We know what’s on the menu but what are your plans?
Thanksgiving is a time when the grocery store runs out of things that people mostly ignore the rest of the year. Food-centric, the holiday focuses mainly on preparing and enjoying a spread shared between friends and family.
But there’s so much more that you could be doing – more than watching football and arranging the table. You may even work off that fifth helping of turkey and mashed potatoes. Check out these fabulous things you can do in Baltimore over Thanksgiving weekend.
Jump Straight into the Christmas Spirit
It’s never too early to start with Christmas decorations and my family and I like to jump straight into it while we’re all together for Thanksgiving. After such a filling meal, we spend the weekend hunting for the decorations and putting them up as we trim the tree, listen to Christmas carols, sip on hot cocoa, and do all the typical holiday things.
If that’s sounding too Hallmark for you, check out these other activities that will still get you in the Christmas spirit.
Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees
2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093 | Website
The Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees brings you all the magical traditions of the holidays to one place. You’ll create memories your family will cherish for years like taking pictures with Santa Claus as well as his princess friends from Disney.
Other planned events include decorating gingerbread houses, buying holiday wreaths, and checking out the enviable holiday train display. Let’s not forget the main attraction: row after row of one-of-a-kind immaculately decorated trees on display and for sale.
German Christmas Village at the Inner Harbor
501 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230 | Website
Set in the style of a traditional German Christmas market, this annual holiday event is a wonderful place for families to gather. Usually operating from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve, the market has over 50 international holiday gift vendors, arts and crafts, an ice rink, as well as a beer garden.
You can walk off some of your Thanksgiving meal, only to fill up again on Bavarian pretzels, German bratwurst, Swiss cheese, and other European food specialties.
Other holiday bazaars that you could visit include:
- Holiday Market at Cross Street Market
- Bazaart (American Visionary Art Museum)
- Holiday Bazaar & Tea (Cloisters Castle)
Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street
726 West 34th Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 | Website
The residents of Hampden’s 34th Street join hands (and lights!) every Christmas season. The entire street is closed off to vehicles so that people can casually stroll and take in all of the Xmas lights and decorations that brighten up the block.
Keep your eyes peeled for some unique structures like a Christmas tree made up of hubcaps and a lawn full of flamingos.
Give Back to the Community
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for all your blessings and makes you appreciative of all that you have. Spread that same joy to those less fortunate by spending your weekend giving back to those in need.
Neighborhood Block Celebrations
There are multiple neighborhoods in and around Baltimore that organize a neighborhood block celebration. Sometimes it’s a potluck you can bring a dish to and other times you can volunteer your time. Check with your local churches, schools, and neighborhood committees to see where you can spread a little extra cheer.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
There are tons of soup kitchens and organizations around Baltimore that organize a free Thanksgiving meal for those who need it. Places like Manna House, Beans and Bread, and Moveable Feast are some that could always use an extra hand.
I don’t know about you guys but all of my self-control flies out the window during Thanksgiving, to the point that I don’t even remember what a ‘diet’ is. After plates of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, corn, and pie, I like to get a little movement in.
Inner Harbor Ice Rink
101 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 | Website
Though not the largest in the DMV area, the Inner Harbor Ice Rink is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful seasonal ice rinks. You’re surrounded by views of the harbor, the towering downtown office buildings, and the festivities of the nearby German Christmas Village.
For a fancier ice skating experience, head to the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. They transform their terrace into a skating rink complete with festive holiday decor, live music, and panoramic views of the Inner Harbor and city skyline.
Another way to work off the turkey is to go hiking, and Baltimore is surrounded by beautiful places you can go hiking such as Loch Raven Reservoir, Rocks State Park, North Point State Park, and Patapsco Valley State Park.
Black Friday Shop ‘N’ Drop Sky Camp (The Sky Zone)
8645 Pulaski Hwy, Rosedale, MD 21237 | Website
This one’s specifically for the kiddies! The Sky Zone usually has a different event scheduled every year for Black Friday. The Shop ‘N’ Drop Sky Camp gives kids a few hours to jump around and work off their energy while you can take the time to get some Black Friday shopping done!
Attend a Concert or Catch a Play
Attending a live concert or watching a holiday-themed play is a wonderful way to create cherished memories during Thanksgiving weekend.
124 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202 | Website
The Baltimore SoundStage holds holiday-themed events starting in early November. Visit their website and see what’s on the schedule for this year; they hosted The Emo Show’s “Black Parade Friday” in the past which is a singalong to your most beloved pop and punk songs.
12 N Eutaw St, Baltimore, MD 21201 | Website
The stunning Hippodrome Theatre has been around since 1914; their lineup is amazing every year, especially during the holiday season. Gather your family and enjoy some live theater action; past performances include A Christmas Story, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and the Nutcracker Ballet.
The Lyric Baltimore
140 W Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201 | Website
The Lyric Baltimore has already released news that they will be debuting Elf on the Shelf. The shows will start mid-November and will continue throughout the holiday season. Check out their event line-up for everything available.
Embrace Black Friday Sales
And then there’s the obvious! Black Friday Sales have become intense over the years and the shopping extravaganza actually starts on Thursday night instead of Friday in most places. Here are a couple of Baltimore area malls and shopping centers that you can go Black Friday shopping at:
- Arundel Mills Mall
- Towson Town Center
- White Marsh Mall
- The Gallery
- The Shops at Canton Crossing