The train ride is one of the highlights of City Park's Celebration in the Oaks. Photo by Boone Clemmons, Seersucker Studios.

Let it glow: Louisiana’s best holiday lights


Things are looking both merry and bright this time of year in Louisiana. Our roundup of nearby destinations that are letting their lights shine begins in New Orleans, where this monthlong event at City Park (above) has been a Big Easy mainstay for more than three decades. In addition to more than a million lights and fan-favorite features including Mr. Bingle and a holiday train ride, this year promises a newly spruced-up Storyland play area and pet-friendly “Mutt Mondays.”

Photo by Kelli Bozeman


What would life be like in an 1800s Cajun village if its cypress chapel, blacksmith shop and rustic cottages were all outlined in twinkling lights that reflected on the bayou below? Find out at this annual event at LARC’s Acadian Village in Lafayette, where for 23 nights visitors can wander through the wonderland while seeing animated displays and hearing live music. Proceeds benefit LARC’s mission to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Photo via Arts Council New Orleans


Holiday lights go high tech at this free New Orleans festival that features the work of some of the world’s leading light and projection-based artists. Set for Dec. 12-15 this year, the festival will take place around Lafayette Square, where large-scale images and videos will be projected onto historic buildings for an unforgettable visual effect. Pro tip: Luna Lounge tickets give attendees a VIP oasis in the middle of the action, complete with heaters, cocktails and creations by local chefs.

Photo via Natchitoches Christmas Festival


No list of Louisiana lights is complete without a mention of one of the nation’s oldest community-based holiday celebrations, located less than a three-hour drive from the Capital City. What began in 1927 with a single shining set piece on the riverbank is now a six-week Christmas season filled with more than 100 displays, fireworks, a parade, and festival food—meat pies are a must-have! The fun ends on the evening of the Epiphany January 6.