Transforming the magnificent oak groves of City Park into a winter wonderland, Celebration in the Oaks is open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003. Located in City Park (Carrollton and Esplanade avenues), visitors can enjoy the attractions in several ways: rent a horse-drawn carriage to take through the park for an additional fee, departing in front of Storyland nightly; call 581-4415 for more info on carriage rides. With the Driving Tour, visitors can drive though the two-mile route. The driving tour is $10 per car, truck, van, SUV; $15 per RV; $20 per limousine; $35 per shuttle van; $60 per bus. The Walking Tour is accessed either by parking near Tad Gormley Stadium or parking near the tennis courts to begin. The walking tour is $5 per person, with kids under three free; the walking tour is closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31.
Below is a listing of attractions and special events offered by Celebration in the Oaks:
CDM COFFEE CHRISTMAS CAFE. Open nightly and featuring City Park Catering, this area offers cafe au lait, hot buttered rum, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish pasta, bread pudding, Christmas cookies and more.
VISITS WITH SANTA. Nightly from Nov. 29 to Dec. 23, children can visit with Santa from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Carousel Gardens; free with admission, optional photo available.
THE STORYLAND PLAYERS. Theatrical group will perform Three Billy Goats Gruff nightly at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.; free with admission.
GALLERY OF CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS TREES. Trees decorated by local school children, in a project underwritten by Eureka Homestead, are featured along pathways in the Botanical Garden, Carousel Gardens and Storyland.
THE FRIENDS SHOPPE. Located in Carousel Gardens and open nightly, this shop offers a variety of holiday gift items for sale, including the 2002 Celebration in the Oaks commemorative ornament.
TWINKLING TRAIN. Visitors can take a train, decorated for Christmas, along a 2-mile loop around the park. Train admission $2; boards at train station in Carousel Gardens.
ENTERTAINMENT PAVILION. Nightly entertainment, with performers ranging from local school groups to professional actors, with performances lasting from a half-hour to an entire hour, with the play Nutcracker and other holiday productions, clogging groups, dance teams, school choirs, military bands among the featured acts.
ARTISANS VILLAGE. Open nightly from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, local artists will present their creations for exhibition and purchase. The Artisans Village is located next to the Conservatory of the Two Sisters in the Botanical Garden.
CHILDREN'S ART WORKSHOP. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14, the Louisiana Children's Museum will present a chance for children to create their own ornament to take home. The workshop will be held inside the Botanical Garden's Lath House.
RUN/WALK. On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Crescent City Fitness Foundation and the New Orleans Track Club will hold a run/walk for costume-encouraged runners through the lighted displays. All registered runners earn free admission for the walking tour, a t-shirt and refreshments. Registration 2 p.m., race begins at 4 p.m. Call 861-8686 for more info.
SNOWLAND. Considered one of the only chances to ever see snow in New Orleans, the morning of Saturday, Dec. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon features the importing of over 40 tons of "snow" to play and revel in. Free admission; Snowland is located in the Carousel Gardens.
FIREWORKS. The night after Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 26, a huge fireworks show begins at 8 p.m.
POP A CORK FOR CITY PARK. On Dec. 31, ring the new year at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters with a elegant event with dining and dancing, featuring a five-course buffet, open bar, party favors, plus champagne and dessert at midnight. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call 483-9376 for more info.