Celebration in the Oaks 2018: New light displays, holiday activities this season

More than a million dazzling lights and breathtaking displays transform New Orleans City Park for the annual holiday tradition, Celebration in the Oaks. The magical winter spectacle attracts crowds each year with 25 acres of holiday lights and local favorites like Mister Bingle and the “Cajun Night Before Christmas.”

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the annual holiday lights festival. Celebration in the Oaks also debuts many new lights displays and activities at the event this season for even more merriment.

Celebration in the Oaks debuts the Fountain of Joy in the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy: John Snell

Here are the new holiday lights displays to look out for in 2018:

  • Fountain of Joy in the New Orleans Botanical Garden
  • Merry KISS-mas ‘kissing booth’ under the the New Orleans Botanical Garden
  • Holiday Crawfish Boil hanging in the trees in the Old Grove on the train route
  • A streetcar added to the New Orleans scene on the train route
  • Heaux Heaux Heaux tree decorations in the trees along Victory Avenue
  • A holiday village display in the New Orleans Botanical Garden Pavilion of the Two Sisters Annex
The iconic dripping snow tree will feature the word “Peace.” Photo courtesy: John Snell

City Park’s elves also make a few upgrades to some existing displays. A uplifting holiday message — the word “peace”– will shine under the iconic dripping snow tree. The electrical experts also upgraded Victoria the Unicorn in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park with LED lights.

Another element, which is technically not part of the Celebration in the Oaks, will be on display for City Park visitors: A 22-foot high “Rose Crystal Tower.” The sculpture is the work of renowned artist Dale Chihuly, on loan from the Helis Foundation for the next two years.

Related: Here’s the colossal cotton candy you can eat at Celebration in the Oaks

A 22-foot high “Rose Crystal Tower” will be on display. Photo courtesy: John Snell

New Orleans City Park will also add some new activities amidst the holiday fun to keep things interesting.

Here are the new activities at Celebration in the Oaks in 2018:

  • Mutt Mondays – Bring your friendly leashed dogs to the Botanical Garden and take fun holiday photos at the SPCA photo booth on Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.
  • Yoga classes – Enjoy yoga under the lights with Footprints to Fitness on Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19.
  • Storytime in Storyland – Kids can hear local authors read stories under the Storyland Castle on Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Classic Christmas movies shown in Campfire Village – Grab a seat at a picnic table and enjoy family fun Christmas classics on a large projection screen.

Celebration in the Oaks opens nightly through Jan. 1. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The exhibit closes on Nov. 26, 27, 28, 29 and Dec. 24 and 31. The attraction initially opened for the holiday season on Nov. 23.

Admission is $10, and children under age 3 are free, along with Friends of City Park members.

Find complete details about the new entertainment activities here.

For more information about Celebration in the Oaks, visit the website.