Must-See Holiday Sights in Baltimore

Maura Pannebecker

It’s the holiday season. Family get-togethers, cozy nights by the fire, and neighborhoods shining with the many colors of Christmas.  If you’re looking for a way to extend the holiday spirit beyond the Christmas tree in your living room, then be sure to read on for a list of the most popular sights and events that showcase Baltimore and the surrounding area’s holiday spirit.

Baltimore’s own “Miracle on 34th Street”

If you have lived in Baltimore for any period of time, then you have probably been to or heard of Hampden’s 34th Street Christmas Wonderland.  For the sixty-sixth year, the row-home residents of 34th Street between Keswick and Elm Avenues have decorated their homes with extravagant lights, plush blow-up figures, and sparkly lawn ornaments. You can walk under the strings of twinkly lights that stretch across the street, or simply drive through to enjoy the view from your car window. Even on a chilly December night, it’s well worth it to bundle up to see one of Baltimore’s most celebrated Christmas traditions. For more information, visit www.christmasstreet.com.

Glen Avenue Firehouse Train Garden

A holiday tradition spanning over half a century, the Glen Avenue firehouse has displayed a massive train garden for fifty-six years. The exhibit covers a twelve-by-forty foot area and features four different trains and routes.  Various sections of the display have different themes, including Harry Potter, a firehouse, and Baltimore’s own(,) Mr. Natty Boh.  With an expected 10,000 visitors this holiday season, the display is a popular and classic element of Baltimore’s rich holiday tradition.  It’s open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day through New Year’s Eve.  There is no admission fee, so stop in and see the miniature world in person!

Washington Monument

While you may have missed the official lighting of the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon on December 5th, it is still worth the trip to the area to see the tower. The illuminated monument stands between the 600 and 700 block of North Charles Street, with bright lights that will remain up throughout the holiday season.  On your way downtown, you can even pass through 34th street in Hampden!

Power Plant Holiday Light Show

What could be a better backdrop for a light show than our iconic Inner Harbor?  For the third consecutive year, The Power Plant is putting on a synchronized laser and light show called “It’s a Waterfront Life.”  With the display running almost every night until December 31st, the show is a must-see for everyone. Come watch the entire Harbor become illuminated with a festive display of colors and lights.  For the events schedule and more information, visit http://itsawaterfrontlife.org/events/#lightshow.

Kenilworth Mall

Baltimore loves its trains.  For the twenty-fifth year, the Shops at Kenilworth have created a train garden in the heart of the shopping center. The display, featuring ninety-five feet of track and a few hundred different people and animal figurines, is sure to delight crowds of all ages. The trains will run all day through January 8th. Come see one of Towson’s Christmas traditions, and knock some holiday gift shopping off your list at the same time.

Valley View Farms

If you would like to create a themed Christmas tree this year, Valley View farms is the place to visit.  With displays that feature over 6,000 ornaments and 125 different themed trees, your decorating ambitions will come to fruition.  They have artificial and fresh-cut trees, wreaths, and garlands and an outdoor light spread featuring over 100,000 sparkling lights. If it gets too cold, step inside the Christmas Shop to see the farm’s customized “Department 56”- the largest Christmas village in Baltimore.  For operating hours and more information, visit http://www.valleyviewfarms.com/index.html.

Watson’s Garden Center

For over forty years, Watson’s Garden Center in Lutherville has created their own winter wonderland, complete with trains that chug along the ceiling, fake snow that falls in their Christmas Darkroom, and live animals that delight visitors.  With an array of freshly-cut Christmas trees and balsam wreaths from Maine, as well as locally grown poinsettias in every color, Watson’s has you covered for all of your Christmas desires. For operating hours, visit http://watsonsgarden.com/.

Towson Winter Fest

Does it get any better than a holiday festival in our own backyard? While the goal of the Winter Fest is to boost local shopping in Towson, the slew of activities makes it much more than this.  From breakfast with Frosty the Snowman to street performers to a tree-decorating contest, the festival offers something for everyone. Since the festival runs now through the weekend before Christmas, there is still plenty of time to travel over to Allegheny Avenue to see a Towson Christmas.

 

Whether you decide to head downtown or to stay close to home, the Baltimore area is nothing short of a “Winter Wonderland.”  Hopefully we’ll get the snow to live up to this name!