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Holiday Guide

The Holiday Guide

What to do and where to go this season

Leah Miller

The Stoop Storytelling series' 
O Little Town of Baltimore at CENTERSTAGE Dec. 9-19.

Trixie Little and Monkey's Holiday Spectac-U-Thon at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson Dec. 17-18.

Mobtown Modern's Unsilent Night meets at the “Man/Woman” sculpture at Penn 
Station Dec. 11

Charm City Klezmer

!Colossal Klezmer Schlakht! at Creative Alliance at the Patterson Dec. 11.

BSO Holiday Spectacular at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Dec. 10-19.

Vienna Boys Choir plays Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Dec. 4.

Holiday Festival of Trains at B&O Railroad Museum Nov. 26-Jan. 2.

Symphony of Lights at Symphony Woods Nov. 22-Jan. 2.

Leslie Furlong

Ports America Chesapeake New Year's Eve Spectacular at the Inner Harbor Dec. 31.

Bazaart Preview Party and Sale at 
American Visionary Arts Museum Nov. 26-27.

MICA Art Market at Maryland Institute College of Art Dec. 8-11.

Chanukah: The Missing Menorah at the Senator Theatre Dec. 5.

Great Russian Nutcracker at the Hippodrome Theatre Dec. 11-12.

Sanjay Suchak

The Happy Elf at Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center through Nov. 28.

Ho-Ho-Hoping for a bright and happy Holiday season? Take care of yourself and the ones you care about by staying busy and holding SAD at bay by making plans now—before it all gets too much—and stick to them. Our annual calendar of holiday events will keep you busy reading, sure, but please to circle or cut out the Santa Claus appearances, lighted house tours, and nutcrackin’ dance performances you want to attend this year and/or e-mail them to your loved ones from Shopping opportunities and, on the flip side, chances to help others are listed too, along with traditional parades and loads of music—holy and not so. Oddball workshops, street festivals, and celebrations ringing in 2011 range from free to $$$ so no excuses—this whole evergreen-smelling, twinkle lighted, dressed up cozy, present-wrapping two months happens so fast, it’ll be tax time before you know it. Happy happy.

Wendy Ward stitched this felt gingerbread house together and Laura Dattaro added rick-rack to the roof.


Carroll County Christmas Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18, Agriculture Center, 700 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster, (410) 848-7748,, free. Special holiday foods, goods, and gifts, along with emu meat, fresh wreaths, and acoustic entertainment by Common Ground Musicians.

Maryland Christmas Show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays Nov. 19-21 and 26-28, Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 898-5466,, $7, children ages 10 and under $4. Seven buildings and big-top Christmas tents set up with vendors selling everything from wooden spoons to furniture to glass ornaments, paintings, and quilts. The food pavilion offers savory and sweet bites to eat on the spot and loads of yummy gifts for the hosts and hostesses on your social calendar.

WreathFEST, 5-8 p.m. Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Nov. 20, noon-5 p.m. Nov. 21, Chesapeake Art Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, (410) 636-6597,, free, Friday’s reception $10. Get a unique hanging round for your front door at this auction of wreaths decorated by local artsy folks to benefit the CAC. Winners will be announced 1 p.m. Sunday Nov. 21.

Santa’s Christmas Craft Show, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 21, Carroll County Agriculture Center, Shipley Arena, 706 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster,, $3, children under 15 free. Santa’s coming in on a whirlybird 11 a.m. Saturday and staying all weekend to talk to the youngsters while grown folks can drop some dough on handcrafted items and Hillbilly Jeff’s Kettle Korn.

Winterfest, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays Nov. 20-Jan. 8, Baltimore Clayworks, 5707 Smith Ave., (410) 578-1919,, free. You’ll find a tea mug for your earthy aunt or a modern serving platter for a newlywed at this annual holiday sale of utilitarian ceramics made by local artists alongside those made by clay masters from Oregon and Kentucky. It opens with a free reception 6-8 p.m. Nov. 20. but there’s a jazz preview 6-8 p.m. Nov. 19 with musician George Spicka, munchies from Banksy’s Cafe, and sweets from Dia de Los ($20, members $15).

Sugarloaf Craft Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 19-20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 21, Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, (301) 990-1400,, $9, advance $7, children under 12 free. To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Sugarloaf is calling out the years each vendor has been participating, and you can see it right on their booths—all 350 of them, selling handcrafted jewelry, furniture, art, ceramics, and more.

St. David’s Christmas Bazaar, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 20, St. David’s Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave., (410) 467-0476,, free. A toy shop and Santa’s Wonderland will keep the kiddies happy and a food court can feed the grumpy while the organized among your group can shop from Candy Point Collections Jewelry, Macraw & Co. stuff for men, Mama’s Apron Strings aprons, Your Stationary, and more.

Sophia’s Holiday Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 21, Parish Hall, Memorial Episcopal Church, 1407 Bolton St., (410) 669-0220, free. Old-fashioned church fair with arts and crafts, a bake sale with hand-baked carbs, and lunch and bevies for sale.

Frosty Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 26, Downtown Frederick Main Street Area, Market and Patrick Streets, Carroll Creek Park and Everedy Square and Shab Row,, free. Enjoy hot cocoa, carolling, and plenty of holiday entertainments while shopping the Frederick boutiques, plus free pictures with Frosty the Snowman 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 44 N. Market St., in the lobby next to Isabella’s Restaurant.

Country Crafts Guild Fall Arts and Craft Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 26-27, Rock Hall Fire House, 21500 Rock Hall Ave., Rt. 20, (410) 778-1432, $2, children under 12 free. Needlework; collectibles including decked out Santas, garden statuary, crocheted accessories, fresh greenery, soaps, shell and driftwood art; and so much more. You can cross every elderly person you know off your gift list because they will love this stuff.

Bazaart Preview Party and Sale, 5:30-8 p.m. Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 27, American Visionary Arts Museum, Jim Rouse Visionary Center, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900,, preview party $20, sale free. Enjoy munchies and an adult beverage while getting right of first refusal, but who can resist the artful gift items and crafty shit from 50 regional artists? The free market Saturday offers the picked-over goods, plus a welcome to tour the exhibits housed in the JRVC.

Moonlight Merriment, Nov. 26, Belvedere Square, York Road and Northern Parkway,, free. OK, this is just a Black Friday event, but Nouveau’s running a complimentary martini bar at night and complimentary photos with “Naughty Santa,” Crush’s offering a Kris Kringle krush (yum) for $5, and TechLab hands out complimentary refreshments.

Open House and Holiday Sale, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City, (410) 313-2787,, free. Bead Soup, Patrinkets, Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore, and other local artists, along with organizations such as the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, present their goods and open their studios for the evening.

Christmas Village Bazaar, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 4, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 1108 Providence Road, Towson, (410) 821-5489,, free. Besides a bake shop, home-made candy and crafts, Christmas plants, children’s games, and a hot lunch, this fair offers fill-a-bag from the “nearly new” shop and books and toys area for $2 starting at noon—and we all know that “nearly new” can be higher quality than “brand new” from the mall.

Holiday Heap, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 4, St. John’s Church, 2640 St. Paul St.,, free. Alternative crafts from over 50 artisans—many local—along with live music curated and hosted by the Charm City Craft Mafia, which isn’t as scary as it is incredibly inspiring for those of us who enjoy felting and braiding plant hangers.

Out of Hand Craft Show, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5, Knights of Columbus, 201 Homeland Ave.,, free. Local artists Sandra Magsamen and Anita Klein created this annual craft show to showcase paper and fabric arts, jewelry, ceramics, decorative and useful items made of metal and wood, and other gifts sold by the folks who make them, lovingly.

Olney Farmers and Artists Holiday Market, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 5, Rt. 108 and Prince Philip Drive,, free. Along with tables loaded with local produce and holiday foods, this open market features a fire pit, children’s craft tent and a farm animal parade, cooking demos, jewelry and art vendors, and potato latkes alongside Zeke’s delicious coffee

Merry Mart, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, free. If the fact that it’s held at the arts hub Creative Alliance is any indication, this gift show of locally made stuff including ceramics, art, felt accessories, soaps, and more hosted by Jen Menkhaus and Allison Fomich will be worth a trip to Highlandtown.

Stitches in Season, noon-4:30 p.m. Dec. 4, the Banneker Museum, 300 Oella Ave., (410) 887-1081. Along with browsing a market full of quilts and other gift options for purchase, take part in a workshop with quilt expert Joan Gaither, a reception featuring the Banneker Museum Quilting Circle, and the making of a community quilt.

MICA Art Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 8-11, Maryland Institute College of Art, Leidy Atrium and Falvey Hall lobby, Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 225-2503,, free. Take advantage of the talent that makes up the Maryland Institute College of Art community when 250 MICA students, alumni, faculty, and staff present their arts and crafts in the form of prints, jewelry, clothing and accessories, ceramics, photography, books, mosaics, and more.

St. John’s Christmas Bazaar, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 11, St. John’s in the Village, 3009 Greenmount Ave., (410) 467-4793,, free. Old St. Nick has been invited to this holiday fair, featuring the old white elephant area, tables full of children’s clothes, books, and knickknacks, plus cookies.

Kid Stuff

The Polar Express 4D, through Jan. 3, National Aquarium in Baltimore, 501 E. Pratt St., (410) 576-3800,, $5 in addition to admission. A 20-minute version of the beloved animated film starring the voice of Tom Hanks for all four of your senses. (Do not eat too many gingerbread houses pre-viewing as the film experience features seat rumblings along with innocent blasts of cold air.)

Visits with Santa at Arundel Mills, through Dec. 24, Arundel Mills Mall, Hanover, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, (410) 540-5110,, free. After checking out new suede boots at DSW and buying woolie warmstuffs from the outlet stores, bring the kids to Neighborhood 2—near the Children’s Place, conveniently—for a free visit with St. Nick. Photo packages and accessories (key chains?) available for purchase.

Visits with Santa at the Mall in Columbia, through Dec. 24, the Mall in Columbia, Lord and Taylor Court, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,, free. Enter the Santastic™ snowy wonderland, where kids can send letters to the North Pole, test their goodness at the Naughty or Nice meter, and give their wish list to Santa in person.

Visits with Santa at White Marsh Mall, through Dec. 24, White Marsh Mall, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd.,, free. Dress the kiddies up in red velvet and snowflake sweaters, wait in line, place them on Santa’s lap to talk to him about all the books and socks they want for Xmas, and get an adorable photo you’ll cherish for decades to come. Good times.

Santa Celebration at Family Fun Day, 10 a.m. Nov. 18, the Mall in Columbia, Nordstrom Court, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,, free. Baltimore’s beloved kids’ band Milkshake performs, and there’ll be jingle bells and reindeer antlers for the shorties, plus a visit from the old man in the red suit—wait, you know who we mean.

Visits at Santa at Towson Town Center, Nov. 19-Dec. 24, Towson Town Center, GBMC Grand Court, 825 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, (410) 494-8800,, free. Busy kids’ band the Milkshake Duo featuring Lisa and Mikel welcome Santa’s arrival at 10 a.m. Nov. 19. He’ll be around for photo ops through Christmas Eve, so that’s fun.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Nov. 19-Jan. 2, Adventure Theatre, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, (301) 634-2270,, $15. The Misfit Toys, Sam the Snowman, Yukon Cornelius, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Santa, and Rudolph hit the stage in this family favorite. Throughout the run, you can bring new hats, mittens, and coats for donation to A Wider Circle, which helps families in need.

Santa at Harborplace, Nov. 19-Dec. 24, Harborplace Amphitheater, 200 E. Pratt St.,, free, photo packages available. The jolly fat man in the red suit arrives to his environmentally green Inner Harbor Santa House accompanied by special local characters 6 p.m. Nov. 19 and stays to visit with kids 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays and Christmas Eve. Special light shows take place every half hour 6-8 p.m. nightly.

Santa Trains, weekends Nov. 27-Dec. 18, Walkersville Southern Railroad, 34 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Walkersville, (301) 898-0899,, $12, seniors $10, children $7, babies under 1 free. Take a train ride just 50 miles from Baltimore 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. weekend afternoons, followed by hot chocolate and cookies in the museum. Reservations recommended.

Hands on Holidays Hanukkah, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 3, Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd St., (410) 732-6400,, RSVP to (410) 356.5200, ext. 344 or e-mail Children ages 4 and under (with an adult obviously you guys) are invited for super-fun crafts and music, plus snacks.

Breakfast with Santa, 8 a.m. Dec. 4, the Mall in Columbia, Nordstrom Cafe, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,, $10. Nordstrom Café hosts the most important meal of the day and kids get a visit with Santa and a goodie bag; benefits the Howard County Hospital Foundation.

Breakfast and Lunch with Santa, 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4, Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, (410) 730-3987,, $5. After a meal with Santa and photos, kids can get elfin help shopping (no adults allowed) at the Secret Shop with prices meant to match allowance trends (free gift wrapping; exact cash or check only).

Kwanzaa Celebration, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 4, Morgan State University, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, (443) 885-4328,, free. Children from kindergarten through high school are invited to learn more about the African-American holiday of reflection and inspiration incorporating the Nguzo Saba (seven principles) through dance, music, storytelling, games, art, food, and exhibits. All children must be registered.

Maria Broom StoryDancer, 3 p.m. Dec. 4, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, free. Learn by way of entertainment during this bright program of Kwanzaa songs and stories told and danced in the griot tradition by Maria Broom and Jali D, the Drum Talker.

Chanukah: The Missing Menorah, 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 5, the Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road,, $20, $15 advance, $3 additional members. The Jewish Community Center Association and JCC of Greater Baltimore presents a special Hanukkah episode from Shalom Sesame, a new series set in Israel from the folks behind Sesame Street. The morning includes photo ops with Grover and balloons.

Highlight the Holidays, 2-5 p.m. Sundays Dec. 5-26, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (410) 889-3399,, free. Special kids’ activities inspired by Andy Warhol to ward off cabin fever, including building a luminary Dec. 5 and holiday crafts on Dec. 19.

Kidgits Gingerbread Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6, Arundel Mills Mall, Hanover, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, (410) 540-5110,, free. Children ages 4-12 (kids under age 7 must be accompanied by an adult) get help making gingerbread houses by local pastry-slingers, who then turn around and award prizes. RSVPs to recommended.

Baltimore Reads Holiday Fair, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 11, Baltimore Reads Book Bank, 10 N. Calvert St., (410) 752-3595,, free. Instill a love of reading and generosity in your kids by bringing them to this bonus-disco awesome book giveaway and story time featuring information for teenagers interested in volunteering and community service, plus a gift shop just so kids can pick out free or kid-friendly priced gifts for loved ones.

Breakfast with Santa and Friends, 8-10 a.m. Dec. 11 and 19, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, 1876 Mansion House Drive, (443) 552-5276,, $35, members $25, children under 12 $15, children under 2 free. A yummy warm meal on the zoo’s historical Mansion House porch and holiday crafts, plus a chance to take your photo with the charming penguin ambassadors and take a meeting with Santa. Includes zoo admission, so plan ahead and make it an afternoon.

Little Day Winter Wonderland, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 11, Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, (410) 727-8120,, free with admission. Children ages 5 and under get to decorate “gingerbricks” and build a gingerbread museum after a “cook and tell” session with folks from McCormick and Company and the awesome Wegmans food emporium.

Christmas for Kids, 11 a.m. Dec. 18, Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road,, (410) 337-6333, $13. The Baltimore Choral Arts Society gets down to the little ones’ level with this fun production featuring the lovable Ronnie the Reindeer and a visit from Santa, natch.

Winter Break Activities, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 26-Jan. 2, the Walters, 600 N. Charles St.,, free. All we want post-Christmas is . . . ArtCarts! ArtCarts: the way to make the Walters wee hand-friendly. Kids can create a different work of art inspired by winter stories, festivals of light, and the galleries full of art every day of their winter break.

Port Discovery Winter Break, Dec. 26-30, Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, (410) 727-8120,, free with admission. Swing by for extended hours and festive performances and programing just for the kidsters, including Japanese Kamishibai story time and snowflake make-and-take.

Holiday Week Explorations, 2 p.m. Dec. 27-30, Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., (410) 685-2370,, free with admission. The Kids’ Room hosts three days of educationally good times: Brr, It’s Cold Out There! with icy painting Dec. 27; Jingle, Jingle, Jingle with make-your-own musical instruments Dec. 28; Green Science with a look at evergreens under the microscope Dec. 29; and Five, Four, Three, Two, One . . . with weeble woobles and their friend gravity Dec. 30.

Midnight Noon, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 31, Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., (410) 685-2370,, free with admission. Little ones get to celebrate the end of 2010 and welcome 2011 with party just for them, featuring a performance by the playful Milkshake band, Rufus puppet shows presented by the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, hat- and noise-making, and crafts to get ‘em exhausted for the babysitter later in the evening.

Noontime New Year: A Masquerade Bash, noon Dec. 31, Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, (410) 727-8120,, free with admission. Leave the sequins for after dark and dress the kids in their favorite costumes for a milk toast at noon and tons of fun activities like a Punch and Judy show and carnival games.


The Nutcracker, 11 a.m. Dec. 4, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8024,, $12-$20. Excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet about a girl and her nutcracker performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Ballet for children ages 5 and up with their families, preceded by the BSO Family Fun Zone in the main lobby, which opens at 10 a.m.

The Cracked Nut, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4-5, Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City, (410) 480-1686,, $5. The local Kinetics Dance Theatre’s senior and student companies add modern, jazz, and hip-hop dance to their playful production of The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11, 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2835,, $11-$25. Maryland Regional Ballet presents the delightful ballet based on the book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King , written by E.T.A. Hoffman, with guest artists from the Boston Ballet and Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

Great Russian Nutcracker, 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 11, 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 12, Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400,,, $27.50-$350. Moscow Ballet’s 40 classically trained Russian dancers perform the beloved Christmas story on an elaborately embellished stage to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite played by a live orchestra conducted by Silas Nathaniel Huff.

The Nutcracker on Ice, 5:15 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11, 4:30 and 6 p.m. Dec. 12, Columbia Ice Rink, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5876 Thunder Hill Road, Columbia, (410) 730-0322,, $10, children under 3 free, advance tickets recommended. It’s tricky to be original with a classic like The Nutcracker, but after 20 years, the Columbia Figure Skating Club’s got it down. A magically growing on-ice Christmas tree, adorable little skaters in tea cake costumes, soldiers marching stately on their toe picks, plus all the beauty and elegance of some fantastic, nationally recognized skaters.

The Nutcracker, 7 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 4:30 p.m. Sundays Dec. 11-19, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, (410) 280-5640,, $19-$45. Presented by the Ballet Theatre of Maryland; Sunday matinee performances include the Sugar Plum Fairy Party at 3:30 p.m. for little girls and boys and those of us that took ballet for half of second grade before dropping out but sometimes think a pair of real ballet slippers would look cuter on us than on Amy Winehouse.

The Nutcracker, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 3 p.m. Sunday Dec. 12, Goucher College Kraushaar Auditorium, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, (410) 667-7974,, $30, children under 12 $15. The Baltimore Ballet leaps, jumps, and cradles a nutcracker in its lively annual performance, which usually sells out so get tickets in advance.

Christmas Carol/Stage

The Happy Elf, through Nov. 27, Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Montgomery College, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville, Frederick, (240) 567-5301,, $20, Montgomery College students and children under 12 $12. Musical based on the song by Harry Connick Jr. that tells the story of North Pole elf Eubie who tries to bring Christmas joy to smalltown Bluesville, whose residents are as sad as their moniker, so he can get a job on Santa’s sleigh team.

A Christmas Carol, through Jan. 2, Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Baltimore, 5625 O’Donnell St., (410) 649-1660,, $49.50-$55, children $35.50. The Broadway version of Charles Dickens’ tale of good triumphing over greed with music and lyrics by song and dance veterans Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. Plus, you don’t have to plan a meal around the show as Toby’s productions come with a buffet.

A Peppermint Patty Christmas, Dec. 2-18, Strand Theatre Company, 1823 N. Charles St.,, $15, students and seniors $10. Local playwright Kate Bishop twists the going-home-for-the-holidays story to, frankly, sound a lot more realistic by making right on the promises made to one’s therapist, lover, and self, despite what mom says. Pass the green beans and fuck you, right? We’ve all been there.

Pigs at the Pole, 4-5 p.m. Dec. 4, Chesapeake Art Center’s Studio 194 Theatre, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, (410) 636-6597,, $10, children $5. Blue Sky Puppet Theatre tells the tale of what happens when Santa’s elves are under the weather and he calls in fairy tales’ leading porkers, the Three Little Pigs, who you know are gonna ham up the South Pole.

Babes in Toyland, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 2 p.m. Dec. 5, Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, (410) 337-8519,, $20, children ages 12 and under $12. The Baltimore Actor’s Theater presents this alternative holiday musical featuring the Mother Goose Village, Toyland, a three-headed dragon (right?), dancing dollies, and prancing toy soldiers.

Stocking Stuffers, Dec. 9-19, Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., (410) 276-7837,, $10-$17. Classic holiday characters imbued with human frailties—sound familiar Dad? This comedic production stars Uncle Sam, Easter Bunny, Cupid, Ezekiel the Pilgrim, Hagatha the Witch, Donner, Blitzen, Barbie, and GI Joe in six holiday scenes; includes FPCT’s Holiday Bazaar, the proceeds of which benefit their youth programs.

The Snow Queen, 7 p.m. Dec. 11-12 and 17, 3 p.m. Dec. 18, Maryland Institute College of Art’s BBOX, Gateway Building, 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 225-2300,, free. All-student version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, a fairy tale about the children Kai and Gerda and their individual journeys to the Snow Queen’s Palace, presented by Illustration Workshop Class Studio Remix; the adaptation was conceived by New Yorkers Marcos Chin and David Drake.

Stoop Storytelling’s O Little Town of Baltimore, showtimes vary Dec. 9-12 and 16-19, Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., (410) 332-0033,, $23. Old-fashioned variety show featuring 40 stories told in eight shows with live sound effects, host Aaron Henkin, and musical entertainment by ellen cherry, trio West Ave, barbershop quartet BSQ, Ahmad Borani, and Prem Raja Mahat. Cocktail hour with live music prior to the show.

A Christmas Carol, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2 p.m. Dec. 19, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2835,, $22, seniors and students $20, children $12. Everybody loves the Donald Duck version of this holiday classic, but give the Maryland Ensemble Theatre and the Fun Company a shot at Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—it’s not their first time at the Victorian rodeo.

Trixie and Monkey’s Holiday Spectac-U-Thon, 7 and 10 p.m. Dec. 17-18, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, $20, members $18. We’re gonna let Trixie take this one: “This is the show to bring your parents to . . . as long as they aren’t squeamish about seeing a girl and a monkey flip around half naked. This show is the best of what we can offer . . . jaw-dropping trapeze, titillating striptease, heart-stopping acrobatics, surreal shrubbery, psychedelic dance numbers, live French horns, tons of singing, over-sized props and total outrageousness.” Subtle, right?


Mingle at the Mill, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 18, Clipper Mill, Clipper Park Road, free. Corradetti Glass Studio and Gallery, Shine Collective, Amaranthine Museum, Gutierrez Studios, and other Clipper Mill studios kick off the holidays with this annual open house, featuring bevies, a cozy fire pit, and music.

Vegetarian Resource Group Potluck Dinner, 5 p.m. Nov. 21, North Baltimore Mennonite Church, 4615 Roland Ave., (410) 366-8343,, $4, children free. Dig into a birdless Turkey Day meal by bringing a vegan dish that feeds four (one dish from each guest) and a utensil to serve it; table settings are provided but bringing your own dishes/forks is greener than Brussels sprouts. All donations of vegetarian canned goods will be given to the church for those in need.

Miracle on Main Street, 5-10 p.m. Nov. 27, Downtown Westminster, Main Street, Longwell Avenue, Locust Lane, and Pennsylvania Avenue, (410) 848-6962,, free. Westminster’s Holiday Electric Parade with lighted floats, marching bands, horses, and Santa Claus, followed by the lighting of the city’s holiday tree at Locust Lane Park and Santa’s Treat winter carnival for children ages 5-12 at the Westminster Family Fitness Center.

Miracle on 34th, 6 p.m.-midnight Nov. 27-Jan.1, 34th Street between Keswick Road and Chestnut Avenue,, free. During the cold winter evenings, this block of pure delight features every single house decorated to the nines in merriment and bright twinkles. Park and walk, because the drive-through line-up is mile-long and really, you need to take it slow to take it all in. Bring a thermos of the good stuff.

Mondo Baltimore: Silent Night, 7 p.m. Dec. 2, the Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave.,, free. Shiller of “horrible and Bizarre cult films” Mondo Baltimore gets frighteningly jolly with a showing of “Famous Sci-Fi Trilogy Holiday Special” followed by 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night. Note to audience: Please to keep the obnoxiousness levels high and the whiskey flowing.

A Monumental Occasion, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Mount Vernon Place, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 752-8632, Meet up with friends or run into people you haven’t seen since Artscape at Mount Vernon’s chilly park party with strolling entertainment, food/drink vendors, and music and fireworks timed with the lighting of the Washington Monument by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The nearby Walters Art Museum opens its doors for a special family friendly celebration 5-8:30 p.m.

Fells Point Olde-Tyme Christmas, 9 a.m-6 p.m., Dec. 4, Broadway Pier and Square, 900 S. Broadway, (410) 522-5820 for reservations at Shuckers,, $5 donation for photos with St. Nick at Shuckers. The morning starts with St. Nicholas arriving via tugboat to Broadway Pier and then onto Shuckers on Thames Street for photos until 1 p.m. Broadway Square features a Christmas market all day, and throughout the neighborhood you’ll find live music, eggnog contests, and Duff Goldman lighting something at 5:30 p.m. The Parade of Lighted Boats, presented by the Fells Point Yacht Club, takes place at 6 p.m. down on Broadway Pier.

Little Italy Tree Lighting, 7 p.m. Dec. 3, Little Italy, corner of High and Stiles streets,, free. Come to charming Little Italy for its tree lighting and stay for the authentic macaroni. The Baltimore Choral Arts Society performs, an Italian-speaking Santa Claus makes an appearance, and fresh roasted chestnuts, hot apple cider, and cookies will tide you over before choosing one of the many Italian restaurants open late.

Night of 100 Elvises, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 3-4, Lithuanian Hall, 851-3 Hollins St.,, $55 advance. What are the holidays with out a hunka hunka burning love? Nonstop Elvis entertainment means 12 bands and 12 Elvis tribute artists in the ballroom, nightclub-y vibes in the Elvis Lounge, and whatever goes on in the Jungle Room. Plus, complimentary draft beer (cash bar also available), soda, and a Southern buffet in the spirit of the TCB man himself 7-9 p.m. followed by coffee and dessert 10 p.m.-1 a.m.

The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade, 2 p.m. Dec. 5, Hampden and Medfield neighborhoods, (410) 366-0726,, free. Bundle up, get a cup of spiked hot cider, and find a spot between the Hampdenites—junkies, hipsters, young moms, and all—for the Baltimore Marching Ravens, Harley Davidson motorcycles, high-steppers, marching bands, Boumi Temple performers, floats, and this year’s Grand Marshall, John Astin. And maybe the mayor, so that’s cool.

Great Fells Point Figgy Pudding Race, 9 a.m. Dec. 11, Broadway Square, 900 S. Broadway, (410) 675-8900,,, $40, $35 advance. Carb load on your own (steamed fig and walnut spice cake maybe?) before this scenic 5K race and then after with a free pint of Guinness (and a free T-shirt) at Slainte Irish Pub on Thames Street.

Unsilent Night, 7 p.m. Dec. 11, “Man/Woman” sculpture at Penn Station, 1515 N. Charles St.,, free. In keeping with a tradition taking place in over 25 cities around the world, Mobtown Modern hosts Baltimore’s version of Phil Kline’s Christmas composition playing from boomboxes in this parade.

Kwanzaa Family Day, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 12, snow date Dec. 19, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (443) 573-1832,, free. Learn about the seven Ngozu Saba or principles of Kwanzaa during a special family-friendly museum day with live performances and Kwanzaa-specific activities for all ages.


Happy Thanksgiving, noon Nov. 26-27, Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., (410) 685-6169,, free. Follow up Turkey Day with a stop by Lexington Market for a two-hour show of live instrumental soul, Motown, and jazz. If you’re not still in a tryptophan coma, return Saturday for blues.

Yuletide Caroling Series, times vary weekends Nov. 26-Dec. 24, the Gallery, 200 E. Pratt St.,, free. If you ever sang in a school choir, you know how important it is that the audience shows up. Stop by and listen to the local school and community groups bringing festive tunes to level three of the Gallery shopping mecca all season long.

Holiday Concert Series, 6-7 p.m. Fridays Nov. 26-Dec. 17, the Mall in Columbia, Nordstrom Court, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,, free. Community groups sing while you shop, so stop and smell the carols floating over the aroma of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.

Weinberg Winterfest and Merry TubaChristmas, noon and 2 p.m. Nov. 27, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2828,, free with a donation of cash or canned food to the Frederick Community Action Agency. Horns-aplenty four-part traditional Christmas carols performed by tuba and euphonium players, followed by a sing-along with Ray Brubacher on the famous Weinberg Wurlitzer organ and special guests Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Ethel Ennis Gives Thanks, 8 p.m. Nov. 27, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, $23, members $21. Guess who’s turning 78? Happy birthday to jazz songstress Ethel Ennis, who’s joined by beatboxer Shodekeh and the Stef Sciaggari Trio for a post-Thanksgiving night of gratitude and tunes.

O Come Let Us Adore Him, 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 27, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $21-$25. The Mormon Orchestra and Choir of Washington, D.C., perform classical arrangements of carols, including “The First Noel,” “O Holy Night,” and “See Amid the Winter’s Snow.”

NewSong’s Very Merry Christmas Tour, 7 p.m. Nov. 29, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2835,, $25-$40. Australian Christian band Newsboys joins Grammy nominee NewSong for an evening of Christmas classics with faith.

An Acoustic Christmas with Eddie Money, 8 p.m. Nov. 30, Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545,, $45. The creator of club rock favorite “Take Me Home Tonight” takes on Christmas about a month early.

Christmas with Choral Arts, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, the Basilica of the Assumption, 409 Cathedral St., (410)523-7070,, $25-$75. Cultural guru for Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast and host of Choral Arts Classics on WYPR-FM Tom Hall joins the Choral Arts for a performance of seasonal favorites in the inspiring Basilica of the Assumption, America’s first cathedral. Holy, right?

The King’s Singers: Joy to the World, 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $25-$56. The Grammy Award-winning sextet spans the centuries with a holiday program including music from the medieval period through the present. Seems every music lover could find something enjoyable here.

A Peter White Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va., (703) 549-7500,, $49.50; 6 and 9 p.m. Dec. 2, Rams Head on Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545,, $49.50. Jazz with the acoustic guitarist accompanied by saxophonist Mindi Abair and trumpeter Rick Braun.

Choirs and Candles, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, $15, members $13. Raising awareness and their voices, Jewish Community Services Steven Kaufman AIDS Outreach Project and H. Alexander Satorie-Robinson host performances by the Baltimore Men’s Chorus, New Wave Singers, and Positive Voices for World AIDS Day and in the spirit of Hanukkah. Proceeds benefit AIRS Nuevo Comienzo and AIDS Action Baltimore.

The 2010 Kenny G. Holiday Show, 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $38-$125. The ultra smooth sax star plays his holiday stuff.

The Dahlia Flute Duo Winter Gala, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3, George Peabody Library, 17 E. Mt. Vernon Place,, suggested donation $10. A concert fundraiser for the Dahlia Flute Duo with a program of Schubert’s Winterreise, Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker, Koehler’s Snowflakes, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: “Winter,” along with a silent auction and noshes from Blackbird Cakery.

Creative Sounds of the Season, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Stevenson University Greenspring Campus, Inscape Theater, 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson,, free. John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and Fred Waring’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas” performed by Stevenson University’s Choir, along with “The Prologue from Harry Potter” performed by the Ukulele Ensemble, and blues by the Jazz Ensemble.

Handel’s Messiah, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000,, $25-$65; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2828,, $30-$40. The season’s theme oratorio featuring the “Hallelujah Chorus” performed by our own Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concerts Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale, conducted by Edward Polochick with soprano Kendra Colton and mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann.

The New Wave Singers, noon-2 p.m. Dec. 4, Daedalus Books and Music, 5911 York Road, (410) 464-2701,, free. Baltimore’s only gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and straight mixed chorus brightens up your search for the greatest gifts in discount books.

Holiday Entertainment at Mondawmin Mall, 3-4 p.m. Dec. 4, Mondawmin Mall, 2401 Liberty Heights Ave.,, free. Performers kicking out festive jams from the Center Court.

Vienna Boys Choir, 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000,, $25-$50. These skilled cuties usually wear sailor suits to sing their hearts out in a tradition now more than 500 years old.

desire, despair, deceit, and delight—A Holiday cabaret, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Germano’s Trattoria, 300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515,, $10. Jennifer Blades, accompanied by Jim Harp on piano, sings classics such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” along with the satirical “Surabaya Santa” and great American songs from the Great American Songbook.

Christmas from Dublin, 8 p.m. Dec. 4, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, (410) 280-5640,, $35, Maryland Hall members $30. Go green with a musical evening from the Emerald Isle featuring the Three Irish Tenors, Ciaran Nagle and Kenneth O’Regan from Riverdance, tenor Des Willoughby, and soprano Jacqueline Whelan.

Merry TubaChristmas, 3:00-4:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Harborplace Amphitheater, 200 E. Pratt St., (410) 332-4191,, free. This holiday hornathon features more than 200 tuba and euphonium players dressed in their festive finest and performing seasonal favorites.

College of Notre Dame Concert Choir, 2 p.m. Dec. 5, Marikle Chapel of the Annunciation, 4701 N. Charles St., (410) 435-0100,, free. The choir presents Christmas music under the direction of Stephen Holmes.

Gifts from Grand Opera, 3 p.m. Dec. 5, First Presbyterian Church, Annapolis, 171 Duke of Gloucester and Conduit St., (410) 263-5544,, $37. Nothing sounds quite like Christmas as operatic voices singing angelic. The Annapolis Grand Opera Company performs operatic arias in preparation for the holidays.

A Smooth Jazz Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 6, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $35-$65. Saxophonist Dave Koz and friends play originals and holiday classics fit for the fireside.

Celtic Yule, 8 p.m. Dec. 6, St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 10710 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, (301) 754-3611,, $25, $20 advance. Join Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock as they strum, sing, storytell, and meditate their way through a calming evening of Christmas cheer.

Shall We Dance?, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Stevenson University Greenspring Campus, Inscape Theater, 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson,, $10, students and seniors $5. Robert Suggs conducts the Greenspring Valley Orchestra in a program of dance rhythms, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and works by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky.

Peabody Concert Orchestra, Singers, and Chorus, 8 p.m. Dec. 8, Peabody Institute, Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 234-4800,, $15, seniors $10, students $5. A night of orchestral music includes Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Op. 86, and Benjamin Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes” and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes.

Rededication Ceremony and Holiday Concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 9, Hammonds Lane Theatre, Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, (410) 636-6597,, free. Chesapeake Arts Center celebrates renovations with a concert by the U.S. Naval Academy band, which will be playing holiday and seasonal music.

The Magnificent Mazowsze, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400,, $35-$65. Celebrate Poland’s musical and dance traditions with this show, which represents 39 regions of the European country with a full 23-member orchestra performing classical and folk music along with 90 dancers, musicians, and singers in handmade costumes.

Uptown Concerts presents A Connemara Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 9, Baldwin’s Station, 7618 Main St., Sykesville, (410) 795-1041,, $20. Folk singer and founding member of Connemara Grace Griffith performs holiday songs and instrumentals from Ireland, Scotland, and the North Pole (!??!?) with pianist and composer Paul Nahay, fiddler Andrea Hoag, dulcimer player Jody Marshall, and singer/songwriter Carey Creed. Merry Celtic Christmas, y’all.

Mink Stole Unwrapped, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, $15, members $13. The delicious diva Mink Stole and her Wonderful Band blow holiday kisses through songs of the season with special guests Arty Hill and John Irvine. Members-only happy hour 7 p.m. Thursday night features food, $2 drinkles, and priority seating.

Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Peabody Institute, Griswold Hall,1 E. Mt. Vernon Place, (410) 234-4500, $15, seniors $10, students $5. The ensemble performs period music from the early Renaissance.

Bowfire: Holiday Heart Strings, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $25-$65. Strings have the classical stuff down, but watch them amp it up to Celtic, bluegrass, and Gypsy style, with some holiday favorites, of course.

BSO Holiday Spectacular, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 10-19, and 2 p.m. Dec. 15, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000,, $16-$77. Huge, Rockefeller Center-style variety show hosted by Maureen McGovern and featuring the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Holiday Spectacular Chorus, and Baltimore School for the Arts dancers, plus the theatrical Martin Preston, four-footed Rockin’ Rory, and the famous Tap-Dancing Santas.

The Living Christmas Tree!, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Riverdale Baptist Church, 1177 Largo Road, Upper Marlboro, (301) 249-9111,, $10, seniors $9. A 30-foot Christmas tree with a star-topper taller than your children and space for 80 singers comes to life with music, wreaths, and programmed lights. A live nativity an hour before each performance includes hot chocolate and cookies.

Handel’s Messiah, 7 p.m. Dec. 11, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 1200 Churchville Road, Bel Air, (410) 836-2773,, $20, seniors $15, students, children under 12 and Harford Community College students free. A silent auction followed by Handel’s famous oratorio performed by the Harford Choral Society, orchestra, and soloists, directed by T. Herbert Dimmock.

!Colossal Klezmer shlakht!, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, $16, members $14. It’s Charm City Klezmer mano-a-mano with the Lost Tribe in this klezmatic battle-of-the-bands dance party. Nothing personal, but we highly recommend the half-hour dance lesson that precedes the 8 p.m. show.

Ancient Roots of Holiday Music, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 12, the Walters, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000,, free. According to the Walters, “The ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ is rooted in ancient Egypt’s twelve day mid-winter festival celebrating the earthly king Horus’ birth, with one day’s celebration for each month in their calendar.” This concert has something to do with that.

Jazz up Your December, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 12, Daedalus Books and Music, 5911 York Road, (410) 464-2701,, free. The Cold Spring Jazz Quartet performs, followed by a discussion and signing of Music at the Crossroads: Lives and Legacies of Baltimore Jazz—a nice gift for the jazz lover in your life.

Christmas Cheer, 1 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 12, the Engineers Club, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 625-3525,, $25, seniors $22. Carol the easy way—let the Concert Artists of Baltimore do it for you. The choir performs both originals and new arrangements of season classics, plus an optional brunch beforehand.

Candlelight Choral Service, 4 p.m. Dec. 12, First and Franklin Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Madison St., (410) 728-5545,, free. Feel the spirit as the First and Franklin Sanctuary Choir and soloists with professional orchestra present Ottorino Respighi’s “Laud to the Nativity” from 1930 and other works of seasonal music in Mount Vernon’s gorgeous Gothic Revival cathedral.

An Annapolis Christmas, 7 p.m. Dec. 13-14, Ram’s Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545,, $30. The annual show from the Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians features local favorites playing holiday classics and originals, plus all proceeds benefit AMFM’s admirable support of musicians temporarily unable to work. A win-win.

Scandinavian Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, (301) 754-3611,, $20, $15 advance. Celebrate the Scandinavian way with candles, feasting, and music. Featuring Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley, and Charlie Pilzer, with special guest Andrea Larson.

Suzy Bogguss’ Christmas Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va., (703) 549-7500,, $29.50. Singer/songwriter Suzy Bogguss does what singer/songwriters do for Christmas at the Birchmere.

Christmas with Aaron Neville and his Quintet, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va., (703) 549-7500,, 49.50; 8 p.m. Dec. 16, Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545,, $69.50 Neville and his quintet stage a spicy Christmas show with Creole-infused holiday favorites. Featuring Charles Neville.

The Hard Travelers Holiday Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Baldwin’s Station, 7618 Main St, Sykesville, (410) 795-1041,, $22.50. A guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, and banjo bang-up of holiday tunes, plus some vocals to lead the way.

A John Waters Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va., (703) 549-7500,, $45.00. An encore of last year’s performance by our favorite homegrown camp.

Chick-fil-A Family Christmas Concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400,, $20.35-$37.80. Funny to say in a calendar filled with Christmas events, but this show featuring Phillips, Craig and Dean, Point of Grace, and Chris August seems like a Christian music showcase, so God bless and all that.

The Roches’ Holiday Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va., (703) 549-7500,, $35. The femme trio of Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy Roche perform “Roche music with a Holiday Twist,” adding their brother Dave and percussionist Marylon Cherry to the mix.

Sing-Along Messiah, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road,, (410) 337-6333, $25. The Choral Arts and Tom Hall of WYPR invite you join forces and voices to Handel’s powerful Messiah performed by a full orchestra and chorus; musical scores will be available for purchase if you forget yours.

Kix-mas, 8 p.m. Dec. 18, Rams Head Live, Power Plant Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131,, $25. The legendary local band Kix returns with Cinder Road. Whatever-mas.

Kenny Rogers: Christmas and Hits, 5 p.m. Dec. 19, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $49.50-$77.50. Prolific country/rock/pop/soul/bearded singerman Kenny Rogers chooses among his many for a show of his greatest hits, holiday and otherwise.

The Joy of Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 20, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $25-$80. If you’ve never witnessed a worldwide music premiere, here’s your chance: The Cathedral Choral Society and the Maret School Concert Choir unveil a new Christmas carol by British composer Bob Chilcott, plus some other Christmas stuff.

A Candlelight Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100,, $15-$65. A bombastic Christmas showing featuring the 200-person Washington Chorus, plus brass, organ, percussion, and candlelight. The W.T. Woodson High School’s Select Vocal Ensemble guests.

Messiah Sing-Along, 8 p.m. Dec. 21, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2828,, $18, seniors and students $12, children $10. A big tradition and even bigger performance: Judy DuBose of the Frederick Children’s Chorus conducts the Frederick Chamber Singers, orchestra, and soloists in a performance of Handel’s Christmas classic Messiah, with an open invite to anyone who wants to join in.

Open Houses/Tours

Mums, Mischief and Merriment, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays through Nov. 21, Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens of Baltimore, Swann Drive, Druid Hill Park,, $5 suggested donation. Ease fall’s transition to winter with a warm walk through the amazing conservatory’s medieval-themed display of 40 varieties of chrysanthemums, the fluffy flower not native to Baltimore.

Chrysanthemum Display, through Nov. 21, Brookside Gardens Conservatory, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 962-1400,, free. Enjoy the gorgeous and varied plant and flower forms of the mighty chrysanthemum before the end of its season when poinsettias take over the flower world.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, 6 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1, Adventure Park USA, West Baldwin Road, New Market,, $25. A drive-though maze of lights and Christmas music followed by holiday treats and hot chocolate and a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus. A portion of the proceeds benefit the American Red Cross and Christmas Cash for Kids, so that’s nice.

Symphony of Lights, 6-10 p.m. nightly Nov. 22-Jan. 2, Symphony Woods, off Broken Land Parkway, Columbia, (410) 740-7840,, cars or vans $20. Two hundred and fifty thousand bulbs make up over 70 larger-than-life light creations—some that move—in this 20-minute drive-through display that raises funds for the Howard County General Hospital. Special events: Dazzle Dash run/walk Nov. 20-21, Blinkin’ Binkies stroller family walk Dec.9, and Tail Lights for pubs and their people Dec. 14.

The Garden of Lights, 5:30-9 p.m. weekdays and 5:30-10 p.m. weekends Nov. 26-Jan. 9, Brookside Gardens Conservatory, 1500 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 962-1453,, cars and vans $20-$25. The garden grounds are covered with close to a million lights, making your front porch look downright sad, frankly, but creating a winter wonderland of shapes, including animals and displays representing the four seasons.

Holiday Time at Clark’s Elioak Farm, Nov. 26-Dec. 23, Clark’s Elioak Farm, 10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, (410) 730-4049,, $5, babies under a year-old free so bring their IDs. Cut down your own Christmas tree at this Howard County farm, which boasts attractions from the old Enchanted Forest decorated with lights for hay rides ($2), local crafts and wreaths for sale, and photos with Santa—see schedule online.

Holiday Open House, Dec. 3-5, the Laurel Museum, 817 Main St., Laurel, (301) 725-7975, Includes a wreath sale of fragrant rounds for $35 made by Laurel’s Snow Hill Garden Club to benefit the Laurel Historical Society.

A Carroll Christmas, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 4, Mount Clare Museum House, Carroll Park, 1500 Washington Blvd., (410) 837-3262,, $6, seniors $5, students $4, children ages 5 and under free. Bring visiting relatives to Baltimore’s oldest house for a holiday open house featuring the Monumental City Ancient Fife and Drum Corps performing in the morning, demonstrations by the Mounted Police Unit, and the annual holiday greens and gift sale at the Mount Clare Stable.

The Spirits of Christmas Past with Jacob Marley, 7 p.m. Dec. 4, 11, and 18, Fells Point,, $20. Drinks aren’t included on this spirited pub tour of haunted drinkeries in Fells Point, but guide and storyteller Jacob Marley (played by Cliff Long) is sure to pause a moment to let you place an order or two.

Homewood by Candlelight Open House, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 6, Homewood Museum, 3400 N. Charles St., (410) 516-5589,, $6, members and JHU students free. We’re heading straight for the wine cellar even if they’re only serving eggnog and cookies down there in this open house decorated early 19th century-like with candles and greenery.

Festive Flavors of Federal Hill, 6-10 p.m. Dec. 7, groups meet at Shofer’s Furniture, 930 S. Charles St., (410) 727-4500,, $55. Neighborhood walking tour of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and bars with plenty of stops for drinks and noshes. Proceeds benefit the Federal Hill Business Association and Federal Hill Main Street.

A Gardener’s Christmas, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 10-12, Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, (410) 557-9570,, $10, seniors and students $8, children 12 and under $2, members free. No better place to buy greenery than a topiary garden’s greens sale, plus the first level of Ladew’s Manor House features rooms decorated by garden clubs and designers, the gift shop offers items for those with a green thumb, and there will be live music all weekend.

Bed and Breakfast Holiday House Tour, 2-7 p.m. Dec. 12,, $30, $25 advance, $35 VIP, please no children under age 13. Local B&Bs such as Canton’s Inn at 2920 and Celie’s Waterfront Inn open their doors and provide tasty bites and bevies for this tour. Part of the proceeds benefit Santa Claus Anonymous, which brings Christmas to kids in need.

Home for the Holidays Tour, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 12, begins at Gramercy Mansion, 1400 Greenspring Valley Road, (410) 605-2964,, $55 includes lunch and transportation, $50 for members of local institutions. A bus tour with stops at the festively decorated Mount Clare Museum House, Homewood Museum, Carroll Mansion (lunch stop), and Gramercy Mansion, all of which boast gift shops stocked with holiday stuff.

Snowflake Tour of Charles Village Homes, noon-4 p.m. Dec. 19, Village Learning Place, 2521 St. Paul St., (410) 235-2210,,, $15, students $12. Proceeds go to neighborhood beautification and the Village Learning Place, which hosts an open house and acts as headquarters for this tour of decorated homes, Seton High School, University Baptist Church, and the Homewood House Museum.

An Ever Green Evening, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 9, Evergreen Museum and Library, 4545 N. Charles St., (410) 516-0341,, $6, members and JHU students free. With themed trees inspired by Evergreen, Johns Hopkins student art show Evergreen as Muse opening, a silent auction of hand-decorated dollhouses, and light refreshments.


St. Nick’s Pet Pics, 6-8 p.m. nightly through Dec. 6, White Marsh Mall, Center Court, lower level, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd., Costumes are available for your pet buddies, because they love when you get a cuteness photo of them with Santa while the Maryland Humane Society collects donations, offers info on pet adoption (think hard before giving one as a holiday gift), and hands out little treats.

Coping with the Holidays, 1:30-3 p.m. Nov. 17 and 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 15, Gilchrist Hospice Care, 11311 McCormick Road, Suite 350, Hunt Valley, (443) 849-8200, free. Jesus, we’re already stressed and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. These workshops will help you deal with the most festive time of the year. Pre-registration required.

Make your own Blown Glass Holiday Ornament, Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, Corradetti Glassblowing Studio, 2010 Clipper Park Road,, $40 per ornament. Sign up for an hour in the afternoon and get a 15-minute session to make a 4-inch glass ornament that you can give to someone special or keep selfishly.

Holiday Festival of Trains, Nov. 26-Jan. 2, B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St., (410) 752-2490,, $14, seniors $12, children ages 2-12 $8, members free; Nov. 26-Jan. 30, B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station, 2711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City (410) 461-1945,, $5, seniors $4, children ages 2-12 $3, members free. The museums are decked out in their finest to host generations of train enthusiasts for rides, great gift shopping, photo ops, and Santa, followed by Frosty the Snowman when Santa’s work is done after Christmas.

Holiday Fashion Showcase, 2-4 p.m. Nov. 27, Mondawmin Mall, 2401 Liberty Heights Ave.,, free. Take a runway break from shopping the only mall in the city for Travis Winkey and Studio A’s fabulous showcase of the latest fashions, plus entertainment and activities for kids.

Brookside Winter Display and Train Exhibit, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m. daily Nov. 27-Jan. 9, Brookside Gardens North House, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 962-1400,, afternoons free, evenings $20-$25. The Washington, Virginia, Maryland Garden Railway Society built this model “G” scale train exhibit that runs through and around the conservatory’s poinsettias, evergreens, and other seasonal flora.

Highlandtown Holiday Train Garden, Dec. 4-Jan. 1, Engine Company 41, 520 S. Conkling St.,, $1, six for $5. Bigger and better than last year, so go see the choo-choos go around the track through hand-built scenery and buildings with lights inside.

Sock Monkey Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 11, Jim Rouse Visionary Center, American Visionary Arts Museum, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900,, free. Cute little workshop to make a cute little sock monkey to give or keep; just bring a pair of cute clean socks and everything else is provided, including thread, baubles, and instructions.

Silhouettes for the Holidays, noon-4 p.m. Dec. 11, Homewood Museum, 3400 N. Charles St., (410) 516-5589,, $40 for two copies of each portrait. Sit your children down for 15 minutes if they can make it and a portraitist will create an image unlike any photo. Advance reservations required.

Make and Take Holiday Card Making Workshop, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 11, Evergreen Museum and Library, 4545 N. Charles St., (410) 516-0341,, $6, members free. James Abbott of Evergreen provides instruction to make collage cards in the Victorian style, with ribbon, fabric, and illustrations. Supplies are provided; advance registration required.

Helping Others

Give a Family Something to be Thankful For, through 5 p.m. Nov. 22, John and Penny White Volunteer Training Center, 6301 Greentree Road, Bethesda, The National Center for Children and Families is accepting Thanksgiving items (including canned veggies, stuffing, or mac and cheese; $25 gift cards to Safeway or Giant; and laundry baskets for delivery) to help families in our community make their Turkey Day happen.

Fort Meade Adopt an Angel Toy Drive, through Dec. 15, Arundel Mills Mall, Hanover, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, (410) 540-5110,, free. Next time you’re seeing a movie or hitting the shops at Arundel Mills, bring a new, unwrapped toy to Guest Services and you’ll help make some Christmas magic for the children of Fort Meade soldiers.

Gift Extravaganza, 1-5 p.m. Nov. 20, GreenMount School, 501 W. 30th St.,, free. So you’re phrolly gonna shop for gifts this year because you love finding a little something for the people you care about and your boss—even though you’re broke—so why not shop and benefit city kids? This gift market features local craft vendors along with art made by GreenMount students.

Turkey Trots, 8:30 a.m. Nov. 25, Ma and Pa Trail, 314 Williams St., Bel Air; 8 a.m. Nov. 25, Towson Family Center YMCA, 600 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson, (410) 823-8870, 9 a.m. Nov. 25, Catonsville High School, 421 Bloomsbury Ave.; (410) 697-9622,, $20-$35. Three versions of the 5K run and one-mile fun run for all ages and athletic abilities to benefit the Y’s Safe Place for Kids Annual Campaign, which provides Y programming for kids and families who can’t afford it.

Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 26-27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 28, Maryland State Fairgrounds, Cow Palace, 2200 York Road, (443) 923-7300,, $10, children ages 5-12 and seniors $5, children ages 4 and under free. More than arts and crafts vendors, this huge annual festival features a fairyland forest of decorated trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses. Proceeds benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s mission to help children with developmental disabilities.

Salvation Army’s Angel Trees, Nov. 26-Dec. 11, the Mall in Columbia, Lord and Taylor Court, upper level, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,; Nov. 26-Dec. 18, White Marsh Mall, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd., Be an angel and make the holidays a more special time for a family in need by choosing an angel off the tree, and do a little meaningful shopping.

Creative Alliance Gift Drive for City Kids, through the month of December, Creative Alliance at the Patterson lobby donation box, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,; also Utrecht Art Supplies, 229 W. Chase St., (410) 727-7004, Drop off a new book or art supply—but please don’t wrap—to the Creative Alliance during gallery/box office hours or during performances or to Mount Vernon’s Utrecht store (good place to buy that watercolor set for kids for 10 percent off when you mention the CA) and all donations will be given to school and neighborhood partners of CA’s education program Open Minds.

The Real Wives of Baltimore Christmas Penny Drive, 6-10 p.m. Dec. 1, 3702 Rogers Ave., Hoping to sponsor more than one family, the Real Wives of Baltimore are accepting pennies and serving refreshments at their drop-off event and up until that date. Andy Cohen won’t be there; will you?

Hoof It to Holiday Fundraiser for Neglected Horses, 7-11 p.m. Dec. 3, Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane, Clarksville, (301) 854-5037,, $60, advance $50 (either way—plus a gift for the horses). Seriously, if you saw the photos from 2009’s party, you would so want to go there, because the folks that attend this fundraiser to help neglected and abused horses at Days End Farm Horse Rescue have an assload of fun, and horses are cool and you know it.

Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults Art Show and Sale, 1-6 p.m. Dec. 4-5, 4240 Blue Barrow Ride, Ellicott City, (410) 461-3400,, free. Five local artists working in mediums from acrylics to wood will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from this art sale to the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, which supports and educates young folks affected by cancer and their families.

Santa Clause Anonymous Wine and Beer Tasting, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9, the Crowne Plaza, 2004 Greenspring Drive, Timonium, (443) 557-7000,, $65, advance $55. Volunteer-run Santa Claus Anonymous was founded in 1934 by future Baltimore Mayor Theodore R. McKeldin to bring Christmas to local children who otherwise would go without. This year’s benefit offers microbrew from Red Brick Station, wine provided by Chesapeake Wine, a silent auction, jazz from SoundStorm, and a buffet to buffer all the adult beverages.

Jingle Bell Run, 9 a.m. Dec. 12, DuBurns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Ave., (800) 283-7800,, $32.50. Kick arthritis’ ass and run or walk a 5K in your festive finest and tie jingle bells to your shoelaces so everyone can hear you and your caring coming. This year’s charity event honors Lucy Rosenbloom. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in Casablanca, 6:45 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31, Ram’s Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545,, $114. Annapolis is just a step away to dig on the blues and boogie from pianist/saxophonist Deanna Bogart, who takes the stage at 10 p.m.; before her show, enjoy appetizers, a gourmet buffet dinner, sweets, and after, a champagne toast at midnight.

J Roddy Walston and the Business, 8 p.m. Dec. 31, Ram’s Head Live, Power Plant Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131,, $20. They promise drink specials and special guests so you can rock it in the Market (beat) Place.

Ports America Chesapeake New Year’s Eve Spectacular, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31, Harborplace Amphitheater, 217 N. Charles St.,, free. Bundle up and count down to a chilly good time with hundreds of locals as the Inner Harbor reflects all the fabulous fireworks and sounds of live soul from the Motorettes.

Ball at the Mall, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31, the Mall in Columbia, use the mall entrance from the Maple parking garage, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,, $100. You may have had your fill buying and returning, but this visit to the mall includes a premium open bar (!), dinner from Linwoods of Owings Mills, and dancing to live music and a DJ, plus half of the ticket proceeds benefit the Columbia Foundation, which connects folks and worthy causes in Howard County.

Charm City Countdown, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31, 1840s Ballroom, 29 S. Front St., (410) 549-5707,, $99-$119, VIP $139-$159. Party like a high roller on four floors (each with an open bar and separate theme), photos on the red carpet with Las Vegas showgirls, and a “Monte Carlo Casino.” Plus, food, live bands, free coat check, and a view of the Inner Harbor fireworks. Benefits Epicenter and Caring Communities.

Big Night Baltimore, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Sheraton Baltimore City Center, 101 W. Fayette St.,, $99.99-$139, VIP $149.99-$209. Rock in the New Year with live music from the Reagan Years, Hyjinx, the Betty Ford Dropouts, and DJs Kay Jay, Yummy, Q, Retro, and Freezie; eight themed party areas; endless food and drink stations; and party favors and giveaways. All you need to do is preorder tickets and plan your outfit.

Mother’s Downtown countdown, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31, Hyatt Regency Baltimore, 300 Light St.,, tickets start at $98, VIP $149 and up. Lindy Promotions and Mother’s invite the 21-and-older crowd for top-shelf open bar and full dinner buffets; music from Can’t Hang, Rock Bottom, and Tone Loc (!); Mickey from 98 Morning Show and other comedians; DJ Kopec; five party areas; and a view of the Inner Harbor fireworks.

New Year’s Eve at the TOP, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31, Top of the World Observation Level, 27th floor, World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St., (410) 837-8439,, $100. Drop a Benjamin and ring in 2011 from the world’s tallest pentagonal building with a million-dollar view of the Inner Harbor’s 18-minute fireworks display, buffet by Atlantic Catering, adult beverages, and a DJ.

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