The Snow Village is one of the many events taking place during the Festival of Lights on December 3. Photo courtesy Downtown Development District.

Holly jolly holiday happenings in downtown Baton Rouge this season

The Christmas season has just begun, which means Baton Rougeans are gearing up for nightly events and celebrations before the big night of December 24 arrives. From sales to sparkling lights, here are some holiday happenings to catch in the downtown area over the next few weeks:

Photo courtesy LSU Museum Store

LSU Museum Store Holiday Shopping Event & Book Signing | December 3 | Noon to 8 p.m.

For its 17th year, the LSU Museum Store attached to the Shaw Center of the Arts will host its annual holiday shopping event, where you can find local artwork and gifts galore. Stop by to shop and enter to win raffle prizes, as well as to receive 20% off one item, excluding sale merchandise. From 5 to 7 p.m., local photographer–and regular inRegister contributor!–Jenn Ocken will be on hand to sign copies of her book of photography and stories, Shut the Front Door!

Photo courtesy Downtown Development District

Festival of Lights | December 3 | 4 to 8 p.m.

Head for 222 North Blvd. this Friday for Baton Rouge’s transformation into a winter wonderland. After traversing the Art Council’s booth spaces filled with art and gifts, playing in the Snow Village and ice skating at the River Center, stick around until 6 p.m. for Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s lighting of the giant Christmas tree in the North Boulevard Town Square.

Photo by Kelli Bozeman

First Presbyterian’s Live Nativity | December 3 | 5 p.m.

Kick off the Christmas season at First Presbyterian’s Terraced Garden to see the story of Jesus’ birth come to life, complete with shepherds, wise men and heavenly angels. Then, stick around to browse artworks inspired by the ancient “O” prayers that lay the groundwork for the church’s Advent celebration this year. At 7 p.m. in the main sanctuary, the Foto Sisters will give a free concert with special guest Michael O’Brien.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

A Very Merry Museum | December 4 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is ramping up a kid-friendly good time at its 3rd annual holiday event, this time including ornament-making, a scavenger hunt, holiday-themed planetarium shows Let it Snow and The Star of Bethlehem, giveaways, an appearance from a holiday-themed Cocoa-Cola truck, and a special 3 p.m. showing of The Polar Express in the planetarium (pajamas welcome!). All activities are included with regular museum admission prices.

Photo by Osman Sharif

Civic Orchestra of Baton Rouge + Isaac Bustos & Alejandro Montiel | December 4 | 3 p.m.

The River Center Branch Library will play host to a free Spanish classical concert this holiday season weekend, courtesy of the Civic Orchestra of Baton Rouge. Listen closely and you’ll get to hear the rarely performed “Concierto Madrigal” by Joaquin Rodrigo, featuring classical guitarists Isaac Bustos and Alejandro Montiel of the Texas Guitar Quartet.

Photo courtesy Cortana Kiwanis

Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade | December 11 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.

After last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19 safety concerns, this annual Christmas parade will once again roll through downtown Baton Rouge. Arrive early at 4 p.m. to catch the Battle of the Bands, and make sure you view the parade route here.