The Christmas Village in Baltimore will be back in the Inner Harbor starting Thanksgiving, with a preview weekend Nov. 18-19. Photo by Christina Kalff.
The Christmas Village in Baltimore will be back in the Inner Harbor starting Thanksgiving, with a preview weekend Nov. 18-19. Photo by Christina Kalff.

The Christmas Village in Baltimore is celebrating its 10th year at the Inner Harbor with returning favorites and new additions for the 2023 holiday season.

A preview will take place Nov. 18-19, while the grand opening for the season will be on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) and the Christmas Village will remain open until Christmas Eve.

Certain favorites will return, including the 30-foot-tall Christmas pyramid, the 65-foot-tall illuminated Ferris wheel, and the Christmas Village carousel.

New for this year will be the largest footprint ever, to include the most vendors in the market’s history all along the Inner Harbor Promenade. Also new will be a “winter Wundur holiday” cocktail bar, new holiday slushies, and first ever signature holiday cocktails.

“Christmas Village will debut the Winter Wunder Bar featuring alpine ski hut vibes and the Village’s first-ever menu of signature holiday cocktails and frozen slushies. After the popular slushies at Wine Village’s debut in spring, Christmas Village itself will introduce a whole new menu collection with hot, cold and frozen favorites that are both delicious and picturesque. Winter Wunder Bar will be located outdoors next to the Käthe Wohlfahrt Tent and the Christmas Village Carousel,” reads the press release announcing the details of the celebration.

Christmas Village is also introducing new vegan options and Vegan Wurst Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m. as brand new this year, along with five new sausages for the carnivores in attendance.

The village’s shopping hours will stretch later into the evening than previous years, giving attendees more time to enjoy vendors and lights after work. The tree will be in a new location as well, this year, at Rash Field Park.

Other highlights will include Glühwein (mulled wine), an open-air Bratwurst Grill, a large outdoor seating area, the Hofbrau Beergarden, appearances by Gingy the Gingerbread Man, and themed weekends with live entertainment.

If you’re a foodie, you can look forward to Raclette Cheese sandwiches, bacon on a stick, wine and beer tastings, spirits tastings, and more.

“For tastings, wine enthusiasts should come ready to unwind and savor the taste of perfection at weekly wine tasting events in partnership with long time partner Boordy Vineyards!” reads the press release. “Tastings are every Thirsty Thursday (November 30th, December 7th, 14th and 21st) from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. They are perfect for the wine novice to the wine connoisseur – and those looking for a charming evening out (including a date night). Tickets will soon go on sale for the 2023 season. Stay tuned for social media for early bird specials!”

“This time of year on the Baltimore Waterfront is truly magical,” said Nancy Schmalz, Project Manager of Christmas Village. “We are honored to be a cherished part of Charm City and are excited to expand this year, offering new vendor locations for our visitors to explore. Our team is proud to be part of such a great community and we are grateful for your continued support over the years. Food lovers can rejoice as we prepare to surprise your taste buds with delightful dishes. Our menu features juicy Bratwurst along with an expanded selection of sausages at the “Best of Wurst” booth, including new creations like spicy Bratwurst, Currywurst, Hofbräu Beer braised Brat, Weisswurst, and the Käse Krainer, as well as returning favorites such as potato pancakes, Raclette cheese sandwiches, and mouth-watering bacon on a stick! We can’t wait to share in the holiday spirit with you and raise a toast to the joy of the season with a warm mug of Glühwein. Thank you for being a part of our Christmas Village family.”

During a German American Weekend, celebrate German culture and traditions with Oktoberfest-style competitions, like Bierstein lifting (Bierkrugstemmen), a Bratwurst Eating Contest, and pretzel catching (Brezelschnappen).

There will also be family weekend, as well as a tree lighting, Christkind ceremony, and a birthday party for Gingy the Gingerbread Man.

Catch special events on the following dates and times:

  • Christmas Village Tree Lighting Ceremony: Saturday, Nov. 18, 4:15 p.m.
  • Christmas Village Christkind Ceremony, Saturday, Nov. 25, 4 p.m.
  • German American Weekend, Saturday, Dec. 2, starting 12 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3, starting 2 p.m.
  • Family Weekend, Saturday, Dec. 9, starting 12 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, starting 12 p.m.
  • Gingy the Gingerbread Man’s 10th Birthday Bash, Saturday, Dec. 16, 12 p.m.

As for gifts, be prepared to be tempted by toys, apparel, jewelry, decorations, home décor, artwork, and much more. Businesses joining the Village for the first year include Chocoidea, Lucky Bat Paper Co., Everlands Everything LLC., and Wildry.

There are even treats for your canine friends. “For furry companions, well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome to visit Christmas Village both outside and inside most of the giant heated tent. Discover the local Maryland based kitchen My Canine Cucina and their specially prepared, natural, and wholesome dog food and treats, made with locally sourced ingredients from Harford County and surrounding areas. Look for additional dog-oriented vendors to also be announced. Plus, watch for a roster of dog events with local partners coming soon.”

The outdoor area of Christmas Village is free to the public. Admission to the heated festival tent is free on Preview Weekend (November 18-19) and all weekdays.  For remaining weekends, tickets for the tent are required, and are $5 for adults (18 and older) and free for kids under 18. All purchased tickets act as a holiday season pass, allowing visitors to return anytime throughout the season without paying admission again.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continuous growth of our event. Christmas Village welcomes so many returning visitors, who come to indulge in the shopping, food, mulled wine, and decorations,” Schmalz said. “With tickets serving as a season pass, visitors can easily return and be a part of this holiday tradition, which originated in my home country. The Christmas Village is a symbol of the holiday season, and our goal is to share this tradition with as many families as possible. This is our heartfelt gift to our loyal families and fans, as well as new visitors seeking to create unforgettable memories.”

Christmas Village dates for the 2023 season are listed below:

  • Preview Weekend: Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19
  • First Day: Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving)
  • Last Day: Sunday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve)
  • Closed: Nov. 20, 21, 22, 27, and 28; and Dec. 4, 5, 11, and 12.

The Christmas Village will be open during the following hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday, 12-8 p.m.
  • Friday to Saturday, 12-9 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving Day, 12-5 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve, 12-5 p.m.

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