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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…which is why we’ve compiled a list of our Top 10 Kid-Friendly Holiday Experiences in Maryland, so your family can make the most out of this upcoming season of cheer!


Fuel Up on Festive Favorites

With three convenient locations in Maryland – in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, uptown in Baltimore’s Roland Park neighborhood & Downtown Annapolis - Miss Shirley’s Cafe is the perfect spot for a family-friendly Holiday meal, to start your winter excursion!

Fuel up for adventure by feasting on an array of Award Winning signature dishes & festive holiday favorites. Recently named one of America’s Favorite Family-Friendly Restaurants by FoodNetwork.com, kids can enjoy fun activities like breakfast-themed children’s books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and a Games & Puzzles Kids Mat! Shirley’s Kids Meals also come in a fun bento box with a breakfast or lunch entrée & choice of healthy sides like steamed broccoli, apple sauce & fresh fruit!­

And, don’t forget to take advantage of Miss Shirley’s Holiday Deals, starting November 1st! Get a FREE $10 Bonus Card for every $100 in Miss Shirley’s gift cards purchased online. Or, book your weekday holiday event of 11 or more guests at any Miss Shirley’s Cafe location, and get a $20 Bonus Card for every $200 spent! MissShirleys.com

Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast, Photo courtesy of Miss Shirley’s Cafe – MissShirleys.com


1.    PANDORA Ice Rink at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Opening for the 2018 holiday season on November 9th, the PANDORA Ice Rink is a wonderland of winter fun for the whole family! Located between the two Harborplace Pavilions, the rink is surrounded by the beauty of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, as well as local shops, restaurants & vendors, to easily grab a seasonal snack or warm beverage.

The rink is open to the public seven days a week, and features special holiday-themed events throughout the season. innerharboricerink.org

Photo courtesy of Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore – baltimorewaterfront.com


2.    Lights on the Bay

Now in its 24th year, Lights on the Bay is a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, showcasing more than 60 spectacular animated and stationary holiday illuminations, including a Historic Annapolis Colonial Village, North Pole Village & Enchanted Fairytales display.

This one-of-a-kind drive through light show is open each night from November 17ththrough New Year’s Day, with proceeds benefiting the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. www.lightsonthebay.org

Photo courtesy of Visit Annapolis – VisitAnnapolis.org


3.    Christmas Village in Baltimore

Each Holiday season, the Christmas Village in Baltimore brings the charm of an authentic German Christmas Market to West Shore Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Open Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, the Christmas Village is made up of traditional German style wood huts with more than 50 vendors selling authentic European food, holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, arts & crafts from around the globe.

The Christmas Village has an extensive schedule of holiday events, including daily live performances and photos with Mr. Claus himself, at Santa’s Hut! baltimore-christmas.com

Photo courtesy of Christmas Village in Baltimore - baltimore-christmas.com


4.    Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees

With fairyland forests, gingerbread towns, train gardens, crafts, games, rides & more, Kennedy Krieger's Festival of Trees has become one of the East Coast’s Largest Holiday Extravaganzas! Browse and buy local designer-decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, holiday gifts & goodies; plus, enjoy special holiday performances and interactive activities for the whole family.

Open November 23rd– 25th at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, this three-day family fun, holiday event benefits the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally recognized institution in Baltimore that is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system. 

Photo courtesy of Kennedy Krieger Institute – kennedykrieger.org


5.    Miracle on 34th Street

Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Day, the 700 block of 34th Street in Hampden will illuminate their row homes with thousands of lights, quirky ornaments, one-of-a-kind sculptures, and interactive holiday displays that are sure to “wow!”

This can’t-miss, authentically Baltimore holiday tradition started in 1947, and has grown to draw thousands of visitors each year. Each night throughout the holiday season, the streets are crowded with visitors and locals alike, so taking a stroll down the block is the best way to enjoy these colorful and uniquely-themed displays. christmasstreet.com

Photo courtesy of Visit Baltimore – Baltimore.org


6.    B&O Railroad Museum’s Magical Holiday Express

All aboard the B&O’s Magical Holiday Express, a train load of holiday fun for the whole family! Throughout the entire month of December, the B&O Railroad Museum’s Roundhouse is transformed into a winter wonderland with a giant 30-foot Christmas tree, holiday activities and trains of all shapes & sizes!

This year, the Museum will also be featuring special themed weekends with holiday crafts, activities, performances, photo opportunities, and weekend train rides with Santa through December 23rd! borail.org

Photo courtesy of B&O Railroad Museum – borail.org


7.    Washington Monument Lighting

Now in its 47thyear, the lighting of theMonument is a Baltimore tradition that marks the official start of the holiday season in Charm City!

Enjoy a holiday village, live performances, caroling, food vendors & a spectacular fireworks display in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Place on December 6th, as the city illuminates the historic Washington Monument. godowntownbaltimore.com

Photo courtesy of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore – godowntownbaltimore.com


8.   Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade

A beloved Annapolis tradition, each year on the second Saturday in December, magic happens on the water of the Annapolis Harbor, as boats suddenly appear out of the cold winter night, illuminated by thousands of colored lights. 

Families and friends from all over gather at their favorite viewing spots along the waterfront to see this holidayspectacle with 40+ boats of all shapes and sizes, power and sail, brightly decorated in the Holiday spirit. eastportyc.org/lights-parade

Photo courtesy of photographer Bob Peterson


9.   Baltimore Chanukah Festival

Celebrate Chanukah with the lighting of the Esther Ann Menorah – tied for the largest menorah in the world, standing at 32 feet tall with the word “Baltimore” proudly displayed on its nine branches.

This celebration of light will take place in Baltimore Inner Harbor’s McKeldin Square on Sunday, December 2nd and includes live music, jelly doughnuts, hot drinks, family activities & entertainment for all! A project of Chabad-Lubavitch Centers of Baltimore - baltimorechanukahfestival.com

Photo courtesy of Chabad of Downtown - bmorejewish.com


10.   Kwanzaa Celebration 2018

Celebrate Kwanzaa at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture on December 29thwith a show of African dance, storytelling with puppets, drumming performances, workshops, lectures, craft activities and a fashion show celebrating the principle Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH) or Collective Economics. lewismuseum.org

Photo courtesy of Visit Baltimore – Baltimore.org

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