A guide to 2017 holiday fun and festivities around Baton Rouge

The holiday season is a time for family, friends and tons of fun. There’s plenty to do in and around the Capital Region as we close out 2017 and ring in the new year, and 225 Magazine has compiled all the Holiday Happenings into one colossal calendar. Check it all out and have a happy holiday season from all of us at 225 Magazine!

Nov. 11-12

Mistletoe Market: A fall shopping extravaganza
Come find a few of your favorite things this fall! The Mistletoe Market can help kick off your holiday shopping. The unique collection of vendors helps cure the conundrums for gift shopping. The longest standing vendors include Sassy & Classy and Stacey Blanchard Designs, and the newest vendors including Lolipop Cakes, The Art of Wood, and Tias. The event is free at the Belle of Baton Rouge Atrium from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Get more info at mistletoemarketbr.com.

Nov. 17

White Light Night
In the Mid City Art & Design Cultural District, an evening to celebrate local art and music takes place every November at White Light Night. Meet the artists behind some of the latest trends in the city, and enjoy live music while you shop and eat in the best establishments the area has to offer.

The festival is free and so is the transportation, with a shuttle service that will take you up and down the festival between Jefferson Highway at Goodwood Boulevard and the intersection of Government and 14th streets. Uber discounts are also offered the night of the event.

Proceeds from the art festival will help purchase public art for the Mid-City area of Baton Rouge. All purchases of original art are subject to zero city sales tax if purchased in the Mid-City cultural district. For information, please email [email protected] or check out Mid-City Merchants Facebook page for more details.

Nov. 17 – Jan. 7, every weekday

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, an award-winning light and music extravaganza, is making its Louisiana debut this Christmas at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center. From November 17th through January 7th, the maze of lights will glow into the night from dusk to 10PM. Guests simply tune in their radio, and watch the magic unfold as they drive through hundreds of thousands of brilliant LED lights dancing in perfect synchronization with the music filling their vehicle. This immersive experience captivates its audience with a perfect unity of sight and sound.

Featured among the lights are huge, custom displays of the 12 Days of Christmas. This popular Christmas story comes to life in a bright and comical way. This spectacle takes light shows to a whole new level, integrating cutting-edge technology, lights, music, and movement, with custom, animated elements featuring 100% environmentally friendly LED lights. Some of the music is even arranged and performed by the talented Shadrack crew. The cost to experience Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is $25 per carload, $40 for a mini-bus, limousine or activity van, and school and tour buses are $80. For complete details, updates, and a preview, visit

Nov. 22 – Jan. 5

Holiday Lights at Baton Rouge General
Baton Rouge General proudly presents its inaugural Holiday Lights display at the corner of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Picardy Avenue. The lawn will be transformed into a twinkling, singing and musically synchronized light display the whole family will enjoy this holiday season. A 40-foot mega tree and eight singing trees atop twinkling lawn lights are the center of attention as as drivers and passengers hear synchronized music on their car radio when passing by between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Candy canes, snowmen, gingerbread kids and more fill the lawn adding to the more than 10,000 lights. Plus, you can make plans to attend one of the four Family Nights. Every Thursday night from 6 – 8 p.m. beginning November 30 through December 21, all are welcome to stop by and enjoy the beautiful light display, listen to live music, play in 3 tons of real snow, sip on hot cocoa, write a letter to Santa and more. Find the event on Facebook.

Nov. 23

Turkey Trot 1 mile Fun Run & 5K
Celebrating its 31st year, the Turkey Trot returns to Downtown Baton Rouge on the morning of Thanksgiving 2017. This race is a local thanksgiving tradition – one that servers the community by keeping them active and fit through racing and partner with the March of Dimes as a fund-raiser to help their organization both financially and by spreading the word about the work they do. For more information or to register visit https://turkeytrotbr.com

Nov. 25 – Dec. 16, every Saturday

The Polar Express
All aboard The Polar Express! Bring your family to experience this beloved holiday movie in the planetarium theater every Saturday, November 25-December 16 at 3 p.m.. Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa before each show beginning at 2:15 p.m., and after the show, visitors can pick up their very own sleigh bells to take home. For more information or admission prices call 344-5272 or visit www.lasm.org.

Nov. 25 – Dec. 30

Beginning November 25th, visitors will enjoy the lights and displays of all your favorite Zoo animals and holiday traditions.  Walk through the Zoo and be amazed by the larger-than-life light displays.  Bring the whole family and get into the holiday spirit of the season.  Hot cocoa and other treats will be available to purchase.  ZooLights will take place Nov 25-Dec 30 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). www.brzoo.org

Nov. 28

Season’s Readings 2017

Shop for the book lovers in your life at this year’s Season’s Readings. A wide array of book titles will be available at a 20 percent discount, many local authors will be present for book signings and free gift wrapping will be provided. Season’s Readings will be held from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at the LSU Barnes & Noble. Click here for more information.

Nov. 29

K-Love Christmas Tour 2017
K-LOVE Christmas 2017 features Steven Curtis Chapman, Plumb, We Are Messengers, and Marc Martel. Experience a night of Christmas favorites and top hits from the artists you love. Celebrate the reason for the season with your family and friends on this unforgettable night. RaisingCanesRiverCenter.com

 Dec. 1

Festival of Lights
Experience the magic of the holiday with the lighting of the 35-foot Christmas Tree and fireworks at North Boulevard Town Square. Enjoy FREE ice skating, play in 10 tons of real snow at the Snow village, see holiday performers, face painters, a balloon artist, stilt walkers, and of course…SANTA. Click here for a schedule of events for the Festival of Lights and Downtown during the holidays. Free Parking will be available inside the River Center Garages.

Other Festival of Lights events include The Cajun Night Before Christmas at the Old Governor’s Mansion, as well as a special showing of Let It Snow: A Holiday Music Journey in the planetarium, and a hands-on Holiday Ornament Workshop at the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum. Admission is free with the donation of one new toy per person that benefits Toys for Tots; otherwise regular admission prices apply. Toys may be purchased in The Museum Store. For more information or admission prices call 344-5272 or visit www.lasm.org.

Forum 35 Reindeer Run & Jingle Bell Jog
There will be 2 races and the Festival of Lights featuring Santa Claus, live music, fireworks, free outdoor ice skating and much more. Bring your family out for the run and enjoy the holiday fun. Stay up-to-date with race information by following Forum 35’s Facebook Page. You never know when our mascot, Rudy the Reindeer, will want to celebrate early by giving away promotional codes. Find the run on Eventbrite.

Santa in the Senate
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Senate Chamber of the Old State Capitol from 6:30-8:30 pm to take pictures. There will also be holiday crafts and Christmas movies playing in the House Chamber. This event is free and open to the public. The castle will be decorated and the OSC elves will be hard at work to give you and your family a memorable evening. louisianaoldstatecapitol.org

13th Annual Holiday Trunk Show

Find a gift for everyone on your shopping list while supporting the LSU Museum of Art. Unique items from local artists will be available, including jewelry, glass and wood works, photography and paintings. LSU MOA will be offering free gift wrap and refreshments, along with 20 percent off your entire purchase. lsumoa.org

LSU AgCenter Poinsettia Show
The LSU AgCenter will host the annual poinsettia show and sale from 8 a.m. to noon at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden, located at 4560 Essen Lane near Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. Visitors may purchase fresh poinsettias from a wide selection of varieties on display for $10 to $12 per plant. Visitors also will have the opportunity to take a survey and rate several poinsettia varieties. Admission is free and open to the public. Proceeds from the sale go to fund educational programs at the Botanic Gardens. For additional information, call 225-763-3990.

Dec. 2

Hands on Happenings: Holiday Ornament Workshop
Whether you’re young or young at heart, get creative the first Saturday of every month at the Hands-On Happenings workshops. Get into the holiday spirit by creating your own keepsake ornaments using no-bake modeling clay, cookie cutters, and sparkly embellishments. For more information or admission prices call 344-5272 or visit www.lasm.org.

Christmas in Central Square
This year’s Christmas in Central Square will kick off the official City of Central Christmas light display with ice skating, a Snowzilla Jr. slide, “sneaux” for the little ones, carousel rides, Polar Express train rides, photos with the Snow Princesses, games and s’mores by BREC, and a live nativity presented by Life Church. This year will also feature Horse & Carriage and Horse & Wagon Rides, an appearance by Santa to take photos with the kids, and a stage with performances by Charles Brooks the Jazz Vibraphonist and the Jazz Trio performing Christmas carols. Click here for more information.

Dec. 2-3

Pancakes and Pajamas
Join Galatoire’s Bistro for its first-ever Pancakes and Pajamas on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. – noon. Families are invited for a morning of holiday magic featuring build-your-own pancake stations with delicious sides, photos with Santa, a Christmas Story corner with one of Santa’s helpers and more. Digital photos with Santa will also be available for purchase. galatoiresbistro.com

Dec. 3

Holiday First Sunday
Spend some time with your friends or family at this special Holiday First Sunday at the Art & Science Museum. Free admission to the galleries, $6 reduced admission to planetarium shows, and a visit with Santa Claus will make this a fun and unique day out for all ages. For more information or admission prices call 344-5272 or visit www.lasm.org

MOOSELTOE the Moosical
MOOSELTOE, the Moose with a Dream, and his friends come to life in this colorful, magical and whimsical musical tale. Follow the hero as he pursues his seemingly impossible dream while learning many valuable lessons along the way – lessons which are important for us all. Al Roker narrates the story while celebrities from Broadway, TV, and the movies provide the voices of MOOSELTOE and his friends in this charming production.  For more information or pricing call 225-344-0334 or visit www.manshiptheatre.org

Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express Train
The KCS Holiday Express is a festive, six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities throughout the company’s U.S. rail network at scheduled stops. Guests to the train can visit with Santa Claus and walk through three cars filled with holiday displays. Each event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required. In addition, at each scheduled stop, a charitable contribution is made to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothes and other necessities for children in need. Click here for more information.

Dec. 6

Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz
Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz will feature Brian Shaw, Willis Delony, and Bill Grimes in a program of new arrangements and holiday favorites, including the classic Duke Ellington arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite. For more information or pricing call 344-0334 or visit www.manshiptheatre.org

Sip & Sauté: ‘Not So Christmas’ Revisited

Acadian House Kitchen & Bath Studio will be hosting a cooking class from 5:30-8 p.m. Putting a twist on the typical Christmas meal, participants will learn to make pecan-roasted pork chops, sweet potato puree and cranberry gastrique, panko-dusted mashed potato cakes and a bourbon peanut butter milkshake. To register, click here.

Dec. 7

Holiday Shop Hop and Champagne Stroll
In an effort to increase interest, the 2017 Holiday Shop Hop will be housed in one location, at the Capitol Park Museum, 660 North 4th Street. The hours will remain the same, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm and the traditional Champagne Stroll, benefiting the New Year’s Eve Red Stick Revelry, will originate at the Holiday Shop Hop. Click here for more information.

Trees of Light: Annual Holiday Gala
Celebrate the holiday season with The Hospice of Baton Rouge at the Trees of Light Gala at The Lyceum Ballroom on Thursday, December 7th at 6:00pm. The evening will include food, libations and great music provided by The Chee-Weez. Tickets are available online at hospicebr.org or by calling 225‐767‐4673.

Dec. 9

Asleep at the Wheel—Merry Texas Christmas Y’all
If you don’t believe they do things differently in the Lone Star State, just take a listen to this swinging slice of a honky-tonk holiday, presented by Texas’s premier Western swing band. Asleep at the Wheel amp up a passel of traditional holiday faves, with slightly altered titles like “Swingin’ Drummer Boy” and “Swingin’ Silent Night” indicating the good-time feel that permeates the whole set (even the potentially downtrodden “Xmas in Jail”).” Spice up any Christmas party with a Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all–and why not sneak a little tequila into the eggnog while you’re at it. For more information or pricing call 344-0334 or visit www.manshiptheatre.org

Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade
The 67th Annual Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade will roll through Downtown Baton Rouge Saturday, December 9th at 5:30 p.m. Every year, more than 80,000 people watch the parade live and thousands more enjoy it on television through the holiday season. The parade is open to everyone and typically includes about 80 entries. These entries are a mix of marching bands, celebrities, dance troupes, non-profit organizations, and local businesses in seasonal themes. christmasinbr.com

Iberville Christmas Bonfire Festival
Nottoway’s annual Iberville Parish Bonfire Christmas Festival includes a night filled with music, food, vendors, bonfires, fireworks, and a visit from Santa. The event starts at 5 p.m. and tickets are $5 per car. Click here for more information.

Dec. 10

Holiday Brass

Soak up the sounds of the season with a holiday performance by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, decked out in all the holiday trimmings, will serve as the magnificent backdrop for this family event. brso.org

Dec. 16-17

Nutcracker: A Tale From the Bayou
Created by Molly Buchmann and Sharon Mathews in 1992,The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou has become one of the most highly-anticipated events of the holiday season. A Baton Rouge holiday tradition for 25 years, this treasured production continues to thrill children and adults alike. Featuring world-class guest artists, live accompaniment by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and a cast of over 300 community children and local dancers, BRBT’s Tale from the Bayou transports audiences to a magical world of dancing azaleas and snow-covered oak trees that only our Cajun Clara could imagine. For more information or pricing call 766-8379 or visit www.batonrougeballet.org

Home for the Holidays: Songwriters in the Round
The songwriter night held between Christmas and New Years has become a holiday tradition. Home For The Holidays was started to shine light on our “homeboys” that are living in Nashville working hard to make it in the music business and allowing them to play their latest original music to their friends and family while “home for the holidays”. Having some of the same artists each year has given Baton Rouge music lovers a chance to follow these artists’ careers and see the changes from year to year. For more information or pricing call 344-0334 or visit www.manshiptheatre.org

Dec. 17

Christmas Carols Sing-Along
A one-hour Christmas Caroling sing-along, led by a music director, song sheets and background music provided. The free event will be held at Perkins Rowe, outside in front of the movie  theater and is open to all ages to participate. Click here for more information.

Dec. 25

Christmas Buffet
This Christmas, The Crowne Plaza is offering a menu pairing traditional holiday favorites with Cajun Country’s freshest regional flavors. Seatings will take place every hour from 11 a.m. –1 p.m. Ticket prices — Adults: $28, Seniors (65+): $22, Kids (6 – 12): $14, Kids Under 6: Complimentary. You can find the event on Facebook, or call (225) 925-2244 for reservations.