurate for dining in the French Quarter. Some places that I can confirm are always delicious:
SoBou– Chicken on a Bone is the best chicken I have ever had.
Drago’s– Good selection of classic New Orleans dishes. And OYSTERS!
Verti Mart– This is a little grocery where you can order a perfect poboy and take it to-go.  *Take it to the riverfront to eat with a view!

river view

What else to see in the quarter…

Royal Street is closed to car traffic during the day, so you will see great street performers and musicians set up on Royal.  Royal St. is home to a bunch of art galleries and gift shops, so it’s great for a stroll down.

Decatur is a street with bigger name stores; Saks, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters. It is also home to the famous Cafe du Monde. You should check this out if you like powdered sugar and have never tried/heard of a beignet(bin-yay).  The French Market is also on Decatur St. The French Market is sort of a tourist trap, but I always find it fun to walk through. It is made up of booths selling anything from t-shirts and sunglasses to jewelry and homemade art.  There is also a newly renovated area that sells some really great food(crawfish bread, crawfish etouffee, etc).

That should give you a good start for your adventure through the French Quarter. Please let me know if I left anything out by leaving a comment!


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