Baltimore is a great city for cruising around and looking for the best Christmas light displays. Residents and visitors alike will find that the city easily transforms into a winter wonderland complete with thousands of lights and decorations.
From a parade of illuminated boats to drive-through Christmas spectacles, holiday displays keep the area festive during winter. Here's 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 for the full Baltimore Christmas experience.
Miracle on 34th Street
Each year, one block of 34th Street in the neighborhood of 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 lots of Christmas lights. Don't miss the crowd's favorite landmark: the hubcap Christmas tree created by the local artist Jim Pollock. Occurring annually, decorations go up after Thanksgiving and typically stay up until January 1.
Each year, Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia pulls out all the bells and whistles to get decked out with more than 70 animated and stationary holiday lights. You'll be mesmerized by the glorious decorations, all the while bonding with the family and friends who may 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, a time during which over two million visitors have come to experience this fantastic lighting display raising more than eight million dollars for the John Hopkins Medicine member.
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. If you can, try to visit outside of peak hours, since these displays attract tons of visitors, which can lead to a backlog of traffic and slow you down.
Lighting of the George Washington Monument
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 held on December 5, 2019.
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.
Parade of Lighted Boats
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.
On December 7, 2019, the 32nd Annual Parade of Lighted Boats will depart the Anchorage Marina at 6 p.m. and the boats will begin to arrive at Inner Harbor around 6:30 p.m. Plan to arrive at least an hour before the show arrives at your location to secure a good spot to view this spectacle.