Baltimore's Best Christmas Lights Displays

Baltimore is often listed among the top places to catch Christmas light displays, offering residents and visitors alike a winter wonderland complete with thousands of illuminated bulbs and decorations.

From a parade of lighted boats to drive-through Christmas spectacles, holiday displays keep the area bright throughout the harsh northeast winter, and with this list, you'll get a heads up on the best places to visit in and around the city so you can better plan your holiday vacation to Baltimore.

While you're in town, be sure to check out the shopping district for those last-minute Christmas gifts, visit a few local museums and attractions, and eat out at one of the many well-decorated restaurants downtown to really experience Christmas in Baltimore.

01 of 05

Miracle on 34th Street

Baltimore Miracle on 34th Christmas
Karol Olson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
720 W 34th St, Baltimore, MD 21211, USA

Each year, one block of 34th Street in Hampden puts on a Christmas display like no other. At 720 West 34th Street, you'll find inflatable decorations spilling out of porches, candy canes lining the sidewalks, musical trains circling overhead, and thousands of bulbs lighting up the block.

This is a wonderful display that the entire family can enjoy, and if you've seen the film "Miracle on 34th Street," it will be all the more memorable for you.

Don't miss some of the Baltimore trademarks, including a house decorated with a blinking Natty Boh and Utz Girl, as well as the "Hubcap Christmas Tree" by local artist Jim Pollock.

For 2018 the dates will be Saturday, November 24 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019. The lights will be on from around 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night except Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve when they stay on all night.​

02 of 05

Symphony of Lights

Symphony of Lights columbia

Symphony of Lights Festivities

10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044, USA
+1 410-715-5550

Each year, Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia pulls out all the bells and whistles and gets decked out in more than 70 animated and stationary holiday lights. You'll ooh and ah at the glorious decorations, all the while bonding with the family and friends who accompany you to this marvelous sight.

Presented by and benefiting the Howard County General Hospital, the Symphony of Lights has been a time-honored tradition of Howard County for over 20 years, during which time over 2 million visitors have come to experience this fantastic lighting display raising more than 8 million dollars for the John Hopkins Medicine member.

The Symphony of Lights is located at Brokenland Parkway and Hickory Ridge Road in Columbia, Maryland. The display opens November 22, 2018, and runs through December 30, 2018, Wednesdays-Fridays, 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturdays-Sundays, 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. The lights display will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

03 of 05

Winter Festival of Lights

Winter Festival of Lights Watkins Regional Park

M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation

301 Watkins Park Dr, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774, USA
+1 301-218-6700

Enjoy a Christmas light spectacle from the comfort of your own car at this drive-through display in Watkins Regional Park. If the weather is particularly brutal during the winter, you won't regret staying in the car rather than risking the frigid temperatures outdoors. To boot, this Christmas light display now features more than one million twinkling lights.

If you're super busy during the holidays, as many people are, a drive-through display can save you some time as well. Just consider going at non-peak hours, as these displays attract tons of visitors, which can lead to a backlog of traffic and slow you down.

The event takes place Friday, November 23, 2018, through Tuesday, January 1, 2019. You can drive through from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, this winter wonderland offers guests all the thrills for just $5 per person.

04 of 05

Lighting of the George Washington Monument

Baltimore Holiday Celebration
Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images
699 Washington Pl, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
+1 410-962-5070

Don't miss the annual lighting of the George Washington Monument in the 600 block of Cathedral Street at Mount Vernon Place. During the event, the lights are turned on as an evening of choir performances and vibrant fireworks unfolds. That means you'll get music, fireworks, and a light display—can't beat that! The event will be Thursday, December 6, 2018.

Local vendors will also sell refreshments, and if you miss the lighting, no worries. The monument will be lit up through the holiday season, and much of the surrounding street also gets decked out in lights, so you can visit this display at your convenience.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Parade of Lighted Boats

Baltimore Parade of Lighted Boats
Patrick Gillespie / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
512 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231-2912, USA

Each year, the Fells Point Yacht Club at 512 South Broadway parades 50 boats festooned with holiday lights and other decorations through the water at Fells Point and the Inner Harbor.

Some of the best places to see the display are from Broadway Pier in Fells Point, the Inner Harbor Promenade, and from Tidepoint, but many waterfront hotels and restaurants also have excellent views.

This year, the 31st Annual Parade of Lighted Boats will begin at 6 p.m. at Fells Point at the anchorage marina and arrive at Inner Harbor by 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1, 2018. It is recommended that you arrive at least an hour before the show arrives at your location to secure a good spot to view this spectacle.

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Christmas Lights in Baltimore: Best Displays