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Best outdoor things to do this winter in New Orleans

French Quarter History & Culture Walking Tour Image 2

Top 5 must do activities for your Nola winter vacation

by:  Jerf  “the holiday” Benson


For most, winter is a dreaded and long plague of ice and cold… Your skin turns pale, you start listening to sad emo music that you enjoyed as a teenager, you look out the window at the pretty snow but you wouldn’t dare leave the house.  Sounds like you need a vacation.  Hard to believe, but its not cold everywhere… the sun is shining down here in the south.  Book a flight and check out some of New Orleans’ winter wonderland offerings during this holiday season.


Celebration in the Oaks Open November 29th- January 1st, The City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks is one of the southern United State’s largest outdoor light displays.  The must-see light display is spread across a whopping 25 acres of New Orleans expansive City Park.


Manchac Mystic Kayak Swamp Tour hosted by New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours ,our next recommendation because well…we love what we do.  Experiencing the swamps surrounding New Orleans is a must and we do it the best! Our guides will provide highly informative while also relaxing tour excursions through our favorite local wetlands, which are full of chances for interesting wildlife and beautiful photo opportunities! This is a great family activity for kids aged 6 and up!

two kayakers in one kayak paddle through a meandering corridor in the Manchac swamp

Even in winter, the swamp is a gorgeous place to kayak.


St. Louis Cathedral Concert Series

Fronting on Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, the historic St. Louis Cathedral and Basilica plays host to an annual holiday tradition of staging free concerts by prominent New Orleans musicians, church choirs and singers in the jazz, classical, gospel and pop genres.

Within the Gothic splendor of one of America’s oldest and most architecturally significant churches, the acoustics lend an air of reverence to the performances. The building itself dates back to 1794.

The St. Louis Cathedral concerts, which are produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., generally run for an hour, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The concerts are open to the public and donations are welcome to help fund the cost of the series.


Bonfires on the Levee  Imagine navigating the Mississippi river in pure lights..blind to the powerful and unforgiving curves and current of its mighty, muddy waters.  Up to 100 years ago, this was a very common reality for merchant boats and barges fighting to move their wares down river to New Orleans… Even Santa Claus experienced difficulty finding his stops with only Rudolph to light his way… Coal is heavy.  The Cajuns repeatedly noticed that Santa kept skipping over their little towns and decided TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  Santa…that blind old bastard, what about us?  These clever settlers started a tradition thats still in practice today in which over 100 bonfires are lit along the banks of the Great Mississippi River to guide Santas path.  Now everyone gets their lump of coal and candy cane, TAKE THAT SANTA!


Krewe of Jingle   SAVE THE DATE!  December 7th at 1pm …the Krewe of Jingle rolls us into the deep holiday season, parading the downtown streets until everyones cheeks are rosy.  This is a GREAT event for families, but is not your average square holiday parade.  There WILL be a group of Elvis impersonators, there WILL be peppermint schnapps, there WILL be scantily clad Mrs Claus wannabes.  Check it out!



So if your sick of the cold and dreary weather this winter… Theres a place not far away where the ground never freezes, and the lights never sleep… I speak of course of New Orleans.