holiday shopping

From the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to an ice-sculpture battle, a drive-thru Living Nativity and a scavenger hunt, we’ve rounded up over a dozen family friendly events in and around Annapolis, Baltimore and D.C. December 18 to 20.

Friday November 18

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Dec. 18. Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring your favorite Rock Holiday tradition directly into your home with an up-close-and-personal livestream performance of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories!” Join us on Friday, December 18th at 8 p.m. EST for an intimate 90-minute performance of this beloved album. Tickets for this virtual event are on-sale now on

Ice Sculpting Masters Drive Through Holiday Display
Dec. 18–19. Eight of the world’s best ice sculptors are coming to Maryland to compete for the 1st place medal. Almost 50,000 pounds of frozen water will be used to create 8 ice carving displays, each consisting of 20 crystal clear ice blocks. Carvers will design and sculpt a sculpture based on the theme: The Winter Season & The Holiday’s Around The World. The sculptures will be completed just before opening drive thru viewing to the public so everyone can see the finished work. A live ice-sculpting demonstration will be happening at our lot entrance each night. 4–10 p.m. $40 per car. Turf Valley Resort, Ellicott City.

Virtual Winter Scavenger Hunt
Kids can register as a team and work together to find items around your house. You will be prompted to seek out items from around the house. Race against the clock to find the items in multiple rounds in order to earn the most points. Hosted by the Deale Library. 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Christmas at Mount Vernon
Through Dec. 31. During Mt. Vernon’s Winter Glow event, you’ll see the estate illuminated with soft lights and holiday patterns as you listen to Christmas carolers and visit an 18th-century winter encampment. Plus, don’t miss daytime events including tours, behind-the-scenes programming and more.

Reindeer Railway Evening Train Rides & Holiday Lights
Dec. 18–19. Each evening from 6–8 p.m., tour through Santa’s Winter Village shops, model train layouts, enjoy a visit from Santa and share cookies with spiced cider or spiked cider for the grown-ups. The train ride includes child-size light-up reindeer antlers to wear on the Reindeer Railway to help light the way for Santa! $10–$30 per person. B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore.

Drive–Thru Living Nativity
Free, drive-thru “Living Nativity” outside on the Heritage Baptist Church grounds. Come experience his life-size retelling of the Christmas Story from the comfort of your car. Hear songs of Christmas, meet Mary and Joseph and much, much more. From 6–8 p.m., experience 8 different, LIVE scenes depicting the story of Jesus’ birth all from the comfort of your own car. Heritage Baptist Church, Annapolis.

Babes in Toyland
Weekends through Jan. 1. Virtual. Tickets allow you to view a virtual performance of this holiday favorite for a whole weekend, rather than just one evening!  $30 per family.

Don’t Miss out on Holiday Concerts and Performances this year with our great roundup of all the Holiday Performances available!

Saturday December 19

Family Holiday Concert
Join the Columbia Orchestra on YouTube for our virtual Holiday Concert! It will look a little different this year, but you’re sure to enjoy small groups from the Orchestra playing your favorite Christmas carols, Hanukkah songs, selections from The Nutcracker & more! 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker – 2020 (Virtual)
Dec. 19. See Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker from the best seat in the house; your living room! Experience the smash-hit Holiday tradition in this ground-breaking debut. Take a trip backstage with the cameras for a look at how the magic is made. Hear it first-hand from world-class artists, designers, and the creators of this cherished production. See the full performance as captured on stage plus an up close look at the behind-the-scenes action. 8 p.m. $25. the content will remain available to view until January 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Winter Solstice Celebration
Celebrate the longest night of the year with activities that explore the light and the dark! Enjoy a planetarium program to discover the significance of the solstice, myths, and folklore about our sun. Take in nature’s winter beauty during a night hike as we examine how animals and plants prepare for the long nights and short days ahead. Warm up with a campfire and hot chocolate. Alternative online or kit-based programs will be offered in the event of COVID closures. 6:30–8:30 p.m. Robinson Nature Center, Columbia.

Holy Trinity An Episcopal School’s Happy Holiday Virtual Concert & Fundraiser
Performances by Middle School Students, local artist Geneva Renee, and Gospel Artists Juan & Lisa Winans. 7 p.m. $20 per person. Purchase tickets in advance online or text HTCONCERT to 41444 for a secure link.

Merry Main Marketplace
19–20. Inspired by European outdoor holiday markets, this mini version hosts rotating local artisans and small businesses offering their gift-able creations. Warm up at the fire pit and grab your favorite holiday themed hot drink, soup or sandwich from Little Market Cafe while you shop. On Sundays, treat yourself to a Sunday S’More at the fire pit! Hot’s not your thing? Park Ridge Creamery has gelato sammies and pints to go! Ellicott City. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Looking for more Christmas and Holiday fun?

Check out our Guide to Holiday Events and Seasonal Fun

Sunday December 20

$2 Community Day
Enjoy crafts, story times, and the three floors of hands-on, educational exhibits. $2. 11 a.m. Port Discovery Children’s Museum, Baltimore.

The Nutcracker: Glen Echo Puppet Co.
Through Jan. 1, Streaming. Marionettes tell the story of Clara-Marie’s favorite toy, and their adventures together in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Sunday Market
The Farmers’ Market takes place every Sunday at Honey’s Harvest Farm in Lothian from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. It features local farms and their amazing organically and/or Non-GMO cultivated products. You never know what you might find at the market—whether meats or mushrooms, elderberry syrup or holiday wreaths, gluten free baked goods or local honey, fresh-caught fish or herbal teas, produce or pottery or pre-made lunches, you’re sure to find something you love.

Jolly Express Cruise
Hop aboard Miss Anne, all decked out for the Holidays and for a Spa Creek “sleigh ride” on the Jolly Express. Miss Anne will be adorned with reindeer spirit for an intimate cruise including hot cocoa, holiday music, and good cheer. Bring your own blankets and enjoy the cruise with “Captain Santa” at the helm.

Lights on the Bay
Through Jan. 2. This annual holiday drive-through lights show features a scavenger hunt for kids and special 3-D glasses for special effects. Event benefits the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. $20 per car. 5–10 p.m. Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis.

Looking for even more family fun this holiday season? We have all the information you need in the Best Guide to Holiday Events in Maryland. Plus, you’ll find festive fun every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in our Holiday Countdown!