Holiday events happening around Baton Rouge this December 2021

ALL MONTH: Holiday makers markets

Local markets make holiday shopping more fun. With makers, creators and bakers, you’re sure to find something unique and special for everyone on your list. Check out 225‘s roundup of local shopping pop-ups here.

ALL MONTH: Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s holiday shows

There are six opportunities to see the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra perform holiday songs this month. It starts with Holiday Brass, performing at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Dec. 2; Whimsical Alley in Zachary Dec. 4; Houmas House Dec. 5; Hemingbough Guest House Dec. 10; and the Denham Springs downtown train depot Dec. 11. Round out the holiday revelry with the full orchestra and chorus in Home for the Holidays at Istrouma Baptist Church Dec. 12.

Baton Rouge General Holiday Lights

ALL MONTH: Baton Rouge General holiday lights

The Holiday Lights at Baton Rouge General are lighting up the large green space at the hospital’s campus at Bluebonnet Boulevard and Picardy Avenue near the Mall of Louisiana. The free light display of more than 400,000 lights starts at 5:30 p.m. each night, and will run through Dec. 31. Also new this year is the ticketed “Snow & Glow” event, offering families the chance to meet holiday characters, play in real snow, watch performers, order bites from food trucks, and take pictures with Santa. Snow & Glow is this Thursday, Dec. 2, and Thursday, Dec. 16, 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for kids, and must be purchased in advance here.

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

ALL MONTH: ZooLights

More than 50 illuminated animals and holiday displays will line a mile-long trail during this year’s ZooLights display at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo. Glowing, animated sculptures of animals, snowmen and more will be presented by Children’s Hospital New Orleans until Dec. 30.

Courtesy Downtown Development District

DEC. 3: Festival of Lights

Head over to downtown Baton Rouge after work Friday, Dec. 3, for the 2021 Festival of Lights. Bring the whole family to enjoy light shows, ice skating, real snow and more. Get ready for the holiday season underneath the 25-foot Christmas tree, which will stand in North Boulevard Town Square. Mayor Sharon Weston Broome will light up the Christmas tree and almost half a million small twinkling lights along North Boulevard. The event is 4-8 p.m., with the tree lighting taking place at 6 p.m.

DEC. 4: A Very Merry Museum

LASM is hosting its third annual “A Very Merry Museum” event Saturday, Dec. 4, sponsored by the Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company. There will be Coca-Cola giveaways and a visit from the iconic Coca-Cola holiday truck. Come in your most festive pajamas and enjoy activities like ornament making and scavenger hunts. The Irene W. Pennington Planetarium will be displaying holiday-themed shows: “Let It Snow” and “The Star of Bethlehem.” There will even be a showing of the holiday film The Polar Express at 3 p.m., and all viewers will receive their own jingle bell like the one in the movie. Find out more information about the event here.

DEC. 4: Santa’s Kitchen

Bring your kiddos to the Baton Rouge Marriott Saturday, Dec. 4, for holiday treat decorating. This holiday-themed culinary experience is recommended for children ages 3 to 10. Each child will receive their very own apron and chef’s hat to wear as they participate in three culinary stations. Due to the ages of the participants, there will not be any actual cooking, but there will be plenty of treat decorating and fun. After the children move through all three stations, they will receive a bag full of all their decorated goodies to take home. Find tickets and more information here.

DEC. 5: A Rural Life Christmas

Take a trip back to the 19th century with the LSU Rural Life Museum’s “A Rural Life Christmas” Sunday, Dec. 5. Take the whole family to the LSU Rural Life Museum to see musical performances, participate in artisan activities and hear festive stories. Enjoy entertainment from bands, poets, singers and ensembles. Try out new skills like quill pen writing, woodworking, weaving and soapmaking. There will also be wagon rides and historic games and toys. For more information, head over to the LSU Rural Life Museum’s website.

DEC. 5: Free holiday concert

The Baton Rouge Concert Band marks the season with a free Christmas concert at St. Joseph’s Cathedral downtown, featuring holiday favorites from The Nutcracker Suite to Polar Express.

DEC. 8-9: Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz

In the 10th annual event, the Manship Theatre will welcome the sounds of Brian Shaw, Greg Daigle, Bill Grimes and others in this 15-piece jazz ensemble performance of new arrangements and holiday favorites.

DEC. 10-19: ‘A Christmas Carol’

Theatre Baton Rouge continues its holiday tradition with a production of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. The production takes its cues from a new adaptation by John Mortimer.

Courtesy Raising Cane’s River Center

DEC. 17 to JAN. 3: Ice skating

Ice skating on the bayou isn’t something you see every day. Louisiana may not get a lot of ice, but that’s where the Raising Cane’s River Center comes in. Bring your family out to downtown Baton Rouge for a day of skating around the rink and the chance to feel like you’re in a winter wonderland.

DEC. 18: ‘Legends of Christmas’ circus show

Come one, come all to the “Legends of Christmas” presented by Circus Louisiana at the Manship Theatre. This 12-act circus show will tell the tale of how Krampus takes two children to the night-goblin town, and how they escape to Christmastown.

“The Nutcracker—A Tale from the Bayou.” Courtesy Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre

DEC. 18 + 19:The Nutcracker—A Tale from the Bayou’

Bring your pointe shoes and your holiday spirit to the Raising Cane’s River Center Ballroom, because the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre is taking you on a journey with The Nutcracker—A Tale from the Bayou. The company will be joined by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for a magical evening—and a triumphant return after the pandemic canceled the show last year.

NOW TO DEC. 21: Santa photos at the mall

Head to the Mall of Louisiana for photos with Santa. And on Dec. 5 and 12, Autism Speaks hosts its Sensory-Friendly Santa Experience, when photo purchases support the organization.

DEC. 28: ‘Home for the Holidays’

Louisiana native songwriters—many of whom work on the Nashville recording scene—return to Baton Rouge for the 12th annual Home for the Holidays showcase at the Manship Theatre.

Fireworks at Red Stick Revelry. File photo

DEC. 31: Ring in the new year 

Ring in the new year at a signature Capital City celebration. At L’Auberge Hotel & Casino Baton Rouge, dance the night away with an open bar at the Event Center. If downtown and fireworks are more your style, head to Red Stick Revelry for live music and laser light shows at Rhorer Plaza followed by fireworks over the river.