There’s a tangible excitement in the air when the first snowflakes start falling. As lights begin to decorate the outside of houses and businesses, it can only mean one thing: the holiday season is here! Baltimore has so many festive events to celebrate the season, great places to catch up with friends and family over a meal, and plenty of options to get your holiday shopping done. Let’s embrace the hustle and bustle of the season and dive in!
What Fun Holiday Events and Activities Are Happening in Baltimore?
Get your calendars ready. There’s so much to do in Baltimore—you’re going to need to write it down to remember it all! Whether you’re in to live performances, seeing holiday lights, or you enjoy any holiday activity no matter what, there’s something for everyone.
- Middle River Lighted Boat Parade. Kick off the holiday season with this annual event at Middle River. On Saturday, November 30, the lighted boats parade will set sail. This gorgeous display of festive creativity is something fun the entire family can enjoy.
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has plenty of December performances to experience. Their shows include “The Snowman” “Handel Messiah,” “Vienna Boys Choir,” “Cirque Nutcracker,” “Gospel Christmas with CeCe Winans,” and “Holiday Spectacular.”
- The Polar Express 4D. Stop by the National Aquarium to experience the thrills of The Polar Express in 4D.
- Lights on the Bay. From November 24 to January 1, 2019, you can take the whole family to see a nightly light show. They operate daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Check out their schedule to see all the goings-on.
- Towson Winterfest. Towson Winterfest brings holiday cheer the entire month of December. This is a great spot to do holiday shopping, support local businesses, see tree lightings, performances, and even see Santa Claus himself!
- B&O’s Magical Holiday Express. From December 2-31, B&O Railroad Museum has a holiday spectacular all month long! They’re open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Celebrate Kwanzaa. On December 5 at 6:30 p.m., Charles Dugger will give a presentation on the principles of Kwanzaa at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
- Monument Lighting. The 48th annual Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting will take place on December 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. You’ll see the park in Mount Vernon Place like you’ve never seen it before—a gorgeous holiday village filled with food, vendors, and more.
- Little Italy Christmas Tree Lighting. The first Friday in December at 7 p.m., Little Italy will celebrate the holidays with their Christmas tree lighting. Enjoy Christmas carols, plenty of sweet treats and hot drinks, and Santa Claus will be there!
- A Christmas Carol. The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will present A Christmas Carol from December 6-24. This classic Christmas novel will come to life on stage and is a great way to celebrate the season.
- Holiday Candlelight Stroll. If you’re looking to get out of Baltimore, check out Annapolis Tours. They present a festive one and a half hour walking tour where participants can learn about the origin of many holiday customs. Tours are on select Fridays and Saturdays in December from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. so make sure to mark your calendars!
- Mayor’s Christmas Parade. The 47th Annual Major’s Christmas Parade will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 8. The parade is sponsored by community associations and businesses in North Baltimore’s Hampden and Medfield neighborhoods, and has a 2.5-mile route. Come see the floats, bands, Mummers of Philadelphia, Miss and Jr. Miss Yuletide, and Santa!
- Mayor Young’s Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Reception. The mayor’s 8th Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Reception takes place on Thursday, December 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Hall. There will be great food to enjoy in the beautiful atmosphere of a decorated City Hall—all you have to do is bring a toy for the program!
- Walk-in Tour: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! See the depictions of the celebration of the season through the centuries in this free tour at the Walters Art Museum. This tour takes place on December 14 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
- Inner Harbor Menorah Lighting. On Sunday December 22 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Baltimore Inner Harbor, citizens can see the lighting by the Chabad of Maryland and the mayor.
- Jewish Uniformed Services of Maryland Menorah Lighting. At Baltimore City Hall on Monday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Mayor Young will recognize the Jewish Uniformed Services of Maryland as they light the menorah.
Got all that written down? Good! Because now it’s time to tackle your holiday shopping!
Shopping Local in Baltimore for Your Holiday List
While gift-giving is a fun tradition, finding the right present for a person can sometimes be difficult. Luckily, Baltimore’s local stores have so many options that you’ll be able to find something great for the trickiest of gift recipients.
- 2910 on the Square. This store is located in Canton and features gifts like clothing, art objects, handmade crafts, jewelry, and more. Do you have sports fans in your family? You can get Ravens and Orioles merchandise here, too.
- B.Willow. This business is perfect for the plant-lover in your family. Unique creations using plants and design can make the best gift.
- Baltimore Chef Shop. Sometimes, an experience is a great gift to give someone. This one-of-a-kind teaching kitchen is an opportunity for the foodie in your life to try something new.
- Baltimore in a Box. This store is perfect for the Baltimore faithful in your family. This company creates various Baltimore-themed boxes, which will definitely make your gift a contender for the best one.
- Best Day Ever. This boutique carries home décor and stuff for little ones. If someone has just moved or had a baby or is expecting one, check this store out.
- Brightside Boutique. If you’re looking for home goods or beauty products, Brightside Boutique is the place to go. They also have great holiday apparel.
- Poppy & Stella. Here you can find cute apparel, accessories, beauty products, and shoes.
- Trohv. This shop features goods made by local artists. The items are unique and will make a great gift to put under the tree.
- Wight Tea Company. The handcrafted blends at the Wight Tea Company will be a perfect idea for the tea-drinker in your life.
- Words with Boards. This store has more than standard kitchen products. Their custom cutting boards will bring a personal flair to any kitchen. This business is also ecologically conscious. For every product sold, one tree is planted.
You’ve checked off the final person on your list—and you’re probably starving after all the running around. The restaurants in Baltimore have all kinds of delicious food where you can get a quick bite or have a meal with friends or family.
Where Can You Get a Delicious Meal in the City?
Here are a handful of Baltimore restaurants you can go to. Taking the time to stop and celebrate this time of year is important and sharing a meal with loved ones is one of the best ways to do this.
- B&O American Brasserie. This informal dining experience combines locally sourced product, inventive cocktails, and is located in the historic former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad headquarters.
- Blue Pit BBQ. This counter and bar service-only location is a great place to book your holiday party. If you’re planning a party, check out the unlimited buffet and their drink packages.
- The Brewer’s Art. This restaurant has a setting for everyone. Choose from the bar, lounge, and dining room, and prepare for a great meal.
- The Charles. Located in Federal Hill, this bar and grille is the spot to catch up with friends. Try their twist on bar food with a signature drink.
- The Food Market. The Food Market takes comfort food to the next level in this industrial-modern space.
- Handlebar Café. Whether you’re looking for specialty coffees, wood-fired pizza, or an extensive drink menu, the Handlebar Café is the place to be.
- Loch Bar. This tavern has a raw bar, plenty of whiskey to sample, and there’s always live music.
- The Owl Bar. This upscale pub is a local landmark and will be a unique place to meet up with friends.
- R. House. Are you looking for something different? R. House offers a unique dining experience. This restaurant has ten chefs and a 350-seat food hall with communal tables, booths, roll-up garage doors, and a neighborhood bar.
Now that you know where you should eat in Baltimore, there’s one more important item to cover: the Christmas Tree!
Christmas Tree Farms Near Baltimore
Many families pick out and decorate a live Christmas tree. Some even make a day of it and cut down the tree themselves. Finding the perfect Christmas tree isn’t hard for citizens of Baltimore, they have plenty of options around them.
- Green Fields Nursery. You can get fresh-cut Christmas trees from this nursery. They also can deliver and set up the tree! If you’re looking for other holiday decorations, take a look at their holiday flowers, garlands, and ornaments.
- Frostee Tree Farm. This tree farm is a half hour from the city and has trees of all shapes and sizes. You’ll be able to find your perfect tree here!
Now it’s time to face the most difficult decision of the year: Should the tree have white lights or multi-colored lights this year?
Belsky & Horowitz, LLC Wishes You a Happy Holidays
As the year winds down, we hope you enjoy the festivities of the season with close friends and family. There are so many great ways to spend time with your loved ones in Baltimore. From the team at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, here’s to a fantastic holiday season and healthy new year!