Our Baton Rouge Holiday & Christmas Events Guide is our largest guide to date with over 50 events. This list will be updated daily as we learn of new events being hosted in our area. We’re sharing events within a 60 mile radius of Baton Rouge. Whether you’re looking for a Christmas parade, holiday-themed performance, Santa visit, or lights display, there’s the cornucopia of holiday-themed programs and events throughout the season. Be sure to grab for our FREE Christmas Events List Printable so you don’t miss an event! If you have an event or activity to add, please email us – info@BatonRougeMoms.com
Thanks to Rapid Urgent Care for sponsoring this year’s Holiday Events Guide.
2018 Baton Rouge Holiday & Christmas Events Guide
The 2018 Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade rolls on Saturday, December 8th at 5:30 PM
The 67th Annual Cortana Kiwanis Downtown Christmas Parade will roll through Downtown Baton Rouge December 9 at 5:30 pm. Every year, more than 70,000 people watch the parade live and thousands more enjoy it on television through the holiday season. The Parade is a celebration and a great way to connect with the community. The parade is open to everyone. Typically the parade includes about 80 entries. These entries are a mix of marching bands, celebrities, dance troups, non-profit organizations, and local businesses in seasonal themes.
November 23 – December 30
Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas
Gates open 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Zoo grounds close at 9 p.m.
- A mile-long trail through the Zoo
- More than 50 illuminated display sculptures of animals and traditional holiday displays
- A festive family activity, adding to the quality of life for residents throughout the region
- The beginning of a new tradition
This year, the Zoo is partnering with The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to bring more impact & excitement to Zoolights. Every guest presenting non-perishable food items (minimum of one per person) during the hours of Zoolights, will receive a 50% discount from the regular admission price. Regular admission prices are: $5 for adults/teens; $4 for senior citizens; $3 for children (2-12 years old) and $3 for Friends of the Zoo members. These amounts will be cut in half when a non-perishable food item is presented at the time of entry & all food donations will go directly to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Learn more at www.brzoo.org.
ILLUMINATED SCULPTURES: Visitors will find illuminated sculptures representing animals and traditional symbols of the holidays.
GIANT SPECTACULARS: Larger-than-life displays capture the imagination of children of all ages. These displays may include: Flamingos, Giraffes, Lions, Tigers, Gorillas, Rhinos, Elephants, Alligators, Giant Santa, Giant Snowmen, Holiday Trains, Santa in Sleigh pulled by Giant Reindeer and Toy Soldiers. Displays can be up to 30 ft. tall!
ANIMATED SPECTACULARS: Animated displays add additional entertainment value to our event. The use of high-wattage, computer-controlled displays will provide exciting animation to displays.
VISITOR AMENITIES: Safari Photo Booth, Seasonal Specials from the Flamingo Cafe’, Safari Post Gift Shop
Sunday, December 2, 2018
12:30pm until 6:00pm
Ring in the Holiday season with a 19th century Louisiana celebration at the LSU Rural Life Museum. Decorations with natural trimmings representative of special times of long ago will be displayed throughout the museum’s grounds. Seasonal activities such a musical groups, demonstrating artisans, open-hearth cooking, storytellers, and costumed re-enactors will present during this event.
Admission: $10.00 per person. Children 10 years and younger are admitted for free.
This event will conclude with a bonfire and a visit from Papa Noel!
The Raising Cane’s River Center will once again magically transform the arena into a “Winter Wonderland” just in time for you to create your holiday memories. Ice Skating on the River sponsored by Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL is an annual holiday tradition, which will kick off the ice skating season on Friday, December 21, 2018. The Coca-Cola Santa Truck will be at the Raising Cane’s River Center, spreading the joy of the season exclusively for the opening session.
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than Ice Skating on the River sponsored by Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL? Please join us for a skating session soon and create winter memories that will last a lifetime. Tickets are currently available at the Raising Cane’s River Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and charge by phone at-1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, please contact the Raising Cane’s River Center at 225-389-3030.
Festival of Lights Friday, November 30th, 4:00pm – 9:00pm
Two popular events intertwine for a special holiday Far-Out First Friday combined with the annual Festival of Light’s activities – all rolled into one exciting night! Join an evening under downtown’s historic oaks to commemorate Baton Rouge’s oldest holiday tradition. Transforming the winter sky into a wonderland, the Mayor will light North Boulevard with half a million sparkling lights. Experience the magic beneath the 35-foot Christmas tree in Town Square. Bethlehem Village with a real-life village set in Biblical times where children can craft ornaments and decorations, plus a magical train ride on the Mansion Express at the Old Governor’s Mansion. Visit Santa’s Gift Shoppe and listen to holiday music during an evening of visual, culinary, and performing arts.
All aboard The Polar Express! Bring your family to experience this beloved holiday movie in the planetarium theater every Saturday, November 24-December 22. Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa before each show beginning at 2:15 PM, and after the show, visitors can pick up their very own sleigh bells to take home.
Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 3:00pm
Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 3:00pm
Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 3:00pm
Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 3:00pm
Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 3:00pm
DECEMBER 15TH AND 16TH, 2 PM AND 6
The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou, created by Molly Buchmann and Sharon Mathews in 1992, has become one of the most highly-anticipated events of the holiday season. Accompanied by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the production incorporates local landmarks while maintaining the grandeur and integrity of the classic ballet. This lavish production continues to thrill children and adults alike, and snow is always guaranteed!
“God’s Unconditional Love: A Nativity Scene”
Friday, Dec. 14th at 6:30 and 7:00 PM
Saturday, Dec. 15th at 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00 PM
This year’s holiday BRSO events will includ
- Home for the Holidays December 2nd @ 7:30 pm – The Holiday Season would not be complete without the Family Pops annual Home for the Holidays concert! Join Maestro Muffitt as he leads this spectacular cast of hundreds featuring our very own Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus, and numerous guest performers and musical groups from across our city. Join us in a musical celebration of community and the spirit of the season
- ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL – HOLIDAY BRASS | LAMAR FAMILY CHAMBER SERIES
December 6th @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at Holiday Brass at St. Joseph Cathedral has delighted audiences for 15 years. Enjoy brass renditions of holiday favorites, the bright young voices of the Baton Rouge Magnet High School Festival Singers, and the glorious cathedral organ, played by Robbie Giroir. The full Symphony brass and percussion sections, with soloist Stephanie Gustafson on harp, fill the resonant spaces of this beautiful cathedral.
- HOLLY JOLLY JAZZY CHRISTMAS! Friday, December 7th @ Grace Episcopal Church, St. Francisville Join the Baton Rouge Symphony and guests Willis Delony and friends for a “jazzy” holiday performance. Presented by The St. Francisville Symphony Association.
- HOUMAS HOUSE – HOLIDAY BRASS | LAMAR FAMILY CHAMBER SERIES Sunday, December 9, 2018 Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. The beautiful grounds of Houmas House Plantation and Gardens set the scene for a special edition of Holiday Brass, led by Associate Conductor David Torns. The Symphony brass and percussion players perform traditional holiday favorites, including some custom arrangements for the Baton Rouge Symphony. Stephanie Gustafson is highlighted as harp soloist.The concert will take place outside in front of the historic mansion (weather permitting). Refreshments are available for purchase, and you can call ahead to make a reservation for a lovely dinner afterwards. Voted “Best Historic Mansion” by USA Today, Houmas House invites you to arrive early, stroll through the lush winter gardens, and take in the magic of the holidays.
BREC Holiday Events
Santa Road Show Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Gus Young Park
Gather the entire family to experience the holidays the BREC way as Santa makes his stop at the Santa Road Show at Gus Young Park. Be sure to take memorable photos with Santa and enjoy free holiday-themed games and activities.
Creole Christmas: Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Magnolia Mound Plantation
Creole Christmas is an annual event featuring seasonal decorations in the historic house, traditional songs in French and Spanish sung by local school children, period demonstrations, folk crafts and the annual bonfire to welcome Papa Noel.
$5.00 per Car & Passenger Vans or Buses $1 per person This walk or drive through display is open to the public from December 14th – 16th & December 20th – 23rd, from 5:30PM till 9:00PM. Horse & Buggy Rides, Ice Fishing and a Snow Patch will also be available.
Drive through the grounds of the West Baton Rouge Conference Center and view the spectacular lights. Take advantage of the FREE shuttle service as there is no parking available on the grounds of the WBR Conference Center during this event; Parking will be at Louis Mouch Multipurpose arena located at 152 Turner Road. You must obtain a wristband at the entrance gate to participate in all the activities. Come inside the conference center to visit the talking reindeer. Walk through the holiday decorated rooms. Enjoy carnival rides for the children or buy those last minute gifts from our crafters. Santa will be here on Friday and Saturday nights only. Take your holiday pictures with Santa and his elves.
HORSE & BUGGY RIDES. Cuddle up in a blanket next to your friends and loved ones and take a ride through the lights in a horse-drawn wagon for $5.00 per person. Bring your family and friends and make West Baton Rouge and “Reflections of the Season” part of your Christmas tradition.
Holiday Events Beyond Baton Rouge
Lamar Dixon Expo Center – A 1.5 mile drive-through LED Christmas show that is a combination of synchronized elements that move with music being transmitted through your car stereo & large animated displays. There are thousands of channels simultaneously directing this orchestra of lights. Using the most technologically advanced equipment in the industry, Christmas Wonderland magically expresses what Christmas means to us. Our hope is for this show to spark a smile on your face.
M-F: 6 – 10PM
Sat-Sunday: 6-10PM or Later
Including Holidays, even in the rain!
For more information, visit shadrackchristmas.com
It’s time for Nottoway’s annual Christmas Bonfire Festival! For just $5 per car, you’ll experience a night filled with music, food, vendors, bonfires, fireworks, Santa and more!
- Friday, December 7, 2018 | 5-9pm
- Bonfires on the Levee
- Arts & Crafts Vendors
- Food & Concessions
- Holiday Music
- Christmas Church Choirs
- Carolers Roaming the Grounds
- Louisiana Vintage Dancers
- Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
- A Visit From SANTA!
- Admission is only $5 per car!
Buy your tickets online to avoid the long lines!
Celebration in the Oaks 2018 season:
Open Nov. 30 through Jan 1, 2019
Closed Christmas Eve
Open Christmas Night
Closed New Year’s Eve
Friday and Saturday 5pm to 11pm
Sunday through Thursday 6pm to 10pm
Celebration in the Oaks in City Park is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country. This beloved annual celebration is fun for all ages and has become an enduring holiday tradition for families, who come to Celebration in the Oaks to ride the train or carousel every year. Visitors are treated to a wide range of attractions, from light displays to the walkways lined with dozens of Christmas trees decorated by local school groups. Perennial favorites include the two-mile train ride through glittering light exhibits, the animated Cajun night before Christmas display, and of course, New Orleans’ iconic snowman Mr. Bingle.
November 18th – Kids get the royal holiday treatment at their own Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party and – bonus! – mom and dad can enjoy this family experience without lifting a finger. Your little ones will feel like the kings and queens of the ball at this fun-filled party.
And special this year at the Celebration in the Oaks Family Party – we’ll have the characters from FROZEN! That’s right, Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, Kristoff and the lovable Olaf. They’ll be walking around and will be ready to take photos with the kids (and those who are kids at heart, too). Don’t forget your camera.
New Orleans’ official holiday parade, the “Krewe of Jingle,” will once again delight locals and visitors alike with authentic parade floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, Christmas characters and many more magical surprises!
A Civil War Christmas- – St. Francisville
12/7/2018 • Audubon State Historic Site, St. Francisville – A Colonial Christmas School Day, 9 – 11:30 a.m. Preregistered students will learn about Christmas traditions in early America. Wassailing, hunting for Christmas dinner, and origins of Christmas traditions are just some of the things students will experience. For more information call 888.677.2838 toll free or 225.635.3739 locally.
12/8/2018 • Audubon State Historic Site, St. Francisville – A Dickens of a Christmas, 6 – 8 p.m. The plantation comes to life during the holidays, as it shows off its seasonal decorations. Costumed guides accompany the visitor on a trip into the past through the candlelit Oakley House. Take a taste of what´s cooking in the kitchen, or just enjoy the yearly Christmas dance or listen to live period music. For more information call 888.677.2838 toll free or 225.635.3739 locally.
Nothing says Christmas to an excited child more than a parade, especially a safe small-town one like St. Francisville’s popular Christmas in the Country parade the first Saturday each December, complete with marching bands and decorated floats, Santa resplendent in his sleigh. Millions of tiny white lights trace soaring Victorian trimwork and grace gallery posts to transform the entire town into a veritable winter wonderland for Christmas in the Country, as special activities throughout the extensive National Register-listed downtown Historic District provide fun for the whole family at this celebration of the season, a joyful alternative to mall madness. View the full schedule of events here.
Come out to the annual Christmas In The Village in the Zachary Historical District! Kickoff the holiday season and join Zachary Mayor David Amrhein as he welcomes everyone to the annual Zachary Christmas In the Village Celebration from 5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 7. The event will take place in the Zachary Historical District, on Virginia Street behind City Hall and this year, expands to the fire station and along Main Street to Lee Street. Bring a camera to take photos while you meet the Whoville characters. Santa will be at the Whoville House at the corner of Virginia and Florida streets.
NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 23, 2018 5:30-9:00 pm Nightly (weather permitting)
HALF A MILLION LIGHTS ~ NEW ANIMATED DISPLAYS ~ CARNIVAL RIDES PHOTOS WITH SANTA ~ LIVE NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT LOCAL CUISINE ~ HOLIDAY SHOPPING – VIP Parking Available
For more information, click on the drop-down menu on the Noel Acadien au Village tab.
LARC’s Acadian Village hosts its 23 night Christmas festival fundraiser annually in December to benefit LARC, a local 501c(3) non-profit organization benefiting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Noel Acadien au Village features half-a-million lights, including the fully lit Chapel, new displays for our Acadian home porches, lighted holiday displays, live entertainment, carnival rides, local cuisine, photos with Santa, holiday shopping in the Christmas Store and much more!
December 14, 15, 16, 2018
2545 Louisiana Avenue
CHRISTMAS ON THE RIVER…CAJUN STYLE! Enjoy great food, live entertainment, crafts, Santa’s Very Merry Forest and carnival rides throughout the weekend. Each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting! Come out and experience a prelude to the famous Christmas Eve Bonfires: A tradition unique to St. James Parish and all the world!!
The Christmas Past street festival is packed with over 40 vendors lining Girod Street. The festival will extend from near the Mandeville Trailhead complex and continue down to the lakefront. Keeping with an international season theme, each block will highlight a different region: Germany, England, France, Louisiana, and America. For maps and the program of events, please visit their Christmas Past Festival Facebook Page.
The City of Slidell celebrates the holiday season with Christmas Under the Stars, an annual celebration of twinkling lights, festive decorations, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Parade of Trees, the life-size Christmas Cottages, Slidell’s Nativity, Christmas songs, and much more.
This would be another option for a day trip and lots of driving along with lots of memories made.
The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights has existed for nearly 30 years to enhance the holiday experiences for locals, visitors and group tours. The trail spans I-20 and I-49 in north Louisiana and incorporates Shreveport-Bossier, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches, and Alexandria/Pineville.
Festivities generally start in mid-November and run through the New Year. Some of the popular and recurring events include shopping/dining/entertainment at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Shreveport-Bossier, Fasching Festival in Minden, shopping and dining in Antique Alley in Monroe-West Monroe, Festival of Lights in Natchitoches and the Christmas parades in Alexandria/Pineville.
The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights can be experienced in one day or a week with each day totally unique and special. The cities are all within driving distance of one another, making the tour a convenient hour-long trip from any one city to its neighboring city. Visitors are encouraged to see the brilliant lights, dine at the local restaurants, dance at the festivals, shop, and play in all of the eight festive cities.
See a full list of featured events—> https://www.holidaytrailoflights.com
This is a comprehensive round-up of Family Friendly Baton Rouge Holiday & Christmas Events to make it easy for Baton Rouge families to find things to do this Christmas season, we hope you enjoy it! Be sure to click “GOING” on the Event Page to receive updates on Baton Rouge area holiday events and activities! We will update the list daily and welcome the community to list events as well!
There will be many fun events that you won’t want to miss taking place, we’ve created a fun Christmas Events List printable for you to print and fill out so you don’t miss a thing!
Baton Rouge Moms Printable
Thanks to Rapid Urgent Care for sponsoring the Holiday Events Guide.