Start with joyful parades and a fireworks show, add one million radiant lights and a visit to Santa’s Christmas Village, and you’ve got the makings of an unforgettable holiday season. This is just a taste of what awaits during Monroe-West Monroe’s Christmas on the River, a month-long celebration of the most wonderful time of the year. Family-friendly events and attractions, more than 30 antique shops and trendy boutiques and plenty of chances to visit with Santa Claus mean these sister cities have something to offer just about anyone. If you’re looking for a magical holiday getaway that your whole family will love, visit Monroe-West Monroe.
To help you get the most out of your stay here, we’ve put together seven of the top ways to enjoy the season. Of course, there’s far more going on than what we have here, so check out our calendar of events so you don’t miss out.
Christmas on the River Festival Weekend
Watch as festive holiday parades march by, enjoy a spectacular fireworks display from the banks of the Ouachita River and take in all the other yuletide cheer of Christmas on the River's Festival Weekend (Dec. 4-6). Full of one event after another over three days, Monroe-West Monroe is the best place to be to kick off your holiday season. The party starts with Festival Weekend! Start your day off with the annual Christmas on the River 5K. Then head to Bawcomville for the annual Redneck Parade (Dec. 5), a procession of redneck-themed floats that throw beads, toys and other surprises. If that isn’t enough for you, The Kiwanis Club of Greater Ouachita Christmas Parade (Dec. 5) brings festive cheer to downtown Monroe and West Monroe.
These parades will keep you busy, yet they are just a small part of all the holiday revelry you'll find here. The Downtown West Monroe Fireworks Extravaganza (Dec. 5) brightens the night sky with an epic light show, while Twin City Ballet (Dec. 5) takes over the Monroe Civic Center with live performances, decorations, and more!
With a full stocking's worth of things to see and do during Christmas on the River's Festival Weekend, it's the ideal time to visit Monroe-West Monroe this holiday season.
Santa’s Christmas Village
While it's always great to meet Santa Claus, how often do you get the chance to visit his Christmas Village? Step into this winter wonderland and you'll be making ornaments, decorating cookies and riding down Mount Sneaux in no time. Take your time as you admire the outdoor light show and the Coca-Cola Christmas Village train exhibit, and let your kids share what they want for Christmas with Santa. Held from Nov. 21 to Dec. 23 at the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum, Santa's Christmas Village is a must visit during your holiday retreat in Monroe-West Monroe.
Candy Cane Lane
It's not the holiday season without Christmas lights, and Candy Cane Lane is where you'll want to be. Cruise the one-mile-long route and you'll see more than one million shining lights arranged in a variety of jaw-dropping displays, including a lighted tunnel you can drive through. Sip a hot cocoa and enjoy the show in one of the most unique Christmas attractions around. Want to see it all for yourself? Head to Calhoun from Nov. 13 – Jan 2 from 6 – 10 p.m. for a fun night out.
Open Air Wagon Rides Through the Lights
As majestic as Candy Cane Lane is, it’s not the only place where you can marvel at Christmas Lights. Climb aboard Landry Vineyards’ open-air wagon and embark on a 30-minute tour of Monroe and West Monroe’s shining lights. These jaunts through downtown West Monroe start at 5 p.m. on every Friday and Saturday night from Nov. 28 to Dec. 20. Although the lights will bring you to the downtown area, you’ll want to stick around to experience the rest the area has to offer. Take in the sights, do some Christmas shopping, and get your fill at one of the many nearby restaurants.
Holiday Outdoor Movies
What could be better than watching one of your favorite Christmas movies in Antique Alley under the magical Christmas lights? The Holiday Outdoor Movies are free for everyone! Dates for this years movies are November 28 and December 12!
Find the perfect gifts for your friends and family while shopping in Monroe-West Monroe. Visit Antique Alley, a shopping district located in Downtown West Monroe with antique shops and trendy boutiques. Stop by the Christmas Market for a unique shopping experience with local vendors while enjoying fun events throughout the season. And of course, check out the great holiday sales at Pecanland Mall.
Christmas at Kiroli
Celebrate Christmas at Kiroli Park this holiday season. Enjoy a walk-through Christmas light displays, hot cocoa, smores, and holiday activities! The entire family is sure to love this event. Christmas at Kiroli dates are December 18-19 and 21-22.
Whether you’re traveling with your family or you simply want to experience the magic of the holiday season, visit Monroe-West Monroe for Christmas on the River. Plan your stay here.