If you know me, you know that I love Christmas and I love Baltimore. And now, I have the BEST ways to celebrate in good ol' Charm City! So whether you are from here, or just visiting, here are the MUST DO's!
1. Ice skate at Pandora Rink
The Pandora ice rink in the Inner Harbor is ready for you to enjoy. There is nothing quite more magical that ice skating in front of the bustling streets of Baltimore and beautiful Inner Harbor waterfront. This is recent addition to the Inner Harbor during holidays and I think it truly adds something magical to the city during Christmas time! My friend, Megan, helps run this event every year, so check out her blog for the inside scoop!
Be sure to check them out on Facebook-- I know for a fact that Santa will be visiting to take pictures and there is going to be a late night skate hosted by Insomnia cookies....YUM!
2. Stroll 34th Street
You haven't truly experienced Christmas in Baltimore unless you've WALKED (not driven through, I am adamant about this) 34th Street in Hampden. The whole block works together to put on this amazing light display. The displays are interactive, meaning most of the home owners are outside, talking to people, selling hot chocolate, or inviting people in to see their art galleries. It's a true small town feel in a big city, and it's a tradition. You have to do it, hon! (Stop by The Charmery for hot chocolate and vegan ice cream afterwards!)
3. See a holiday show at the Hippodrome (or other theaters!)
So this is a personal tradition of my husband and mine's- we see a holiday show every Christmas season. We get dressed up all fancy for a night on the town and we have really come to love this little tradition of ours that we started two years ago. The first year, we saw White Christmas at the Hippodrome, which is Brandon's favorite Christmas movie. Last year, we saw It's a Wonderful Life, which is my favorite Christmas movie, at Center Stage with my parents. I love this tradition!
4. Visit the German Village
Set up in the Inner Harbor at West Shore Park is an authentic German village, selling all sorts of wonderful goodies! I've heard that this is pretty accurate to what an actual German village market would be like. Enjoy German wine and cheese/chocolate pairings and buy authentic Christmas goods. You really can't miss this new Baltimore tradition! It's always free on the weekdays!
5. Watch the lighting of the Washington Monument
Every year, I love enjoying the Annual Monument Lighting. Local entertainers, food, fireworks, meeting Santa Claus, a holiday village for kids...what could be better. Enjoy the Mt. Vernon marketplace beforehand and be ready for the lighting of the monument!
6. Fells Point Old Tyme Christmas
Go back in time in one of Baltimore's most historic neighborhoods. Enjoy carolers, horse drawn carriages and sweet treats!
7. Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade
This annual 2.5 mile Christmas parade in Hampden includes music, local celebrities, motorcycles, Mummers of Philadelphia and Santa Clause, of course! It begins at Poly Tech and ends at 37th Street. Don't miss it!
8. Dollar or Less Days
Every year around the holidays, attractions around the Inner Harbor partner for Dollar or Less Days, where you can enter attractions like the National Aquarium, the Science Center...even that German Christmas Village I was tell you about for a dollar or less! Admission to the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Top of the World, Christmas Village and the Historic Ships are A DOLLAR OR LESS. Come on, people. Take advantage of the cheap admission to these Baltimore gems.
9. Merriment and Melodies
The neighborhood of Harbor East has partnered with House of Ruth- a domestic abuse center in Baltimore- to bring music, treats and merriment the three Wednesdays before Christmas! I can't wait!
10. Attend midnight mass at the Basilica.
The Baltimore Basilica is the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States. It's incredibly beautiful and incredibly historic. Whether you are religious or not, there is nothing more sacred that attending a midnight mass on Christmas Eve night. Listen to Christmas carols ring through the cathedral. I'm not Catholic but I have attended midnight mass before and I truly believe it is something everyone needs to do- whether they are religious or not. It makes the holidays all the more magical.
Bonus: Harbor Point Winter Social
I have to say that this year I am so excited for a brand new event (that Megan again had a hand in putting on...go Megan!). This is brand new this year, but it sounds like a TON of fun. I can't wait to report back on all the wonderfulness!
How does your hometown celebrate the holidays?