Bring On the Best Baltimore Holiday Events
Frost greets us each morning, along with a Caramel Brulée Latte at our local coffee shop. It must be the holiday season, and we can’t wait to dive into Baltimore holiday events.
Baltimore, Maryland, also known as Charm City, has quietly become a powerhouse of holiday magic in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. While most visitors will stick to the ice rink and German Christmas market near the Inner Harbor, it’s all about the neighborhoods for us.
So, once you’ve had your fill of the harbor, and we’ve got nothing against the Baltimore Inner Harbor, dive into the local scene. Catch one of the best Christmas Streets on the East Coast, learn the history of Baltimore’s neighborhoods, and join in fun as Santa does a little the tap dancing.
Ice Rink at the Inner Harbor
Dates: Mid-November to Mid-January
You can’t celebrate the holidays and NOT go ice skating. Strap on your own skates or pick up some rentals, pay the nominal admission fee and tap your inner Olympian. Who knows, you may be doing triple axels before the end of the season. But please don’t try without supervision (or travel insurance!). Hot beverages are available onsite and pair perfectly with those gorgeous harbor views we know and love.
Baltimore German Christmas Village
Dates: Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve
West Shore Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor turns into an authentic German Christmas Village every Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Not everyone can get to the Christkindl Market in Germany, which is why the city wanted to bring a little bit of that European holiday magic right to you.
The village combines outdoor and indoor spaces (phew! We all won’t freeze), featuring traditional German-style wooden huts, vendors selling European food and beverages (plus a beer garden!), and unique holiday trinkets and gifts. Festive lights, a big Christmas tree, gingerbread and mulled wine are sure to put any Scrooge in the holiday spirit.
Old Tyme Christmas in Fells Point
Dates: First Weekend in December
Eggnog contest– Do we really need to say more? Head to one of Baltimore’s most historic neighborhoods to start off the holiday season as Santa arrives via boat (yes, a boat), to say hello to all the good little boys and girls (don’t worry- he likes the naughty ones too).
Parents will want to pop into the Sagamore Pendry for a cocktail while the kids wait for a photo with Santa. Relax for a moment as you listen to carolers stroll through Broadway Square. End your day with the lighting of the tree and the Parade of Lighted Boats that make two laps around the Inner Harbor.
Holly Jolly Trolley Lights Tour
Dates: select dates in December
Think you know Charm City? If you watched the Wire, you know nothing. Hop aboard an old trolley to get to know the a few of the real neighborhoods of Baltimore. This Holly Jolly Trolley Lights Tour will take you on a two-hour journey through Harbor East, Fells Point and Canton, sharing a bit of the history and holiday magic in each neighborhood.
You will then drive over to Hampden for the spectacular 34th Street Annual Christmas Festival of Lights. Enjoy the lights and décor of the season, along with an outdoor train garden and original artwork by local artists. And yes, you can get off the trolley to explore for a bit.
As you head back to the Inner Harbor, you will pass the Mount Vernon neighborhood, where the George Washington Monument has been all dressed up for the season. Book tickets ahead of time, as earlier tours do sell out quickly, especially on weekends.
Miracle on 34th Street
Dates: Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day
For those who don’t want to take the trolley tour, you can still experience the light-tacular awesomeness that is the 34th Street Annual Christmas Festival of Lights in Baltimore, MD.
The Hampden neighborhood likes to really show off by plugging in every strand of lights they can get their hands on up and down, and across, 34th Street. A Musical train, snow globes, blinking angels, bikes, pans and other wonderful lawn ornaments are sure to impress on a chilly date night or family outing.
Just make sure you look up where to park ahead of time. This is a street you should plan on strolling, not drive down. Wear layers and bring a latte to stay warm.
Tap-dancing Santas and a Sing-A-Long—what more could you want during the holiday season? Enjoy a date night or bring the whole family to experience classic holiday tunes from A Christmas Carol, Frozen and The Sound of Music with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Choral Arts Society.
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall is transformed into a festive winter wonderland. Shop for ornaments, eat a few holiday cookies and enjoy pre-concert performances you aren’t going to want to miss.
Harbor Point Ice Festival
After you’ve opened the presents and trimmed the tree, bundle up the family and head back out to Harbor Point for some truly chilly art. Stand back as ice sculptures wield chainsaws and chisels to transform that ordinary block of ice into dinosaurs, dragons and princesses to line the walkways. Dance to live music while you munch on a few goodies from the food vendors. Who said nothing fun happens after the holidays? Not when you visit Baltimore!
Photo credits: Christmas Village in Baltimore, Waterfront Partnership and Visit Baltimore
Keryn is a freelance writer, content creator, brand ambassador, local TV contributor and digital strategy consultant. Her work has been featured in Thrillist, Travel Age West, and other publications looking for authentic, well-written content. She is also the founder of WalkingOnTravels.com, a site for the active, adventurous parent.
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