Holly Jolly ChristmasFest

New ice skating rink and holiday cheer at the Convention Center

Having grown up in a Northern climate, sometimes 75 degrees in December isn’t quite as jolly as it could be in the holiday sense of the word. Now Nola ChristmasFest has brought ice skating to their indoor festival and we can all pretend we’re in Vermont with Bing Crosby.

This Friday, December 18 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Nola ChristmasFest opens to the public. However, on Thursday, Dec. 17, a special Lantern Parade through the streets of the Warehouse District will give children and families a sneak preview of New Orleans’ newest holiday tradition.

For the third year, Nola ChristmasFest will usher in the Christmas spirit, this year adding an ice skating rink and bringing back beloved holiday characters, amusement rides and performances inside the Convention Center.

The opening parade, led by colorful lanterns, will begin at Fulton and Lafayette Streets on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 5:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to light the way to the Convention Center and be the first to experience ice skating and all the activities and attractions the festival has to offer. Anyone who wishes to participate in the Lantern Parade and private preview must register online in advance here.

The official festival opens to the public on Friday and will run for 10 days through Sunday, Dec. 27. It will even be open with special hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The festival features the only skating rink in New Orleans, a walk-through maze, themed inflatables and rides like the Kringle Carousel, Winter Whirl, Snowball Fight and Snowy Summit Climbing Wall. Visitors will also be able to take photos with Santa and holiday characters.

The Festival will display thousands of lights and more than 60 Christmas trees decorated by local businesses. Additionally, Convention Center Boulevard is festooned with more than 1 million lights synced to traditional and contemporary Christmas music.

Tickets are available online and can be purchased in advance and over the course of the 10-day festival. Single day general admission tickets are $5 and allow access to the maze, carousel, Santa and holiday characters, and decorated trees. Single day all-access tickets are $20 and include the general admission areas as well as the ice skating rink, skate rental, inflatables and carnival rides.

Nola ChristmasFest is located inside Hall B at the Convention Center and will be open from noon until 8:00 p.m. each day, with special hours on Christmas Eve from noon to 5:00 p.m. and on Christmas Day from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Discounted parking is available in the Hilton Whale Surface Lot, Hilton World Trade Center Garage and the Fulton Garage on Convention Center Boulevard.



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