This post is written by the Experimental Mommy as part of the Holiday of Wonder campaign sponsored by Wonder and Company and Celebration in the Oaks at New Orleans City Park. All opinions remain 100% mine.
Sometimes living in Southeast Louisiana can make it very difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Wearing flip flops to Thanksgiving dinner, sweating while searching for the perfect tree and turning on the air conditioning while wrapping presents does not make me want to belt out my favorite Christmas carol. But this is the reality that all New Orleanians have to face and as a Mom, I struggle to get my family ready for the fa-la-la-la-holidays.
For many years, my own parents took my brother and I to the New Orleans City Park to experience Celebration in the Oaks which was the signal of the arrival of the Season. And now, I love carrying on the tradition with my own little family. More than 165,000 visitors flock to the magical light displays covering 25 acres of the historic City Park including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens.
While I have visited Celebration in the Oaks many times in the past, every time I return I see something new. The creative team at City Park works hard to add fresh ideas and breathtaking displays to delight even the seasoned guest. New for 2014 is the expanded Sea-Labration exhibit and an animated light display set to music called “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” which is truly spectacular. Looking down at my two daughters, they were dancing and singing along with the holiday tunes…in shorts…..in 75 degree weather. Merry Christmas, everyone!
But, my entire family stopped in their tracks and gasped when we saw the enormous Dripping Snow Tree. While we knew it was actual snow, the tree was covered in white lights and appeared to be dripping snowflakes on the ground below. And can you believe that since the park uses energy efficient LED lights, the entire illuminated tree uses only as much energy as a simple toaster?
One of my favorite activities in City Park when I was a kid was riding the train around the 2 mile track. But when the route is decorated in lights, the ride is something to behold. I highly recommend you visit Celebration in the Oaks Monday -Thursday (as crowds are lighter on weekdays) and head straight for the train when you arrive to avoid long lines. Even better? Buy your tickets online at CelebrationInTheOaks.com which will make accessing the fun much quicker!
So, for people across the South who are melting in their fuzzy winter socks and scarves you insist on wearing, brighten up your holiday spirit by taking the trip to Celebration in The Oaks at the New Orleans City Park. The experience is open from now through January 3, 2014 (closed on 12/1-12/4; 12/24 and 12/31). Tickets are only $8 per person (children under 3 and Friends of City Park are free). The train ride is well worth the additional $4 per person and you can also purchase tickets for the amusement park rides for $3/ride or $17/unlimited rides.