Visiting Baton Rouge during any time of the year is a wonderful experience, but visiting during the holidays is nothing short of magical. The Capital City comes alive with decor and wonder, and although it doesn't get too cold here, our winter festivities still amaze.
We're sharing a few of the most festive ways to enjoy Christmas in Baton Rouge:
1. Downtown Baton Rouge Christmas Parade and Festival of Lights
Christmas festivities kick off with the lighting of the Christmas tree in Town Square during the annual Festival of Lights in Baton Rouge. This event is a favorite of locals and visitors, and features beautiful Christmas décor, a snow village, a magical train ride at the Old Governor’s Mansion, a visit from Santa at the Old State Capitol, Reindeer Run and more!
Then, don't miss the annual Christmas Parade downtown that winds through the city spreading Christmas cheer with floats, local marching bands, dancers and yes of course, Santa!
2. Local Holiday Performances
Favorite Christmas tales come to life at theaters in Baton Rouge during the holidays. Our local version of the Nutcracker: "The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou" is performed annually by the Baton Rouge Ballet Theater. The distinct Louisiana twists makes for a beautiful rendition of the classic story. Show-lovers can also see the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" at Theater Baton Rouge, or the musical performance "K-Love Christmas" at the River Center for a night of Christmas favorites and top hits from the artists you love!
3. Kids Christmas Activities
Those traveling with family members of all ages can enjoy holiday activities for children in Baton Rouge such as gingerbread house decorating, ice skating, holiday storybook readings and movie viewings, Christmas cookie baking with Santa, ornament crafting, and more. As a special holiday treat this year, kids from all over are coming in their best Christmas outfits and PJs to visit the KCS Holiday Express Train during its stop in Baton Rouge!
4. Christmas "Spectaculars"
We have an uncountable number of Holiday events in Baton Rouge, but not all earn the title of spectacular! Annual events such as LSU's Holiday Spectacular, Reflections of the Season, A Rural Life Christmas are three favorites that if in town for them, we urge you to experience. LSU's Holiday Spectacular is the free Christmas festival for the state's flagship university where the lighting of the campus tree takes place along with choir performances and other holiday fun. Just over the river, Reflections of the Season is an event like no other. Enjoy all the traditional Christmas activities like holiday lights, pictures with santa, fair rides, and crafts, and then some! Travel back in time and experience the Rural Life Museum's Christmas event, A Rural Life Christmas, with musical groups, demonstrating artisans, storytellers, costumed re-enactors a bonfire with a visit from Papa Noel!
5. See the Lights
Baton Rouge has many Christmas light displays and shows set up through out the city. Make an evening of it and visit multiple along the way, or pass by one on your way home from dinner before you wait for Santa to arrive. This year we have the opening of the new Shadrack Christmas Wonderland drive-through light show just outside of Baton Rouge and it is a must-visit.
6. Specialty Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinners
Spend more time enjoying each other during the holidays and less time in the kitchen! Many restaurants in Baton Rouge offer special holiday hours and reservations even for large parties. Some local establishments feature Christmas menus with courses of all your traditional favorites, and some offer menus with a modern twist, waving the usual holiday flavors.
The holidays are a special time and we hope your trip to Baton Rouge is unforgetable. For more things to do during Christmas or to learn more about our holiday traditions in Baton Rouge, click here! If you're lucky enough to stay through New Years, be sure to attend Red Stick Revelry on New Years Eve, where at midnight fireworks light up the sky and the famed Red Stick drops! Then, you can't go home empty-handed from a trip! Share the flavor of the city with your family and friends by bringing home one of these Baton Rouge products for them to enjoy. And more importantly than sharing gifts, share what a wonderful time you had in Baton Rouge so your friends and family will want to make the trip with you next year!