NOLA Christmasfest kicks off 11-day Holiday Extravaganza tomorrow, December 21, 2017

Festival features the only real ice-skating rink in all of New Orleans.


NOLA ChristmasFest attendee enjoys the slide.

Beginning tomorrow, people of all ages visiting NOLA ChristmasFest will experience the magic of the season during an 11-day holiday extravaganza amidst scores of decorated Christmas trees and thousands of dazzling lights inside the weather-protected festival. The Fifth Annual NOLA ChristmasFest kicks off tomorrow (Thursday, December 21) and continues through Sunday, December 31, providing a welcoming setting for new holiday traditions to visitors and locals alike.

The popular family holiday celebration will feature the only REAL indoor ice skating rink in New Orleans as well as two 120-foot real ice slides. Along with an expanded Gingerbread House Exhibit with more than two dozen gingerbread houses, there will be a walk-through gingerbread house for photos and visits with lovable characters. This year, an adult beverage lounge is also being added as a gathering place for moms, dads, grandparents, and friends.

NOLA ChristmasFest visitors will also have the opportunity to take photos with Santa beginning December 21 until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The festival takes place inside Hall I at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Special hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Christmas Day from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m; and December 27 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Themed inflatables and carnival rides will enhance the experience, including the Kringle Carousel, Winter Whirl, Blitzen Flyer, Polar Express and Snowy Summit Climbing Wall. The Snowball Fight Zone, Children’s Craft Area, holiday characters, life-size maze, and themed-movies will also be returning to the indoor celebration, together with special events. Back by popular demand, 30-minute, private ice skating lessons may be pre-purchased and will be offered before opening daily (

To commemorate the city’s Tricentennial, a “One Time, in New Orleans” interactive center will be open on Saturday, December 23 and Saturday, December 30 to allow NOLA ChristmasFest participants to share their best New Orleans memories on video for the world to see using #OneTimeinNOLA. The display will be onsite throughout NOLA ChristmasFest, allowing participants to post their own selfie experiences on a more casual basis.

Three girls enjoying the ice-skating rink.

Special events for NOLA ChristmasFest include an opening day appearance on Thursday, December 21, from social media star My Best Friend Hank – a miniature potbelly big (; an appearance from the Tulane Green Wave Women’s Basketball team ( on Friday, December 29; an an appearance from the Tulane Green Wave Men’s Basketball team on Saturday, December 30 ( Other pop-up activities and holiday vendors will be added to the event.

In addition to these special events, NOLA ChristmastFest announced a special community partnership with Son of a Saint, ( a local nonprofit that exists to enhance the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships.

NOLA ChristmasFest guests can enter a raffle benefitting Son of a Saint for a chance to win two round-trip coach tickets for from New Orleans to Punta Cana via Copa Airlines, including three nights’ accommodations at the Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa in the Dominican Republic, an all-inclusive resort, courtesy of AMResorts.

Pay One Price tickets are $20 per person for admission and will include skating, skate rentals and unlimited experiences on all rides and attractions. Enjoy a Christmas hot chocolate or cocktail, photos with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating for an additional fee. Group tickets are available ( Convenient parking is available for a fee in Lot F, located directly across from the NOLA ChristmasFest entrance at Hall I (

Individual and group tickets for the 2017 NOLA ChristmasFest are now on sale at

Toy Soldier poses with kids.

Convention Center Boulevard will once again be decked in holiday décor and more than one million mesmerizing lights. This year’s display will extend for two miles, lighting the way to NOLA ChristmasFest from Poydras to Henderson Streets connecting with the Downtown Development District stretch of holiday lights from Claiborne to Poydras along Canal Street.

Businesses can host their corporate holiday parties and events at NOLA ChristmasFest. Parents can also host their children’s birthday parties. For inquiries regarding both, email

For the latest updates, follow @nolachristmas on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
With 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, an award-winning staff and first-class amenities, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) is the sixth largest convention center in the nation, a consistent Top 10 host of the largest number of conventions and tradeshows annually, and one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading rainmaker of the city’s hospitality industry, MCCNO event activity has produced $81.7 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.1 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.

NOLA ChristmasFest is sponsored by Capital One, Coca-Cola, Centerplate, Freeman, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Raising Cane’s, Budweiser, Take 5 Oil Change, Alamo Services, Cossé Law Firm, Cox Communications, Dat Dog, Southern Glazer’s, Diageo, Bacardi, Bellwether, Entergy, First Bank & Trust, Tulane Athletics, New York Life Insurance, Copa Airlines, AMResorts, Allstate Sugar Bowl, HomeAdvisor and ACCENT-DMC and is presented by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.