Anne Arundel County features some beautiful lights displays and engaging activities, but what if you just want to hit the road and try something new? Enjoy these festivities just a short ride away in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this holiday season.
It’s Happening in Baltimore, Hon!
Ice Skate At The Inner Harbor
The Pandora Ice Rink at the Inner Harbor is open daily now until January 15. Located at the top of the amphitheater between the Harborplace pavilions, the outdoor rink is open for public skating every day of the week, although hours vary. Skate Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday if you need a break from food and shopping. Adult admission is $10. Kids, seniors and military personnel pay $9. There is a separate $4 fee to rent skates. Visit www.innerharboricerink.org for parking advice and other details.
Indulge At Baltimore’s Christmas Village
This authentic German Christmas market will be open from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Fifty vendors will sell European food, ornaments, and arts and crafts from all over the world. Enjoy entertainers, wine tastings, happy hours and visits from Santa. The market is located at West Shore Park at 501 Light Street in the Inner Harbor. It is open daily, except Tuesdays, in its first three weeks. Visit www.baltimore-christmas.com for more information.
Stroll Through The Miracle On 34th Street
Located in the Hampden neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore, the Miracle on 34th Street holiday light display is a famed local attraction that has gained national attention. Kids and adults will enjoy the hubcap Christmas tree, overhead lights, and train displays. Nearby, The Avenue in Hampden, a shopping and dining destination that runs along West 36th Street, offers a place to eat and a chance to do some Christmas shopping. Visit www.christmasstreet.com for more information.
Ride the B&O Railroad’s Magical Holiday Express
With train rides, model train layouts, crafting activities and live musical performances, the Magical Holiday Express is held December 1 through December 31. A breakfast and train ride with Santa is scheduled for December 10. There is a special breakfast with Elsa and friends on December 9. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00am until 4:00pm, and Sunday from 11:00am until 4:00pm, with many special events and guest appearances scheduled at specific times. The museum is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and New Year’s day. The B&O Railroad Museum is located at 901 West Pratt Street. Museum admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for children. Go to www.borail.org/holiday for full details on Holiday Express happenings.
Experience “It’s A Wonderful Life” At The Senator Theatre
On Saturday, December 23, at 10:00am, the iconic Baltimore cinema will screen the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Admission is free with a $5 food donation. The movie is rated PG and runs about 130 minutes. The Senator was built in 1939 and has been named one of the world’s top 20 movie theaters. Free parking is available. The theater is located at 5904 York Road in Baltimore. Visit www.thesenatortheatre.com to plan your visit.
A Season OF Music And Lights In Washington
Visit The National Christmas Tree
The live Colorado blue spruce is located in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse, and is lit every evening from 4:30pm until 10:00pm. There are nightly musical performances. Surrounding the National Christmas Tree will be 56 smaller trees decorated with unique ornaments that represent every state, U.S. territory, and the District. Visit www.thenationaltree.org or follow @TheNationalTree on Twitter for more information.
The National Menorah Lighting Ceremony Is December 12
Also located at the White House Ellipse, the National Menorah will be lit for the duration of Hanukkah, beginning with a ceremony held at 3:30pm on December 12. The event is free. Enjoy latkes, hot donuts, and live music at the lighting, and visit the Menorah throughout the holiday. Tickets to the lighting and more information are available at www.nationalmenorah.org.
Celebrate “Christmas on the Potomac”
The National Harbor celebrates Christmas with holiday displays, activities, shows, and even National Carousel and Capital Wheel rides. Gaylord National decorates its atrium with a huge glass Christmas tree, and more than two million holiday lights adorn the property during the season. The ICE! show returns with ice sculptures and slides resembling Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Daily activities and prices vary. Visit www.nationalharbor.com and www.christmasonthepotomac.com for more information.
Seasons “Greenings” At The Botanical Gardens
The U.S. Botanical Gardens is located in near the U.S. Capitol. Every year, the conservatory puts on the holiday splendor with seasonal plant displays and one of Washington’s largest indoor decorated trees. This year’s model train exhibit journeys through “plant-based recreations of iconic U.S. sights from across the United States.” The Greenings event runs from through January 1. Admission is free, and hours are 10:00am until 5:00pm daily. On select Tuesday and Thursday evenings in December, the conservatory is open until 8:00pm and will feature live seasonal music. Go to www.usbg.gov to plan your visit.