The Christmas season is a great time to visit Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, and enjoy a variety of seasonal activities. Stroll along the historical seaport, shop for unique gifts, check out some of Annapolis’ museums and 18th century historic homes, get in the spirit of the season while watching the Annapolis Christmas light boat parade or listen to a concert of holiday music. Mark your calendar for some of the region's best events.
For general information about Annapolis, see an Annapolis Visitor’s Guide.
2017 Calendar of Annapolis Christmas Events
Lights on the Bay - November 18, 2017 - January 1, 2018, 5-10 p.m. Sandy Point State Park, Route 50, Annapolis, Maryland. (410) 481-3161. An annual drive through Christmas light show sponsored by the Anne Arundel Medical Center. Drive along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and see more than 60 animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. $15 per car.
Lighting of the Annapolis Christmas Tree - November 26, 2017, 5-7 p.m. Market House, 25 Market St., Annapolis City Dock. Kick off the holiday season with the annual lighting of the tree.
Watch Santa arrive by horse and carriage and enjoy dancing and carols sponsored by the Annapolis Jaycees.
Midnight Madness Holiday Shopping - Thursdays, December 7, 14 and 21, 2017, 6 p.m.-midnight. Downtown Annapolis along Maryland Avenue, Main, and West Streets. Historic Annapolis' shops stay open late for this community block party that is open to all. Enjoy musical performances, food and refreshments and enjoy some holiday cheer!
Anne Arundel County Holiday Farmers Market - 2017 Date to Be Announced. 7 a.m. to Noon Harry S. Truman Parkway and Riva Road, Annapolis. A variety of vendors from Anne Arundel County will be selling homegrown and handcrafted locally produced items. Items available include wreaths, fresh greens, baked goods, coffee, herbs, candy and seasonal produce.
Chocolate Binge Festival - December 3, 2017, Noon-5 p.m. First Blocks of West Street, Downtown Annapolis. A dozen local chocolate vendors will be selling chocolate specialties, including chocolate caramels, cakes, chocolate bars, truffles, fudge, cookies, candies, hot chocolate, fondue, martinis and more. Enjoy live music, a marshmallow roast, a gingerbread house moon bounce, giant snowball run, hot chocolate and a visit with Santa.
State House Holiday Concert - December 2, 2017, 5-9 p.m. 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD. Experience the beauty of Maryland’s historic State House as you enjoy the sounds of youth choruses and musicians by the glow of the State’s official Christmas tree.
Handel's Messiah Concert - December 2-3, 2017, Main Chapel, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Performance by USNA Glee Club, Hood College Choir and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Honoring a long-standing tradition, the USNA Glee Club joins the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera Company to present selections from Handel's beloved Messiah. Conducted by USNA Director of Choral Activities, the elegant concert has been broadcast on public television stations regionally and nationwide.
Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade - December 9, 2017, 6-8 p.m. Annapolis City Harbor (410) 267-9549. Every year on the second Saturday in December, magic happens on the waters of the Annapolis Harbor. Dozens of boats illuminated with thousands of colored lights and crewed by jolly revelers suddenly appear out of the cold winter night. Enjoy a parade of lights when more than 70 power and sailboats show off their holiday decorations.
Military Bowl and Parade - December 28, 2017. U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Military Bowl® presented by Northrop Grumman, benefiting the USO, will match a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) against an opponent from the American Athletic Conference (AAC) live on ESPN.
New Years Annapolis - December 31, 2017. Ring in the new year at a family-oriented event. Start the celebration at 3 p.m. on the ball fields behind Maryland Hall and Bates Middle School. Activities will include face painting, an obstacle course, moon bounce and music performed by kids’ rock bands. Be sure to stay for the 5:30 p.m. fireworks. The celebration continues with live music and dancing at Susan Campbell Park and the City Dock at 8 p.m. and leads to a countdown to the New Year and midnight fireworks.