With Santa and spirits bright, parades and pretty lights, music and mistletoe — south Louisiana switches into full holiday mode starting Friday.
In the Baton Rouge and Acadiana areas, there are diverse events, both secular and religious, planned from now into the new year.
Take your pick and make some Christmas memories.
ZOOLIGHTS: Gates open 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., grounds close at 9 p.m., BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road. Presented by Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, this mile-long trail through the zoo offers 50-plus illuminated display sculptures of animals and traditional holiday displays. Adults/teens, $5; seniors, $4; ages 2-12, $3; Friends of the Zoo members, $3. 50% discount with donation of a non-perishable food item to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. brzo.org.
THROUGH DEC. 31
HOLIDAY LIGHTS: 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily, Baton Rouge General – Bluebonnet, 8585 Picardy Ave. Walk through or drive through this display of more than 400,000 twinkling, singing and musically synchronized lights. brgeneral.org.
TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tanger Outlets Gonzales, 2100 Tanger Blvd. Lighting of the new, 36-foot holiday tree, holiday music, food trucks, face painting, photo booth and sweet treats. Free.
CREOLE CHRISTMAS + HOLIDAY FAIR: noon to 5 p.m., Magnolia Mound, 2161 Nicholson Drive. Seasonal decorations in the historic house, traditional songs in French and Spanish sung by local schoolchildren, period demonstrations, folk crafts, and the annual bonfire to welcome Papa Noel.
LAND OF THE SWEETS TEA: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Lod Cook Alumni Center, 3938 W. Lakeshore Drive. Tea treats, drinks and crafts. Also, young guests can learn choreography from Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker, A Tale From the Bayou,” even joining in the dance with their favorite characters. batonrougeballet.org.
WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY, DEC. 1-2
GEORGE BELL AND FRIENDS – AN EVENING OF HOLIDAY JAZZ: 7:30 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. $45 at manshiptheaatre.org.
THURSDAY, DEC. 2
HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., St. Joseph Cathedral, 401 Main St. Concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.
THURSDAY, DEC. 2-SUNDAY, DEC. 12
“THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER”: 7 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Pasqua Theatre, 823, Felicity St., Gonzales. An Ascension Community Theatre production. $25, adults; $22.50, seniors; and $15, children. actgonzales.org.
FRIDAY, DEC. 3
DOWNTOWN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., North Boulevard Town Square. Lighting of the 35-foot Christmas tree, music, fireworks, ice skating and more. downtownbatonrouge.org.
LIVE NATIVITY: 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., First Presbyterian Church garden, 763 North Blvd. Thirty-minute reenactment of the birth of Jesus Christ as told in the Gospels.
REINDEER RIDE: 6 p.m., Farr Park, 6402 River Road. Eight-mile family bicycle ride to Downtown Festival of Lights.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church sanctuary, 763 North Blvd. Featuring Michael O’Brien and the Foto Sisters.
SATURDAY, DEC. 4
A VERY MERRY MUSEUM: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Louisiana Art & Science Museum, 100 S. River Road. Festive activities throughout the day, along with holiday-themed planetarium shows. Adults, $12; children (3-12) and seniors (65+), $10; and members, free. lasm.org.
A HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., along Railroad Avenue, downtown Plaquemine. Local vendors, music, food and kids’ rides. Free event hosted by Plaquemine Main Street and We Are The Difference. visitibervile.com.
A JANE AUSTEN CHRISTMAS: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oakley House, Audubon State Historic Site, 11788 La. 965, near St. Francisville. Costumed guides accompany the visitor in a trip into the past through the candlelit Oakley House, decked out for Christmas. Dance hosted by The Lagniappe Historic Dance & Pastime Society; music by the Lagniappe Dulcimers. Chestnuts will be roasting and wassail served.
CHRISTMAS IN CENTRAL PARADE: 11 am, Joor Road.
BROADMOOR’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE: noon, from Broadmoor High School, 10100 Goodwood Blvd.
HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., Whimsical Alley, 4512 Virginia St., Zachary. Outdoor concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.
SUNDAY, DEC. 5
HOLIDAY BRASS: 4:30 p.m., Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, 40136 La. 942, Darrow. Outdoor concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 and $50 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.
MESSENGERS’ CHRISTMAS LAND: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 9481 Prince Charles St., Denham Springs. A family tradition since 1964, the sprawling yard and garage display features lights, homemade animated scenes, a timeline and even the North Pole. Free.
TUESDAY, DEC. 7
HOLIDAY MUSIC CONCERT: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Branch Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Performing will be local five-piece instrumental and vocal group Jemini Venture, playing a diverse cross-section of genres on acoustic instruments.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8
VENDORS AT THE VILLAGE: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Acadian Village Shopping Center, Perkins Road at Acadian Thruway. Seasonal specials, local handmade items, refreshments, live music, caroling and Santa Claus.
FRIDAY, DEC. 10
HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., Hemingbough, 10101 La. 965, St. Francisville. Outdoor concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 10-19
“CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL”: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Theatre Baton Rouge, 7155 Florida Blvd. $30. theatrebr.org/tickets.
SATURDAY, DEC. 11
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., Morganza. Fire trucks, marching bands, arts/crafts, food vendors, Santa Claus and more.
DENHAM SPRINGS CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m., starting from Denham Springs High School, 1000 N. Range Ave., to Veterans Boulevard.
CHRISTMAS BOZAAR: 4 p.m., John Schneider Studios, 16050 Florida Blvd., Holden. Includes concert with John Schneider and the Stars N’ Bars Band and screening on the film, “Christmas Cars.” etix.com.
70th ANNUAL CORTANA KIWANIS CHRISTMAS PARADE: 5:30 p.m., downtown Baton Rouge. See route map and more at christmasinbr.com.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 6 p.m., Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, 8742 Scenic Highway. Special guests will be the group Authentically Anointed.
LIGHTED CHRISTMAS PARADE & GIFT FAIR: 6:30 p.m., Livingston. Route is from Hilltop and F Street to downtown.
SUNDAY, DEC. 12
JAMBALAYA FESTIVAL ASSOCIATION CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., Gonzales. With the theme “Gingerbread Village,” the parade will roll from Irma Boulevard along East Sanders Street and South Sandra Avenue.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: 7:30 p.m., Istrouma Baptist Church, 10500 Sam Rushing Drive. Concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and soloists. $19-$65 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.
TUESDAY, DEC. 14
HOLIDAY MUSIC WITH MIKE ANDERSON THE DULCIMER GUY: 3:30 p.m., Main Library at Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd.
CAROLS IN THE GARDEN: 6:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, 708 S. Irma Blvd., Gonzales. Caroling, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. (225) 647-3955.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 17-19
CHRISTMAS ON COURT ST.: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Port Allen. Live music, craft vendors, carnival rides, food, drinks and bonfire on the levee from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
DEC. 17-JAN. 3
ICE SKATING ON THE RIVER: Times TBA, Raising Cane’s River Center Arena, 275 S. River Road. raisingcanesrivercenter.com or (225) 389-3030.
SATURDAY, DEC. 18
WALKER CHRISTMAS PARADE: 11 a.m., from Walker High School, 12646 Burgess Ave. Floats, marching bands, antique cars and horses.
ST. ALBAN’S UKULELE ORCHESTRA: 12:30 p.m., Plaza at Main Library at Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Free holiday performance.
CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sidney Hutchinson Park, 13750 Ball Park Road, Walker. Farmers market, Christmas music, photos with Santa, food trucks and lots of seasonal activities.
LEGENDS OF CHRISTMAS: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Performances by Circus Louisiana, GymFit-Adventure Community Center and Bayou Cirque. $30. manshiptheatre.org.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 18-19
“THE HOLIDAY NUTCRACKER”: 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, Brown Holt Theatre, The Dunham School, 11236 Roy Emerson Drive. A Cangelosi Dance Project production. $20 and up. https://cangelosidanceproject.com/.
“NUTCRACKER — A TALE FROM THE BAYOU”: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Raising Cane’s River Center Ballroom, 275 S. River Road. A Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre production. $30-$65 at ticketmaster.com.
SUNDAY, DEC. 19
BRUNCH WITH SANTA: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. or noon: The Legacy at Bonne Esperance, 1655 Sherwood Forest Blvd. Buffet: Free, 1 year old and younger; $15, 2-12 years; $25, 12 years and older at eventbrite.com.
THURSDAY, DEC. 2
EVENING HOLIDAY MARKET: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Moncus Park, Lafayette. Presented by Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market Holiday. Music by the Magnolia Sisters, a s’mores corner, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“AN ACADIANA CHRISTMAS CAROL”: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Cité des Arts, 109 Vine St., Lafayette. $20; opening night gala, $45. citedesarts.org.
SATURDAY, DEC. 4
LIGHTING OF THE TREE CONCERT: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Parc International, 200 Garfield St., Lafayette. Presented by The Evangeline Bank and Trust Co. Music by Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band.
SUNDAY, DEC. 5
SONIC CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., Lafayette. Route from Jefferson Street, passing through downtown and to the Oil Center. Followed by official after party at 2 p.m. in Parc International, 200 Garfield St.
SATURDAY, DEC. 11
43rd ANNUAL QUEEN CITY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 5:30 p.m., New Iberia’s historic district. This year, the street parade down Main Street will be followed by a boat parade on Bayou Teche and fireworks. BayouTraditions.com.
MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., AA Comeaux Park, 300 AA Comeaux Memorial Drive, Abbeville. Enjoy a drive-through Christmas experience with a holiday light trail around the park’s circle. Trolley transportation will be available to the park from Magdalen Square following the town’s Christmas Parade. The event is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana. Tickets $10-$25 can be purchased at https://makingspiritisbright.eventbrite.com.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 11-12
“THE NUTCRACKER”: 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Heymann Performing Arts Center, 1373 S. College Road, Lafayette. A Lafayette Ballet Theatre production. $25-$58 at ticketmaster.com.
SUNDAY, DEC. 12
GINGERBREAD WORKSHOP: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Wonderland Performing Arts, 2807 Johnston St., Lafayette. Presented by Storybook Events, Twin’s Bakery and Wonderland. Gingerbread house kits, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate and photos with Santa. $100 per table of 4 at https://wonderland.booktix.com.
CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Moncus Park, 2913 Johnston St., Lafayette. Live music, activities for the whole family, visit from Santa, Christmas market and general store, selfie stations, live art installation, local food vendors and more. moncuspark.org.
Don’t see your holiday happening listed here? Please email the info to email@example.com and we’ll add it to our online story.