The grandest Christmas markets in the world bring to mind snowy town squares filled with cheery, rosy-cheeked families shopping for toys, trinkets, and tasty warm drinks. European markets are especially magical—Germans, particularly, know how to do it right. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Europe to find a great Christmas market—you can find a German market and other events right in Baltimore, Maryland.
So if you’re looking for things to do in Baltimore over the holidays, use our guide to check out some of the best Christmas markets in the city.
November 24 – December 24, 2016
A German-style Christmas market right in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Christmas Village offers a month-long opportunity to shop, eat, and drink aside the Patapsco River. Expect traditional German cuisine like bratwurst, pretzels, and cookies. Weekdays are free and weekends are cheap, and the location is one of Baltimore’s best. And perhaps most importantly of all: you’ll find plenty of German beer.
November 26, 2016
Art lovers, take note: the American Visionary Art Museum hosts a market showcasing artwork from local artists every holiday season. Here, visitors can peruse “art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” The market is free, and the museum’s shop and restaurant are open during the shopping hours. One look at the building’s exterior tells you you’re in for something different.
Festival of Trees
November 25 – 27, 2016
Billed as “the East Coast’s largest holiday extravaganza,” the Festival of Trees takes over the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, about 20 minutes north of Baltimore. The site is transformed into a massive, kid-friendly world dedicated to Christmas cheer: gingerbread towns, rides, games, toys, treats, and more. Over 100 vendors offer all kinds of goods to help fill out your gift list, and each night sees several performers provide live entertainment. The best part? Ticket proceeds benefit the children of the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Adults $15, Seniors $10, Kids $7.
While not so much a market, Baltimore’s 34th Street has some of the best Christmas lights in the country. Residents of the Hampden section of the city transform their neighborhood into a shimmering display that’s a must-see if you’re in the city.