It’s not quite winter here in the DMV, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start looking ahead to the various seasonal festivities taking over the region in just a few weeks. From Christmas markets to igloo festivals, there are several reasons to venture outdoors this season, many of which can be found in the city of Baltimore.
While it may appear to be far, Charm City is just about an hour and a half away from Northern Virginia, making for a great weekend getaway with the family. Whether you want to get a head start on Christmas shopping or are interested in introducing your little ones to ice skating, there’s something for everyone in Baltimore this winter.
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Ice Rink at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
Nov. 1-Jan. 20
New and experienced skaters alike are welcome to practice their skills on the ice rink of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this winter. As you make circles on the ice, be sure to take in views of the waterfront and when you’re done, warm up by the waterside fire pits and heaters. For those who don’t have their own skates, rentals are available for $4. // Top of the Amphitheater, Inner Harbor: 201 E. Pratt St., Baltimore; $9-$10, $150 for season pass
German Christmas Village
Nov. 28-Dec. 24
Featuring more than 50 booths filled with traditional European bites, holiday gifts and high-quality arts and crafts, the German Christmas Village is a one-of-a-kind tradition in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. In addition to international vendors, there will be twinkling lights throughout the indoor and outdoor affair, as well as special events on designated dates. While there will be a sneak preview event on Saturday, Nov. 23, the official opening ceremony takes place on Sunday, Dec. 1 with a prologue spoken by the Nuremberg Christkind from Germany, which is the equivalent of America’s Santa Claus. // West Shore Park at The Inner Harbor: 501 Light St., Baltimore; free entry
Rooftop Skating Rink at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
Nov. 29-Jan. 5
For just one month, you can skate the day away at the Four Seasons, as it unveils a synthetic ice rink on the fifth floor terrace, showcasing views of both the harbor and city skyline. The 1,8000-square-foot skating rink will feature twinkling lights, festive decor and holiday music blaring from the speaker system. Worried you’ll get cold? The hotel has prepared for that with house-made hot cocoa and hot toddies sold outside the rink. // Four Seasons Baltimore: 200 International Drive, Baltimore; $20 for hotel guests, $30 for non-hotel guests
Baltimore Holiday Retail Pop-Ups
Nov. 30-Dec. 21
Located in a historic building once used as a cargo port, the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore is a picturesque site in the Fells Point neighborhood of the city. To get into the Christmas spirit, the hotel is hosting a retail pop-up event featuring vendors from local shops and restaurants, creating a one-stop shop for holiday shopping. After you grab a few gifts in the concierge lounge, make your way to the hotel’s courtyard for spiked hot chocolate and apple cider, paired perfectly with outdoor fire pits. // Sagamore Pendry Baltimore: 1715 Thames St., Baltimore; free entry
Miracle on 34th Street
Nov. 30-Jan. 1
Every night from the end of November to New Year’s Day, a section of 34th Street in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore radiates with color, light and joy from a 73-year-old holiday light display. While the event started with one local couple’s holiday decor, it eventually grew into an internationally known event, all due to the efforts of residents who live on 34th Street. From inflatable reindeer to giant Christmas trees to cable wires aligned with colorful lights, there’s so much to see. // 700 block of 35th Street, between Chestnut Avenue and Keswick Road, Baltimore; free