Friday Five: Getting into the Holiday Spirit

I don’t even care that it’s only mid-November; I’m already feelin’ the holiday cheer. Every morning I drive by the Inner Harbor and, little by little, I see the decorations go up, the lights hung above the streets and–why yes, that is an ice rink being constructed to your right. Holiday festivities are the only way I am even semi-OK with the weather getting colder and the days. So HAPPY FRIDAY, all. Here are the top five holiday events I can’t wait for!

  1. As I mentioned, the Pandora Ice Rink at Baltimore Harbor is a thing, and it’s actually opening today! Last year, the ice rink opened in the median of Light Street, but they moved it closer to the Harbor to make it even larger. I’m a terrible ice skater, but it’s always fun to look like an idiot in public while wearing blades on my feet. Tickets are $9; rentals are $4. Opens today, November 13 at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, 201 E Pratt Street, Baltimore.
  2. I work just a block away from the Miracle on 34th Street Lights in Hampden, and it’s become a mini-tradition for K & I to walk around the INCREDIBLY intricately and beautifully decorated homes, then head to Rocket to Venus for burgers and beers. (Go on a Monday for $5 burgers!) Growing up, my family used to ooh and aah at our neighborhood’s Christmas displays, so this one just has a sentimental meaning to me. Free. 34th Street in Hampden, Baltimore. The website has not been updated for the 2015 season, but keep an eye on the page for info.
  3. A Monumental Occasion–the lighting of the Washington Monument–is the true kickoff to the holiday season in Baltimore. Last year, Abby and I walked up to the monument and it was a really fun event with music, caroling, fireworks and cheer. Free. Thursday, December 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Washington Monument, Baltimore.
  4.  The Christmas Village in the Inner Harbor has become one of my favorite holiday events, and not just because it’s a five-minute walk from my house. It’s an authentic German-style Christmas market where you can sip on mulled wine and shop local. What more can you ask for? Well, I’ll tell you–bratwurst, soft pretzels, live music and a chance to meet a gingerbread man mascot named Gingy. Admission is free on weekdays; $5 on weekends. November 26 through December 27 at West Shore Park, Inner Harbor, Baltimore.
  5. Now for an event that I haven’t actually attended in years past but am determined to check off my list this year–Fells Point’s Old Tyme Christmas. This event also includes a holiday market but is topped off with horse-drawn carriage rides, a pub crawl, an eggnog contest, and the Parade of Lighted Boats. Free. Saturday, December 5th beginning at 9:00 am in Fells Point, Baltimore.
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