The best time to visit Baltimore is between April and November when the weather is warm and festivals are in full swing. Spring and fall will have fewer crowds than summer, but the crowds never get too terrible if you’re not at a festival. Fall brings beautiful foliage and the seafood and beer festivals, while spring brings baseball and the Baltimore Wine Festival. Summer has the largest free art festival in the country, Artscape, as well as free concert series and the African American Festival. And December has plenty of holiday celebrations to look forward to.
The Weather in Baltimore
Baltimore experiences all four seasons, with temperatures ranging accordingly throughout the year. Temperatures can range from below freezing in winter to the high 80s and 90s Fahrenheit (30.5 to 33 degrees C) in summer. Many winters will see snow and ice and summers are often extremely humid. Spring and fall are the mildest seasons, with temperatures ranging between 50 to 75 degrees F (10 and 24 degrees C) and low humidity. It can rain all year round.
Popular Events and Festivals
Baltimore has events and festivals throughout the year that attract locals and visitors, sometimes increasing crowds. The four largest are in the summer: Pride, Artscape, the African American Festival, and the Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival. Vegan Soulfest, Hon Fest, and the Baltimore Caribbean Festival also take place in the summer, as well as two different free outdoor concert series and a large Fourth of July celebration at the Inner Harbor. Fall also has several festivals, including Baltimore Book Festival, Light City, Baltimore Seafood Festival, Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, Oktoberfest, and Ryleigh’s Oyster Festival. Baltimore Wine Festival, Maryland Film Festival, and the Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival are in spring. Even winter has a few events, including the Frozen Harbor Music Festival and a Christmas Market in the Inner Harbor.
Winter is the off-season for Baltimore, with cold temperatures and sometimes snow and ice. This means hotel prices and some flights will be more affordable (outside of Christmastime). If you do choose to visit in the winter, there are several events around the holidays in December, Christmas lights are on display, and there are some winter activities like ice-skating at the Inner Harbor, indoor sports, and checking out some of the city’s great museums.
Events to check out:
- A German-style Christmas market and village takes over the Inner Harbor from Thanksgiving through the last Sunday of December, with more than 50 vendors and events like wine tastings, happy hour, Kids Fridays, and live performances by local artists.
- The neighborhood of Hampden hosts Miracle on 34th Street each December, with holiday decorations, one-of-a-kind sculptures, and thousands of lights strung across the 700 block of 34th Street.
- The Reginald F. Lewis Museum hosts a Kwanzaa celebration each December.
- The first Thursday of December brings the annual Washington Monument Lighting in Mount Vernon, with entertainment, food, and a beer garden.
- February brings the two-day Frozen Harbor Music Festival, which takes over 10 stages in and around the Inner Harbor with over 150 musical acts playing over two days.
- In March there is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which goes from the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon to the Inner Harbor. Federal Hill also has its own Irish Stroll.
Spring is beautiful in Baltimore, as temperatures begin to warm up but generally stay below 75 degrees F (24 degrees C) and it’s not very humid yet. Crowds are smaller than in summer as well, and there are several outdoor events. This is a perfect time to check out some of the many public parks in Baltimore as well as the Cylburn Arboretum.
Events to check out:
- Every April the Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival takes over Druid Hill Park for two days of music and craft beer from local brewery Union Craft Brewing.
- The Maryland Film Festival holds a five-day event each spring, screening dozens of feature and short films across various categories.
- Baltimore Wine Fest brings more than 160 wines from around the world for guests to taste, along with food by local restaurants, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, and live music. It’s usually held in May.
- The oldest ongoing festival in Baltimore is Flower Mart, which has been happening in Mount Vernon since 1911 as a way to start spring. Over two days, flower and plant vendors, live entertainment, gardening panels and workshops, contests, crafts for children, street performers, and food vendors take over Mount Vernon Place.
- The famous Preakness Stakes horse race is in May at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course.
Average temperatures in summer bring highs in the mid-80s Fahrenheit and lows in the 70s, with about 75 percent humidity. Summer brings sunshine and warmth (although there are a few rainy days here and there), which means lots of outdoor events and festivals, and a bustling Inner Harbor. WTMD radio station hosts free concerts on first Thursdays from May to September and Patterson Park also hosts free shows all summer long. Summer also brings back the Sandlot, a manmade beach in Harbor Point complete with sand, beach volleyball, and drinks and snacks. While things might be busier than usual, Baltimore doesn’t often have overcrowding, except at some of the major festivals like AFRAM, Pride, and Artscape.
Events to check out:
- Perhaps the most Baltimore festival of them all, Hon Fest is held every June in Hampden. “Hon,” short for honey, is a term of endearment used all over the city. The festival celebrates working women by showcasing beehive hairdos and cat-eye sunglasses that were popular in the 1960s. Come for the costumes, stay for the live music, tasty food, and contagious camaraderie.
- Baltimore attracts more than 30,000 people for its Pride held each June, with celebrations and parades across the city.
- Baltimore’s largest crab festival, the Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival is a four-hour all-you-can-eat crab extravaganza complete with more than 30 craft beers and wine and live local music.
- Maryland’s biggest Greek festival, St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival, takes place in Baltimore each June over four days of food, music, dancing, and live performances.
- Artscape is the largest free art festival in the country. The weekend-long festival takes over Mount Vernon with more than 150 performers, designers, and artists with live performances, music, craft demonstrations, and more.
- Vegan Soulfest is held every August in Carroll Park with tons of vegan food, demonstrations, exhibits, and live music.
- Fell’s Point has been holding the Privateer Festival every summer for more than 15 years. It celebrates Baltimore’s maritime history with historic ships, interactive demonstrations and reenactments, and tons of activities for kids.
- Baltimore even has its own Carnival, happening each July and celebrating Caribbean culture.
- Each August, Baltimore’s AFRAM Festival celebrates African American culture in one of the largest cultural events on the East Coast. The event draws more than 100,000 people to Druid Hill Park for two days live entertainment, local food, and more.
Fall is a great time to visit Baltimore thanks to temperate weather, beautiful foliage, and a top-notch beer scene. Temperatures can be up to 80 degrees F (27 degrees C) in September but can go as low as 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) in November and rain is possible. You can head to the parks to see changing leaves, catch a baseball game if the Orioles make the playoffs, or visit one of the various beer and seafood festivals. Halloween is especially spooky here, thanks to Edgar Allen Poe, the city’s legendary creepy writer.
Events to check out:
- Baltimore Book Festival and Light City have joined forces under Brilliant Baltimore, giving people 10 days of activities, day and night. The book festival brings international authors for book signings and readings and Light City showcases light installations, music, and other innovations.
- Seafood is renowned in Charm City and there are multiple festivals where it’s celebrated. One of the biggest is September’s Baltimore Seafood Fest on the Canton Waterfront, which features seafood from local restaurants, drinks, live music, cooking demonstrations, and a kids’ area.
- October is when Edgar Allen Poe enthusiasts choose to celebrate the famous author who lived and died in Baltimore. The Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum hosts the International Edgar Allan Poe Festival and Awards and the Westminster Hall & Burying Grounds, where Poe is buried, features the festival’s official Black Cat Bal party.
- Baltimore also loves its beer. This is especially apparent at the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, which happens every fall and features more than 60 of Maryland’s craft breweries.
- Das Oktober Fest has been happening annually for almost 20 years at the M&T Bank Stadium lots, celebrating beer, sausages, and German culture.
- Halloween brings the Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival with costumes, hayrides, and lanterns of course.