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Home Seasonal Events Winter Maryland Holiday Light Displays and Tree Lightings

Maryland Holiday Light Displays and Tree Lightings

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.

Due to COVID crowd restrictions and safety precautions, many events are being canceled this year. The following have been checked, but do call ahead before you go! Updated for 2020. List is updated regularly. Check back often! 

Tree Lightings and One-time Events

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Nightly Holiday Tree Light Show at National Harbor – 2020
Nov. 14–Jan. 3. Ignite your holiday spirit with the nightly lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. The tree light show takes place nightly, every half hour from sundown to 9 p.m. On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) there will be snowfall over the tree during the light show. In order to maintain social distancing, National Harbor asks guests to form a line and follow the directions. Unfortunately, there will be no fireworks this year.

National Christmas Tree Lighting – 2020
This year’s National Tree lighting ceremony will be streaming live on December 3.
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.

Homestead Gardens’ Christmas2020
While Homestead won’t be able to host its traditional holiday events this year, you can find dozens of inspirational holiday tree and tabletop themes, an amazing selection of live and lifelike trees, wreaths and other holiday plant favorites. Homestead will also have beautiful locally-grown poinsettias in a variety of sizes. And, for a little extra holiday cheer, kids of all ages will delight in our new animatronic Santa’s Workshops that complement our famous train display—remodeled and enlarged for 2020. Homestead Gardens, Davidsonville. 

Christmas on the Square and Annual Christmas Tree Lighting – 2020
Dec. 12. This virtual 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 p.m. Free. 3–5 p.m. Leonardtown Square, Leonardtown.

Great Crab Pot Christmas Tree Lighting and Boat Parade – 2020
Dec. 12. The event kicks off at Character’s Bridge Restaurant with a cocktail party at 5:30 p.m. Then, Santa will be on Tilghman Island from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the Phillips Wharf classroom to greet guests while they enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. The Great Crab Pot Tree Lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, followed by the lighted, Knapps Narrows boat parade beginning at 7:00 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs, with free parking and space for parade spectators at Phillips Wharf. Tilghman Island. 

Holiday Candlelight Stroll – 2020
Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 4–27. 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. $12-$21. 7-8:30 p.m. Downtown Annapolis. 

Lighting of the Christmas Tree – 2020
Dec. 7. Lighting of the Living Farm Heritage Museum Christmas tree, live music, train garden, visit with Santa and more. Free. 5-7 p.m. Living Farm Heritage Museum, West Friendship. 

Annual Baltimore Monument Lighting – 2020
Dec. 3. This year’s annual monument lighting will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. on WJZ Baltimore. 

Solomons Island Boat Parade – 2020
Dec. 5. 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. Friday December 4 without Santa, this year.

Santa Arrives in Baltimore
November 27. The holiday season is officially here when Santa comes to town, and we hope you’ll join us in greeting him when he arrives back in Baltimore aboard the B&O No. 6944! Santa’s locomotive will pull into the B&O Railroad Museum’s spacious Roundhouse, creating the perfect opportunity to take the first festive photos of the season.

Lighting of the Wharf Christmas Tree – 2020
Nov. 27. Kick off the holiday season at The Wharf as we officially light our Christmas tree and transform the waterfront into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. Snap photos next to the 45-foot pine tree, then enjoy dinner together at one of our many restaurants. End your evening by roasting s’mores around the firepit at Camp Wharf!

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Ongoing Light Displays

Zoo Lights at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Nov. 20–Jan. 3. A brilliant seasonal spectacle is coming to the Zoo this winter! Drive or walk through a festival of lights shaped like wildlife. Plus, get that warm glowing feeling inside knowing you are supporting the Zoo’s animal care and conservation work. Advanced reservations are required. Drive-through ($45) Wed.–Thurs. 5–7 p.m.; Fri. and Sun. –9 p.m. Walk-through ($20, kids under 2 free) Sat. 4:30–7:30 p.m. Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Winterfest of Lights – 2020
Nov. 19–Jan. 2. Walkthgouth Holiday lights display, Winterfest Village pavillion, photos with Santa and more. $5. Wed.–Sun. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Northside Park, Ocean City. 

Lights on the Bay – 2020
Nov. 20–Jan. 2. Annual holiday lights show. $20 per car. 5-10 p.m. Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis.

Festival of Lights – 2020
Nov. 27–Jan. 1. Holiday drive-through event features more than 2.5 million twinkling lights and a giant 54-ft LED Tree. $8–$20. 5–9:30 p.m. Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro. 

Symphony of Lights – 2020
Nov. 25–Jan. 2. 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. $20 per car. Mon.–Fri. 6–10 p.m. Sat.–Sun. 5–10 p.m. Symphony Woods, Columbia. 

Zoolights – 2020
Nov. 29–Jan. 1 ZooLights will not be held on-site at the Smithsonian National Zoo this year. Instead, the 24-foot ZooLights Express truck will hit the road, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws,” and visit one Washington, D.C., ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6–8 p.m. 

Six Flags Holiday in the Park – 2020
Nov. 21–Jan 3. More than 1 million glittering lights, holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, visits with Santa and theme park rides. $45-$70. Six Flags America, Upper Marlboro. 

Annmarie Garden in Lights – 2020
Nov. 27–Jan. 1. Closed Nov. 30-Dec.1; 7–8, 24, 25. Walk through the wooded path and enjoy lighted vignettes of famous people, places and works of art. Look for hidden treasures in the trees and green shamrocks in each vignette. $10–$12 per person, ages 2 and under free. 5–9 p.m. Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons. 

North Pole Lights Walk 2020
Nov. 27–29; Dec. 3–5; 10–12; 17–23. Take a self guided walk to the North Pole! Walk through many different light displays as you make your way to see Santa! Bring the family for a walk to the North Pole! See the garden flower lights, forest animals and many more as you journey to the North Pole. Santa is outside to visit with children.4:30–8 p.m. $7 adults; $5 children. Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm, Severn.

Nightly Holiday Tree Light Show at National Harbor – 2020
Nov. 14–Jan. 3. Ignite your holiday spirit with the nightly lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. The tree light show takes place nightly, every half hour from sundown to 9 p.m. On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) there will be snowfall over the tree during the light show. In order to maintain social distancing, National Harbor asks guests to form a line and follow the directions. Unfortunately, there will be no fireworks this year.

Don’t miss Maryland Santa Sightings

Check out our listing of Maryland Holiday Concerts & Performances

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