five children kneel around a small christmas tree
Photo from Kennedy Krieger Institute's Facebook page.

Kennedy Krieger Institute‘s 34th Annual Festival of Trees will take place at the Cow Palace of the Maryland State Fairgrounds from Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 26.

The three days of holiday fun for children and families promises to be a tinsel-tinted whirlwind of trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses. The celebration benefits patients, students, and programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute, and will usher in the holiday season.

“Hundreds of designer-decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses will be on sale and present throughout the Cow Palace, which will be converted into a dazzling winter wonderland for the weekend,” read the press release announcing the event. “The magic is back this year with holiday vendors, rides for kids, carnival games, face painting, craft making, and all the trimmings for a fun-filled family weekend that benefits a great cause.”

The extensive entertainment lineup will include story time, entertainers like Milkshake, a cappella group The C. Miltones, the White Marsh Ballet Academy, and much more. Big band music, Tae Kwan Do demonstrations, magicians, and comedians will also grace the stages to delight audiences at the festival.

Of course, Santa will be making an appearance on each of the days to hear the holiday wishes of the children eager to share them.

There are rides, games, activities and crafts to be enjoyed, like a fun house, a train ride, carnival games, cookie decorating, a train ride, a remote control race track, and much more.

In addition to being able to purchase one-of-a-kind trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses, there will be vendors of all kinds. Choose from children’s toys, clothing, gourmet food items, home décor, jewelry, gifts for Fido and other pets, among many other choices.

Kennedy Krieger Institute’s first Festival of Trees was held in December 1990 in the Convention Center in downtown Baltimore. The festival moved in 1994 to the Maryland State Fairgrounds, allowing it to expand substantially in size, offer light rail access, free parking, and more visitors. It’s now the largest holiday event of its kind on the East Coast.

The website says, though, “Although Festival of Trees has evolved and grown over the years, the core mission of the event has stayed the same: to raise funds for children with disabilities, and their families, served by Kennedy Krieger Institute and to continue to increase awareness of the Institute’s work by creating a spectacular event for the greater Baltimore community to enjoy.”

Kennedy Krieger Institute’s 34th Annual Festival of Trees will take place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds is located at 2200 York Road, Timonium, Maryland.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $20, and children ages 4 and under get in for free.

To purchase tickets, please click this link.

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