Free family Thanksgiving events in New Orleans 2017
Kajun Bear YouTube

Thanksgiving is a season of homecomings, reunions and family gatherings in New Orleans. There will be several free family-friendly events to celebrate along with family and friends in 2017. Check out all the special events in New Orleans that will be fun for kids and adults.

French Market Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 16 @ 5 p.m.
Washington Artillery Park, 749 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70116

The holidays will be kicked off with a tree lighting ceremony in the historic French Quarter. The 27-foot fleur de lis topped tree will be illuminated at this family-friendly event.

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
Nov. 18-19 @ 11 a.m.
Congo Square, Louis Armstrong Park, New Orleans, LA 70116

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will present the ninth annual Treme Creole Gumbo Festival in 2017. The event will celebrate the heritage of what is known as the oldest neighborhood of free African Americans in the U.S. The celebration will include performances by renown jazz artists, many of whom were born in Treme. Visitors will also enjoy shopping in the Arts Market for creative handmade crafts. You can bring the children because they will offer kids’ activities. Admission will be free but bring money to purchase gumbo, local foods and to shop at the market.

Canal Street Home for the Holidays Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 21 @ 5 p.m.
Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, 739 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70130

The entire family will have fun at the Canal Street Lighting Ceremony, which will illuminate historic Canal Street and Downtown NOLA with more than one million sparkling lights. Kids who bring an unwrapped toy to donate will get to visit Santa Claus and decorate holiday cookies.  

The Bayou Classic Parade
Nov. 25 @ 9:30 a.m.
French Market to Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA 70112

The Bayou Classic Parade Presented by Cricket Wireless will step off at the French Market and march to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The parade will be one of the events surrounding the annual game between college rivals Grambling State University and Southern University.  

Arts Market New Orleans
Nov. 25-26 @ 10 a.m.
Palmer Park, S. Carrollton at S. Claiborne Aves., New Orleans, LA 70118

The Arts Market is a monthly open-air artwork marketplace at Palmer Park. The market will feature between 80-130 local artists offering affordable, handmade artwork, such as paintings, printmaking, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and glasswork. The marketplace will be a great place to shop for unique holiday gifts for family and friends.

Kenner Christmas Village
Nov. 25-Dec. 17
405 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70062

Take the family to stroll through the Christmas Village, decorated with lights and animated scenery. The lighted village will overlook a tranquil pond, creating a beautiful scene. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the village will be especially festive with holiday entertainment. Santa Claus, carolers, and costumed holiday characters will add to the festive atmosphere.


Audubon Louisiana Nature Center Fall Festival
Nov. 18 @ 10 a.m.
11000 Lake Forest Dr., New Orleans, LA 70129

The fall festival will be a day of fun featuring live music, animal encounters, face painting, nature crafts, nature walks, s’mores stations, healthy cooking demonstrations are more. Food trucks will be selling food and refreshments. Admission to the Nature Center will be complimentary, but there will be an activity fee of $8/person in advance or $10/person at the door.

Celebration in the Oaks
Nov. 25-Jan. 1 (closed Nov. 28-Dec. 1) @ 6 p.m.
City Park, 7 Victory Av., New Orleans, LA 70124

The annual Celebration in the Oaks will light up the 25 acres of City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Santa Claus will be in the train gazebo every night of the celebration. They recommend buying tickets in advance to save time. Admission will be $9/person, children under 3 are admitted free.  Train rides and amusement rides will be an extra fee.

Zoolights at Baton Rouge Zoo
Nov. 24-Dec. 30 @ 5:30 p.m.
Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70807

Zoolights is a mile-long illuminated trail with more than 50 display sculptures of animals and holiday displays. The entire family will enjoy the festive beauty and activities at the zoo over the holidays. Admission will be $3-$5.