Family Life


“Lights!” Since I was little, I have always loved piling up in the car and looking at Christmas lights. At each display, we would enthusiastically yell, “Lights!” before moving on to the next house. This love of Christmas cheer continues even now, and I love sharing it with the boys. Recently, we took a “road trip” to City Park in New Orleans for the Celebration of the Oaks, and it was a hit.

The boys enjoy any excuse to fill my truck with snacks, blankets and pillows. We’ve taken a lot of family road trips since they were both very little, so they have mastered the prep for these occasions, and this was no different. Loaded with an array of what they consider “necessary” supplies for such a “long” excursion, we headed south. I bought our tickets for a Friday which worked out perfectly because the boys were wiped from the week and had a snooze on the way down.

Once we arrived at the park, we were pleasantly surprised. We had prepared ourselves for a backup of cars waiting to roll, but we found that traffic was not terrible and the line kept moving. At the entrance gate, we presented our QR code, which they texted to us in advance. They scanned the code, handed us a card to place on our dash and off we went.

The vibe was certainly child friendly, with little heads popping out of car windows cheering for displays and parents pulling over for quick breaks. We were greeted by Santa and his helpers. Then the real lights appeared. Everything was organized by theme with a Saints tree and a sno ball display. There were dinosaurs and big and small creatures throughout. The visual delights were accompanied by the sounds of Christmas thanks to a radio station that they recommended everyone dial up. The boys loved everything about it. Even PMan, who is hard to impress, got caught up in the sparkle.

Celebration in the Oaks has been on my list of Christmas to-dos for many years. I’m actually glad that this was the year we chose to check it out. The drive-thru experience was perfect for us, and it brought me back to my own childhood. It was such an easy, stress-free experience that I would totally recommend for anyone with young Christmas enthusiasts. The price tag is about $20 per vehicle with a capacity of eight. There are add-on items that you can purchase, but we were perfectly content with our 2020 socially distanced option. You log on here to purchase your ticket for the designated time you would like to roll. Side note: they ask you for the first names of those who are riding and whether they are an adult or a child. At first, I wondered why they needed this, but I filled it out and hit submit. I highly recommend you do the same because there is a fun surprise that awaits once you arrive. All in all, this was a pandemic Christmas hit for our crew and something I hope the boys will remember when they’re older.

Do you have creative new ideas to celebrate the season? If so, please share. I’m always on the lookout for more lights!

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