8 things to do this weekend: Dec. 14 – 16

Get in the spirit with Christmas parades, holiday festivals and family friendly events. Check out our weekend planner for more.

Don't be a grinch this weekend! We found several ways to get you in the holiday spirit. Looking for things to do this weekend? We narrowed down eight events for you to check out.

Festival of the Bonfires

Friday, Dec. 14 – Sunday, Dec. 16

Celebrate Christmas Cajun-style at the Festival of the Bonfires all weekend. The longtime holiday tradition will attract thousands to the River Parishes. Enjoy food, live music, Santa’s Merry Forest and carnival rides during the event. A single bonfire lighting will happen each night in Lutcher Recreational Park on La. 3193 in St. James Parish.

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19th annual Holiday of Lights Celebration

Friday, Dec. 14 – Saturday, Dec. 15

Families have one more weekend to visit the free 19th Annual Holiday of Lights celebration on Koop Drive in Mandeville. Several local groups fill the lineup for performances on Friday and Saturday. There will be lots of lights, live performances, caroling and kiddie rides. Check it out each night from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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New Orleans Ballet Theatre presents 'The Nutcracker'

Saturday, Dec. 15 – Sunday, Dec. 16

New Orleans Ballet Theatre presents a performance of the classic Christmas tale, “The Nutcracker” on Saturday and Sunday at the historic Orpheum Theater. More than 150 local children and professional dancers will help tell the story. Showtimes this weekend are Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $37.50 to $77.50.

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Santa's North Pole Steam Train

Saturday, Dec. 15

Santa’s North Pole Steam Train, an authentic Christmas holiday steam train, will roll into New Orleans on Saturday. The train will depart from the tracks on the Fly at the rear of Audubon Park and steam to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. A holiday party at Mardi Gras World includes a special showing of “The Polar Express.” Seats are limited for this one of a kind New Orleans holiday event. Santa’s North Pole Steam Train will board at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. sharp at the Fly at the rear of Audubon Park. Purchase tickets at the LASTA website.

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Lights on the Lake Holiday Bash

Saturday, Dec. 15

Lights on the Lake Holiday Bash combines a holiday boat parade with a family-friendly party at the New Canal Lighthouse on Saturday. Dozens of local boat owners decorate their vessels with lights and holiday decorations. The event held at the New Canal Lighthouse will also include food trucks, hot toddies and refreshments. Kids can make crafts and take pictures with Santa. Parents can also work on last-minute gifts at the “last stop shopping” village. The event is from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Kids under 12 entry free.

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Jingle on the Boulevard Parade

Saturday, Dec. 15

New Orleans East gets its first holiday parade this season. Jingle on the Boulevard Parade is set to roll at noon on Saturday. The inaugural parade will celebrate the New Orleans East community’s residents and business owners. The parade rolls down Crowder Boulevard to Haynes Boulevard, making its way to Read Boulevard, before ending at Lake Forest Plaza.

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Harahan Christmas Parade

Saturday, Dec. 15

The Harahan Christmas Parade will help usher in the holidays on Saturday, Dec. 15. Floats, bands, dance teams and Santa are all on board. The parade rolls at noon starting at the corner of Jefferson Highway and Hord Street.

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Caroling in Jackson Square

Sunday, Dec. 16

Hundreds of singers will uplift the city at Caroling in Jackson Square at 7 p.m. on Sunday. The fun experience is a New Orleans holiday tradition since 1946. Candles and song sheets are provided at this free and open to the public event. The gates to Jackson Square open at 6:30 p.m. and the caroling begins at 7 p.m. Organizers strongly encourage early arrival.

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