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NOLA Christmas Fest 2023 features ice skating, rides, Santa | Entertainment/Life

Classic holiday fun along with some only-in-New-Orleans experiences combine at the NOLA Christmas Fest, celebrating its 10th year this December. It is one of the few holiday attractions that remains open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Sarah Zanolli skates during the first day of NOLA ChristmasFest at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (Photo by Sophia Germer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate ) Sophia Germer

The Christmas festivities include a gingerbread village, skating rink and holiday entertainment. The ice cream is real, so dress appropriately. Skating lessons are available and visitors can rent skates (but not helmets). Go to the party’s website FAQ page for details on skating.

Families will look for photo ops among the twinkling lights at the entrance to the Peppermint Trail or around the giant tree. Professional photos with Santa are also available for an additional fee. Check times here.

Twins Coi Guidry, 5, and Cai Guidry, 5, pose during the first day of NOLA ChristmasFest at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (Photo by Sophia Germer, NOLA.com, The Times -Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate) Sophia Germer

Kids will head straight for the carnival rides, such as the Jolly Jingler, Blizzard or a classic carousel.

Shoot down a Big Freezy ice cream cone or Santa’s sleigh ride. And then there is the boccia court Big Freezy, which has two courts this year. It’s bocce … on ice.

The NOLA Christmas party takes place on the 21st-30th. December at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd. in New Orleans. Timed entries are for 4½-hour sessions.

Tickets are $25 on weekdays and $30 on Saturday and Sunday. The festival is cashless; only credit cards accepted.

Visit nolachristmasfest.com for more information.

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