Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can turn our attention to the start of the Christmas season. Didn’t you know that once you’re finished with Thursday’s annual food party that it’s time to get in the holiday spirit?

So put away that leftover turkey and carve out some time in your calendar for these merry events in and around Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Baton Rouge

Nov. 27-Dec. 30

ZOOLIGHTS: Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road. This annual zoo event features a mile-long trail of 50 illuminated displays of animals. Gates to the event will be open 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and teens, $4 for seniors, and $3 for ages 2-12 and Friends of the Zoo members.

Dec. 1

SEASON’S READINGS: 6:30 p.m., The Club at LSU Union Square, Corner of Rapheal Semmes and Highland roads. More than a dozen local authors will be on hand at LSU Press and The Southern Review’s holiday book sale. Guests include Billy Cannon and his biographer Charles deGravelles and photographer C.C. Lockwood. (225) 578-8282 or

Dec. 3-24

REFLECTIONS OF THE SEASON: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. West Baton Rouge Tourist Information & Conference Center Grounds, 2750 N. Westport Drive. Enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, children’s carnival rides and Trevor the singing reindeer. Entrance fee is $1. (800) 654-9701 or

Dec. 4

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., North Boulevard Town Square. The Capital City’s oldest holiday tradition — the Red Stick comes alive with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree and fireworks downtown. The event also includes free ice skating and real snow. Admission is free.

REINDEER RUN 5K AND JINGLE BELL JOG: 7 p.m., Lafayette Street and North Boulevard. Forum 35’s annual run takes athletes all around the downtown area before landing at the Festival of Lights celebration. Registration is $25 for ages 6-17 and $30 ages 18 and up.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: 7:30 p.m., Baton Rouge River Center Theatre, 220 St. Louis St. The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra gets in on the holiday fun with its annual celebration, which features numerous guest performers and area musical groups. An additional show will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. Tickets start at $39.

Dec. 4-6

Christmas IN THE COUNTRY: St. Francisville. Enjoy small-town Christmas shopping, a colorful parade and caroling. (225) 635-3873

Dec. 5

BATON ROUGE ARTS MARKET: 8 a.m. to noon, Fifth and Main streets, downtown. This open air market will be open three times in December so you can purchase festive goods or last-minute, creative gifts for a loved one. The market will also be open Dec. 12 and 19.

RUNNING OF THE SANTAS: 11 a.m. Dress up as Santa and run from The Draft House, 421 Third St., to The Roux House, just a few blocks away. The event will feature a costume contest. The jam/funk band FlowTribe will perform at The Roux House at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Proceeds go to That Others May Live foundation.

BROADMOOR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m., Broadmoor High School, 10100 Goodwood Blvd. Enjoy floats and music in this annual parade, which has the theme of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

HOLIDAY BRASS AT HEMINGBOUGH: 7 p.m., 10101 Hwy. 965, St. Francisville. Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra associate conductor David Torns leads a program of Christmas songs. (225) 383-0500 or

Dec. 5-Jan. 2

USS KIDD CLASSIC CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., USS Kidd Veterans Memorial & Museum, 305 S. River Road. Enjoy family favorites such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman.” Movie entrance is included with admission to the museum.

Dec. 6

JINGLE BELL TEA: 1:30 p.m., De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St. Join the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for food, crafts and music. The event is catered by Ruffino’s. Tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for children. (225) 400-0335 or

‘THE SHOEMAKER AND THE CHRISTMAS ELVES’: 2 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Theatre IV presents the tale of two elves who are trying to work hard to get a job with Santa at the North Pole. Tickets are $15. An additional school show will start at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.

CONCERT BAND CHRISTMAS: 3 p.m., St. Joseph Cathedral, 402 North St. The Baton Rouge Concert Band performs holiday favorites in this free concert.

Dec. 8-9

COOL WINTER NIGHTS AND HOT JAZZ: 7:30 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Local musicians Brian Shaw, Willis Delony and Bill Grimes team up for two nights of holiday favorites. The band will also feature guest vocal soloists Sasha Masakowski and Greg Daigle. Tickets start at $15.

Dec. 10

CAROLING IN THE PARK: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Baton Rouge City Park, 1515 Dalrymple Drive. The sixth annual candlelight caroling event will also feature a park lighting ceremony and other family activities.

RED STICK REVELRY CHAMPAGNE STROLL: 5:30 p.m., Visit Baton Rouge, 359 Third St. Stroll and shop with more than 30 local vendors across four stops. Mayor Kip Holden will lead the event with special guest singer-songwriter Bud Torres.

Dec. 11-20

‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’: Theatre Baton Rouge’s main stage, 7155 Florida Blvd. Charles Dickens’ classic about Ebenezer Scrooge comes to life in the local company’s annual production. Tickets are $25. Student tickets are $20.

‘A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS’: The Reilly Theatre, Tower Drive. Playmakers of Baton Rouge adapt the animated television special, which features the Peanuts gang figuring out the real meaning of Christmas. Tickets are $20 and $15 for children ages 2-11.

Dec. 11

BONFIRES ON THE LEVEE: 5 p.m., Nottoway Plantation, 31025 La 1. This annual event will feature holiday church choirs, fireworks, an appearance by Santa and a tree lighting ceremony. Admission is $5 per car. (225) 545-2730 or

LAMAR HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., St. Joseph Cathedral, 402 North St. The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s brass and percussion, led by David Torns, will be joined by organist Robbie Giroir and the Baton Rouge Magnet high school festival singers. Tickets are $12.50 for children, $23 for seniors and $25 for adults.

Dec. 12

CHRISTMAS AT CAPITOL PARK: 11 a.m., Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. Fourth St. The museum will host a free open house with complimentary tours, a visit from Santa “Claws” and musical performances from local school choirs. (225) 342-5428 or

CORTANA KIWANIS DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS PARADE: 5:30 p.m., Baton Rouge River Center, 275 S. River Road. The 65th annual downtown parade is free and will include around 80 entries such as marching bands and dance troupes showing their seasonal spirit.

BEAUSOLEIL HOLIDAY CONCERT: 8 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. The Cajun band puts their southern flavor on classic holiday tunes. Tickets are $35.

KRAMPUS: 8 p.m., The Londoner, 4215 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. The restaurant will feature cocktail specials and an ugly sweater contest. Winners get a $25 bar tab. (225) 292-9291.

CAPTAIN GREEN XMAS: 10 p.m., Chelsea’s Café, 2857 Perkins Road. The local funk/jam/jazz band performs a holiday-themed concert at the venue near the Perkins Road overpass.

Dec. 12-13

WINTER JAM: Baton Rouge Music Studios, 9327 Burbank Drive. The educational music venue will host two days of concerts to show off its programs. Tickets are $10 for nonmembers and $7 for members. Saturday’s shows start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday shows start at 4 p.m. (225) 769-6225 or

Dec. 13

MAGNOLIA MOUND CREOLE CHRISTMAS: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Magnolia Mound Plantation, 2161 Nicholson Drive. Guests are invited to celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way at this French Creole holiday celebration. The event features live music, tours, traditional food and demonstrations from period craftsmen. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and $3 for children ages 5-17. Children under the age of 5 get in free. or (225) 343-4955

Dec. 14

AN EVENING OF HOLIDAY JAZZ: 7:30 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Trumpeter George Bell and his musical friends will play a collection of holiday favorites. Tickets are $35.

Dec. 16

CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: 7:30 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Michael McDowell and The Edge Orchestra bring their unique styles to classic Christmas tunes. Tickets are $30, $12 for students.

Dec. 18

HOLIDAY MIX: 7 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Cangelosi Dance performs a mix of classical and contemporary styles. A holiday classical and sparkle show will take place at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, on Saturday, Dec. 19. Tickets start at $18.

Dec. 18-Jan. 3

ICE SKATING ON THE RIVER: Times vary, Baton Rouge River Center, 275 S. River Road. The River Center will once again turn its main stage area into an ice skating rink that’s perfect for the entire family. Tickets are $12 for 75 minutes of ice skating fun. (225) 389-3030 or

Dec. 19

YMCA GINGERBREAD JOG: 8:30 a.m., Raising Cane’s Dog Park, 1515 Dalrymple Drive. This family-friendly event includes a family 1-mile run and dog walk as well as a 5K. After-race activities include food, music and gingerbread cookie decorating. Race day registration is $25.

PUNK ROCK CHRISTMAS: 8 p.m. Kerry Beary’s Atomic Pop Shop, 2963 Government St. Punk, metal and hardcore bands join forces for this holiday celebration. The event features performances from Heretic, Torab, Lesser Degree, The Hammer, Ciggy/The Butts, Forged by Hate and Out of Reach. Admission is $5. This is an all-ages show. BYOB. (225) 771-8455

Dec. 19-20

‘THE NUTCRACKER, A TALE FROM THE BAYOU’: 2 p.m., 6 p.m., Baton Rouge River Center Theatre, 498 St. Louis St. Baton Rouge Ballet’s annual adaptation of the classic ballet returns, mixing up the story with local landmarks and other Cajun treats. Tickets start at $20.

Dec. 21

BATON ROUGE ACOUSTIC XMAS: 7 p.m., Chelsea’s Café, 2857 Perkins Road. Local singer-songwriters perform in the sidebar. (225) 387-3679 or

Dec. 27

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS SONGWRITER NIGHT: 6 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Local songwriters take the stage at Manship. This year’s lineup includes Benjy Davis, David Borné, Rhett Anthony Glindmeyer, CJ Solar, Brent Anderson, and Helen Darling. Tickets are $20.

Dec. 31

RED STICK REVELRY: 11 a.m. to midnight, North Boulevard Town Square. Head downtown for the Capital City’s annual New Year celebration.


Nov. 27-29

‘A TUNA CHRISTMAS’: 7 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2 p.m., Cité des Arts, 109 Vine St. The comedy about two Texas radio broadcasters returns. The play features Shane Guilbeau and Kyle Bourque. Tickets are $20.

Nov. 28-Dec. 23

NOEL ACADIEN AU VILLAGE: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., nightly, weather permitting. This 25-night Christmas festival fundraiser features animated displays, carnival rides and, in total, nearly half-a-million lights. Advance tickets are $8, $10 at the gate. (337) 981-2364 or

Dec. 1-31

CHRISTMAS AT THE ALEXANDRE MOUTON HOUSE: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays, 1122 Lafayette St. The house will be available for viewing and features period decorations. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for students. (337) 234-2208

Dec. 2

CHRISTMAS IN SCOTT: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., St. Aubin Park. This free event features the official lighting of the Christmas tree and a visit from Santa Claus. (337) 269-5155 or

CHRISTMAS IN CROWLEY: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Parkerson Avenue. This free event features more than 200,000 holiday lights, synchronized to music. (337) 783-0824

Dec. 4

FESTIVAL OF LIGHT: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oil Center. The 22nd annual festival features lights, music, food and shopping. (337) 232-1267 or

ANNUAL LIGHTING OF LE VIEUX VILLAGE: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This free family event includes special visits from Santa, Mickey and Minnie. (337) 948-5227 or

Dec. 5

DELCAMBRE HOLIDAY GUMBO COOK-OFF: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Delcambre Shrimp Festival Grounds, 411 S. Richard St. Enjoy music and all-you-can-eat gumbo. Judging and serving begins at 2:30 p.m. (337) 519-4362 or

Dec. 6

SONIC DRIVE-IN CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., downtown Lafayette to the Oil Center. This free event is one of the oldest Christmas activities in the Acadiana area. (337) 988-5301

Dec. 8-12, 15-18, 22-23

OLD-TIME CHRISTMAS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Road. Meet Papa Noël, sing along to Christmas carols and get a taste of apple cider during this event. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for students. Children ages 6 and under are free. (337) 233-4077 or

Dec. 11

THE HOT SARDINES’ HOLIDAY STOMP: 7:30 p.m., Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermilion St. The hot jazz band performs. Tickets start at $28 for nonmembers and $26 for members.

Dec. 11-14

THE SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE: 7 p.m. Friday and Monday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, First Baptist Lafayette, 1100 Lee Ave. This free concert features adult and children’s choirs performing holiday classics. (337) 233-1412

Dec. 12-13

‘THE NUTCRACKER’: 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Heymann Center, 1373 S. College Road. Lafayette Ballet Theatre teams with principal dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet for two performances. Tickets start at $22.

Dec. 17

A CHRISTMAS STORY: 7 p.m., Heymann Center, 1373 S. College Road. The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra will be joined by Marc Broussard and youth choirs for performances of holiday music that reminds audiences of the cultural roots of the area. Tickets start at $21.50.

Dec. 17-18

A CAJUN & CREOLE CHRISTMAS: 7:30 p.m., Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermilion St. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Buckwheat Zydeco, Sweet Cecilia and many more perform. Tickets start at $23 for members and $25 for nonmembers.

Dec. 19

CHRISTMAS HOOT NIGHT: 9 p.m., Blue Moon Saloon, 215 E. Convent St. The Blue Moon Band will play all your favorite Christmas tunes. The event also includes the venue’s annual Christmas party.