In between all the shopping, parties and holiday preparations, carve out at least a day to get out of town and see how Christmas rolls out in other spots in the state.

From festivals and fireworks to caroling and costumed Christmas tours, Louisiana's celebration runs into the New Year.

Here's a sampling:

4-Legged Friends Christmas Parade: downtown Patterson, noon Sunday, Dec. 10. The parade lines up at 11 a.m. and rolls at 2 p.m. down La. 182 (Main Street). (985) 380-8224 or 

Light up the Lake Christmas Festival: Lake Charles Civic Center Grounds, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Sunday, Dec. 10. Christmas tree lighting ceremony, lighted boat parade and Light Up the Lake fireworks display over the city. 

Wedell-Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill’s 22nd Annual Christmas Tree Festival Exhibit Open House: Louisiana State Museum, 118 Cotten Road, Patterson, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12. Decorated trees and singing performances by local schools. Free. (985) 399-1268

Christmas caroling: the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire, Covington, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14. The Crispin Schroeder band will play holiday tunes, and the Northlake Performing Arts Society will sing carols. Refreshments and libations will be for sale as will cookbooks from the Junior League of Great Covington. The public is encouraged to bring chairs.

Visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus: Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge's Bayou Lacombe Visitor Center, 61389 La. 434, Lacombe, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Mrs. Claus will host an ongoing story time, while Santa greets kids and families in his “Cajun Cottage” outpost inside the visitor center. Admission, photos, refreshments and visits with Santa are free. (985) 882-2025 or

Otis House Museum tours: Fairview-Riverside State Park, La. 22, Madisonville, 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Costumed interpreters will guide visitors through five decades of Christmas decorations, customs, mood and history. The Madisonville Garden Club will decorate the house with flowers, fruit and greenery of theme periods. Wassail, a traditional Christmas beverage, and cookies will be served in the kitchen after each tour. $4 for ages 13-61, free for ages 62 and older and children 12 and younger. (985) 792-4652.

"Lessons and Carols" Christmas Concert: Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 915 Main St., Franklin, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. 

Guided tours: Joseph Jefferson Home, Jefferson Island, 5505 Rip Van Winkle Road, New Iberia, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day). Inside the 1870 home will be decorated mantels, a Christmas tree and antique dolls on display. (337) 359-8525 or

Christmas Lights on Bayou Teche: Teche Drive, Main, Martin Luther King and Iberia streets, Franklin, nightly through Jan. 1. Tune in to 93.5 FM to hear coordinating Christmas music. 

Plantation markets: The Myrtles Plantation, 7747 U.S. 61, St. Francisville, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and Dec. 22; Rosalie Plantation, 100 Orleans St., Natchez, Mississippi, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and Dec. 21; and Nottoway Plantation, 31025 La. 1, White Castle, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 23. Local vendors, artists, craftspeople and entertainment. Free and open to the public.

New group camp

Reservations are available for the new group camp at Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego starting at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 18, for stays beginning Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.

The 11,000-square-foot facility, which was dedicated Oct. 28, rents for $600 per night and will sleep up to about 80 people in a two-winged dormitory; a full kitchen and dining hall are connected by a covered breezeway, a news release says.

Reservations can be made — up to 13 months in advance — by calling (877) 226-7652 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; online reservations are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. seven days a week.

The park, 7777 Westbank Expressway in Westwego, offers waterfront cabins and RV camping, in addition to the new group camp. Day-use visitors can enjoying fishing, nature trails or the seasonal wave pool.

For more information, visit

Oakley House reopens 

Oakley House at Audubon State Historic Site near St. Francisville reopened Dec. 2 following an eight-month project of lead abatement and structural repairs to the exterior of the house. The work was done by DakMak Construction, of Baton Rouge, and cost more than $500,000. In addition, the Office of State Parks performed small repairs to the interior walls and conservation of select furnishings while the structure was closed, a news release says.

For more information about Louisiana State Parks visit or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.

Hike at Poverty Point

Poverty Point World Heritage Site, located on La. 577 east of Monroe, is offering a ranger-guided hike around the 402-acre prehistoric site at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

The 2.6-mile hike will include all of the prehistoric mounds and ridges located on the site, as well as the plaza and any other interesting things that might be seen along the way, a news release says. 

Poverty Point is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. (888) 926-5492.

Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.