No other town decks the halls with the same style as the Crescent City.

And why not? Find another region that so flavorfully blends all the cultures that meld in the city in to the celebration of the holidays.

Music, meals, merriment and a touch of madness make for a marvelous expression of seasonal joie de vivre. Local hotels offer attractive "Papa Noel" rates, some of the city's finest restaurants boast traditional and nouvelle Reveillon dinners, and merchants throughout the metro area offer holiday shopping at its finest.

With so many activities on the books, a complete listing would resemble Santa's magical menu of toys for good girls and boys. But here are some highlights of what's coming up between now and New Year's Day.

Thursday, Nov. 24

TURKEY DAY RACE: 8:30 a.m., Tad Gormley Stadium, City Park, New Orleans. New Orleans Athletic Club's 109th annual 5-mile trot to benefit Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans. $35. runnotc.org

MIRACLE ON FULTON STREET: Nightly through Dec. 24, Fulton at Poydras Streets, New Orleans. Light displays, music, interactive ornaments and daily "snow." Santa visits Friday and Saturdays in December, with live entertainment and a gingerbread display in the Harrah's Hotel lobby. miracleonfulton.com.

"DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL": 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday; Saenger Theater, 1111 Canal St., New Orleans. The classic holiday tale of the Grinch, the Whos and a miracle of joy comes to life in this touring production. $26.25 and up. (504) 525-1052. saengernola.com.

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO -- The Grinch

Friday, Nov. 25

CELEBRATION IN THE OAKS OPENS: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through Jan. 1; City Park, New Orleans. Seasonal display of thousands of lights, with train rides, amusement park rides, visits from Santa, live entertainment and more. (Note: Closed Nov. 28-Dec. 1, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31). $9 admission, train, rides extra. (504) 482-4888. neworleanscitypark.com.

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Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Celebration in the Oaks opens Friday and continues through Jan. 1

"OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS": Opening 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon Sundays, through Dec. 11; Slidell Little Theatre, 2024 Nellie Drive, Slidell. Comedic romp about a New Jersey boy who gets offered a dream job across the country and his grandparents and family work to keep him close. $16.50, $8.25 students. (985) 643-0556. slidelllittletheatre.org.

Saturday, Nov. 26

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR AND GARAGE SALE: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Deutsches Haus, 1023 Ridgewood Drive, Metairie. Holiday sale. (504) 522-8014. deutscheshaus.org.

TEEN HOLIDAY SEASON KICKOFF: Noon, Robert E. Smith Library, 6301 Canal Blvd., New Orleans. Afternoon fun of games and creativity for ages 12-17. (504) 596-3638. nolalibrary.org.

FALL ON THE CRESCENT CITY LINES: Noon to 6 p.m., Crescent City Model Railroad Club, 601 N. Lester Ave., Metairie. Open house for model of railroad line. $5, $1 children 6-12. (504) 737-3723. ccmrc.com.

Sunday, Nov. 27

TEDDY BEAR TEA: Various times and dates through Dec. 24, Roosevelt Hotel, 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans. Special journey to rooftops of New Orleans with Santa and Mrs. Claus, tea, pastries and adult beverages. $48 ages 3-10, $68 ages 11-adults. (504) 335-3129. therooseveltneworleans.com.

"CHRISTO E NATO — A MEDITERRANEAN CHRISTMAS": 3 p.m., St. Joseph Abbey Church, 75736 River Road, Covington. Musica da Camera program of Christmas compositions from southern Europe on medieval-style instruments, with Vox Feminae. (504) 895-1972. nomdc.org.

Thursday, Dec. 1

SENIOR CITIZENS' CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON: 10 a.m., Edward A. Dufresne Community Center, 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway, Luling. Food, music and photos with Santa sponsored by Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and the parish. (985) 783-5183. stcharlesparish-la.gov.

JOE LASTIE'S FAMILY GOSPEL: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

YULETIDE CELEBRATION JEFFERSON: 7:30 p.m., Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6400 Airline Drive, Metairie. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's annual performance of holiday favorites suited for the entire family, featuring choirs from local schools, sing-alongs and more. $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com.

Friday, Dec. 2

"HOME ALONE": 6:30 p.m., Spanish Plaza, Riverwalk, Canal and Poydras Streets at the Mississippi River, New Orleans. Holiday Movies on the Mississippi outdoor screening of film sponsored by The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and the Downtown Development District. downtownnola.com/holidays.

"HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS": 7 p.m., Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 3924 Berkley St., Slidell. Northlake Performing Arts Society presents holiday favorites, with some new twists, closing with "Hallelujah Chorus" from "Messiah." npas.info.

DESIRE CHRISTMAS SHOW & ALL-STAR REVIEW: 7 p.m., Historic Carver Theater, 2101 Orleans Ave., New Orleans. Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, fundraiser for Toys for Tots. (504) 913-9336. 

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON: 7 p.m., 71667 Leveson St., Abita Springs. Interactive evening of music and song for Clearwater Sanctuary and Women's Center for Healing and Transformation. $25 advance, $30 door. clearwatersanctuary.org.

"LESSONS AND CAROLS": 7:30 p.m., St. Joseph Abbey Church, 75736 River Road, Covington. Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph Seminary College presents scriptural and musical meditations on Advent season, including "Salvation is Created" by Pavel Tchesnokov. sjasc.edu.

"THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOW (ABRIDGED)": 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 11, plus 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8; Teatro Wego! 177 Sala Ave., Westwego. When none of the acts show up for the St. Everybody's Non-Denominational Universalist Church's holiday variety show and Christmas pageant, three members present the entire show. $25 and up. (504) 885-2000. jpas.org.

YULETIDE CELEBRATION HAMMOND: 7:30 p.m., Columbia Theatre, 220 E. Thomas St., Hammond. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's annual performance of holiday favorites suited for the entire family, featuring choirs from local schools, sing-alongs and more. $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com.

"LETTERS TO SANTA" CONCERT: 7:30 p.m., Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Humorous musical look through the eyes of children, performed by Loyola alumni as part of Montage Fine and Performing Arts Series. Not recommended for children under 12. cmfa.loyno.edu/montage.

THE AMAZING ACRO-CATS — A MEOWY CATMAS: Various times and dates through Dec. 18, The Theatre at St. Claude, 2240 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans. Holiday presentation of acrobatic felines with special New Orleans-only performances. (504) 638-6326. thetheatreatstclaude.com.

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Photo provided by The Amazing AcroCats -- Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, leaps over a hurdle.

"A VINTAGE CHRISTMAS": 8 p.m., with evening and matinee performances weekends and select weekdays, BB's Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., New Orleans. The Victory Belles present holiday favorites, joined by others for a show of seasonal nostalgia. $24.52 and up. nationalww2museum.org.

"STEEL POINSETTIAS": 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 18; Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, 325 Minor St., Kenner. A magnolia-scented Christmas show starring Ricky Graham, Varla Jean Merman, Sean Patterson and Jefferson Turner. This is adult antidote to the holiday season. (504) 461-9475. rivertowntheaters.com.

"A CHRISTMAS TRADITION AND EVENING OF HOLIDAY FUN": 8 p.m., also Saturday and Dec. 9; Cutting Edge Theater, 767 Robert Blvd., Slidell. Sounds of the season. $17.50 and up. (985) 640-0333. cuttingedgetheater.com.

Saturday, Dec. 3

DOWNTOWN NOLA SATURDAY SHOPPING SPREE: Various merchants and locations downtown, New Orleans. Shopping and restaurant specials plus live entertainment and special savings in conjunction with Krewe of Jingle Parade. downtownnola.com/saturdayshoppingspree.

FESTIVAL OF TREES FAMILY FUN DAY: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St., New Orleans. Brunch and Pajama Party kick off the day, with Mr. Bingle, live music, activities and more. Brunch (10 a.m. to noon) tickets $20, preregistration required; party (noon to 4:30 p.m.) $15, $12 members, preregistration recommended. lcm.org.

TEDDY BEAR TEA: 10 a.m., and Dec. 10 & 17; BB's Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., New Orleans. Music, food and sweet treats, plus more. $54 and up. (504) 528-1943. nationalww2museum.org.

SANTA AND BOOKS: 10 a.m., Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St., New Orleans. Visit Santa and two authors signing their books — Allain C. Andry III signs "You'll Know When You See One," and Dalt Wonk signs "The Laughing Lady." (504) 895-2266. gardendistrictbookshop.com.

LA MARCHÉ DES FÊTES: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pitot House, 1440 Moss St., New Orleans. Louisiana Landmarks Society holiday marketplace, with Papa Noël, music, authors and tours of the house. (504) 482-0312. pitothouse.org

DECK THE RAILS AT COVINGTON TRAILHEAD: 10 a.m. to noon, 419 N. New Hampshire St., Covington. Children-friendly event and trailhead lighting. louisiananorthshore.com.

KREWE OF JINGLE PARADE: 1 p.m., downtown New Orleans. Holiday-themed Carnival-style parade departs Lee Circle, down St. Charles Avenue, left on Canal Street, U-turn at N. Peters Street, left on Barrone Street to Howard Avenue end. Sponsored by the Downtown Development District and the Roosevelt Hotel. downtownnola.com/holidays.

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The Krewe of Jingle Christmas parade takes to the streets of New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 3, for holiday merriment.

JAMES ANDREWS CONCERT: 4 p.m., St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans. Holiday concert sponsored by French Quarter Festivals Inc. as part of Christmas New Orleans Style. fqfi.org.

ALGIERS BONFIRE AND CONCERT: 5:30 p.m., 200 Morgan St., New Orleans. Algiers Economic Development Foundation set the levee ablaze with holiday fun with music, food vendors and the bonfire at 8:45 p.m. algiersbonfire.com.

CHRISTMAS EXHIBITION: 6 p.m., Carol Robinson Gallery, 840 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans. New works by gallery artists, through Dec. 30. (504) 895-6130. carolrobinsongallery.com.

CHRISTMAS BONFIRE PARTY: 7 p.m, Oak Alley Plantation, 3645 La. 18, Vacherie. Food, fun, dancing and a bonfire on the grounds and in the house. $130. (225) 265-2151. oakalleyplantation.com.

"HOME ALONE" — MOVIE WITH ORCHESTRA: 7:30 p.m., Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, 1419 Basin St., New Orleans. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Newman Chorus provide the music for the 1990 holiday film about a youngster's efforts to thwart burglars when he is left behind when the family jets to Paris for Christmas. $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com.

MONTEVERDI'S "CHRISTMAS VESPERS": 8 p.m., Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St., New Orleans. Crescent Chamber Artists present Claudio Monteverdi's work from 1610s "Selve Morale et Spirtuale." $20, $10 students and seniors. marignyoperahouse.org.

Sunday, Dec. 4

CHRISTMAS AT LOYOLA: 3 p.m., Holy Name of Jesus Church, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Annual celebration with performances from the School of Music. (504) 865-2136. calendar.loyno.edu/event/7y4n4c0jb4.

CHRISTMAS ON THE NORTHSHORE: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., St. Timothy on the Northshore United Methodist Church, 335 Asbury Drive, Mandeville. Choir with the Northshore Orchestra and guest soloists. Free tickets recommended. (985) 626-3307. sttimothyumc.org.

"THE NUTCRACKER SUITE": 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Dixon Hall, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. New Orleans Ballet Association presents the holiday dance event. $15. (504) 522-0996. nobadance.com.

"CHRISTO E NATO — A MEDITERRANEAN CHRISTMAS": 4 p.m., National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Ursuline Academy, 2701 State St., New Orleans. Musica da Camera program of Christmas compositions from southern Europe on medieval-style instruments, with Vox Feminae. (504) 895-1972.

"E.L.F. UNIVERSITY — THE MUSICAL": 4 p.m., Fuhrmann Auditorium, 128 W. 23rd Ave., Covington. Crescent City Sound Chorus presents the story of Santa's undisciplined elves. $20, $10 children. (504) 535-4533. crescentcitysound.com.

CHARMAINE NEVILLE: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

NEW ORLEANS CIVIC SYMPHONY: 7 p.m., UNO Performing Arts Center, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans. Winter concert featuring works by Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns. (504) 338-0106. neworleanscivicsymphony.org.

DILLARD HOLIDAY CONCERT: 7:30 p.m., Lawless Chapel, Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans. Dillard University Choir presents its 80th annual concert with orchestra, guests and soloists. dillard.edu.

YULETIDE CELEBRATION SLIDELL: 7:30 p.m., Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second St., Slidell. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's annual performance of holiday favorites suited for the entire family, featuring choirs from local schools, sing-alongs and more. $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com.

Monday, Dec. 5

RACHEL VAN VOORHIES: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

Tuesday, Dec. 6

ART OF GIVING: 5 p.m., Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., New Orleans. Holiday shopping event featuring selected craftsmen and vendors. (504) 539-9650. ogdenmuseum.org.

SUNPIE AND THE LOUISIANA SUNSPOTS: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

KREWE DU VOIX CONCERT: 7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., New Orleans. "Christmas with Palestrina and Praetorius" will be the theme for the first concert of the vocal ensemble specializing in 16th and 17th century music. kreweduvoix.com

Wednesday, Dec. 7

LUNA FÊTE: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Dec. 10; Lafayette Square, 545 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Arts Council New Orleans light and technology show "Global Rainbow" on Gallier Hall and area buildings, plus arts market. artsneworleans.org/event/luna-fete.

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Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY -- Lights depicting scenes of New Orleans electrify the facade of Gallier Hall during Luna Fete, a surrealistic video projection just in time for the holidays, running nightly Wednesday, Dec. 7, through Saturday, Dec. 10.

Thursday, Dec. 8

"THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL": 10 a.m., also Friday, and Dec. 15-16, 4 p.m. Dec. 17; Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., New Orleans. Charles Dickens' classic tale told only as the Muppets could, with Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit and Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge. $6. auduboninstitute.org.

CHRISTMAS TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY: 5:30 p.m., Edward A. Dufresne Community Center, 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway, Luling. Santa, tree lighting and music sponsored by the St. Charles Rotary Club.  

GREATER ST. STEPHEN MASS CHOIR: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

TALES OF THE TODDY: 6:30 p.m., Celestin Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, 601 Loyola Ave., New Orleans. Spirited cocktail celebration of the season with entertainment and bartending competitions. $49 and up. (504) 948-0511. talesofthecocktail.com.

Friday, Dec. 9

PHOTOS WITH SANTA: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., also Saturday, and Dec. 16-17; Deanie's Seafood, 841 Iberville St., New Orleans. Cookies, cocoa and free photos with the jolly old elf. (504) 581-1316. deanies.com.

"FROZEN": 6:30 p.m., Spanish Plaza, Riverwalk, Canal and Poydras Streets at the Mississippi River, New Orleans. Holiday Movies on the Mississippi outdoor screening of Disney's newest classic sponsored by The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and the Downtown Development District. downtownnola.com/holidays.

"THIS CHRISTMAS": 7 p.m., also Dec. 10 and 11; City Church New Orleans, 13123 I-10 Service Road, New Orleans. Broadway-style musical and dinner theater. $45. (504) 246-5121. citychurchno.com/christmas.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 7 p.m., St. Mary's Dominican High School, 7701 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans. Concert band, concert choir, jazz band and color guard present holiday music and performances. (504) 865-9401. stmarysdominican.org.

LPO HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR: 7:30 p.m., also Saturday and 2:30 p.m.Sunday; Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the 610 Stompers headline this seasonal celebration of music and merriment. $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com

"THE NUTCRACKER — A MUSICAL": 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18; 30 by Ninety Theatre, 880 Lafayette St., Mandeville. Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," this version has the king and queen of mouses stealing the Christmas Star and using it to turn the Prince of Make Believe into a nutcracker. Clara and Fritz, her brother, must bring him back to life to restore the magic of Make Believe. $19, $17 senior/military, $14 student, $10 age 10 and under. (844) 843-3090. 30byninety.com.

"A CREOLE CHRISTMAS": 8 p.m., also Saturday, Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St., New Orleans. OperaCréole presents a remembrance of 19th and 20th century Advent and Christmas traditions. $25, $15 students/seniors. marignyoperahouse.org.

"TUNA CHRISTMAS": Opening 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 18; Playmakers' Theater, 19106 Playmakers Road, Covington. Sequel to "Greater Tuna," this two-man show has a holiday spin on happenings in the small, Texas town. $20, $10 students. (985) 893-1671. playmakersinc.com.

Saturday, Dec. 10

REINDEER RUN AND ROMP: 9 a.m., Canal Street, New Orleans. Downtown Development District fun race for kids, with Rudolph, Santa and friends, with bag of holiday goodies, antlers and shirts for participants. Music, games, crafts, pictures and more at Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza following. downtownnola.com/holidays.

DEANIE'S HOLIDAY KIDS SING-ALONG AND DANCE PARTY: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., also Sunday and Dec. 17-18; Deanie's Seafood Restaurant, 841 Iberville St., New Orleans. Vince Vance, Santa, carols and more on hand for this event. $42. (504) 515-1635. deanies.com/vincevancekids.

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., also Sunday; Trinity Episcopal Church, 1320 Jackson Ave., New Orleans. Preservation Resource Center's annual tour and boutique featuring eight Garden District homes; the Mathilde Bernard Villere Hall at Louise S. McGehee School for Girls is a bonus. Boutique open one-half hour before and after tours. $40, advance, $45 day of, $30 members. (504) 581-7032. prcno.org.

BREAKFAST WITH BABY JESUS: 10 a.m, St. Mary's Dominican High School, 7701 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans. Alumnae Association event with Santa, elves, songs, a living nativity and breakfast, plus birthday cake. $25 per family. stmarysdominican.org.

JINGLE BUGS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, 423 Canal St., New Orleans. Activities, Santa, a buggy reading of a holiday favorite and more. audubonnatureinstitute.org.

CHRISTMAS ON THE CRESCENT LINES: Noon to 6 p.m., also Dec. 17-18; Crescent City Model Railroad Club, 601 N. Lester Ave., Metairie. Holiday open house for scale model train layout. (504) 737-3723. ccmrc.com.

KREWE DU VOIX CONCERT: 2 p.m., St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 724 Camp St., New Orleans. "Christmas with Palestrina and Praetorius" will be the theme for concert of the vocal ensemble specializing in 16th and 17th century music. kreweduvoix.com

"FROZEN": 4 p.m., Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., New Orleans. Disney classic based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." $6. auduboninstitute.org

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St. Augustine Catholic Church will be the locale for a series of holiday concerts, as well as St. Louis Cathedral, running through December.

SHADES OF PRAISE CONCERT: 4 p.m., St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans. Holiday concert sponsored by French Quarter Festivals Inc. as part of Christmas New Orleans Style. fqfi.org.

A BAYOU CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: 5 p.m., Madewood Plantation House, 4250 La. 308, Napoleonville. Wassail in the Old Kitchen, dinner in the ballroom and carols by candlelight in the Main Hall. $59 and up. (985) 369-7151. madewood.com.

LIGHTS AT THE LAKE: 5:30 p.m., New Canal Lighthouse, 8001 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans. West End Christmas boat parade, choirs, photos with Santa, raffles and more. (504) 836-2205. saveourlake.org.

ERTÉ ART DECO-THEMED HOLIDAY PARTY: 6 p.m., Martin Lawrence Gallery, 433 Royal St., New Orleans. Opening reception for exhibit, with costume contest for Erté-inspired ensembles. RSVP requested. (504) 299-9055. martinlawrence.com.

"CHRISTMAS AT THE MOVIES" CONCERT: 7:30 p.m., St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, 7100 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra and Chorus perform works from favorite holiday flicks, with John "Spud" McConnell, guest. $8 and up. novorchestra.com.

"SANTA MEETS SOUSA": 7:30 p.m., Saenger Theatre, 1111 Canal St., New Orleans. Marine Corps Band New Orleans' holiday concert. Free admission, with donation of a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. All seating reserved and tickets required. saengernola.com.

Sunday, Dec. 11

"HISTORY AND HOLLY — A CANDLELIGHT TOUR OF HISTORIC HOMES": 3 p.m., Bogue Falaya Hall, 317 N. Jefferson Ave., Covington. Heritage Foundation's annual event. $20. (985) 892-1873. covingtonheritagefoundation.com.

"A GARDEN DISTRICT CHRISTMAS CONCERT": 4 p.m., Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 1307 Louisiana Ave., New Orleans. Good Shepherd Choir and several area soloists perform seasonal music by Saint-Saens, Near and more. (504) 227-3793.

"ELF": 4 p.m., also Dec. 23; Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., New Orleans. Will Ferrel stars as Buddy, adopted by elves, who seeks his real family and the spirit of Christmas. $6. auduboninstitute.org

"CHRISTO É NATO — A MEDITERRANEAN CHRISTMAS": 4 p.m., Holy Name of Mary Church, 500 Eliza St., Algiers, New Orleans. Musica da Camera program of Christmas compositions from southern Europe on medieval-style instruments, with Vox Feminae. (504) 895-1972. nomdc.org.

TIM LAUGHLIN: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

"JUDAS MACCABAEUS": 7 p.m., Temple Sinai, 6227 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Symphony Chorus of New Orleans performs Handel's oratorio. $25 up. (504) 525-2111. symphonychorus.org.

Monday, Dec. 12

ALEXIS AND THE SAMURAI WITH GUESTS: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

Tuesday, Dec. 13

IRMA THOMAS SINGS GOSPEL: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

Wednesday, Dec. 14

TONY GREEN AND GYPSY JAZZ: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

"THE MUSICIANS OF BREMEN — A HOLIDAY PANTO": 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinees through Dec. 21, Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 616 St. Peter St., New Orleans. Family-friendly, newly commissioned performance in the British panto style about music-making animals who lose their instruments before the big holiday show. $35, $15 students/children. (504) 522-2081. lepetittheatre.com.

Thursday, Dec. 15

CHRISTMAS ORGAN SPECTACULAR: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Emmanuel Arakélian performs as part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

BAROQUE CHRISTMAS NEW ORLEANS: 7:30 p.m., Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, NOVA Masterworks and guest vocalists perform classics from the Romantic and Baroque eras, including Saint-Saëns' "Christmas Oratorio" and selections from Handel's "Messiah." $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com.

Friday, Dec. 16

NOLA CHRISTMASFEST: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, Hall I, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans. Indoor family event with maze, inflatables, rides, skating, photos with Santa, exhibits and more. $20 entry, skating, photos and other special events extra. nolachristmasfest.com.

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Buddy (Will Farrell) tries his hand at toymaking in Santa's workshop in the movie 'Elf,' one of several films showing during the holidays season at various spots in New Orleans.

"ELF": 6:30 p.m., Spanish Plaza, Riverwalk, Canal and Poydras Streets at the Mississippi River, New Orleans. Holiday Movies on the Mississippi outdoor screening of Will Ferrell flick about holiday spirit sponsored by The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and the Downtown Development District. downtownnola.com/holidays.

BAROQUE CHRISTMAS COVINGTON: 7:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 16333 La. 1085, Covington. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, NOVA Masterworks and guest vocalists perform classics from the Romantic and Baroque eras, including Saint-Saëns' "Christmas Oratorio" and selections from Handel's "Messiah." $20 and up. (504) 523-6530. lpomusic.com.

Saturday, Dec. 17

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AND HIS FAVORITE ANIMALS: 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m.,  11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., also Sunday; Clubhouse at Audubon Park, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans. Breakfast buffet with photo ops with Santa and animals. Reservations required. $29.95 adults, $19.95 ages 3-11. (504) 212-5281. audubonnatureinstitute.org.

JINGLE BELL RUN: 9 a.m., Shelter 10, Audubon Park, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans. Arthritis Foundation's 5K run/walk, with costume contest for runners and four-legged friends. $40. jbr.org.

CAJUN HOLIDAY TEA WITH PAPA NOEL: 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., also Sunday; Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, 1 Poydras St., New Orleans. Papa and Mrs. Noel, a real 'gator and other characters board the ship for a cruise with a lunch buffet, tea and treats, storytelling and more. $59, $39 ages 3-12, $10 ages to 2. (504) 529-4567. creolequeen.com.

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Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Christmas costumes will take to the streets of downtown New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 17, for Running of the Santas, a trot ending with music and fun.

RUNNING OF THE SANTAS: 2 p.m., Mannings, 519 Fulton St., New Orleans. Costumed revelers run through Warehouse District to Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive. Costume contests, music and more. $25 and up. runningofthesantas.com.

"THE NUTCRACKER": 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., also Sunday; Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans. New Orleans Ballet Theatre presents the classic holiday spectacular about a girl, a nutcracker, sugarplum fairies and a world of snow and wonder. $25 and up. (504) 274-4870. neworleansballettheatre.com.

ORIGINAL TUXEDO JAZZ BAND CONCERT: 4 p.m., St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans. Holiday concert sponsored by French Quarter Festivals Inc. as part of Christmas New Orleans Style. fqfi.org.

"CHRISTMAS IN THE MARIGNY": 7 p.m., Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St., New Orleans. Baton Rouge Early Vocal Ensemble presents an a cappella performance of classical and traditional music. $20, $10. (504) 322-8995. marignyoperahouse.org.

"THE NUTCRACKER": 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. Sunday; Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, 1419 Basin St., New Orleans. Delta Festival Ballet and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra present the timeless classic by Tchaikovsky. $35 and up. (504) 888-0931. deltafestivalballet.com.

"THE NUTCRACKER": 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. Sunday; Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6400 Airline Drive, Metairie. Jefferson Ballet Theatre and the Jefferson Performing Arts Society Symphony Orchestra present E.T.A. Hoffmann's story of holiday magic and merriment. $40 and up. (504) 885-2000. jpas.org.

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Photo provided -- 'The Nutcracker' at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center will be one of several productions of the classic ballet with Tchaikovsky's music to hit the stages of the Crescent City. 

Sunday, Dec. 18

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Creole Delicacies, 533 St. Ann St. or French Quarter Gem & Lapidary, 527 St. Philip St., New Orleans. Patio Planters walking tour of French Quarter homes dressed for the season. $20. (888) 756-6250. patioplanters.org.

"THE POLAR EXPRESS": 4 p.m., Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., New Orleans. Based on the children's book, this animated feature features the vocal talents of Tom Hanks. $6. auduboninstitute.org

ST. LOUIS CATHEDRAL ANNUAL CONCERT: 6 p.m., St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, New Orleans. Part of Cathedral Concerts series. fqfi.org.

CAROLING IN JACKSON SQUARE: 7 p.m., 701 Decatur St., New Orleans. French Quarter public singalong with candles and song sheet provided by Patio Planters. (888) 756-6250. patioplanters.org.

"OH CRAP, IT'S CHRISTMAS! — A MUSICAL HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR": 7 p.m., Café Istanbul, 2372 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans. Live performance with Michael Cerveris, Susan Cowsill, The Jingle Bells, Paul Sanchez, Spencer Bohren and an all-star band with Debbie Davis. $20 and up. debbiedavismusic.com.

NOVA CHORALE — HERALD: 7:30 p.m., Holy Name of Jesus Church, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Holiday concert with blend of contemporary/historical choral music. 

Thursday, Dec. 22

PANCAKES & PAJAMAS — CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY WORKSHOP: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis St., New Orleans. Day of holiday traditions, goodies and activities for children 6-12. (504) 274-0746. hgghh.org.

"CHRISTMAS WITHOUT TEARS — DOES THIS TREE MAKE ME LOOK FAT?": 7:30 p.m. also Friday; Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 616 St. Peter St., New Orleans. Harry Shearer and Judith Owen return for a benefit concert to support the Musicians' Clinic and Le Petit. $35 and up. (504) 522-2081. lepetittheatre.com.

Friday, Dec. 23

MOSCOW BALLET'S "GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER": 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saenger Theatre, 1111 Canal St., New Orleans. Russian production of the Tchaikovsky classic ballet story. $32. (504) 525-1052. saengernola.com.

Saturday, Dec. 24

CAROLING DOWN THE RIVER: 7 p.m. departure, Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, Riverwalk/Canal Street dock, New Orleans. Creole cuisine, jazz entertainment and the skyline of the city from the Mississippi River. $77, $39 ages 3-12. creolequeen.com/caroling-down-the-river.

BONFIRES ALONG THE LEVEE: After dusk, throughout the lower Mississippi River region. Thousands of bonfires line the banks of the river with the glow of the holidays in this time-honored tradition of south Louisiana. 

Monday, Dec. 26

SNOFARI ADVENTURE: Through Dec. 31, Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans. Ice skating and entertainment at the zoo. Skating tickets additional. (504) 861-2537. audubonnatureinstitute.org.

Tuesday, Dec. 27

CREOLE CHRISTMAS TOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., also Wednesday and Thursday; 1850 House Museum Store, 523 St. Ann St., New Orleans. Friends of the Cabildo tours through historic homes offering views of celebrations past, including Gallier House, 1850 House, Spring Fiesta House, Williams Residence of the Historic New Orleans Collection and Beauregard-Keyes House. $25, $20 members, $15 seniors/students. (504) 523-3939. friendsofthecabildo.org.

GRAND MENORAH LIGHTING: 5 p.m., Spanish Plaza, Riverwalk, Canal and Poydras Streets at the Mississippi River, New Orleans. Chabad of Louisiana presents first night of eight-night Chanukah celebration with latke bar, dreidel house kids activity center, music and more. chabadneworleans.com.

Saturday, Dec. 31

KIDS NEW YEAR'S EVE COUNTDOWN: 9:30 a.m., Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St., New Orleans. Youngsters count down to noon with activities, a confetti drop and more. $10, $5 members. lcm.org.