Downtown Baltimore wants you to spend as much time there this holiday season as possible. Here’s their guide for the best things to see and do:

WASHINGTON MONUMENT LIGHTING

Kick off the holiday season on December 3rd at the annual Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting in Mount Vernon’s West Park. The vendor village will have treats from over 20 local restaurants and food trucks. The kids’ corner will feature free photos with Santa Claus, crafts, and face painting. Top the night off with emcees from MIX 106.5, live entertainment including the Morgan State University Choir and a fireworks finale at 7:45 pm.

SMALL BUSINESS BINGO

Launching November 28th on American Express’ Small Business Saturday, Historic Charles Street Association is introducing Small Business Bingo, a game designed to highlight local businesses throughout the Charles Street corridor from Downtown to Old Goucher.

Small Business Bingo will run from November 28th to December 31st.

The cards task participants with spending $5 or more at local businesses, where they will receive a stamp. Submitting a card with one line completed counts as one entry into a raffle, two lines counts as two entries, etc. Participants can either download a bingo card online or pick up a paper card at participating businesses. Once line(s) are completed, cards can be submitted online. Prizes include gift cards, passes and merchandise from the participating businesses.

DOWNTOWN DOLLAR OR LESS DAYS

Once again, as part of Downtown Partnership’s Downtown for the Holidays campaign, several of the region’s most popular attractions will offer admission for a dollar or less the first weekend in December (Dec. 5 & 6)

Downtown Dollar or Less Days provides families and visitors with the opportunity to visit several of Downtown’s wonderful museums and attractions at an affordable price. Participating attractions include:

Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum – $1 Saturday and Sunday

Carroll Museums – $1 Saturday and Sunday
This is the Final Weekend of “Your Turn” art show at the Carroll Mansion– celebrating the Mansion’s history as a rec center in the 1930s and 40s through contemporary art. Self-guided history tours of the Mansion also available. Open from 12-4pm!

Historic Ships in Baltimore – $1 per ship Saturday & Sunday
Price is $1 per ship.

Flag House & Star-Spangled Banner Museum – $1 Saturday only

Christmas Village in Baltimore – $1 Saturday and Sunday

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum – $1 Saturday and Sunday

Jewish Museum of Maryland – $1 Sunday only

Port Discovery Children’s Museum – $1 Sunday
(Admission is on first-come, first-served basis and limited to museum capacity.)

Maryland Science Center – $1 Saturday and Sunday
(Does not include IMAX)

National Aquarium – $1 Saturday and Sunday
(Tickets will only be available on-site the day of. 4-D Immersion Theatre experience sold separately.)

Reginald F. Lewis Museum – $1 Saturday and Sunday

Walters Art Museum – Free Saturday and Sunday

Top of the World Observation Deck at Baltimore WTC – $1 Saturday and Sunday

Lexington Market – Free Saturday and Sunday

Phoenix Shot Tower – Free Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon

Mount Vernon Place Conservancy – Saturday & Sunday free for museum, $1 to climb the monument

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Ripley’s Twilight Special

Maryland residents receive $8 discount, Monday – Friday after 5 p.m. Tour the Odditorium, catch a 4D movie, and get lost in the Mirror Maze. Ripleys.com.

Baltimore Waterfront Ice Rink
Inner Harbor Amphitheater
November 13 – January 18

Enjoy al fresco ice skating Downtown all season long at the Inner Harbor. ItsAWaterfrontLife.org

The Polar Express in 4-D
National Aquarium
November 13 – January 3

Feel the gentle snowfall, smell hot cocoa, and see images leap from the screen as you experience an extra-ordinary train ride to the North Pole. Tickets to 4-D films are $5 with general admission. Aqua.org

Santa’s Harborplace Holly-Jolly Home
Light Street Pavilion–Promenade
November 20 – December 24

Offering treasured photographs with your family and Santa Claus. Harborplace.com

The B&O’s Magical Holiday Express
B&O Railroad Museum
November 21 – January 3

The B&O’s Magical Holiday Express devoted to trains of all sizes, holiday characters, and a train load of fun for the family. Train lovers can also celebrate the holidays: December 5 & 6 — Frosty Fest Weekend; December 12 & 13 — Winter Royal Adventures with Elsa & Anna; December 19 & 20—North Pole Adventures; and December 21–31—Winterfest Wonderland. Borail.org

Christmas Village in Baltimore
West Shore Park, Inner Harbor
November 26 – December 27

This outdoor and indoor holiday market in West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor sells traditional European food, sweets and drinks, as well as international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, and crafts. Baltimore-christmas.com

Merriment & Melodies
Harbor East
December 2, 9, 16, 5:30 – 9 p.m.

Harbor East hosts starlight performances from Baltimore’s choral groups, street entertainment, free sweets, and shopping events. Families won’t want to miss the Milk & Cookies Social, A (cool) progeny Play Date, on Dec. 9, 5:30–7:30pm, with free holiday crafts, face painting, kids’ activities, and refreshments. Harboreast.com

Fells Point Old Tyme Christmas
December 5

Get in the holiday spirit with an authentic holiday market, eggnog contest, breakfast with Santa, horse-drawn sleigh rides, Reindeer Run Pub Crawl, and the annual parade of lighted boats. Fellspointmainstreet.org

Family Chanukah Celebration
Jewish Museum of Maryland
December 6, 2 p.m.

Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights help to set the Chanukah mood with a rocking family concert. A versatile artist, Joanie Leeds is a gifted musician with a soulful voice that ranges from low and bluesy to high, light, and breezy. Jewishmuseummd.org

Holiday Craft Market
Pratt & Light Plaza
December 10 – 11

Shop local artisans for the perfect personalized gifts. Enjoy lunch while you browse housewares, jewelry, handbags, soaps, candles, and more. GoDowntownBaltimore.com

Marvel Universe Live
Royal Farms Arena Events
December 10 – 13

Your favorite Marvel characters come to life! Performance times vary. Tickets $20–65. Marveluniverselive.com

Under $500 Art Sale
Maryland Art Place
December 11, 6 p.m.

This affordable art sale features works from regional artists at a price point of $500 or less— perfect for gift-giving. Plus open bar and artist reception. Tickets are just $20. MdArtPlace.org

Holiday Paint Party with Larry Poncho Brown
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
December 17, 6 – 9 p.m.

Spend a fun evening laughing, listening to music, and creating a one-of-a-kind piece with renowned artist Larry Poncho Brown. This holiday art party includes supplies, instruction, music, and desserts. No art experience necessary; Poncho will walk you through the creative process! $45/ members; $50/non-members. Lewismuseum.org

31st Annual Merry Tuba Christmas
Harborplace Amphitheater
December 19, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Toots and tweets and a Tuba Terrific Holiday concert. Free. Harborplace.com

Winter Break Festivities
Port Discovery
December 26–30

Winter-themed activities for kids! Have fun with sounds, make your own snowflakes and snow pals, enjoy circle time, and more! PortDiscovery.org

Kwanzaa Celebration
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
December 27, 1 – 6 p.m.

The community Kwanzaa Celebration showcases contemporary African fashion, an African musical performance, Sankofa Dance Theater, candlelight Kwanzaa ceremony, crafts activities, storytelling by Maria Broom and Jali D., and Afrocentric Art at the African Market Place. $5 special admission. LewisMuseum.org

ON THE STAGE

X’s and O’s
(A Football Love Story)
Center Stage
November 13 – December 20

Baltimore. Loves. Football. And as the season kicks into high gear, Center Stage brings you a hard-hitting, ripped-from-theheadlines play about love for the game. X’s and O’s is a celebration of football that fearlessly tackles the sometimes tragic results of our passion for the sport. Centerstage.org

A Christmas Carole
Chesapeake Shakespeare Co.
December 4 – 23

Charles Dickens’ holiday tale of redemption warms the heart with a Charm City twist. This original adaptation by founding artistic director Ian Gallanar is set in Baltimore’s 19th Century business district along Calvert Street, as miserly Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas through visits with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. ChesapeakeShakespeare.com

The Sound of Music
Hippodrome Theatre
December 8 – 13

The hills are alive with a new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award®-winner Jack O’Brien, which is coming to the Hippodrome Theatre! The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will thrill audiences this holiday season. Baltimore.Broadway.com

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Hippodrome Theatre
December 18 & 19

Bring the family for the sweetest Christmas celebration of the season! Experience the exquisite artistry of world-class Russian dancers, playful puppets, and the unmatched splendor of hand-crafted sets and costumes. Baltimore.Broadway.com

RING IN THE NEW YEAR

Noontime New Year
Port Discovery
December 31

Dress in your favorite costume and decorate numbers and make sound makers for our noon countdown with Eric Energy, complete with a juice and cookie toast! PortDiscovery.org

New Year’s Eve LIVE
Power Plant Live!
December 31, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Ring in the New Year with live music, DJ performances, laser shows, dancing, and a midnight celebration featuring the Times Square Ball Drop on two 20′ LED screens. Powerplantlive.com

The Wonderland Ball
Baltimore Soundstage
December 31, 9 p.m.

End your year on a high note with Union Craft Brewing, Cris Jacobs Band and Friends, Bawdy Shop Burlesque, Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good. BaltimoreSoundstage.com

New Year’s Eve Spectacular
December 31, 9 p.m.

Celebrate the beginning of 2016 with live music, fireworks, and lights in the Inner Harbor. At the stroke of midnight, colorful fireworks fill the sky above Downtown Baltimore. promotionandarts.org

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