ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – While the weather outside may be frightful, there are plenty opportunities for families to get out and enjoy the sights and sounds that can only be seen and heard during the holiday season. From Christmas caroling to dazzling light shows, Harford, Cecil, and Baltimore counties have something for kids from “one to 92.”
Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Happy Hour: Christmas carols will be wafting through the air as guests arrive at the Rockfield Manor Christmas tree lighting. While taking in the beautiful holiday décor, guests can sip on some warm wassail and snack on some delicious appetizers. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission: New unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, or $10 per person. Located at Rockfield Manor 501 Churchville Rd., Bel Air. For more information, call 410-638-4565 or visit www.rockfieldmanor.com.
The Nutcracker: The classic Christmas story of a little girl named Clara who is swept away on a magical journey with a nutcracker turned prince on Christmas Eve comes alive on the stage at Harford Community College. 8 p.m. Tickets $10-$16. Also on Dec. 3, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Located at Harford Community College, 401 Thomas Run Rd. Bel Air. For more information, call 443-412-2211 or visit www.liveatharfordcc.com.
Havre de Grace Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: Havre de Grace’s annual Christmas Parade will take place 6 p.m., along St. John St. and Washington St. The tree lighting will follow at the corner of Washington St. and St. John St. Santa will be available for pictures after the tree lighting at his house on North Washington Street. Located at St. John St. and Washington St. Havre de Grace. For more information, call 410-939-2100 or visit http://www.explorehavredegrace.com/event/christmas-parade-and-tree-lighting-2/.
The Real Story of the Teddy Bear: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Jerusalem Mill Village will be educating guests on the history of the Teddy Bear, named after our 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt. The village will be decorated with over 200 Teddy Bears and guests of all ages can make a cinnamon bear ornament, or visit the Holiday Boutique. Noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 per car. Located at Jerusalem Mill Village, 2813 Jerusalem Rd., Kingsville. For more information, visit www.jerusalemmill.org.
Christmas at the Mansion: Come and enjoy the historic Lirodendron Mansion all decked out for the holidays while having some cookies and punch. The décor will feature multiple Christmas trees, holiday arrangements, and trains. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults- $10, Student- $5. Located at Liriodendron Mansion, 502 W. Gordan St., Bel Air. For more information, call 410-879-4424 or visit www.liriodendron.com.
Aberdeen Christmas Street Celebration and Tree Lighting: Street entertainment will be taking place on West Bel Air Avenue at 2 p.m. to get attendees in the holiday spirit for the parade that starts at 3 p.m. Immediately after, all parade-goers are invited to Festival Park to visit with Santa and watch the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. For more information, contact Aberdeen City Hall at 410-272-1600.
Bel Air Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony: Bel Air will be hosting it’s annual Christmas Parade followed by the lighting of their living Christmas Tree. Festivities start on Main St. with a concert in front of the Courthouse at 2:30 p.m., followed by the parade at 3:30. After the parade, guests can warm up around a bonfire in Shamrock Park with cookies and hot chocolate before the tree lighting at 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.downtownbelair.com.
Ladew Gardens Holiday Open House: Ladew Gardens annual holiday open house, entitled, The Colors of Christmas” will feature holiday decorations created by both local artists and garden clubs. There will be holiday music and a greens sale as well. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton. For more information, call 410-557-9570 or visit www.ladewgardens.com.
Christmas Carol Tea: Steppingstone Farm House will have storyteller and re enactor Alisa Dupuy, tell the story of Charles Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol,” while guests enjoy a traditional Victorian Tea. Noon and 3 p.m. Tickets – $25. Located at Steppingstone Farm Museum 461 Quaker Bottom Rd., Havre de Grace. For more information, call 410-939-2299 or visit steppingstonemuseum.org.
44th Annual Candlelight Tour: After picking up a map, guests can embark on a self-guided tour through many homes, churches, and museums around the city. There will be restaurants offering Candlelight Tour promotions as well as local stores open late. It’s a perfect opportunity to see the holiday decorations in Havre de Grace. Located at Susquehanna Museum 817 Conesteo St., Havre de Grace. For more information, call 410-939-5780 or visit www.thelockhousemuseum.org.
Winter Solstice Campfire: Gather around the campfire to roast some marshmallows and sing some Christmas carols at the Eden Mill Nature Center. Guests will also learn about the winter solstice and the stories behind holiday traditions. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Adults $5, members $3, children free. Located at Eden Mill Nature Center 1617 Eden Mill Rd., Pylesville. For more information, call 410-836-3050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baltimore County & Baltimore City
Washington Monument Lighting: Baltimore’s Washington Monument will light up for the holiday season on Dec. 1, after a festival full of fun, including music from area choirs, fireworks show, and a holiday village with food and crafts. Santa Claus will also be making an appearance. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Located at Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place 699 North Charles St., Baltimore. For more information, call 410-752-8632.
Christmas Village in Baltimore: More than 50 vendors from all over the world gather at the Inner Harbor to bring Maryland a traditional German Christmas Market. The market takes place both outdoors and within a heated tent that also offers delicious German food and drink. 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sun. to Thur., 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Fri. through Sat. The market runs through Dec 24. Located at Inner Harbor 501 Light St., Baltimore. For more information, call 410-555-5555 or visit http://www.baltimore-christmas.com/.
Miracle on 34th Street: A decades long tradition that takes places every holiday season in the Hampden section of Baltimore, the residents of 34th Street light up their houses to spread some Christmas joy through out the city. The entire street is decked out in holiday decorations that light up the night sky and is a must-see. The lights will be on through Dec. 31st, and usually start between 5 and 6:30 p.m. each night. Located at 720 West 34th St., Baltimore. For more information, call 410-877-2258 or visit http://www.christmasstreet.com/.
Mayor’s Christmas Parade: The 43rd annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade takes place at 1 p.m. and starts at the Poly/Western High Schools in Baltimore. The parade will run along a 2.5 mile route and feature floats, 160 marching units, local personalities, Harley Davidson motorcycles, Santa Claus, and much more. Located at 1400 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore. For more information, call 410-366-0726 or visit http://www.mayorschristmasparade.com/.
A Christmas Story: The classic holiday movie “A Christmas Story” comes to life on the stage at the Hippodrome Theater through Dec. 11.
Located at The Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw St., Baltimore. For more information, call 410-833-8848 or visit http://baltimore.broadway.com/shows/christmas-story-baa/.
5th Annual Winterfest of Lights: Running through January 7th, Chesapeake City will be hosting their 5th annual Winterfest of Lights, which features larger then life LED light displays along the canal, as well as carriage rides with Clydesdale Horses, and Edwardian carolers singing throughout town. Santa’s workshop will also be open for guests. An outdoor ice skating rink overlooking the canal is open Friday-Sunday, weather permitting. Located in Chesapeake City. For more information, call 410-885-5298 or visit http://chesapeakecity.com/event/5th-annual-winterfest-of-lights/.
Mount Harmon Yuletide Festival: Come and see the beautiful Mount Harmon plantation decked out in holiday decorations inspired by colonial Williamsburg. There will be hearth cooking demonstrations, crafts for children, and a decorations and greens sale, as well as gingerbread and Wassail Punch. Tickets: $10, Members: $5, Children 12 and under- free. December 3 & 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located at Mount Harmon Plantation, 600 Mount Harmon Road, Earleville. For more information, call 410-275-8819 or visit http://mountharmon.org/plantation-events-2/#Yuletide.
Cookie Throwdown: Attendees can sample different cookies while browsing the shops of downtown Elkton, and vote for the best one.
5 to 8 p.m. Located on Main Street, Elkton.
Candlelight House Tour: Attendees can take a self guided walking tour of private homes, churches, and bed and breakfasts throughout the Chesapeake City Historic District. Carolers in vintage costumes, decorations, and carriage rides will round out the event and make it an enchanted evening. 6 to 9 p.m. Located in the Chesapeake City Historic District. For more information, call 443-553-0071.
Worth the drive
Gaylord National Harbor’s ICE!: Ice carvers build a winter wonderland of sculptures representing holiday traditions throughout the world, in this year’s theme. Two-story ice slides, a Parade of Toys, and life size ornaments will also add to the fun, and children won’t soon forget their trip through the “North Pole” where they can have a seat in Santa’s sleigh. Guests may want to walk through the Frostbite Factory, where ice carvers will be working their magic, and children and adults alike will be amazed by a full Nativity set carved completely from ice. Nov. 19 – Jan. 1, closed Dec. 5-7. Check the website for times. Tickets available online. Located at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St. National Harbor. For more information, call 301-965-2000 or visit http://www.marriott.com/hotel-info/wasgn-gaylord-national-resort-and-convention-center/christmas-on-the-potomac/xyjvxiz/ice.mi.
Story by Lauren Finnegan, APG News