Celebration in the Oaks returns for the holidays: Here’s what’s new in 2021

Celebration in the Oaks, the big holiday lights event at City Park, brings back its driving tour, along with some new features this year. The event runs from Nov. 25 to Jan. 2 (closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31).

Along with the return of the driving tour, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park reopens for an expanded experience with access to its popular attractions and a walking tour.

Source: New Orleans City Park

This year, the event will also include three brand new features: an outdoor bar in the Botanical Garden, a festive train experience with on-board entertainment and bike nights every Monday, New Orleans City Park officials announced.

For the first time, Celebration in the Oaks will offer Bike Nights as a new way to access the event.

This new feature gives bike riders the chance to experience the magical lights and displays through the park by following along the same route as the vehicle path. Bike enthusiasts can take advantage of this event from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Monday while Celebration in the Oaks remains active. Tickets for the bike nights cost $5.

Guests can also purchase cocktails at the new festive outdoor bar in the Botanical Garden and share a holiday delight under the twinkling lights and near the famous poinsettia tree in the Conservatory of Two Sisters.

City Park officials say the train experience will feature entertainment and storytelling audio to accompany you as you ride along.

Celebration the Oaks
Photo courtesy: Celebration in the Oaks via Facebook

This year, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park reopens and will feature 18 rides, along with activities, including hot chocolate, marshmallow roasting, photo opportunities, dancing light shows and a snow area.

With the return of the driving tour and the addition of the Bike Nights and the Carousel Gardens Experience, City Park officials say they feel this year is a “choose-your-own” approach to Celebration in the Oaks.

Park-goers can take the path that works best for them, and officials say they feel that broadens the experience for everyone.

“Our community has been through a lot in the past 19 months and making cherished memories with loved ones is deeply valued,” City Park CEO Cara Lambright said in a statement. “It is truly an honor that Celebration in the Oaks continues to serve such a beloved role in our holiday season and we’re proud to deliver a stellar event this year for our guests.”

During the 2.25-mile driving tour, visitors will see City Park’s giant live oaks covered in more than a million twinkling lights and those breathtaking light displays scattered throughout the park.

Source: New Orleans City Park

Several fan favorites will return including the pirate ship, dinosaurs, aquatic animals, horse-drawn carriage, the unicorn, St. Louis Cathedral and French Quarter scenes.

Ticket prices for the driving tour are $39.99 for cars and SUVs, with a limit of eight guests per vehicle. All tickets for the event must be purchased online in advance. City Park officials say a limited number of tickets will be sold per day and time slot.

Tickets for the Carousel Gardens Experience only cost $35 per person. Guests can also add on the Carousel Gardens Experience to the driving tour for an additional $25 per person.

Celebration in the Oaks will close on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For more information or to purchase Celebration in the Oaks tickets, visit the website.


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