It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Between the shopping, wrapping, and baking, make time to enjoy the beauty of the best New Orleans Christmas lights.
Celebration in the Oaks features more than a million lights across 25 acres. The Roosevelt shines as bright as the stars with lavish lobby decor and 46 Christmas trees. Plus, Canal Street will again feature a festive display of lights along every sidewalk.
However, some of the best New Orleans Christmas lights can be found in beautiful historic neighborhoods and private homes. These are a few of the best Christmas light experiences in New Orleans, combining our city’s historic traditions and festivities for an awe-inspiring showcase.
The best New Orleans Christmas lights in 2019
Grab a mug of hot cocoa and pile everyone in the car. Driving around to find Christmas lights is a timeless tradition for families everywhere. All you need is a few tips on where to start!
Here are some of the best New Orleans Christmas lights you can find in NOLA’s neighborhoods and homes.
1. 4444 Chalfant Drive in Metairie
This merry little scene is certain to bring a smile to your face. Sneak a peek of the classic Christmas tree in the front window.
You may even catch a glimpse of Santa and Mrs. Claus!
2. 1200 Block of Constantinople Street
With a nod to the historical nature of this New Orleans’ neighborhood, you’ll find a wide variety of classic Christmas lights.
Garland and bows bring this decor to life, along with the reindeer you’ll spot on the lawn.
3. 1600 Block of Transcontinental in Metairie
You’ll find a beautiful carousel and a host of Christmas characters in this fabulous light display.
Complete with hundreds of lights, you can even spot Santa making his way along the rooftop.
4. 67221 Thackery Street in Mandeville
This elaborate display of holiday festivity is paired with music. All you have to do is tune in to the station on your radio!
You’ll love the energy of this Christmas show that is full of twinkling lights.
5. Corner of Royal and Dumaine streets
Embrace what makes New Orleans unique and check out the balconies that are shining bright on the corner of Royal and Dumaine.
Grab a beignet and a hot cup of coffee while you stroll through the area.
The best New Orleans holiday home tours
Holiday home tours are a treasured tradition in New Orleans. You’ll feel as if you’re traveling through time when you wander the halls of these spectacular historic houses.
Get a healthy dose of Christmas spirit with some of the best holiday home tours in New Orleans.
These historic “sister houses” are decked in holiday dress during the winter months. They promise a true look at how Christmas and New Year’s were celebrated during the first half of the nineteenth century in our city.
Enjoy the 45-minute guided tour that provides fascinating insights into the traditions of this time period.
Built-in 1889, the Williams Residence is the only French Quarter house open to the public with its original furnishings. General L. Kemper and Leila Williams, founders of The Historic New Orleans Collection, were passionate antique collectors with an elaborate collection. You’ll see a Christmas tree with original ornaments along the Holiday Home and Courtyard Tours at the Williams Residence.
This Victorian-era house, built-in 1826, features holiday decor true to the period in which it was built.
In addition to tours, bring the children out to their annual Holiday Doll Tea. The kids will love the treats, caroling, and visits with Santa in this historic home.
Listen to the sounds of local musicians as you tour seven gorgeous houses that are decorated for the holidays.
This Garden District tour is self-guided, which means you can wander at your own leisure. Cap off the night with a stroll through their festive holiday boutique.
Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré presents French Quarter residences on this self-guided tour. You’ll see stunning home furnishings, architecture, and of course, Christmas decor. Once your stroll is through, head over to Caroling in Jackson Square, another New Orleans tradition you won’t want to miss.
Preparing your historic home for the holidays
Have your own historic home and want to join the festivities? Decorating a historic New Orleans home for the holidays may feel intimidating, but the efforts are well worth it. After all, you have a beautiful canvas to start work with and you won’t need much to enhance the wonder of our historic buildings.
With a little research and the right renovations, you can honor the timeless tradition of holiday decor while maintaining your home’s historical integrity. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind before you begin stringing lights.
1. Maintain the historic style
Dive into the history of your home by doing a little research. Learn everything you can about the style and decor during the year it was built (and the years immediately following). Through books, museums, and online records, you can find photos and information about what life was like back then.
Try to find out more about the Christmas decor of that time period, too. What did ornaments look like? Was every window bordered by white lights? Did they hang an elegant wreath on the front door?
One of the most special (and fun!) aspects of decorating a historic home for the holidays is the chance to take people back in time. Think of this as an opportunity to give a history lesson.
2. In with the old, out with the new
Historic buildings should evoke a feeling of nostalgia. With this in mind, try to avoid decor that is obviously bright, shiny, and new. This simply won’t blend in with the classic beauty of your home.
Try to look for vintage Christmas decor at local antique shops. You may be surprised to find an assortment of ornaments and tabletop decor from decades ago. For the exterior of your home, consider classic garland glowing with warm candle-style lights.
3. Consider electrical issues
Electrical issues are a common challenge during historic home renovations. These houses typically don’t have a range of outdoor plugs like modern houses do. Take a look at the situation and map out a plan before you get started.
In some cases, you will have to use outlets inside your home and safely run your wires through a window or door. Alternatively, you may consider using a generator to power your lighting display.
A better option for long-term holiday cheer? Call a professional New Orleans renovation company, like us, to help you update the electrical system for your home. They’ll have a better understanding of the electrical challenges you’re facing and can suggest ways to modernize this aspect of your home.
Done right, a modern electrical renovation makes your historical holidays a whole lot safer and simpler to enjoy.
4. When in doubt, hire a professional
Similarly, it can be tempting to try a few DIY projects, especially when it comes to simple holiday decor. Between YouTube and HGTV, there is a tutorial for any updates you could imagine. Unfortunately, this can lead to costly mistakes that are difficult to repair.
Make sure that you’re hanging lights and décor in an appropriate manner for the materials your house is made of. If you have any doubts about a project, contact a professional with experience renovating historic homes. They can provide guidance and feedback, ensuring a safer decorating process that won’t damage your home.
How MLM Incorporated can help you renovate for the holidays
New Orleans is a city that tells the stories of our forbearers, no matter where you look. It’s one of the most historic cities in the United States and our residents are rightfully proud of the legacy that lives on through ongoing care and preservation.
At MLM, we are passionate about renovating our city’s historic homes in a way that preserves our unique heritage. Our team has successfully completed citywide historic renovation projects, including the replacement of the entire mechanical and electrical infrastructures of buildings without disturbing their original design.
If you’re looking to renovate your historic home, we can help. Start planning your project with a free quote.