As we head into what promises to be a long Christmas weekend, you'll no doubt be looking for places to take family and friends for holiday events.

Here is a pretty complete list for, not just the Lake Area, but throughout the region of great Christmas sights and sounds!

You'll find some great events for kids of all ages in and around the Lake Area. In a few cases, links have been provided for more information.

Pictures with Santa: Through Dec. 24 at the Sears Court of the Prien Lake Mall in Lake Charles.

Winter Wonderland Ice Rink: Through Jan. 1 at L'Auberge Casino Resort. Sessions are $15 for a 3-hour session. Tickets may be purchased at Desserts, the Rink Grill, Legends or Ticketmaster. For a calendar of open hours for the skating rink or for more information on the event, visit .

Snow Village exhibit: Through Dec. 31 in the Gibson-Barham Gallery at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum in Lake Charles. For more information, call 337-439-3797.

Christmas Card Workshop: Through Dec. 23 at Historic City Hall in Lake Charles. All ages are welcome to write letters to Santa, which will be sent directly to the North Pole. The Calcasieu Council on Aging will distribute the handmade Christmas cards to area nursing home residents throughout Calcasieu Parish. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sat. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 337-491-9147.

J & R Carriages Christmas Light Rides: Through Dec. 31 on Shell Beach Drive in Lake Charles. J & R Carriages offers evening Christmas light carriage rides along Shell Beach Drive. Reservations required. For more information, call 337-842-0778 or visit . Last time we checked, the carriage rides were pretty booked up, so you might want to call and make a reservation. Most open rides will be after 10 p.m. , but the ride is more than worth it!!

Children's Museum Holiday Art Activities: Dec. 20, 21, 22, 26, 27 and 28 at The Children's Museum in Lake Charles. Enjoy Christmas readings at 11 a.m. and ArtSpace activities at noon and 12:30 p.m. For more information, call 337-433-9420 or visit .

Children's Museum Meet Santa: Dec. 22 at 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Children's Museum in Lake Charles. Ornament making will be available in ArtSpace throughout the day. For more information, call 337-433-9420 or visit .


Christmas in Crowley: Lights to Music Spectacular: Through Jan. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to midnight at City Hall, located at 425 N Parkerson. Holiday light displays will be synced to music on radio station 93.3 FM.


Christmas at the Railroad Museum: Through Dec. 31 at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum. The event will feature thousands of exterior lights, a laser show and multiple indoor trees. Night tours are available by reservation. For more information, call 337-786-2823 or visit .


Festival of Lights: Through Jan. 6, 2013 in the Historic District along the Cane River Lake in Natchitoches. Event will feature numerous Christmas light displays and carriage rides, and shops and restaurants will be open late. For a complete schedule of events or for more information, visit .


5th Annual Trees of Hope Charity Tree Decorating Contest: Through Dec. 21 at the Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel in Vinton. Delta Downs invites the public to come and vote on local charities' unique Christmas tree decorations as they compete for a share of $10,000 in cash. Awards ceremony is Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 800-589-7441 or visit .


Lights at Hodges: Hodges Gardens State Park will be lighted with thousands of lights through Dec. 30. For more information, click HERE. Admission to the park after 5 p.m. is $1.