While Baltimore, Frederick and Annapolis always put on a spectacular show for the holidays, we can’t overlook other cities and towns all over the state that have special events and Christmas lights in Maryland with their own exciting, and often quite unique, Christmas traditions.
Enjoy snacks and shopping, music and magic in each of these areas as they string up the Christmas lights and welcome visitors with exceptional celebrations.
Dates and times are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the website and call ahead. And of course, I’m always looking for Christmas events near me and drive through Christmas lights near me, so if you have a suggestion, send it my way.
Table of Contents
- 1 Christmas Events in Bethesda, MD
- 2 Christmas Events in Rockville, MD
- 3 Christmas Events in Silver Spring, MD
- 4 Good Energy Tree
- 5 Christmas Lights in Kensington, MD
- 6 Christmas Lights in Gaithersburg, MD
- 7 Christmas Events in Prince George’s County, MD
- 8 Christmas Events in Columbia, MD
- 9 National Harbor
- 10 Christmas Events in St. Michaels, MD
- 11 Christmas Events in Easton, MD
- 12 Christmas Events in Cambridge, MD
- 13 Christmas Events in Crisfield, MD
- 14 Christmas Events in Ellicott City, MD
- 15 More Events and Christmas Lights in Maryland
- 15.1 Salisbury Zoo – Cookies With Santa
- 15.2 Dickens of a Christmas
- 15.3 Garden in Lights
- 15.4 Crab Basket Tree
- 15.5 Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights
- 15.6 Ice Ice Berlin
- 15.7 Sandy Spring Museum Fine Arts & Crafts Holiday Gift Show
- 15.8 Holiday Train Garden
- 15.9 Festival of Lights
- 15.10 Lights on the Bay for Animal Welfare
- 15.11 CLICK for more Annapolis Events during the holiday season
- 15.12 Outdoor Craft & Artisan Pop Up Market
- 15.13 Pocomoke’s Christmas Parade
- 15.14 Miracle on Market Street Friday
- 16 Where to stay in Maryland
- 17 Pin it and Start Planning!
Christmas Events in Bethesda, MD
- Address: Veterans Park, corner of Norfolk & Woodmont Avenues, 7898 Woodmont Ave #7800, Bethesda, MD 20814
- Dates: early December
The Snow Queen presented by Imagination Stage
- Address: 4908 Auburn Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
- Dates: Mid- December through February
Small Business Saturday
- Address: throughout Bethesda-Chevy Chase Area
- Date: Saturday after Thanksgiving
During this national event designed to help small and independent businesses thrive during the holiday season, Bethesda and the surrounding Montgomery County is the place to be, with hundreds of local vendors, artists and neighborhood shops.
From renowned area restaurants like Georgetown Cupcake to mom-and-pop businesses like Boone & Sons Jewelers, to trendy start-ups like Urban Boxing Bethesda, there’s no end to the small businesses you can support while checking off the Christmas list.
Museum Shop Holiday Market
- Address: 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
- Date: Mid-November
Strathmore presents a unique and dazzling shopping experience by bringing together the area’s best museum and cultural shops for four days of out-of-the-box holiday shopping. Pick up perfect gifts for friends and family that enjoy any aspect of arts, crafts, history and nature—and we predict you’ll find something for your own stocking, too!
You can feel good about going on a spending spree at this market, as each purchase supports nonprofit museums and arts organizations in the community. For 2020, the market has gone virtual, with an easy-to-navigate online shop and and free shipping on all purchases.
Winter Solstice Luminary Hike
- Address: Locust Grove Nature Center, 7777 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20817
- Dates: December, on the Winter Solstice from 4 – 8 pm
Christmas Events in Rockville, MD
Christmas at Pike & Rose
- Address: 11580 Old Georgetown Rd, North Bethesda, MD 20852
- Dates: Late November through December
Do a little (or a lot) of shopping at Pike & Rose this holiday season under sparkling holiday lights and festive decor. Sit down for a meal or sit outside at the fire pits catching up with family and friends.
Holiday Laser Light Show at King Farm Village Center
- Address: 403 Redland Blvd, Rockville, MD 20850
- Dates: December
Check out all of the Christmas Things to do in Frederick, MD
Christmas Events in Silver Spring, MD
- Address: Wheaton Regional Park, 1800 Glenallan Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902
- Dates: Thanksgiving through Christmas
Good Energy Tree
- Address: Downtown Silver Spring, MD
- Dates: All holiday season
Christmas Lights in Kensington, MD
Annual Festival of Lights at the DC Temple
- Address: DC Mormon Temple, 9900 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington, MD 20895
- When: Second Friday in December through the weekend after Christmas, 6-9pm
Kensington Antique Row Open House and After Hour Thursdays
- Address: 3762B Howard Ave, Kensington, MD 20895
- When: December
Christmas Lights in Gaithersburg, MD
Winter Lights Festival
- Address: 11950 Clopper Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
- Dates: Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve (closed Christmas Day)
Winter Chorus Concert
- Address: Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
- Dates: Weekend before Christmas
Holiday Art Market
- Address: Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
- Dates: mid-November through December
Christmas Events in Prince George’s County, MD
Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park
- Address: Watkins Regional Park 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
- Dates: Weekend after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags America
- Address: 13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721
- Dates: Weekend before Thanksgiving through weekend after the New Year.
Pop-Up Holiday Events and Tree Lighting at Wellspring Manor & Spa
- Address: 11311 Drumsheugh Ln, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
- Dates: Events throughout November and December
Christmas Events in Columbia, MD
Symphony of Lights
- Address: Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044
- Dates: Day before Thanksgiving through January 1
Ice Skating and Lights at Merriweather Park
- Address: 10431 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044
- Date: Monday the week of Thanksgivinge through the month of January
Just down the road at Merriweather Post Pavilion, bring the family or a special someone to a special outdoor Color Burst ice rink set up just for the holiday season. Skate on the pristine ice past elaborate decorations, then take a break with snacks from food trucks or the indoor restaurant nearby.
And if you can make it to the park from mid-November through New Year’s, you’ll also be able to drive through a dazzling light display with animated leaping reindeer, elves packing up Santa’s sleigh, and dozens of other wintry scenes.
Find more Ice Skating in DC, Maryland and Virginia
Nightly Holiday Tree Light Show
- Address: National Harbor, Oxon Hill Rd, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
- Dates: Mid- November through the weekend after New Year’s Eve, every half hour from sundown to 9 p.m.
Celebrate the season every night at National Harbor as you stare up at the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. The tree light show starts every half hour, with a special snowfall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Stay for the fireworks, and grab a bite at one of the many National Harbor restaurants. We highly recommend grabbing a seat at Bar Harbor at Hyatt Place and ordering up a round of chicken wings, the best we’ve had in a long time.
Ice! at the Gaylord National
- Address: 201 Waterfront St, National Harbor, MD 20745
- Dates: Weekend before Thanksgiving through December 30th
Free Cocoa To-go at National Harbor
- Address: select shops in National Harbor
- Dates: Mid-November through the first weekend in January, Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 8pm
Warm up with free hot chocolate in select shops as you pick up those last-minute Christmas presents.
Santa Visits the The Capital Wheel
- Address: 141 American Way, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
- Dates: throughout the holiday season
Check out the view from 180 feet above the Potomac River this holiday season. Several packages, whether you are looking for a holiday date night or a family Christmas activity, are available and can save you loads of money. And don’t worry about being cold; the gondolas are warmed to a toasty 72 degrees.
Christmas Events in St. Michaels, MD
Midnight Madness in St. Michaels
- Address: throughout Town of St. Michaels, MD
- Date: First weekend in December
To ring in the holiday season, the local shops of St. Michaels (including the Christmas Shop!) stay open late for several nights, dressed up in impeccable Christmas décor and offering tons of unbeatable deals.
Enjoy caroling in the streets and festive surprises on every corner, and don’t forget to get your tickets for one of the drawings to win several amazing gift baskets when you make purchases at qualifying shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Thanksgiving Parade of Cars & Trucks
- Address: Perry Cabin Ball Fields (308 Watkins Ln, St Michaels, MD 21663) to the 102 E Marengo St, St Michaels, MD 21663
- Date: Saturday before Thanksgiving
Enjoy this motorcade of stylish and stunning classic automobiles, from genuine historically significant antiques to vibrant vintage racecars. Then, join the holiday celebration with other auto enthusiasts at the Classic Motor museum, where refreshments will be served.
Anyone can register their antique car or truck to be featured in the parade alongside museum models, ensuring a variety each time and an enthusiastic crowd of fans.
Christmas In St. Michaels Maryland
- Address: St. Michaels, MD 21663
- Date: Mid- October through New Year’s Eve (various events)
No matter where you find yourself or what your 2020 holiday season will look like, the town of St. Michaels is providing a little virtual fun for Christmas this unusual year.
As usual, raffles, silent auctions and gift certificates will be available, with fantastic gifts and local COVID-safe events as prizes, and proceeds benefit over local 25 family, education, and community enhancement organizations. Gift-making kits for kids, wine and dessert packages for grown-ups, and take-home dinners and limited-edition ornaments for everyone will be available online.
Finally, residents can visit the St. Michaels website for directions to a holiday drive-by house and harbor tour.
Christmas Events in Easton, MD
Holiday Joy Concert
- Address: Easton Church of God, 1009 N Washington St, Easton, MD 21601
- Date: First Thursday in December
The renowned Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra presents this Christmas concert each year, with the goal of bringing people together in a renewed love of orchestral music through well-know and beloved holiday tunes.
The concert displays the talents of many singers and instrumental soloists, some of whom are borrowed from the NSO and Royal Philharmonic. Everyone will enjoy this moving tribute to the season.
For 2020, the program is also available to stream online.
Moonlight Madness in Easton
- Address: Harrison St. and throughout Historic downtown Easton, MD 21601
- Date: First weekend of Decemver
In the weeks before this cheery evening of caroling and late-night holiday shopping, be sure to visit stores throughout downtown Easton to get enough raffle tickets to win some fabulous prizes. Then during the night, stroll around a festively decorated town, enjoying the live entertainment and various in-store events, all leading up to the raffle drawing at 10 PM.
Academy Art Museum
- Address: Academy Art Museum, 106 South Street, Easton, MD 21601
- Date: Weekend before Halloween through mid-January
Break with the typical holiday outings and take your group to explore this incredible collection of Andy Warhol’s photography from 1950 to his death, showcasing the celebrities, socialites and outcasts who formed his social circle, captured in vivid and captivating period photos.
Everyone will find images that they adore and that will stick with them for a long time.
Community Day – Arts & Culture Celebration
- Address: Hanson Street, South Street to Idlewild Avenue, Easton, MD 21601
- Date: Second weekend in November
Many non-profit organizations from the area come together to make this day of fun for the whole family a reality. At various locations, visitors can take part in family art activities, hear lectures on art and social activities, walk or drive through an art gallery, learn about conservation activities, hear live music, and much more.
The Pumpkin Carving event is a favorite annual tradition.
Wild Scenic Virtual Film Festival
- Address: Online for 2020
- Date: November 20, 2020
Nature lovers will certainly get those warm holiday feelings from this selection of award-winning films, intended to celebrate and spread fantastic stories of conservation that have gone largely unnoticed throughout the year. The festival never fails to instill a sense of environmental activism and love of nature that viewers will not soon forget.
For 2020, the festival will be held virtually, but continues to offer interactive elements: converse with fellow attendees and watch interviews with the filmmakers.
Christmas Events in Cambridge, MD
Christmas Train Garden
- Address: The Old Firehouse, 307 Gay St., Cambridge, MD 21613
- Date: Daily throughout December
This is the longest continual train garden display in the nation, celebrating its 86th year of operation.
Truly a must-see spectacle for little ones, this tiny town is full of hard-working trains that chug around hills, over bridges and through intricate scenes with fun hidden details. It is all housed in a historic firehouse near the scenic Cambridge Creek, with quaint shops nearby that make this a worthwhile day outing.
Holiday Night Market in Downtown Cambridge
- Address: 500 block of Poplar Street and the 400 block of Race Street (500 Poplar Street, Cambridge, MD 21613)
- Date: Mid-November through mid-December
Vendors will stretch down the streets all evening for this festive outdoor shopping event for all ages. Over 30 downtown merchants will line the street, with restaurants serving warm beverages and snacks as jewelers, antiquaries and gift shops lay out their wares for an enchanting evening of holiday sales and fun.
New Year’s Eve Boat Drop
- Address: 500 Poplar Street, Cambridge, MD 21613
- Date: New Year’s Eve
Ring in the new year in a unique style: Downtown Cambridge hosts a New Year’s Eve Boat Drop with a 4-foot replica of a traditional workboat, christened the “Groove City Lady,” hurtling down 80 feet of track to reach its destination precisely at midnight. Restaurants will stay open late and spirits will be high as revelers take over the street for this offbeat celebration.
Christmas Events in Crisfield, MD
The Weathered Porch Christmas Open House
- Address: 1003 W Main Street, Crisfield, MD 21817
- Date: Weekend before Thanksgiving
This beautiful and one-of-a-kind store offers antiques and local artist and artisan work, from quilts to candles to nautical gifts. It gets even more dolled-up for Christmas, and you can take advantage of a 20% discount on Christmas ornaments and decorations during this Open House as you enjoy a brilliant lighted village, refreshments, and door prize drawings.
Santa Carving Class
- Address: Upstairs of the Tawes Museum, 3 9th St, Crisfield, MD 21817
- Date: Saturday before Thanksgiving
- Email Contact: [email protected]
No experience is necessary and beginning carvers are welcome at this festive take on the wood carving classes that expert decoy carver Rich Smoker puts on several times a year. You’ll amaze yourself by starting with a block of wood and finishing with a meaningful holiday decoration and a story to tell for many Christmases to come.
Christmas in Crisfield
- Address: along tenth street, Crisfield, MD 21817
- Date: Saturday after Thanksgiving
This little town knows how to throw a holiday bash in style. Celebrate the beloved Miracle on Tenth Street party with food, entertainment, crafting, vendors, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus each holding their own fun and photo-op-friendly events. And you won’t want to miss the lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree!
Christmas Open House at Tim & Doris’s
- Address: 930 W Main Street, Crisfield, MD 21817
- Dates: First weekend in November
This quaint shop featuring traditional country/Southern art and décor, along with Amish-style furniture and an array of gifts, is hosting an open house with door prizes, storewide sales, and refreshments. Pick up uniquely Maryland clothes, toys and souvenirs for folks on your Christmas shopping list.
Crisfield Historic Church Tour
- Address: throughout Crisfield, MD
- Date: First Saturday in December
Become immersed in the Christmas spirit by learning about the history of the many storied churches of Crisfield and Marion. Begin by touring humble early 19th century chapels in the countryside, and work your way up to grandiose structures built in periods of plenty.
Crisfield Christmas Parade
- Address: Main Street, Crisfield, MD 21817
- Date: [CANCELLED FOR 2020]
Enjoy a free parade that brings out the entire town, to cheer on local dignitaries, bands, festive floats and representatives of the armed forces. Kids love the live music and festive atmosphere.
Christmas Events in Ellicott City, MD
Small Business Saturday
- Address: throughout historic Ellicott City & Savage Mill, MD 21043
- Date: Saturday after Thanksgiving
Ellicott City is protective of its independent local businesses, and enthusiastically takes part in this nation-wide recognition of mom-and-pop vendors of all kinds.
Get your holiday shopping done early with dozens of great sales, BOGO offers, and free samples at restaurants, thrift stores, and craft and jewelry shops all over town.
Midnight Madness in Historic Ellicott City
- Address: Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043
- Date: First Friday in December
Beginning with a tree-lighting ceremony, Ellicott City is draped in its winter finery for an evening of holiday shopping and fun holiday traditions.
Over 70 local stores across Main Street will have special offers, sidewalk sales and gorgeous Christmas displays, including the traditional Howard County train display spread out over seven window fronts.
When you need some recovery time from shopping, the outdoor marketplace offers warm drinks and a fire pit to camp beside while you sip.
More Events and Christmas Lights in Maryland
Salisbury Zoo – Cookies With Santa
- Address: 755 S Park Dr, Salisbury, MD 21804
- Dates: First and second Saturdays in December
Sign up for the opportunity to bring the kids to the Salisbury Zoo and enjoy time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Along with sharing cookies and a drink with these Christmastime celebrities, kids will be able to make a holiday craft to take home.
Dickens of a Christmas
- Address: downtown Chesterton, MD
- Dates: [CANCELED FOR 2020]
Step back in time and enter the world of a Victorian Christmas, complete with a cast of Dickensian characters to lead you through the transformed Chestertown Main Street.
Visitors are encouraged to dress up to get into the holiday spirit, as they enjoy live musical performances, holiday shopping, traditional English Christmas treats, and other one-of-a-kind celebrations as they stroll through the decked-out downtown businesses.
Garden in Lights
- Address: Annmarie Sculpture Garden, 13470 Dowell Rd, Solomons, MD 20688
- Dates: Day after Thanksgiving through January 1 (closed select dates in December, plus December 24th and 25th)
Crab Basket Tree
- Location: Fisherman’s Inn, 3116 Main St, Grasonville, MD 21638
- Dates: throughout December, lights up on the first Saturday in December
You’ve probably never seen anything quite like this lighted Christmas tree made of stacked crab baskets, open for viewing in the scenic bayside town of Kent Narrows. Each of the 200 baskets was hand-painted by a local, and each tells a story of remembrance, faith and hope, including 12 memorial baskets for the 12 watermen, past and active, who passed away this year.
While in town to witness this heartwarming spectacle, check out the boardwalk trail, 41-acre nature preserve, beautiful sunsets over the bay—and of course, dine on fresh oysters and crabs!
Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights
- Address: Northside Park, 200 125th St, Ocean City, MD 21842
- Date: Weekend before Thanksgiving through the first weekend in January
Walk a paved path through thousands of sparkling holiday lights and many animated light displays, leading to a spectacular 50-foot Christmas tree. Santa will be around and happy to jump into your family photos, hot chocolate will be provided, and many more surprises are planned!
Pets are welcome on Wednesday nights.
Ice Ice Berlin
- Address: throughout downtown Berlin, MD 21811
- Dates: Friday after Thanksgiving
Take a trip to America’s Coolest Small Town to view 24 carved ice art sculptures created by ice artist Erik Cantine, all lit up to glow in the winter night. They will be placed all over downtown Berlin, allowing for a lovely walking tour of the many small businesses dressed up for the holidays.
Sandy Spring Museum Fine Arts & Crafts Holiday Gift Show
- Address: Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
- Dates: Friday after Thanksgiving through December 23rd, during normal museum hours
Pick up one-of-a-kind crafts and artist work at the annual Fine Arts & Crafts Holiday Gift Show at Sandy Spring Museum. We’ve picked up pottery, blown glass, jewelry, ornaments, baked treats, soap, vintage clothing, books and more. A portion of the gift show proceeds supports the museum’s community-generated programming.
Holiday Train Garden
- Address: 1301 York Rd, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
- Dates: every Saturday November 28 – December 26, and December 28 – 31, 2020
The Fire Museum of Maryland has a time-honored tradition of displaying a Holiday Train Garden, an intricate and elaborate model train display that includes a diorama of firefighters putting out a fire, multiple trains on many tracks, models of real local businesses, and even a subway.
Santa will visit the museum on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so make sure to bring the kids along for a big Christmas surprise from the North Pole, and of course, a photo with Santa.
Festival of Lights
- Where: Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Dr, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
- Dates: Friday after Thanksgiving through to New Year’s Day
Lights on the Bay for Animal Welfare
- Address: Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E College Pkwy, Annapolis, MD 21409
- Dates: weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend after New Year’s Eve
Enjoy this leisurely drive along the Chesapeake Bay, with more than 60 animated and stationary light displays sure to put a smile on every passenger’s face. And don’t forget to pick up 3D glasses at the beginning of the scenic tour for a little extra dose of light show magic!
The event showcases Maryland history and also has a decidedly feline and canine flavor, with all proceeds benefitting the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. In fact, for two nights in mid-November, the Lights & Leashes event allows dogs and their humans to park their cars and walk through the brilliant light display.
CLICK for more Annapolis Events during the holiday season
Outdoor Craft & Artisan Pop Up Market
- Address: Olney Antique Village, 16650 Georgia Ave Olney, MD 20832
- Dates: mid-December
Pocomoke’s Christmas Parade
- Location: Parade route down Market Street from Pocomoke firehouse to the river bridge, Pocomoke City, MD 21851
- Dates: first Monday after Thanksgiving
Get in the Christmas spirit with this lively free celebration that highlights the friendliest and best of small-town America. Dancers and music groups join the mayor and other civic leaders and groups in the procession, and, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus are the stars of the day (although the well-loved local fire department are close runners-up!).
For 2020, the parade is smaller in scale and has social distancing precautions in place.
Miracle on Market Street Friday
- Address: Intersection of Clark Street and Market Street, Pocomoke City, MD 21851
- Date: December 4, 2020
The City of Pokomoke is beginning a new tradition with the first-ever Miracle on Market Street, transforming the downtown area into a Winter Wonderland with beautiful lights, sidewalk sales from local craftspeople, live music, a bonfire, giveaways & a special visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus.
Visitors can carol together, with electric candles passed out for “Silent Night”—and if that wasn’t enough to get the warm Christmas feels, the event will be collecting non-perishable food, paper goods and coats to benefit needy families this winter.