The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights


Discover the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights, a captivating journey through central and north Louisiana cities, each offering their own unique holiday entertainment. Experience the magic of Natchitoches’ legendary Christmas festival, a beloved tradition for fans of “Steel Magnolias” and holiday enthusiasts alike. Celebrating its 97th anniversary in 2023, this enchanting event boasts an impressive 300,000 twinkling lights, creating a stunning winter wonderland. But the holiday fun doesn’t stop there. Read on to see what else is trending.


Natchitoches Christmas Festival

Get ready for a festive season in Natchitoches! Join Miss Merry Christmas and the Belles as they light up the historic downtown and Cane River Lake with thousands of twinkling lights. From Thanksgiving until New Year’s, there’s something for everyone at the annual Christmas Festival through January 6th.


Don’t miss the dazzling fireworks, lighted boat parade, and Holiday Tour of Homes, exclusive events at the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Plus, experience Cookies with Santa, a holiday open house, and fireworks over Cane River Lake on Nov 18th, the official start to the Natchitoches Christmas season.

Make sure to come watch the Festival of Lights Parade and enjoy Mistletoe Market Dec 2nd. Mark your calendars and get ready to make lasting holiday memories in Natchitoches at Louisiana’s premiere holiday event!



Experience the magic of Central Louisiana, affectionately known as Cenla, this holiday season! From festive parades to enchanting ice skating, historic home tours to captivating art exhibitions, there’s something for everyone in the vibrant twin cities of Alexandria and Pineville.

For the ultimate holiday stay, we highly recommend the iconic Hotel Bentley. Nestled in the heart of downtown Alexandria, this century-old establishment boasts a magnificent lobby that will transport you to a bygone era.

During World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Louisiana maneuvers, adding to its storied legacy. Explore the lobby museum and discover the notable individuals who have graced the halls of the Bentley.

And if you’re craving more holiday cheer, be sure to visit the Holiday Light Safari on select nights in November and December at the Alexandria Zoo, or join in the festivities at Kent House, an authentic Creole plantation, circa 1796, prior to the Louisiana Purchase.

Make this holiday season one to remember in Central Louisiana. Adventure awaits in Cenla, where joy and enchantment abound.

Photo from Alexandria Zoo’s IG page.


Experience the magic of Historic Minden’s German heritage at the enchanting Old World Christmas celebration! Every Saturday night until New Year’s Day, immerse yourself in a charming holiday atmosphere, with a dazzling display of life-sized nutcrackers lining the streets.

Enjoy holiday specials in the downtown shops at Christmas Market on Main (including a hop on hayride) and pencil in the Minden Christmas Parade, with the lighting of the Christmas tree and fireworks. It also kicks off the Old World Christmas Lights Spectacular, nightly at dusk.

On Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights, eight towns, including Minden, celebrate all the joys of the holiday season.

Photo from Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights IG page.

Shreveport-Bossier City

Experience the magic of the twin cities along the enchanting Red River. From lively fireworks and parades to dynamic festivals in both the cities and surrounding towns, the options are endless.

First up is the extraordinary Christmas in Roseland, in its 40th year, where you can be amidst thousands of twinkling lights and stunning holiday displays adorning Shreveport’s magnificent American Rose Center. Throughout December, families can savor warm hot chocolate as they wander among acres of dormant rose bushes, immersing themselves in the breathtaking displays and oversized Christmas cards shared with the community. Key activities include Marshmallow station, a candlelight sing-a-long, and a nature ornament workshop.

Hop aboard the Roseland Express trains, indulge in nightly entertainment, and don’t forget to capture a cherished photo with Santa Claus himself, every night 6 to 9 PM.


Monroe-West Monroe

Experience the magic of the holiday season in Monroe, Louisiana, at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum’s Santa’s Christmas Village! From making ornaments to ice skating, your kids will have a blast. Plus, they can even send their letters to Santa at the Peppermint Post Office.

Don’t miss the breathtaking holiday decorations at the Biedenharn Museum. Experience Christmas Evenings and enjoy the sounds of local musicians while Santa makes a special appearance. And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out the Coca-Cola Museum next door! A Christmas Open House takes place November 30th through December 2nd.

A special Dolly, Teddy, and Me Christmas Tea is slated for December 3rd.

biedenhar- museum-teddy-bear-tea

This article was originally written by Cheré Coen in 2018. It has been updated by staff in 2023.

Read more about Louisiana: 

Amazing Dishes of Lake Charles

Exploring Louisiana Plantation Country

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