This holiday season, set aside some time for a day trip to Baltimore or Washington, D.C. The neighboring cities have a variety of holiday festivities to offer, and you could create a fun memory to share with your loved ones. Here are our three picks for each city.
ZooLights at the National Zoo
Every year, the National Zoo invites thousands of visitors after hours for ZooLights. The event includes live music, winter treats and opportunities for holiday shopping. Oh — and more than 500,000 LED lights decorate the zoo, transforming it into a winter wonderland. There are additional rides and attractions, including the National Zoo Choo-Choo, Snow-less Tubing and Carousel. The ZooLights are open from November 23 to January 1 (except December 24, 25 and 31) from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. The event is free.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the famous American orchestra known for its Christmas hits “Carol of the Bells” and “Wizards In Winter,” is playing two times in the District this December. The ensemble will be at Capital One Arena on Sunday, December 23, for two performances: one at 3:00pm and one at 8:00pm. Tickets start at $70 and are available on www.ticketmaster.com.
Downtown Holiday Market
With more than 150 vendors, the 14th annual Downtown Holiday Market is a great place to shop for some locally made, unique gifts this holiday season. Located at 8th and F streets, this outdoor market is in the heart of Downtown Washington. The exhibitors rotate every day, with 60 on display at a time. There will also be live music and treats to sample throughout the market. The Downtown Holiday Market is open from November 23 to December 23, and it’s open from noon to 8:00pm daily.
The Christmas Village in Baltimore offers more than 50 vendors in a combined indoor and outdoor market. In addition to traditional European food, sweets and drinks, there is a unique shopping experience of international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry and arts. This year, the season starts with a preview on November 17 and 18 to offer a peek at what the village will hold. Then, the village opens full time from November 22 through December 24. The village is open from 11:00am to 7:00pm Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:00am to 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday. The Christmas Village is located at 501 Light Street in Baltimore.
Miracle On 34th Street
You’ve never seen anything like this before. For the last 72 years, the block of Baltimore’s 34th Street between Keswick Road and Chestnut Avenue has transformed into a unique holiday light show. While you can drive down the street and ogle the lights from your car, the best way to get the full experience is to wander from porch to porch and really take in all the directions and hard work that goes into these displays. The display runs from November 24 through January 1, and the lights are on from 6:00pm to 11:00pm. For GPS directions, enter 720 West 34th Street, Baltimore.
B&O’s Magical Holiday Express
All aboard! At B&O’s Magical Holiday Express, there’s something to see and do every day during this month-long event. Each holiday-themed weekend features a special guest, and guests can walk through a 30-foot Christmas tree. In addition to trains of all shapes and sizes, there is a winter wonderland and holiday festivities for everyone in the family. Tickets range from $12 to $20. The Magical Holiday Express runs from December 1-31. It’s open 10:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday, and 11:00am-4:00pm on Sunday.