Skate, Shop & Sigh in Awe at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this Winter
Baby, it’s cold outside…but there’s still plenty of reason to head to downtown Baltimore right now. From skating to shopping to fireworks ringing in the new year, there’s lots to do. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this month in downtown Baltimore:
Located between the Harborplace Pavilions, at the top of the Ampitheater in the Inner Harbor, the PANDORA Ice Rink is a waterfront hit for skaters of all ages.
Open now through Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, during the day and the evening, the rink’s hours are convenient. Plus, it hosts tons of fun events, including Skating with Santa every afternoon of December, College Night on December 22 and extended hours on New Year’s Eve (open until 12:30 a.m.!).
In January, hit the rink for Skate with a Superhero on January 6, SkateFest benefiting Special Olympics of Maryland on January 10, a dress-up Princess Skate on January 19 and the Closing Glow Party on January 21.
Rates are $10 for adults and $9 for seniors, children or members of the military. Skate rental is $4 per person. (Group rates and season passes are also available.)
With vendors all along the Inner Harbor Promenade, from the ice rink to West Shore Park, and a bustling central area near the park, Baltimore’s 6th annual Christmas Village is a must-see hit during the holiday season.
Modeled after a German Christmas market, the Christmas Village features over 50 booths for shopping, where you can find gifts for everyone on your list. Think ornaments, jewelry, art and edible treats.
The Village comes alive with events nearly every day, too, including regular wine and beer tastings, happy hours and live music performances from local bands and school choruses; highlights include a performance by the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra at noon on Saturday, December 15.
The Village includes a variety of food vendors, including many with a traditional German focus. You’ll find sausages and sauerkraut at the German Grill, lebkuchen (German gingerbread), schnitzel, and oozy, gooey raclette cheese. Wash it all down Bavaria’s own Hofbräu beers, and Glühwein – hot mulled wine – produced by Chaddsford Winery in Pennsylvania.
The Christmas Village is especially kid-friendly, too, with visits from Santa (and photo ops) most days and, every Friday through Sunday, a Kids’ Corner featuring games, face painting, balloon artists and other fun child-oriented events. Plus, new this year is a 65-foot ferris wheel next to the Baltimore Visitor Center.
The Village is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Admission to the outdoor area and Christmas tree are free; admission to the market itself is free for those under 18 and is $5 for adults.
New Year’s Eve Spectacular
Ring in 2019 in exciting style at Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular. The Inner Harbor will come alive on New Year’s Eve, with a live performance from Thunderball.
Thunderball is “Baltimore’s premier dance rock revue.” The group will take over the Inner Harbor Ampitheater, starting at 9 p.m. performing to music from a variety of genres, making it entertaining for the whole family.
At midnight, a fireworks show will mark the change of the calendar. The fireworks, which are shot off from two barges anchored in the harbor, are sure to be spectacular. Find a good spot in the Inner Harbor to watch the 15 minute show…and start the year off with some bang and sparkle.
Where to Park during the Season
Downtown is busy during the holiday season, so be sure to plan head to find the best parking options.
Located at 55 Market Place, right in downtown Baltimore, Harbor Park Garage is centrally located and just a short walk to the skate rink and all the fun Inner Harbor activities happening this season.
The garage is easily accessible from major routes in and out of the city, including I-83. It is safe, well-lit and staffed 24/7 by a friendly, knowledgeable crew who are always happy to answer questions and offer advice.