One thing that adds to the magic of this season is seeing all the houses festooned with lights. Cities across the country are decking the halls and the eaves with all sorts of blinking and twinkling wonders. Baltimore, a city known for a thriving culture scene, is pulling out all the stops with an entire slate of winter events. The city invites residents and visitors alike to celebrate “It’s a Waterfront Life” which offers activities for all ages.
Last year, Baltimore was named one of the “Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights.” They hope to hold on to that designation with their planned events, including the return of the Power Plant Holiday Light Show Spectacular, an insane multi-media spectacle that lights up one of Baltimore’s most recognizable facades.
Free Holiday Light Shows
Power Plant Holiday Light Show Spectacular
Inner Harbor – Through December 31, 2012
Power Plant lights up downtown this holiday season with an unforgettable display of lights, lasers, music and more! One of the Waterfront’s most electrifying attractions featuring live flame effects reaching over 20 feet high, winter snow, fireworks at every show, and more! A total of 74 performances will be held over 19 days. Visit the website for specific dates and show times. www.itsawaterfrontlife.org
Miracle on 34th Street
Hampden – November 24, 2012 – January 1, 2013
One block in Hampden puts on a Christmas light display that is surely visible from space. Neighbors in this block of row houses string Christmas lights across 34th Street. Inflatable snow globes, musical trains and blinking angels adorn homes. A few even allow visitors to peek inside. The lights are on every night from Thanksgiving weekend to January 1st, including all night on Christmas Eve. www.christmasstreet.com
A Monumental Occasion
Mount Vernon Place – December 6, 2012
Mount Vernon Place celebrates the holiday season with the 40th annual lighting of the Washington Monument. Visitors can enjoy an evening of choir performances, topped off with a vibrant fireworks finale choreographed to music. www.promotionandarts.org
Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular
Inner Harbor – December 31, 2012
Enjoy live music starting at 9 p.m. at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, and a fireworks display that is the largest in the region- turning the sky over the Inner Harbor into a multitude of colors. The choreographed fireworks show starts at the stroke of midnight, 12 a.m. www.promotionandarts.org
Harbor East – Through Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The Harbor East sidewalks have come alive and various shops and restaurants around the neighborhood are featuring unique holiday windows decorated by some of the Baltimore area’s most talented local artists, turning Harbor East into a merry masterpiece for the holiday season! www.harboreast.com
MICA Art Market
Maryland Institute College of Art – December 5-10, 2012
This festive sale, featuring original work by more than 300 MICA students, alumni, faculty and staff, includes one-of-a-kind gifts including jewelry, illustrations, paintings, prints, posters, sculptures, mosaics, stationery, T-shirts, ceramics, textiles, book arts, toys and wrapping paper. www.mica.edu
Hampden – Fridays, November 23-December 21, 2012
Hampden is one of Baltimore’s distinctive neighborhoods featuring one-of-a-kind boutiques. This holiday season, visitors will have an opportunity to score great deals as several of the shops are offering extended hours. Some of the participating merchants include Atomic Books, doubledutch boutique, In Watermelon Sugar, Ma Petite Shoe, Milagro, and Mud and Metal. www.hampdenmerchants.com
The Polar Express 4-D Experience
National Aquarium Baltimore – Through January 1, 2013
Visitors are invited on an extraordinary 4D adventure this holiday season on THE POLAR EXPRESS! When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. THE POLAR EXPRESS 4D Experience is based on the inspiring and beloved Caldecott Medal children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. www.aqua.org
Holiday Festival of Trains & Toys
B&O Railroad Museum – November 23 – December 31, 2012
Celebrate the holiday season at Baltimore’s largest holiday display of toy and model train layouts. Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive by locomotive to the Roundhouse on November 25th. Weekend train rides and photo opportunities with Santa continue through December 18th. Weekend train rides and photo opportunities are available with Frosty the Snowman through December 31. All ages enjoy indoor train carousel rides and crafts at Santa’s workshop.www.borail.org
Noontime New Year: Superhero Fun!
Port Discovery Children’s Museum – December 31, 2012
Countdown to the New Year at noon at Port Discovery! Kids can get in on the excitement of New Year’s Eve before bedtime at the Annual Noontime New Year featuring Eric Energy! Join us as we celebrate super heroes and super powers! Come dressed in your favorite costume as we decorate numbers and make sound makers for our noon countdown, complete with a juice and cookie toast! www.portdiscovery.org
Arts & Culture
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian NUTCRACKER
Hippodrome Theatre at The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center – December 14-15, 2012
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker 20th anniversary production overflows with holiday delight! See the spectacular all new “Dove of Peace” where two dancers become one stunning bird, a Christmas tree that grows seven stories tall, 40 top Russian dancers, falling snow, charming silk puppets and more all set to Tchaikovsky’s complete score. www.thenutcracker.com
A Christmas Carol
Lyric Opera House – December 16, 2012
When Charles Dickens wrote his “ghostly little tale” in 1843, he couldn’t know that A Christmas Carol was destined to become one of the most beloved holiday traditions of all time. By telling this fable illustrating the unfairness of the Industrial Revolution and the necessity for brotherhood and unselfishness, Dickens gave the world one of its most enduring Christmas stories. www.lyricoperahouse.com
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