Christmas tree lightings, dazzling holiday light displays that range from strings of lights to spectacular animated displays are signs of the Maryland holiday season. Read on for tree lightings, grand illuminations and monthlong lights displays!
Find holiday light shows and tree lighting ceremonies around Annapolis, Baltimore, and D.C., or the Eastern Shore. Plus local lighted boat parades have a special allure for everyone living near the water in and around Annapolis, Baltimore and the Eastern Shore.
Christmas on the Square and Annual Christmas Tree Lighting – 2022
Nov. 25 | Leonardtown Square, Leonardtown
This Holiday celebration will feature Christmas music, a Holiday Showcase with decorating and gift ideas from our local businesses, Storytime with Santa, the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and more. Free. 4:30 p.m.
Christmas Illuminations at George Washington’s Mount Vernon – 2022
Dec. 16-17 | Mount Vernon, VA
See the lantern-lit Historic Area, the Mansion aglow in beautiful amber light, and the Upper Garden and Greenhouse dazzling in blue and lavender with moving wintry light patterns. You’ll hear classic holiday music and patriotic inspirational quotes on the Bowling Green. Visit with Sutlers that produce 18th-century wares and crafts, available for purchase at the 18th-century Winter Market and enjoy fireworks starting around 8:15pm.
National Christmas Tree Lighting – 2020
**Waiting on 2022 Info**
The National Christmas Tree will be lit every evening throughout December. Visitors are invited to President’s Park to view the National Christmas Tree and 56 trees representing every U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia, decorated with ornaments designed by students from across the country.
Light Display Events
District’s Holiday Boat Parade – 2022
Dec. 3 | The Wharf, Washington, D.C
Celebrate the holidays with this iconic DC event that features over sixty beautifully decorated boats parading along the Washington Channel. Get into the spirit with holiday ornament decorating, family photos with Santa, and live music under our lighted Christmas Tree. 6pm. The celebration will be capped off by a fireworks salute at 8pm.
Lighted Boat Parade on St. Michaels Harbor – 2022
Dec. 10 | St. Michaels
Celebrate the holidays in St. Michaels and enjoy their Lighted Boat Parade to get into the holiday spirit. St. Michaels has many ways to celebrate the season including Tour of Homes, the Talbot Street Parade, Marketplace, Santa, Breakfast with Santa, the Ornament, and the Old Fashion Christmas Dinner. Free. 6pm.
Solomons Island Boat Parade – 2022
Dec. 10 | Solomons Island
The parade kicks off at 6:15 p.m. from Solomons Yachting Center Watch the parade from many of the restaurants and establishments on Back Creek or the Patuxent River Boardwalk! Prizes are awarded for Best Original Theme, Best Sailboat, Best Power Boat, and Best of Show. The lights on the Christmas tree at the Solomons Riverwalk Gazebo will be switched on at 6 p.m.
Ongoing Light Displays
Annmarie Garden in Lights – 2022
Nov. 25–Jan. 1 | Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons
Join us for the most magical time of year as the grounds of Annmarie Sculpture Garden are transformed into an outdoor twinkling wonderland. Annmarie Garden In Lights will transport you and your family to an enchanted world where they will discover glowing “light sculptures” and wondrous light installations. Discover magical creatures, wintery wonderlands, musical holiday scenes, deep sea treasures, and glowing trees. $15 per person, ages 2 and under free. 5–9 p.m. Advance timed-entry tickets required for all guests.
Festival of Lights – 2022
Nov. 25–Jan. 1 | Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro
Holiday drive-through event features more than 2.5 million twinkling lights and a giant 54-ft LED Tree. Drive-through a spectacular trail that matches perfectly your car radio playing the Christmas favorites. Popular displays include reindeer, colorful snowflakes, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, candy canes, and Santa Claus. Stop by a dazzling life-size Gingerbread House and an enchanting Carousel of Lights. Other attractions in the park include Old Maryland Farm, the Chesapeake Carousel, the miniature train, and Watkins Nature Trail. $8–$20. 5–9:30 p.m.
Garden of Lights at Brookside – 2022
Nov. 18- Jan. 1. Closed Nov. 21-24 and Dec. 24-25 | Brookside Gardens, Wheaton
Walk through the outdoor twinkling lights and glimmering displays that dot the paths and flowerbeds throughout the 50 acres in Wheaton. More than one million dazzling and colorful LED lights are handwoven into original works depicting animals, flowers, and other natural elements. 5:30pm-9:30pm. Advanced ticket purchase required. $10 (under 5 are free).
Holiday Candlelight Stroll – 2022
Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23 | Downtown Annapolis
Stroll through Annapolis alongside a colonial guide and learn about holiday traditions. Includes tour inside the historic Hammond Harwood House for additional seasonal spirit. Departs Info Booth at City Dock; Friday and Saturday only. $14-$25. 7-8:30 p.m.
Homestead Gardens’ Christmas – 2022
Homestead Gardens, Davidsonville
Witness a spectacular display of Christmas lights illuminating as you listen to sounds of the season. Find seasonal treasures to last a lifetime in our holiday shop, enjoy our train display, then head outside when it’s time to flip the switch! Christmas lights will illuminate our entire property.
Lights on the Bay – 2022
Nov. 20–Jan. 2 | Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis
Driving through “Lights on the Bay” at Sandy Point State Park has become a tradition for many families for the past decade. The Lights on the Bay display is a scenic drive along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay with more than 60 spectacular animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. Our holiday light show is sponsored by the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. $20 per car/$5 3-D glasses. Open daily, 5-10 p.m.
North Pole Lights Walk 2022
Nov. 25-27, Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-23, 29-30 | Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm, Severn
Take a self guided walk to the North Pole! Let the North Pole Fairy send you on your way through the garden flowers and arctic animals to the North Pole Palace. Visit Santa in the Garden Cabin. New scenes are added every year! 4:30–7:30 p.m. $8 adults; $5 children.
Nightly Holiday Tree Light Show at National Harbor – 2022
Nov. 12–Dec. 17 | National Harbor
On Saturdays, ignite your holiday spirit with the nightly lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District and enjoy Festive Fireworks at 5:30pm after the tree lighting.
The POLAR EXPRESS TRAIN Ride at the B&O Railroad Museum
November 25-27 & December 2-4, 9-11 & 16-19 | B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore
Climb aboard The Polar Express to create a Christmas memory that you and your family will cherish forever! Come in your pajamas as a family to watch the live performance of The Polar Express. Once on the train, the classic Christmas tale will be performed and little ones will have the opportunity to meet Santa and receive their first gift of Christmas! Santa’s helpers will greet you upon arrival to the North Pole, where you can take pictures with Santa and have lots of holiday fun.
Symphony of Lights – 2022
Nov. 24–Jan. 1 | Symphony Woods, Columbia
Open daily, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Display of more than 100 larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations, made up of more than 300,000 bulbs. Walk Through is back for 2022! $20 per car. Mon.–Fri. 6–10 p.m. Sat.–Sun. 5–10 p.m.
Winterfest of Lights – 2022
Nov. 17–Dec. 31 | Northside Park, Ocean City
The Winterfest of Lights takes you through thousands of sparkling holiday lights and many animated light displays located along a paved path in Northside Park. Sip hot chocolate, take a photo with Santa, visit our gift shop and enjoy the array of holiday exhibits – including the 50-foot Christmas tree. Pets welcome on Wednesdays. $6 (11 and under are free). Wed.–Sun. 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Zoo Lights at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore -2022
Nov. 18–Jan. 1 | Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Zoo Lights, presented by Chase, will return to the Maryland Zoo to brighten up the town with colorful evenings of holiday light displays. From Friday, November 18th through Sunday, January 1, this seven-week event will bring to Baltimore twinkling lights and holiday flare in the shape of many of your favorite zoo animals. More than 80 light displays with 150,000 environmentally friendly LED lights will transform the Zoo into a sparkling winter wonderland. Zoo Lights is a seasonal spectacle after-hours event that will run five nights a week, Friday-Sunday, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. And visit Santa at Zoo Lights! He will be coming to the event every Saturday from November 19 – December 31.
Don’t miss Maryland Santa Sightings
Check out our listing of Maryland Holiday Concerts & Performances