What to Do During the Holidays in Downtown Baltimore

‘Tis the season for all things jolly and there are few places quite as merry as downtown Baltimore this month.

Whether you’re a young family with active kids, kid-free and looking for a party, or somewhere in between, there’s something for you in Baltimore in December.

Christmas Village is in full swing in the Inner Harbor. From now through Christmas Eve, head to West Shore Park, right by the water, to explore one of Baltimore’s favorite traditions. Every day, something new is happening at the village, from live performances to family-friendly activities to a meet and greet with Gingy the Gingerbread Man. And, of course, there are plenty of opportunities to take photos with Santa himself.

You can also find Santa at M&S Grill on Saturday, December 10 and December 17. Take your own photo with the big guy from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

All month long – and through half of January – embrace the freeze at the PANDORA ice rink in the Harborplace Ampitheater.

The rink is outfitted with concessions and entertainment and visitors can rent skates to take a swirl around the ice. During its tenure, the rink will also host special events, like a live performance of scenes from the Nutcracker on December 15, Skate with a Police Officer night on January 3, a late night skate with Insomnia Cookies on January 4, SkateFest benefiting Special Olympics Maryland on January 5 and the Inner Harbor Frost Fest on January 11.

The National Aquarium is getting in on the holiday action with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D.” Now through January 2, the film will play in the Aquarium’s 4-D Immersion Theater. Kids and grownups will get up close and personal with Rudolph as he makes friends with the Abominable Snow Monster and Hermey the Elf.

In Harbor East, the Merriment & Melodies Holiday Series, a music series featuring holiday entertainers and complimentary sweets, is in full swing, taking place each Wednesday. The neighborhood’s shops and restaurants have a lot going on, as well, from wine tastings to holiday sales.

From December 22 to January 2, the Maryland Science Center will host 12 Days of Science. With a different theme each day, the Science Center will host workshops, live demonstrations and hands-on building opportunities for visitors.

On December 22, gather with other food lovers for the first annual Fells Point Holiday Food Stroll. Starting at 1632 Aliceanna Street at 5 p.m., the stroll will bop around the neighborhood, hitting local restaurants and celebrating the season.

Also on December 22, Angels Rock Bar in Power Plant LIVE! will host Monthly Mayhem: Holiday Party. The lineup includes several local acts and Santa just might make an appearance.

On New Year’s Eve, the Power Plant will also be the place to be. One all-inclusive NYE Live! ticket provides access to the area’s 10 different bars and nightclubs – it’s a big one!

There are also parties in restaurants in bars all over the downtown area, from Federal Hill to Harbor East to Fells Point. OR, if you’re looking for something less confined as you ring in 2017, simply head to the Inner Harbor area, where there will be party music form Super Bueno, the PANDORA rink will be open for skating and you’ll have a prime view of the city’s fireworks display.

Whether you’re headed to skate with the little ones or enjoy holiday treats sans kids, plan head with your parking. Harbor Park Garage at 55 Market Place is a quick and easy walk downtown and to the surrounding neighborhoods, and even just a short water taxi ride to Federal Hill.

The garage is reasonably priced and you can reserve and prepay for your spot at Harbor Park using Parking Panda, ParkWhiz or SP+ to make the trip even smoother. Once you arrive, the helpful garage attendants can answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction to get your downtown winter festivities started.