The 10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore Over the Holidays

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There is so much to do over the holidays in Baltimore.  See our picks — some we’ve done, some we’ve always wanted to do — to make the most out of the season.  Did we leave anything out?  Add your suggestions in the comments.

  1. Monument Lighting

George Washington Monument Lighting

Don’t miss the annual lighting of the Washington Monument on Dec. 3 starting at 5 p.m. at Mount Vernon Place.  This year’s event includes fun for kids, food and drink for adults and live music.  Kick-off the holiday season with this uniquely Baltimore event, the first monument lighting since the monument was restored and improved last summer.

2. The Miracle on 34th Street and the Holly Jolly Trolley Tour

34th Street in Hampden

From now until January 1, dusk until 11 p.m., residents light up 34th Street in Hampden in a bright and cheerful display known all over the world.  Check it out on a weeknight to avoid lines or visit the street on the The Holly Jolly Trolley Tour (pick up at Baltimore Marriott Waterfront). The Holly Jolly Trolley runs Dec. 4 -Jan. 3, and will take you on a tour of Baltimore’s most decorated neighborhoods, including Hampden, and departs at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

3. The Inner Harbor Ice Rink

Baltimore winter ice rink 2015

Turn-off the continuous loop of cable holiday flicks and get the family outdoors and active with a visit to the The Inner Harbor Ice Rink, at the corner of Pratt and Light Streets at the top of the Harborplace Amphitheater.  Organizers have planned holiday-themed special events, discounts and deals, and even skating classes at the rink.  Open hours are Mondays, 3:00-7:00 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays, 3:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. through Monday, January 18.  Admission is $9 for adults, and $7 for children, seniors and members of the military. Skate rental is $4, or bring your own.

4. The Mayor’s Christmas Parade

The flyer says it all.

5. Christmas Village


An outdoor and indoor holiday market at West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor, Christmas Village models itself  after the traditional Christmas markets in Germany like the famous Christkindl Market in Nuremberg.

From now through December 27, 2015 vendors in more than 60 booths sell traditional European food, sweets and drinks, and offer international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry and arts and crafts. Thousands of lights, a huge Christmas Tree, the smell of waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst and mulled wine will get you and your family into the holiday spirit. Open Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

6. The Train Garden at the Shops at Kenilworth


From now until January 8, head to Towson’s Kenilworth Mall to see the spectacular train garden that features model trains, animation and characters from Minions to Scooby Doo.

Free and open to the public, the trains operate during mall hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sundays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

7. Moscow Ballet performance of The Nutcracker at the Hippodrome


Featuring spectacular sets and ornately costumed Russian dancers, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker will be performed Dec. 18 and 19 only at the Hippodrome. Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet is always a special holiday treat for kids and adults.

8. Polar Express in 4-D at the National Aquarium


The Aquarium’s 4-D Immersion Theater brings “The Polar Express” to life, as a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The theater is equipped with 4-D, combining the drama of a 3-D film with special sensory effects that will allow visitors to get close to the sights, smells, and sounds of the action.

Shows daily from now until  January 3, 2016.

9. MICA Art Market


Fine art and handmade objects by approximately 275 MICA students, alumni, faculty and staff will be on sale. Original gifts include jewelry, illustrations, paintings, prints, posters, sculptures, mosaics, stationery, T-shirts, ceramics, book arts, toys and wrapping paper. Artists and designers will be there to talk about their work with visitors.The event is sponsored by the MICA Alumni Association. A portion of the proceeds goes toward scholarships for MICA students.  Wednesday, Dec. 9 – Friday, Dec. 11 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12  from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

10. The Christmas Story in Art

Walters Christmas

In the spirit of the season, take a tour of religious art that celebrates the story of Christmas. The tour will feature Renaissance and Baroque paintings depicting the birth of Christ.

On December 13 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy a tour of the collection with a museum-trained docent. No reservations are required. Just walk in.


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  1. Great holiday celebrations in Baltimore! Thank you. Please remember
    a Baltimore tradition, the Poinsettia Show at the Rawlings Conservatory
    and Botanic Gardens in historic Druid Hill Park. “Wilderness Wonderland”
    runs Saturday, December 5, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Wednesday-
    Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Closed Friday, December 25. SANTA visits
    on Sunday, December 6, 1-3 pm. A $ 5.00 donation per person is requested. Free parking right outside the Conservatory. Beautiful
    poinsettias for sale. More information visit . Happy Holidays!

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