Things to do this weekend in Baton Rouge: History lessons and holiday celebrations

Enjoy a history lesson at the Old State Capitol Thursday

Learn about the civil rights movement and its relation to World War II this Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Old State Capitol downtown.

Dr. Kodi Roberts will talk about how the lives of Black Americans during the war helped push for the civil rights movement that followed. Roberts focuses on African American history and is a history professor at LSU. 

The lecture will start at 5:30 p.m. The event is free to the public. Find out more here. Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is at 100 North Blvd. at River Road.

Walk through a winter wonderland at the 2021 Festival of Lights Friday

Head over to downtown Baton Rouge this 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. The Festival of Lights is at 222 North Blvd.

Join the Louisiana Art & Science Museum for a holiday celebration Saturday

LASM is hosting its third annual “A Very Merry Museum” event this Saturday, Dec. 4, so bring the whole family for a full day of holiday fun. 

The event is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company, and 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.  

“A Very Merry Museum” will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Show up early for “The Polar Express” showing at 3 p.m. because seats in the planetarium are limited. Admission for the event will be the same as normal museum admission: $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children. Find out more information about the event here. LASM is at 100 S. River Road.

Let your children enjoy culinary fun at Santa’s Kitchen Saturday 

Bring your kiddos to the Baton Rouge Marriott this 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.

The first time slot starts at 8:30 a.m. and the last one begins at 2:45 p.m. Tickets are $50 for each child, but accompanying parents do not need to purchase tickets. Find tickets and more information here. The Baton Rouge Marriott is at 5500 Hilton Ave.

Finish your holiday shopping and have some festive family fun in Central Saturday 

Join the Central Chamber of Commerce of Commerce for an evening of shopping and holiday-themed activities this Saturday, Dec. 4.

The Central Chamber of Commerce is bringing back its popular shopping event “Shop the Square” for the holidays. Various local vendors will set up shop tents around the area for guests to browse and purchase gifts. There will also be plenty of family-friendly activities, and you can get a bite from local food trucks parked at the event. There will be a tree lighting and fireworks show to end the night. 

“Shop the Square” is from 3-6 p.m. with the tree lighting at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to all ages. Find out more information about the event here. “Shop the Square” will be at 13567 Hooper Road in Central.

Try a unique holiday experience at the LSU Rural Life Museum Sunday

Take a trip back to the 19th century with the LSU Rural Life Museum’s “A Rural Life Christmas” this 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. 

“A Rural Life Christmas” is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10, but children under the age of 10 get in free. For more information, head over to the LSU Rural Life Museum’s website. The museum is at 4560 Essen Lane.