While the holiday season should be spent with family and friends, we understand that a lot has to happen before any relaxing can be done. Whether you’re baking, shopping, wrapping, or decorating, we’ve got the ultimate guide for all the holiday happenings in Baltimore.
Take a break from the chaos and see a show or grab a bite to eat while you’re shopping! Before you know it, the new year will be here. Soak up as much of the holidays in the city as you can.
Festive Holiday Events and Shows in Baltimore
There are a number of shows and events you can attend with family and friends this holiday season. You’ll have the opportunity to see amazing light shows, learn about the origins of holidays, and even pick up some treats along the way!
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will be performing a number of holiday shows this year, including “A Swinging’ Nutcracker!” “Handle Messiah,” “Cirque Nutcracker,” and “Holiday Pops.”
- Holiday Train Garden. Every year, families can stop by the Baltimore City Fire Department, Station 45, to view their holiday train garden.
- Holly Jolly Trolley. Hop on the Holly Jolly Trolley every Thursday-Sunday through January 3 from 6:30-8pm to see Baltimore’s most festive neighborhoods.
- Baltimore Chanukah Festival. Celebrate the start of Chanukah with this festival where there will be live music, kid’s activities, fireworks, and the lighting of Maryland’s largest menorah.
- The Chanukah House. Every year, the Chanukah House lights their menorah and provides a number of displays that people of all ages will love. If you’re looking to learn something new this holiday season, check this place out.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D. Stop by the National Aquarium to experience this holiday classic in immersive 4D.
- Lights on the Bay. From November 17 to January 1, 2019, you can take the whole family to see a nightly light show. They operate daily from 5-10pm. Check out their schedule for special events.
- Symphony of Lights. Beginning November 22 through December 30, you can drive through more than 100 light displays in Columbia. This event benefits the Howard County General Hospital.
- Townson Winterfest. Townson Winterfest is a month-long celebration that runs from November 23 to December 23. All month long you can attend tree lightings, celebrations with Santa, and a number of shopping and happy hour events.
- Miracle on 34th From November 24 to January 1, 2018, be sure to check out the city’s best display of Christmas spirit in Hampden.
- B&O’s Magical Holiday Express. From December 1-31, B&O Railroad Museum hosts a number of holiday events for people of all ages. Every weekend features a different theme, including Silver & Gold, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, and Let It Snow.
- Monument Lighting. The 47th annual Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting will take place on December 6 from 5 to 8pm. In addition to the lighting, there will be a holiday village, live performances, and a firework display.
- Holiday Candlelight Stroll. Annapolis Tours presents a festive one and a half hour walking tour where participants can learn about the origin of many holiday customs. Tours take place on a number of Fridays and Saturdays in December from 7-8:30pm.
- Parade of Lighted Boats. Bring the whole family to this annual event to admire the lighted vessels and the grand ornamental Christmas tree around Inner Harbor on December 1 from 6-8pm.
- Little Italy Christmas Tree Lighting. On December 1 at 7pm, a Christmas tree lighting will take place in Little Italy. There will also be caroling, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, Italian cookies, and an appearance by Santa.
- Mayor’s Christmas Parade. On December 2 at 1pm, the 46th Annual Major’s Christmas Parade, sponsored by community associations and businesses in North Baltimore’s Hampden and Medfield neighborhoods, will take off on its 2.5-mile route.
- A Christmas Carol. Take advantage of the multiple showing of “A Christmas Carol” from December 7-23 at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.
- 30th Annual Christmas Cookie Tour. Take a stroll through Union Square to visit the neighborhood’s National Register of Historic Places and munch on cookies as you pass through on December 13.
- Walk-in Tour: Christmas Story in Art. The Walters Art Museum will be providing a free Christmas-themed tour on December 16, from 1-2pm.
- Celebrate Kwanzaa. On December 16 at 6pm, the Enoch Pratt Free Library will be hosting an event presenting the principles of Kwanzaa.
Taste the Holidays at These Baltimore Bars & Restaurants
Whether you’re looking to have a unique holiday meal with your family or simply want to grab a bite to eat in between shopping adventures, we’ve got the restaurants and bars for you.
- B&O American Brasserie. Located in the historic former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad headquarters, this informal dining experience provides the best local produce and cutting-edge cocktails.
- Blue Pit BBQ. This counter and bar service-only location is a great place to book your holiday party. For parties, they offer an unlimited buffet and a number of drink packages to choose from.
- The Brewer’s Art. This restaurant has a bar, lounge, and dining room, depending on what sort of setting you’re in the mood for.
- The Charles. This bar and grille is located in Federal Hill and is an ideal spot for casual meals. They offer an elevated bar food in addition to social drinks, beer and wine on tap, and signature drinks.
- The Food Market. If you’re looking for the complete dining experience with comfort foods prepared in unique ways, check out this industrial-modern space.
- Handlebar Café. Whether you’re looking for specialty coffees, wood-fired pizza, or an extensive drink menu, the Handlebar Café has a great selection.
- Loch Bar. This tavern features a large raw bar and a substantial whiskey menu. You can also enjoy live music seven days a week.
- The Owl Bar. This upscale pub is a local landmark with a variety of food and cocktails options.
- R. House. This unique dining experience features ten chefs and a 350-seat food hall with communal tables, booths, roll-up garage doors, and a neighborhood bar.
- Wit & Wisdom. If you’re looking for a handcrafted cocktail, American wines, or a number of local seafood and pasture-raised meat dishes, this restaurant in the Four Seasons if for you.
Local Places in Baltimore to Shop for Holiday Gifts
With so many local shops to check out in the city, it’s hard to make a reasonably sized list! Here are just a few of the many shops in Baltimore where you’re bound to find unique gifts for your loved ones.
- 2910 on the Square. This store is located in Canton and features gifts like clothing, art objects, handmade crafts, jewelry, and more.
- Willow. This business focuses on bringing nature into people’s homes by providing a unique selection of exotic plants and terrariums.
- Baltimore Chef Shop. A gift certificate for this one-of-a-kind teaching kitchen is the perfect gift for the foodie in your life.
- Baltimore in a Box. If you know someone who has any kind of connection with our great city, one of these boxes is for them. Each box contains a number of unique-to-Baltimore items. While you can build your own box, some themed boxes include Jimmy’s Seafood, Route One Apparel, and Mr. Trash Wheel.
- Best Day Ever. This boutique carries a wide variety of gifts for all occasions.
- Brightside Boutique. If you’re looking for home goods or beauty products, Brightside Boutique is the place to go. You can even purchase tickets to attend their Holiday Disco on December 5.
- Poppy & Stella. Located in Fells Point, here you can find unique shoes and accessories.
- Trohv. This inventive shop features home goods and gifts. Many of the items they sell were created by local artists.
- Wight Tea Company. If you have a loved one who has an appreciation for high-quality teas, look no further than the handmade blends at Wight Tea Company.
- Words with Boards. This store features a number of kitchen products; however, they’re known for their custom cutting boards. The home cook in your life will love a custom cutting board made just for them. And for every product sold, one tree is planted.
Where to Buy Fresh Cut Christmas Trees in Baltimore
Buying a Christmas tree in the city can be a challenge sometimes, but we’ve got a list of the places where you’ll definitely find one.
- Green Fields Nursery. This nursery in Baltimore offers fresh cut and live Christmas trees. After you’ve picked out your perfect tree, you can browse their ornament selection.
- Frostee Tree Farm. Just a 30-minute drive outside of the city, this tree farm offers a variety of tree types and sizes that customers cut themselves.
- Doyle’s Christmas Tree Farm. Located in White Hall, a half hour away from Baltimore, this tree farm sells choose-and-cut Christmas trees.
Happy Holidays from Belsky & Horowitz, LCC
We hope the guide above fills your holidays with everything you want and more. If we left out your favorite holiday spot or activity, let us know! We’ll be sure to add it to the list.
From all of us at Belsky & Horowitz, LCC, have a safe and happy holiday season and new year!