15 Holiday-Free Happenings in New Orleans

A Grinch-approved, good-time guide

Had your fill of eggnog and Christmas carols? Over all of the holiday hoopla? We’ve wrapped the perfect present just for you: A December to-do list without a single Santa in sight.

Preservation Hall New Orleans

“Crescent City Sport: Stories of Courage and Change”
All Month
Football fans in town for the 86th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl will want to huddle at the Historic New Orleans Collection, where they’ll score free admission to this wide-ranging exhibit, which touches on everything from boxing and horseracing to sailing and the creation of the Saints. www.hnoc.org

“Inventing Acadia”
All Month
The first of its kind in more than 40 years, this New Orleans Museum of Art exhibit explores the evolution of Louisiana landscape painting during the 19th century. www.noma.org

“If This Hall Could Speak”
Friday and Saturday matinees, recurring weekly
This new Preservation Hall performance series offers visitors the chance to learn about—and hear—New Orleans jazz directly from the musicians who perform it. www.preservationhall.com

Photographer Sandro Miller

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Dec. 1
All we want for Christmas is Zion Williamson returning to the Smoothie King Center court for December’s eight NBA home games. For tickets and the month’s full lineup, visit www.smoothiekingcenter.com.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000” Live
Dec. 7
Joel Hodgson and his movie-riffing robots take on the cheesiest films ever made on their final live tour at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. www.saengernola.com

Dec. 10
The brothers Hanson “MMMBop” into the Fillmore on their Wintry Mix tour. Warning: This show may contain selections from the group’s 2017 Christmas album. www.fillmorenola.com

Dec. 11-14
Now in its 14th year, this citywide photography exhibition focuses on 60 established and emerging talents from around the nation. For a complete lineup of featured artists and participating venues, visit www.photonola.org.


Criss Angel
Dec. 11
The magic of the season takes on new meaning when the “Mindfreak” illusionist appears at the Saenger Theatre. www.saengernola.com

“The Last Podcast on the Left”
Dec. 13
Serial killers, vampire hunters, zombies, exorcism: The horror-happy podcast brings its dark humor to the Joy Theater. www.thejoytheater.com

Dec. 13
Wait…didn’t Cher stop here on her “farewell tour” back in 2002? Say hello again when the living legend returns to the Smoothie King Center. www.smoothiekingcenter.com

NO Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts
Dec. 16
The Black and Gold square off against Colts at 7:15 pm in their final home game of the season. www.mbsuperdome.com

Bustout Burlesque New Orleans

Snoop Dogg
Dec. 17
Hip-hop artist, ganja gangsta, Martha Stewart bestie: Catch the Doggfather on his “I Wanna Thank Me” tour at the Fillmore. www.fillmorenola.com

The B-52s
Dec. 20
Three decades ago they were “headin’ down the Atlanta highway”; now they’re pulling into Champions Square on their 40th anniversary tour, joined by Berlin. www.champions-square.com

Bustout Burlesque
Dec. 21
This naughty-but-nice burly-q review puts a fresh spin on the age-old art of bump-and-grind at the House of Blues. www.hob.com

Comedy Laugh Fest
Dec. 30
Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Deon Cole, Nephew Tommy and Earthquake bring the funny to the Smoothie King Center. www.smoothiekingcenter.com