Santa Claus waves to attendees of the 2021 Mayor’s Christmas Parade. Photo by Buckleman Photography.

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, the winter holiday season is fully upon us. This weekend brings a whole lot of holiday events (and some non-holiday-related ones too) to illuminate, enlighten, and inspire joy for you.

From the lightings of monuments and trees, to parades (on land and water), this weekend is shaping up to be a fun one, Baltimore!

Check out this weekend’s lineup:

Day With(out) Art, Thursday, Dec. 1, noon to 7 p.m., Baltimore Museum of Art. World AIDS Day is commemorated on Dec. 1. Baltimore Museum of Art has partnered with Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art 2022 to present “Being & Belonging,” a program of seven short videos featuring the stories of artists living with HIV.

Washington Monument Lighting, Thursday, Dec. 1, event starts at 5 p.m., lighting at 8 p.m., Washington Monument, Mount Vernon Place. The lighting of the Baltimore’s Washington Monument marks the start of the winter holiday season here in Charm City. Catch the beautiful lighting, fireworks display, and performances by local musicians. Read all about it in this Baltimore Fishbowl article.

Lightwire, Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., Lyric Baltimore. When a family of birds flies south for the winter, a young bird named Max gets blown off course. He ends up at the North Pole, where he joins dancing toy soldiers, caroling worms and performing poinsettias in this light-filled show.

Godfather in Concert, Thursday, Dec. 1, Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform Nino Rota’s score from “The Godfather,” which turned 50 this year. Fans of the 1972 film by Francis Ford Coppola will enjoy hearing the music live and watching it on the big screen.

County Tree Lighting, Friday, Dec. 2, 6-7:30 p.m. Baltimore County will light its Christmas tree at Olympian Park. Snap some free pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, sip free hot chocolate, and get treats and giveaways.

Indie Video Game Concert, Friday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Sollers Point Multipurpose Center. If you’re a fan of independent video games — and the music that brings them to life — look no further than the Baltimore Gamer Symphony Orchestra’s “Oops, All Indies” concert. Admission is free. The performance will feature music from games like Hades, Paradise Killer, Myst, and more. Can’t make it to the show this Friday? There will be another performance Dec. 10.

A Christmas Carol, Friday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m., Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production of “A Christmas Carol” opens this week. Enjoy the Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic with a Baltimore twist now through Dec. 23.

Krampuslauf, Saturday, Dec. 3, 3-8 p.m., Peabody Heights Brewery. You may be accustomed to visits from Santa Claus or St. Nicholas this time of year, but have you heard of Krampus? The hairy, horned demon, who is part of the winter holiday folklore of central European countries, delivers spankings to punish misbehaving children. Baltimore’s Krampuslauf celebration will feature Krampus and company parading through Waverly and Charles Village, food, drinks, games, activities, and more. Read all about it in this Baltimore Fishbowl article.

Candy Lane, Saturday, Dec. 3, Center Plaza, One Charles Center, 100 N. Charles St. The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s Candy Lane opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 16. Take holiday photos with a candy stick forest, 30-foot ice cream cones, lights, and festive Christmas décor. Plus, enjoy nightly holiday entertainment. Read more about it in this Baltimore Fishbowl article.

Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, Dec. 3, 4:30-8 p.m., Anchorage Marina. Make your way down to the Canton waterfront to behold the lighted boat parade. The tree lighting and other holiday activities will begin at 5 p.m. on P pier. Attendees are encouraged to bring toy donations for the Exchange Club of Highlandtown-Canton.

MICA Art Market Pop-Up, Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Brown Center, 301 W. Mount Royal Ave. Peruse crafts at MICA’s three-floor holiday market with more than 200 participants. Items will include paintings, prints, scarves, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, and more. A bed-sized quilt, created by the MICA Quilt Raffle Club, will also be raffled off to raise funds for student scholarships. This free event is the first MICA Art Market since before the pandemic.

Mayor’s Christmas Parade, Sunday, Dec. 4, 1 p.m., Hampden, Medfield, Hoes Heights. ‘Tis the season for the Mayor’s Christmas Parade. Watch the parade of floats featuring elected officials, local media personalities, businesses, and community groups. The parade will run down Falls Road from Coldspring Lane and turn onto West 36th Street.

Observatory Lights, Sunday, Dec. 4, 4-6:30 p.m., The Observatory at Patterson Park. Watch The Observatory get lit up for the winter holiday season at 6 p.m. Leading up to the lighting, listen to live music, snack on food from vendors and trucks, shop for gifts from local vendors, meet Santa and other holiday characters, and more, starting at 4 p.m. Donate an unwrapped toy to the Exchange Club of Highlandtown-Canton’s toy drive and/or used sports equipment for Leveling The Playing Field’s collection box.

Dinosaurs Exhibit, Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Maryland Zoo. The last day of the Maryland Zoo’s “Dinosaurs” exhibit is this Sunday, so be sure to check out the prehistoric creatures while you can. Named the 2022 Best of Baltimore winner for Best Kids’ Exhibit, the exhibit features life-size, animatronic dinosaurs like velociraptors, triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex, and more, created by Dino Don Inc.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at

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