Your 2019 Holiday Guide: Events, Lights & More in Baton Rouge!

The kids are home from school and you’re just trying to keep them occupied. Plus, you want to keep the holiday spirit alive for as long as possible. Maybe you and your date are looking for some fun things to get into this season. Whatever your reason for getting out of the house this holiday season, we have you covered.

This is your guide to holiday events happening in Baton Rouge this year. 

Note: If we missed one of your favorite holiday events in the area, let us know here

December 2019


Photo courtesy of LSU

November 23 – December 31
Baton Rouge General’s Holiday Lights display

‘Tis the season to enjoy over 100,000 lights, five tons of real snow, visits with Santa and more! Baton Rouge General Hospital (BRG) goes big this year with their Holiday Lights display.  From Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, the front lawn will be transformed into a winter wonderland. 

November 29 – December 30
BREC’s Baton Rouge ZooLights

ZooLights is a festive mile-long trail through the Zoo after-dark. Be amazed by the more than 50 illuminated display sculptures of animals and traditional holiday spectacles. Also, every guest presenting a non-perishable food item during Zoolights hours will receive a 50% discount from the regular admission price. All food donations will go directly to the food bank. Learn more about scheduled events at ZooLights, like ornament crafting and more here.

December 3
LSU Holiday Spectacular

The purple and gold campus goes red and green. LSU switches on the holiday spirit by hosting holiday karaoke, free photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a tree lighting ceremony. Then, top it all of with late night breakfast favorites in both campus dining halls. Sport your school and holiday spirit on Dec. 3 starting at 6:00 p.m.

December 5 & 19
Family Nights at BRG Holiday Lights

Visitors of all ages are always welcome to the holiday light show. But, these two special evenings (6:00-8:00 p.m.) are specifically designed to welcome families and children. Of course, enjoy the twinkling, singing and musically synchronized lights display for free during your visit. Also, experience five tons of real snow, photos with Santa, live music and local food trucks with food for purchase.

December 6
Downtown Festival of Lights

The Downtown Festival of Lights takes over Downtown Baton Rouge on Friday, Dec. 6. Get caught up in the festivities from 4:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m. Experience the magic of the holidays with the lighting of the 35-foot Christmas tree and fireworks at North Boulevard Town Square. There is SO much more to enjoy on this magical night. Learn more about it all here.

December 6-8
Christmas in the Country – St. Francisville 

This three-day-long Christmas event will keep you feeling festive all weekend. It kicks off on Friday, Dec. 6 at 5:00 p.m. with a ride on the Polar Express Train along Ferdinand Street. Expereince so much more, like a prayer breakfast, live nativity scene and live music. See a breakdown of the whole weekend here

December 7
Christmas in the Garden

Enjoy pancakes and StoryTime with Mrs. Claus at the LSU Botanic Gardens. Dress festive by wearing your Christmas sweaters for pictures with Santa. And there is so much more, like writing and sending your letter to Santa and making reindeer food. Learn more and buy your tickets here

December 7
Poinsettia Show and Sale

Take in all of the color at the poinsettia display and sale at the LSU Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens is one of the nationwide trial locations for new and classic poinsettia varieties. So, get out there to see the finest holiday plants. Admission is free, 9:00 a.m. to noon!

December 7
South Baton Rouge Christmas Parade

Councilwoman Tara Wicker invites you to see a holiday festive parade roll in South Baton Rouge. This year, they are calling the parade “A Christmas Tradition,” and the theme’s colors are green, gold and white. So, come dressed to enjoy the festivities and match the occasion. The parade starts rolling at 10:00 a.m. behind McKinley High School. See whole parade route here

December 7
Zachary Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade

This year’s annual parade kicks off in the historic downtown Zachary celebrating with the theme “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Festive parade fun includes awarding prizes to participates with the best floats, best marching and best overall theme. See it 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Check out the whole parade route here

December 7
33rd Annual ‘Christmas in Central’ Parade

After running for 33 years, this parade is doing something right. The city of Central wants you to come celebrate the season with them. It begins at 11:00 a.m. on Joor and Hooper Roads. See whole parade route here

December 7
Broadmoor’s 6th Annual Christmas Parade 

Broadmoor Resident’s Association hosts this annual Christmas parade. Attendees can expect to catch holiday-themed throws and see the jolly bearded man, Santa Claus. The parade will collect food donations, too. Check out the whole parade route here

December 7
Iberville Bonfire Christmas Festival

Roll right into this festival at the Nottoway Plantation for $10 a car. Experience a night filled with music, food, vendors, bonfires, fireworks, Santa and even more! Get festive from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

December 7
Zachary Christmas in the Village and Christmas Light Show

Zachary Mayor David Amrhein welcomes families to the “Annual Zachary Christmas in the Village” Celebration held on the first Saturday in December from 6 – 9 p.m. The annual event takes place in the Zachary Historic District, behind City Hall. The village comes alive with synchronized Christmas light displays, Christmas performances and music, special entertainment for children, a visit from Santa, tours of beautifully decorated historical homes, booths of arts and crafts, and popular gourmet food trucks.

December 8
A Rural Life Christmas

Ring in the Christmas season with the 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 bonfire and a very special visit from Papa Noel. Children 10 years and younger are free, everyone else is $10.00 per person. Visit the event 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

December 8
Annual JFA Christmas Parade

Join the city of Gonzales in celebrating the holidays, and enjoy floats featuring school clubs, businesses, marching groups, and scouts. The festive floats start rolling out at 1:00 p.m.See whole parade route here

December 8
Baton Rouge Symphony ‘Home for the Holidays’ Special Concert

Join music lovers from across the community for this annual holiday performance featuring yuletide favorites and a few surprises! Hear the joyous tunes at 7:00 p.m. at Istrouma Baptist Church (Google Maps). Purchase your tickets at www.brso.org.

December 10
Carols in the Courtyard

Warm up those singing pipes because the Ascension Parish Library wants your family to join them for caroling. Be there at the courtyard of the Gonzales location on Tuesday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m.

December 12
Bubbly & Bright at BRG Holiday Lights

This event is all about being bubbly. And by bubbly, we mean champagne. This event is open exclusively to ages 21 and up for bottomless champagne cocktails, festive small bites and live music. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For more details or to buy tickets, visit brgeneral.org/bubbly.

December 13 & 14
Art Gone Wild at BREC’s Baton Rouge ZooLights

The community submitted their beautiful animal-inspired artwork, now you can vote for the best one. Support all of the local artists and see wild animals on display in 2-D paintings and drawings. 

December 14
“Christmas on the Bayou!’ Annual Denham Springs Christmas Parade

The Livingston Parish community invites everyone to come out and celebrate the holidays with them. Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Denham Springs, many can gather to enjoy Christmas on the Bayou! Check out the whole parade route here, which starts at 2:00 p.m.

December 14
Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade, Downtown Baton Rouge

It’s one of the most anticipated events of the season. It’s the largest and longest running parade in Baton Rouge with acts that includes non-profit organizations, marching bands and dance teams. Plus, see the WAFB Channel 9 team there! Attend the event on Dec. 14 and see Santa Claus roll by.

December 14 & 15
The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s holiday classic returns to its new realm on the stage of the Raising Cane’s River Center Arena. See the beautiful choreography of a Christmas season classic performance. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 225-766-8379, or in person at the Raising Cane’s River Center Box Office. See the shows at 2:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. on both days.

December 19
Baton Rouge Symphony Holiday Brass

This special concert featuring the full BRSO brass and percussion is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. The glorious St. Joseph Cathedral (Google Maps) provides the perfect setting for brass renditions of holiday favorites. This is the only location where you can experience the famous cathedral organ accompanying some of the most beloved traditional carols. Purchase your tickets at www.brso.org.

December 20 & 21
Westside Christmas Fest

Meet Santa and take a train ride around the lights at this annual Christmas festival. Also, jam out to bands like Chase Tyler Band, Clifton Brown & The Rusty Bucket Band and 90 Degrees West Band. With entry like only $5 per car, you can’t miss this at the West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau (Google Maps).

December 20 – January 4
Ice Skating on the River

The Raising Cane’s River Center will once again magically transform into a “Winter Wonderland” just in time for you to create your holiday memories. Ice Skating on the River is an annual holiday tradition that will kick off on Friday, December 20. Santa Claus and the Coca-Cola Truck may stop by for a visit to celebrate the season’s opening. Tickets are on sale now at the Raising Cane’s River Center Box Office, online at www.Ticketmaster.com and by phone at-1-800-745-3000.

December 22
Baton Rouge Symphony ‘A Houmas Holiday’ Special Concert

The beautiful grounds of Houmas House Plantation and Gardens (Google Maps) set the scene for a special edition of Holiday Brass. The Symphony brass and percussion players perform traditional holiday favorites, including some BRSO custom arrangements. Purchase your tickets at www.brso.org.