Our 2016 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. If you have an event or activity to add, please email us – info@BatonRougeMoms.com
Thanks to Associates in Pediatric Dentistry for sponsoring the Holiday Events Guide.
Whether you’re looking for a Christmas parade, holiday-themed performance, Santa visit, or lights display, there’s the cornucopia of Baton Rouge holiday events this year. If you have something to add, please leave it in the comments below.
2016 Baton Rouge Holiday & Christmas Events Guide
Catch up on holiday shopping while taking the kids to the Kids Zone at Mistletoe Market!! With over 120 merchants, you can shop local in a fun and friendly environment, strollers welcome! Photo ops with Santa, Petite Princess Company Princesses, activities for kids, face painting fun and more!
Princesses Meet & Greet from Petite Princess Company
Saturday, November 12th
8:00am-10:00am (VIP) The Snow Sisters
10:00am-12:00pm The Cinder Princess
12:30pm-2:30pm The Tower Princess
2:30pm-3:30pm The Tinker Fairy
3:30pm-5:00pm The Little Mermaid
On Saturday, November 12, Giggles will join hundreds of locally owned toy stores across the country to celebrate the seventh national Neighborhood Toy Store Day, an annual celebration in which independent toy shops kick off the holiday season with special events to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local.
Giggles will offer free, fun, child-friendly activities including:
•Santa Photos: 11 am – 5 pm
•Face Painting: 11 am – 12 pm
•Magician: 1 pm – 3 pm
•Balloon Twisting with Balloonatics of Baton Rouge: 3 pm – 5 pm
•Raffles and Giveaways!
•Holiday Wish Lists (Have your child fill out a wish list and we will file it away for shopping!)
Tuesday, November 29, with festivities beginning at 5 p.m. in the LSU Student Union.
They are still planning for 2016, but last year’s events included:
5 p.m. | LSU Student Union Theater
Featuring performances from LSU students, faculty & community organizations.
LSU Christmas Tree Lighting
6 p.m. | Free Speech Circle
Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” Concert
featuring LSU Women’s Chorale with the St. James Treble Choir
7:30 p.m. | St. Alban’s Chapel, Highland Road at Dalrymple Drive
DECEMBER 12th – Find Parade Map HERE.
The 65th Annual Cortana Kiwanis Downtown Christmas Parade will roll through Downtown Baton Rouge Saturday, December 1oth at 5:30 p.m. 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 25 – December 30
Beginning November 25th, visitors will enjoy the lights and displays of all your favorite Zoo animals and holiday traditions. Walk through the Zoo and be amazed by larger-than-life light displays. Bring the whole family and get in the holiday spirit of the season. Hot cocoa and other treats will be available to purchase.
ZooLights will take place November 27 – December 30 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). For more information, call 225.775.3877.
11/25 Coke Santa
11/26 Making Ornaments
12/2 & 12/3 Safari Santa
12/9 & 12/10 Making Ornaments
12/16 & 12/17 Safari Santa
LIGHTED DISPLAYS WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
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
Ring in the Christmas season with a 19th century Louisiana celebration. Musical groups, demonstrating artisans, storytellers, and costumed re-enactors will be present to set the holiday mood. The event will conclude with a bonfire and a visit from Papa Noel.
Regular fee for adults and seniors; children under 10 are free.
Holiday Skating on the River
It might not get snow in Baton Rouge, but you can still have fun on the ice at the Baton Rouge River Center with its holiday tradition, “Ice Skating on the River.”
A fun filled holiday event for all ages, Ice Skating on the River will have 75 minute sessions nearly every day until January.
Festival of Lights at Far-Out First Friday
Friday, December 2, 2016 at 5:00pm – 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.
Friday, December 2, 2016 at 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Join us on Friday, December 2, as two popular events intertwine for a special holiday Far-Out First Friday combined with our annual Festival of Light’s activities – all rolled into one exciting night!
In addition to hands-on craft stations where you can create your own holiday ornaments or keepsakes, experience special holiday shows projected fulldome in our planetarium. Enter a winter wonderland of dancing nutcrackers, sledding penguins, and your favorite holiday songs in Let it Snow at 5, 7, and 8 PM. At 9:00 PM, go on a live-mixed journey through the music of the season coupled with digitally-rendered visuals in Holiday Synesthesia.
Enjoy complimentary coffee and treats; be among the first to experience our new Contemporary Old Masters, Drawings by Gerry Wubben, and Selections from the Collection exhibitions; get your holiday shopping done early with unique finds in The Museum Store; and more!
Admission is free with the donation of one new toy per person that benefits Toys for Tots; otherwise, regular admission prices apply. Toys may be purchased in The Museum Store.
Show admission is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is no late seating. Doors open 4:30 PM. All ages may attend Let it Snow; Holiday Synesthesia is for ages 3 and up.
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!
December 9-18, 2016
A new musical comedy by Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist, Harry Connick, Jr.; The Happy Elf tells the tale of Eubie the Elf, a lovable fellow who wants to spread Christmas joy throughout the town of Bluesville. Hoping to introduce a new generation of children to the joys of jazz, Connick has crafted a musical landscape against which Eubie’s story unfolds.
Children (Ages 2-11): $15.75
Seats are reserved. and can be purchased at PlaymakersBR.org. (225) 578-6996.
The 6th Annual Drive Through Live Nativity takes place on the parking lot of FBBC. Load up your family and journey back to the first Christmas as represented through 12 different scenes.
- A Very Jazzy Christmas at Hemingbough December 2 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The BRSO has enjoyed a popular following in St. Francisville for many years, and Hemingbough provides the perfect setting. Jump-start your festive season with a hip holiday celebration you won’t want to miss! Willis Delony and friends perform favorite seasonal arrangements in the Key of J –“J” for Jazz, that is!
- Home for the Holidays December 2 @ 7:30 pm – December 4 @ 3:00 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.
- Holiday Brass in Central December 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church 19421 Greenwell Springs Rd. The BRSO is excited to reach out to the communities of Central, Zachary and Denham for our performance of Holiday Brass, Percussion and Harp. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season as Associate Conductor David Torns and the BRSO visit Greenwell Springs Baptist Church to perform all of your cherished holiday favorites.
- Lamar Holiday Brass December 9 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm This concert is an experience truly unique to the community of Baton Rouge. St. Joseph Cathedral is a breath-taking setting for this cherished family tradition of the Lamar Holiday Brass concert. The sounds of The BRSO Brass and Percussion are joined by organist Robbie Giroir, and a special appearance by the Baton Rouge Magnet High School Festival Singers. In addition, the BRSO welcomes Stephanie Gustafson on the harp as a featured soloist. Don’t wait to purchase your tickets as this concert sells out quickly!
Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas – What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles – and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Multiple dates in December.
A Very Electric Christmas – Brighten your holidays with Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas. Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky. In this wonderful story, Santa’s helpers are putting the final touches on presents as a young bird named Max and his family head south for the winter.
BREC Holiday Events
Gingerbread House Decorating: Plank Road Park – Friday, Nov 11, 2016 6:30 pm
Gingerbread House Decorating: Highland Road Community Park Friday, Nov 18, 2016 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Have an evening of family fun that can be shared over and over again throughout the holiday. Create a gingerbread masterpiece with lots of graham crackers, icing and candy trims. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Reindeer Ride Downtown Celebration: Skip Bertman Drive Trailhead – Friday, Dec 02, 2016 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – 8 & older
Welcome the holiday season with a unique nighttime family bike ride up the levy from Skip Bertman Drive to downtown Baton Rouge to be a part of Baton Rouge’s Downtown Christmas Lighting Celebration. Participants will leave the levy trail head and join in a colorful bike parade through the downtown area, participate in the many fun evening activities and return together.
Caroling in the Park: City-Brooks Community Park – Friday, Dec 09, 2016 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Mark your calendars for BREC’s annual Caroling in City Park featuring a park lighting ceremony, candlelight caroling and a host of other family activities for all ages to enjoy.
Creole Christmas: Magnolia Mound Plantation – Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
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.
KCS Holiday Express will be making stops throughout Louisiana. Meet Santa and receive a holiday treat bag! For more information, download the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train app from the iTunes store.
At each scheduled stop, The KCS Charitable Fund makes a contribution of gift cards to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need. Over the past 11 years, thanks to the generous contributions of KCS’ employees, vendors and friends, the Holiday Express has donated over $1 million in gift cards to this cause.
- Nov 9th 4 p.m. Monroe LA – Third & Desiard Street
Dec 5th 4 p.m. Zwolle LA 1400 North Main Street
Dec 6th 4 p.m. Leesville LA KCS Yard, 901 South Third Street
Dec 7th 4 p.m. DeQuincy LA Railroad Museum, 400 Lake Charles Avenue
Dec 4th 4 p.m. Pearl ( Jackson) MSKCS Yard, 201 Industrial Park Road
Get into the Holiday Spirit at the Reflections of the Season Christmas Light Display.
PLEASE NOTE PRICE CHANGE HAS BEEN MADE FOR ADMISSION INTO THIS EVENT!!
$5.00 per Car & Passenger Vans or Buses $1 per person
This walk or drive through display is open to the public from December 8th – 11th & 15th – 23rd.
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 wrist band at the entrance gate to participate in all the activities.
Come inside the conference center to visit “Trevor” the talking reindeer. Walk through the holiday decorated rooms. Enjoy carnival rides for the children or buy those last minute gifts from our crafters. Take your holiday pictures with Santa and his elves.
Dec. 10th & 17th will be ice fishing for $5.00 per person. On Dec. 17th is snow night for $5.00 per person.
Kids Craft Night will also be Dec. 17th.
Cuddle up in a blanket next to your friends and loved ones and take a ride through the lights in a mule or horse drawn wagon for $2.00 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
Friday December 11th from 5 pm to 9:30pm: Holidays at Nottaway Plantation are absolutely breathtaking! Live music includes The Navy Band New Orleans Ceremonial Band, Church choirs will be performing throughout the grounds and food and Beverage stations will be open. Enjoy the Hand Bell Choir, Tree Lighting Ceremony, Fireworks on the Levee and Santa’s arrival. Bring your camera and take photos of your kids with Santa on the front balcony of the Mansion!
NEW! On the 3 different December nights when the American Queen docks here at Nottoway, we will hold our Christmas Marketplace! Come enjoy a night of shopping and fantastic sights!
- Marketplace Dates: Tues., Dec. 6 | Fri. Dec. 16 | Tues. Dec. 20
- Time: 5 – 9 pm
- Vendors selling arts, crafts & holiday merchandise
- Bonfires on the Levee
- Open to the public at no charge
Celebrate the Christmas Season in one of the southland’s most beautiful settings. The mansion will be dressed in fresh fruit, greenery and seasonal floral arrangements, reminiscent of Creole Christmases past. Delicious Cajun/Creole buffet, open bar, lively dance band, and plenty of good cheer combine to heighten the holiday spirit throughout the famous alley of oaks and the lovely antebellum mansion.
November 25, 2016 through January 1, 2017.
Closed November 28, 29, 30 and December 1st.
Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
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 20, 2016 – 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!
Canal Street Lighting Ceremony
Tuesday, November 22 | 5:00 – 7:00pm Astor Crowne Plaza 739 Canal Street. St.
A Civil War Christmas- – St. Francisville
Visitors will see a recreation of the sights and sounds of St. Francisville in 1864 during the American Civil War. Throughout the day walk through the soldiers camps and see Living History demonstrations of soldier life. You will hear black powder weapon demonstrations of both rifle and cannons. Each day will feature a small reenactment of the October 1864 Battle Oakley Plantation which happened across the grounds of the park. On Saturday night the plantation comes to life during the Holidays as it shows off its seasonal decorations. Costumed guides accompany the visitor in a trip into the past through the candlelit Oakley House. See the glow of the blacksmith at work, take a taste of what’s cooking in the kitchen, or just enjoy the live period music. Included is our yearly Christmas dance and hot Christmas Punch. The program is free to all paying the park admission fee. For more information please contact Audubon State Historic Site in St. Francisville, La. at 1-225-635-3739.
December 2, 3 and 4
– 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.
Main Street, Zachary – December 3rd 10:00am Celebrate the sights and sounds of Christmas in Zachary. Enjoy this annual parade in the heart of town.
December 10th at 2:00pm Denham Springs Christmas Parade – Parade begins at Denham Springs High School and travels down Range Ave. through the Antique District turning right onto Florida Blvd. and ending at Veterans Blvd.
Christmas in Central Square
Central Square December 3, 2016 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM Price: FREE (225) 261-5988
This year, Central is celebrating Christmas bigger and better than ever! Join us on December 3rd for a family Christmas celebration you won’t forget! Festivities include: fireworks, train rides, live nativity, horse and carriage rides, live music, inflatables, gaga pit, carousel and s’mores. Even Santa Clause will be there! We can’t wait to see you at Christmas in Central Square!
December 1-23, 2016 5:30-9:00pm Nightly (weather permitting) HALF A MILLION LIGHTS ~ ANIMATED DISPLAYS ~ CARNIVAL RIDES ~ PHOTOS WITH SANTA LIVE NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT ~ LOCAL CUISINE ~ ARTS & CRAFTS
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, themed Acadian home porches, lighted holiday displays, live entertainment, carnival rides, local cuisine, photos with Santa, holiday shopping in the Christmas Store & The Village Art Gallery, and much more! Displays include themed acadian homes, lighted grounds, Santa’s Sleigh, floating oil rigs, The Gingerbread House, and The Christmas Carolers.
December 9, 10, 11, 2016 Lutcher Recreational Park Lutcher Avenue- La HWY 3193 Lutcher, LA 70071 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. The four day celebration begins on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, and resumes on Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, at Griffith Park in Olde Towne Slidell. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.
Sunday, December 4, 2016 3pm-6pm TerraBella Village, Covington LA 70433
Join our community as we celebrate the spirit of the season and experience the magic of Christmas. Enjoy live holiday music from local talent, hot chocolate, Christmas crafts, write letters to Santa, and ride the TerraBella Express. Special appearance from Santa Clause to greet and consult with children about their wish lists. Complementary and festive holiday event all children are sure to love. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 985-871-7171
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 Holiday events & activities in Baton Rouge & beyond 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!
Thanks to Associates in Pediatric Dentistry for sponsoring the Holiday Events Guide.