The holiday season is a joyful time no matter where you are, but there is something extra special about celebrating the holidays in New Orleans. When it comes to food and fun, New Orleans flourishes, and our Réveillon dinners and New Years traditions truly set the city apart from the rest.
All About Réveillon
Réveillon dinners are a Creole Christmas tradition dating back to the 1800s. Traditionally, the celebration included a large family meal that would take place after midnight mass concluded on the night of Christmas Eve. Dinner would be served around 2:00 in the morning and would include dishes such as gumbo, meat pies, soups, desserts, and brandy or coffee. Though this tradition nearly died out completely, it was revived in the 1990s with a few twists.
Now, Réveillon menus are exclusive menus that restaurants will offer during the holiday season, and, to the relief of many, these meals are now typically served during the day instead of the early hours of the morning, rather than solely offered the night of Christmas Eve. Réveillon menus can be found across the city throughout the month of December!
While Réveillon meals are often enjoyed by large groups of family and friends, smaller parties are welcome to take part in this Creole tradition at some of the top restaurants in New Orleans. Historically, restaurants such as The Court of Two Sisters, Crescent City Brewhouse, Tableau*, and Muriel’s Jackson Square* have hosted these multi-course meals – each with their own signature takes on the traditional menu. To view this year’s participating establishments, visit https://holiday.neworleans.com/food-and-drink/.
Once you’ve delighted in a Réveillon dinner, we encourage you to continue the festivities among the various light displays throughout the city. Celebration in the Oaks, an annual light show in New Orleans City Park, includes miles of holiday lights featuring local favorites including Mr. Bingle and New Orleans Saints-themed lights and decorations.
Luna Fete is another local favorite that is free to the public, transforming buildings in downtown New Orleans into art by way of projections onto buildings. Other areas at Luna Fete include illuminated sculptures and various winter wonderlands.
Ringing In a Bright and Shiny New Year
Everyone knows New Orleans boasts the best parties, and of course New Year’s Eve is no different. During the day, the Caesar’s Superdome hosts the Allstate Sugar Bowl, preceded by the Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year’s Parade, taking place prior to the game. Both events offer a taste of New Orleans Mardi Gras with floats, bands, and revelry.
And once midnight arrives, the city comes alive with fireworks on the Mississippi River that can be seen from a variety of locales throughout the city – including Jackson Square where many will gather for an informal party.
Vue Orleans, the 360-degree observatory, includes indoor and outdoor observatory decks to see the city light up from 34 floors above the ground.
Another beloved tradition? Take a late-night riverboat tour! These tours typically include food and drink, music, and stellar views of the city as the clock strikes midnight. One of the biggest New Year’s Eve river tours can be found on board the Steamboat Natchez. Their New Year’s Eve celebration includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a buffet, live entertainment, and views of the fireworks at midnight.
Whatever your plans are this holiday season, let the Lanaux Mansion be your home away from home! To book your reservation, please visit https://secure.thinkreservations.com/thelanauxmansion/reservations.
*Walking distance to the Lanaux Mansion