What’s happening in (virtual) New Orleans this week: Dec 14-18

While residents are doing their best to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still plenty of fun to be had online until we’re 100%! Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week.

by Matt Haines
December 14, 2020

While residents are doing their best to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still plenty of fun to be had online until we’re 100%! Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week:


For Teachers: Professional Learning Network Days | Noon | YouTube Live and Facebook Live | Free
Join the National World War II Museum staff on social media to discuss interdisciplinary strategies and practices to engage students in activities that help to develop their critical thinking in social studies and science courses. Learn how others use museum resources and tools in both face-to-face and digital contexts to provide high quality instruction for all students. 

Live FitNOLA Class – Morning Motivation | Noon | Zoom | Free
The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission is leading virtual exercise classes every day of the week (often two or three times a day). This Monday morning, this 45-minute exercise class is focused on motivating you for a week full of fitness, but classes throughout the week are all different. Check out a list of the full offerings here and here to find out when they’ll be leading classes in Zumba, pilates, yoga, fitness, line dancing, swing, hip hop, senior fitness and much more! To join in on Zoom, use the link above and enter the Meeting ID (334-196-3309) and Password (BeFitNOLA)

Mike’s Kitchen | 2 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Local musician Michael Pearce is back with another hour-long virtual performance from his home! Sometimes there’s food. Sometimes there’s music. Always there’s fun.

Crafts and Storytime at NOLA ChristmasFest | 5:30 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
NOLA ChristmasFest is virtual this year with lots of great events for kids this week. On Monday, your kids can learn to make gingerbread houses and salt dough ornaments. There’s also a story time! See here for a full list of the day’s activities.

Live with Helen Gillet | 7 p.m. | YouTube, Instagram Live and Facebook Live | Donations encouraged via PayPal, Venmo or Bandcamp
Helen Gillet and her cello are one of the most popular acts in town. While the effects of this pandemic linger, you’re able to hear her every Monday from the comfort of your own couch. Tune in for her weekly set that alternates between light, beautiful and wild.

Robin Barnes Presents #SongBirdatHome | 7 p.m. | Instagram Live and Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Join Robin Barnes, the Songbird of New Orleans and her husband Pat Casey every Monday night for a one-hour set as they bring a concert right from their living room to yours!


The Broad Theater Hosts Virtual Cinema | All Week | Kino Marque and Vimeo | Purchase tickets (see below)
Broad Theater is open for business, but if you’re not ready to step into a theater just yet, they’re partnering with Kino Marquee Vimeo, who are bringing you a rotating selection of movies directly to your home. There are multiple ways to stream the movie (which can be purchased at any time and watched for five days after the purchase). This week there are three selections and you can click on the following links to find out how to purchase tickets for Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, and Call Me Brother.

Christmas Cardio Dance | 5:30 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
Hip Hop Christmas Cardio Dance is an-levels dance class set to holiday tunes as part of NOLA ChristmasFest! It’s perfect for every age and is family-friendly. Class begins with a  warm up, transitions to a faster-paced dance cardio and ends with a relaxing cool down stretch. Have your kids stay on Zoom after for holiday storytime. Learn more here.

Vodka & Latkes | 6 p.m. | Zoom | Free
Join Shir Chadash synagogue for their Vodka & Latkes event. Be sure to wear your best Ugly Hanukkah sweater if you’ve got one!

Live Stream at Buffa’s | 6 p.m. | Website | Tips encouraged
Buffa’s Lounge has streamed a steady dose of live music from their backroom. Join Doyle Cooper and Ryan Hanseler for a jazz set this Tuesday evening!

Chanukah Gelt Together | 7 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free
All are welcome to this event hosted by JNOLA and Tribe. Register soon and you can even get free cookie mix so you’re ready for the event’s GIANT cookie demo with pastry chef Lindsay Morrison. In addition, the online party will feature the adapted game, Truth or Dreidel, as well as a competition to determine who has the best-dressed menorah.


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Clown Town TV: Season 2, Episode 9 | 8 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips and donations accepted on PayPal and VenmoClown Town features a rotating cast of queer NOLA Clowns as well as special guests from afar! It’s a little bit sideshow, a little bit vaudeville and plenty of New Orleans charm! Tune in via the Facebook page for Season 2, Episode 9 as well as to watch earlier episodes.


A Rated-R Christmas Carol | Ongoing | PodPlay | $10
The NOLA Project PodPlays are a brand new way for audiences to experience the excitement of new theatre from the comfort of their home. And while The NOLA Project would normally throw a big party to celebrate the holidays with you, this year they’re making it up and playing it safe. In that spirit they’ve turned their beloved RATED-R CHRISTMAS CAROL into an all new audio PodPlay! Gather the family around ye old bluetooth speaker and listen in as one of New Orleans’ favorite theater companies gives their unique and hilarious take on the Charles Dickens’ classic. (For a total of $35, you can also receive access to four more of their plays!)

Lunchbox Lecture: “The Battle of St. Vith” | 11 a.m. | Vimeo | Free
During this Lunchbox Lecture with the National World War II Museum, Mike Alexander will discuss how an unlikely collection of combat units delayed both the 5th and 6th Panzer Armies from a complete breakthrough in the Ardennes from December 16-23, 1944.

Art & Zen: Online Meditation Series | Noon | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free, but a $5 donation is encouraged if you are able
Every Wednesday at noon, join the Ogden Museum for a live seated 30-minute mindfulness meditation inspired by a work of Southern art. This online meditation program is led by Ogden Educator and yoga and meditation instructor, Mikhayla Harrell! All experience levels welcome and you can learn more here. This week’s online meditation is inspired by Maude Schuyler Clay’s work, Bonnie Claire, Autumn Leaves.

Virtual Coffeehouse Cooler Class | 5 p.m. | Online (link sent after registering) | Free (but cocktail kit can be purchased for curbside pick-up)
Blended drinks can be a great way to make a big batch of cocktails quickly, so this month Sazerac House is rehabilitating the “Mudslide” cocktail. Allegedly invented in the 1950s in the Cayman Islands, the Mudslide was, and still is, a mainstay of Americana chain restaurants.


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Live Chat with Elves and Santa | 5:30 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free
As part of NOLA ChristmasFest, your kid can ask one of Santa’s elves anything they want on Zoom! Then, at 6 p.m., it’s a special storytime session with Santa Clause, himself!

“Cherishing Your Inner Light” Hanukkah Event | 7 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free
For this extraordinary Hannukkah, join Rabbi Deborah Silver of Shir Chadash synagogue in Metairie as she discusses how to enhance our spiritual awareness, especially in times of darkness. Using sacred Jewish text, Rabbi Silver will help us explore the inner meaning of Hannukkah. There will also be some signing and, of course, a menorah-lighting. Bring a beverage of your choice!


Reel History Filmmaker Talks: Path to the Past | 11 a.m. | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
Join Nathan Huegen, Director of Educational Travel, and filmmaker Lou Baczewski in a discussion of the documentary film by Baczewski entitled Path to the Past.

Dr. Seuss and WWII: Analyzing Political Cartoons (For Students) | Noon | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
Learn about Dr. Seuss’s role in the war through his political cartoons and the hidden messages in some of his most famous children’s books.

Family “Move Ya Mistletoes” NOLA ChristmasFest Event | 5:30 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
This NOLA ChristmasFest event kicks off with a family exercise class, followed by storytime!

New Orleans Renters Rights Chat | 6 p.m. | Facebook Live or Phone Call | Free
Every Thursday, the New Orleans Renters Rights Assembly is hosting a call to educate New Orleanians about what’s going on with rental and mortgage policies, as well as organizing to create a more equitable world. You can call 504-517-5470 to listen in (Meeting ID: 299411967), or watch the livestream on Facebook (link above). There’ll also be opportunities to ask questions.

IllumiNation: an 8th Night Nationwide Candle Lighting and Virtual Concert | 7:30 p.m. | Zoom | Free
Hannukkah reminds us that we have the power to bring light into any darkness. Join Jewish congregations from across the nation like our local Shir Chadash synagogue as they light their menorahs, share holiday music, and connect with friends in celebration, joy, and unity.


Quarantunes Virtual Concert | 2 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Every Friday at 2 PM, the New Orleans Jazz Museum hosts virtual concerts with an exciting mix of talented Jazz musicians, all performing from their homes. The free online series, broadcasting to music fans around the world, highlights the rich culture and history of New Orleans. This week features Byron Asher, who can be seen regularly performing in New Orleans and is adjunct faculty in the music department at the University of New Orleans. He is one-third of Nutria, a trio dedicated to original instrumental music and named in honor of the swamp rat, and leads his award-winning Skrontch Music large ensemble, among other projects.

Virtual Happy Hour at Garden District Book Shop | 5 p.m. | Facebook Live and YouTube Live | Free
Each week during the pandemic, the Garden District Book Shop has hosted a virtual happy hour featuring New Orleans authors and literary lovers. This week the Shop is joined by Nick Johnson, co-founder of Libro.fm. Libro.fm is the first audiobook company to directly support local bookstores. Grab a drink and join the conversation with any questions you’d love to ask!

NOLA ChristmasFest Finale | Zoom (link sent after registration) | 5:30 p.m. | Free
It’s quite a lineup for the final night of NOLA ChristmasFest! Things kick off with a segment called, “Audubon Nature Institute animals Make Santa’s List!” followed by a family holiday game night at 5:40 p.m. and story time presented by Mayor Latoya Cantrell at 5:50! 

“Golden Hour” hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park | 6:30 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park presents the Arrowhead Jazz Band. The Arrowhead Jazz Band is an ever flowing musical institution that features Park Rangers performing alongside local New Orleans musicians. In this years Holiday Spectacular, the band features local songbird, Robin Barnes, along with her Fiya Byrds.

Fridays from the Funky Uncle! | 7 p.m. | Twitch, YouTube Live and Facebook Live | Tips encouraged via PayPal, GoFundMe or Venmo
“Friday’s From the Funky Uncle!” is a webcast featuring New Orleans Funk Musicians playing live to raise money for all members of the entertainment community in New Orleans who are in need. This week features local star Khris Royal and Dark Matter!


See? There’s tons going on! If you can afford it, please be sure to tip the band/performers/DJ/teachers/etc. Many of them are battling lost gigs as a result of the pandemic, and are working very hard to keep us entertained during the unique times.

Remember, send me an email if you have an event you’d like me to add for next week’s round-up!



Matt Haines lives in New Orleans and writes about all the cool stuff. Visit his website MattHainesWrites.com. Follow him on Social Media: FB: matthaineswrites TW: matthaineswrite IG: matthaineswrites

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