Christmas in Baltimore: Free Ways to Kick Off the Season

I’m back! This is my first post after a long hiatus due to grad school, which is officially done (pending the passing of my final paper). Now that I have more free time on my hands, I want to get back into the habit of posting regularly, and what better time to start blogging than around the holidays?

There is a ton to do in Baltimore during Christmastime; so much that I’m planning to have a different post each week. I thought I would start off the holiday series with a few ways to kick off the holiday season. And the best part? They’re all free! Check them out below, and feel free to share any events that you’re looking forward to this holiday season in the comments.

Christmas Lights on 34th Street

I grew up in a house that sat all the way at the back of a suburban neighborhood, so there was never much incentive to go all out with decorating the outside of the house. Instead, my dad would hang a few lights and invest the rest of the time in driving our family around to see the hard work others had put into decorating their homes for the holidays. After years of driving around the suburbs, I finally made it to 34th Street, where I was amazed to see the dedication and pride the street’s residents have in decorating their homes. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely something to check off your bucket list, and even if you have been in the past, there always seems to be something new each year. Check out the Baltimore Sun’s photo gallery for a preview, and learn more at the street’s website.

The Germanic Christmas Market in the Inner Harbor

If you haven’t been down to the Inner Harbor recently, you probably haven’t seen that a small Christmas village has popped up, along with an ice rink. The village is filled with small shopping stands, authentic German food, a beer garden, Christmas trees and more. The village is inspired by the Christmas markets in Germany and the event planners have worked in interesting cultural aspects, such as “Christkind,” which is a German Christmas Angel that visits the market. The Market is open daily (except Tuesdays) through Christmas, and is free on weekdays. You can learn more about the Christmas village at their website.

“A Monumental Occasion” – 44th Annual Washington Monument Lighting

The Washington Monument Lighting is one of Baltimore’s greatest holiday traditions, second only to seeing the lights on 34th Street in Hampden. The Washington Monument Lighting is basically Baltimore’s own version of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting, only better because it’s more original. The festivities start at 4 p.m. on Dec. 3 with the opening of a beer garden in the park. There will also be a Holiday Village with shops, food vendors and live music. This year, the lighting is scheduled to occur at 7:45 p.m. For more details, click here.

Fells Point Old Tyme Christmas

One of the quaintest neighborhoods in the city is about to get even cuter with holiday decorations and festivities at the Fells Point Olde Tyme Christmas festival (and you know it’s going to be particularly cute because they spelled “tyme” with a “y” and “olde” with an “e”). The festival will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 and will feature a holiday market, egg nog contest, breakfast with Santa, reindeer run pub crawl and the annual parade of lighted boats.  Some of the events cost money, like the pub crawl ($10) and egg nog contest ($5), but browsing the vendors and enjoying the Christmas decorations and boat parade is 100 percent free! For more details, visit the Fells Point Main Street website