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Top 10 Christmas Markets in Maryland: A Festive Guide to the Best Holiday Experiences

The holiday season is a magical time in Maryland, with an abundance of festive markets to explore. These markets offer unique shopping experiences, joyous entertainment, and local culinary delights that capture the spirit of the season.

Whether you’re hunting for handcrafted gifts or simply want to feel the holiday cheer, there’s something special waiting for you at these markets.

Colorful stalls line the streets, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. Shoppers browse through handmade crafts and seasonal treats, while the air is filled with the sounds of holiday music and laughter

Discover where you can find the best holiday decorations, gifts, and festive foods all in one place.

From charming small-town markets to bustling city bazaars, Maryland’s Christmas markets are events that should not be missed.

As you stroll through the twinkling lights and festive stalls, you’ll feel the warmth and joy that only the holiday season can bring.

1) Baltimore Christmas Village

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Baltimore Christmas Village captures the charm of a traditional German holiday market. Here, you will explore over 50 local and international vendors set up at Baltimore’s iconic Inner Harbor.

Enjoy delicious treats, from spicy sausages to mouth-watering waffles, as you stroll through festively decorated stalls.

The market is perfect for unique holiday gifts, from handcrafted toys to intricate ornaments.

Don’t miss special events like the grand opening ceremony and live performances. It’s an ideal spot for families, friends, and anyone who loves the festive spirit.

Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 24, 2024
Address: 501 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 (West Side of Inner Harbor)
Times: Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Special Hours (Christmas Eve): 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Prices: Free on weekdays and first two weekends. Additional fees may apply for weekend tent admission. Check Christmas Village in Baltimore for details.

2) Festival of Trees in Timonium

The Festival of Trees in Timonium is bustling with festive energy. Brightly decorated trees line the market, surrounded by joyful crowds and twinkling lights

The Festival of Trees in Timonium is a delightful holiday event held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Organized by the Kennedy Krieger Institute, this festival is a major fundraiser that supports their programs and services.

As you enter, you’ll be greeted by hundreds of designer-decorated trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses. Each tree is unique, showcasing the creativity and spirit of the holiday season.

For children, there are craft activities, games, and a chance to meet Santa Claus.

It’s a magical experience for them to participate in and make memories.

Adults can enjoy browsing through various holiday vendors, offering handmade gifts, holiday decorations, and tasty treats. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

You can feel good knowing that your participation helps fund important services provided by the Kennedy Krieger Institute. It’s a fun way to give back to the community and celebrate the holidays.

Event Details

DatesAddressTimesPrices
Nov 24-26, 20232200 York Road, Timonium, MD 2109310 AM – 9 PMAdults: $20, Seniors: $15, Children 5-12: $10, Children 4 and under: Free

3) Merriweather Symphony of Lights

A festive market with twinkling lights, colorful stalls, and joyful music. People browse through handcrafted gifts and delicious treats, surrounded by the warm glow of the holiday season

Merriweather Symphony of Lights is a holiday tradition that has lit up Howard County for over 25 years. Situated in the historic Merriweather Post Pavilion, this display features more than 300,000 bulbs. You’ll find both animated and stationary light creations that turn the area into a winter wonderland.

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During the holiday season, you can enjoy this spectacle either by walking or driving through the light displays.

Walk-through nights allow you to enjoy the lights up close, while drive-through nights let you stay cozy in your car. These events are family-friendly, making them perfect for visitors of all ages.

Besides the stunning lights, the festivities also offer beer and cocktail samples on specific nights. This adds an extra layer of enjoyment while you marvel at the brilliantly lit scenes around you.

To make the most of your visit, check out the event schedule.

The drive-through entrance changes with traffic, so follow the directions from Howard County police to avoid any hassle.

DatesAddressTimesPrices
Dec 7, Dec 12Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 210446:00pm – 10:00pm$45 per sampling ticket, $15 walk through only

4) Kris Kringle Procession in Frederick

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The Kris Kringle Procession in Frederick is a must-see holiday event. This annual parade features local children dressed as reindeer, snowflakes, and other festive figures. The charm of Frederick’s small-town vibe shines through in this delightful celebration.

Starting at the corner of South Carroll and East Patrick streets, the procession winds through the streets of Downtown Frederick. It ends at Baker Park, where the lighting of the City Tree adds to the magical atmosphere.

The event is supported by Wawa and Key 103, adding a touch of local flair.

You can expect to see festive floats, marching bands, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

It’s a perfect way to kick off your holiday season with family and friends. The Kris Kringle Procession indeed captures the warm, community spirit of the holidays.

DateAddressTimePrice
December 13, 2024Corner of South Carroll and East Patrick Sts6:30 PMFree

5) Cambridge Main Street Christmas Market

The Cambridge Main Street Christmas Market bustles with holiday cheer and twinkling lights, as vendors display their festive wares and visitors sip on hot cocoa

Visit the vibrant Cambridge Main Street Christmas Market, situated at the corner of Race and Gay Streets. This market stands out, thanks to its unique Crab Basket Tree, a local holiday tradition.

Stroll through the market, where you’ll find an array of seasonal goodies. From chocolate-covered strawberries to handmade chocolates, there’s something for everyone.

Various vendors offer a range of gifts and home decor items. You can expect to see candles, charming ornaments, and festive garlands, making it a great spot for holiday shopping.

Enjoy the festive atmosphere with live music and holiday lights.

The market is open on the first and second Saturdays of December, a perfect outing for families and friends.

DatesAddressTimesPrices
1st and 2nd Sat in DecCorner of Race and Gay Streets, Cambridge, MD2-6 PMFree admission; Vendor prices vary

6) Bethesda Holiday Market

A festive holiday market with vendors selling gifts and decorations. Lights and decorations adorn the stalls, creating a cheerful and bustling atmosphere

Bethesda Holiday Market is a perfect spot for holiday cheer. You can find many unique gifts and holiday treats here. The market is lively and full of festive decorations.

You will love the local vendors selling handmade crafts and delicious food. Families enjoy the festive music and activities for kids. The market creates a cozy holiday atmosphere.

Walking through, you’ll see beautiful holiday lights.

It’s a great place for an evening stroll. Don’t miss the special seasonal performances that add to the magic.

7) Ellicott City Midnight Madness

Ellicott City Midnight Madness is a holiday shopping tradition. Each year, this event draws locals and visitors looking for that special holiday experience.

More than 80 unique shops and restaurants line the historic district, making it a festive destination.

The event takes place on December 1st. Picture twinkling lights, carolers, and a sense of community.

Shops stay open late, giving you plenty of time to find gifts and enjoy the holiday ambiance.

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Historic Ellicott City offers a cozy, small-town feel.

Wandering through its decorated streets is like stepping into a holiday postcard.

You’ll find one-of-a-kind items that make perfect gifts. Don’t miss the festive cocktails and food specials that add to the merriment.

DateAddressTimesPrices
December 1stOld Ellicott City, MD6:00 PM – MidnightFree

8) Hampden Christmas Parade

The Hampden Christmas Parade is a must-see event in Baltimore. You’ll see giant balloons, marching bands, and even Santa Claus.

This parade is not just about the floats; it’s a community celebration with local media celebrities and elected officials joining in the fun.

The parade route runs down Falls Rd. from Coldspring Lane, then turns onto W. 36th St. You’ll be surrounded by festive decorations and the cheerful energy of the crowd.

Make sure to arrive early to grab a good spot.

If you’re attending, the parade takes place in the Hampden and Medfield neighborhoods. Street parking can be a challenge, so consider using public transportation or arriving on foot if you’re nearby.

Enjoy warm drinks and food from local vendors as you watch the parade. Support small businesses and artisans who set up shop along the route.

Be prepared for a lively atmosphere. The Hampden Christmas Parade is a cherished tradition that brings together friends and neighbors for a festive celebration.

DatesAddressTimesPrices
December 3W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 212111 PMFree

9) Rock Hall’s Santa’s Secret Shop

Rock Hall’s Santa’s Secret Shop is a charming spot that brings Christmas joy to every visitor. Located at the intersection of Main and Sharp St., this event offers a wonderful mix of holiday activities and festive shopping.

In Santa’s Secret Shop, you’ll find a variety of vendors selling unique gifts and holiday decorations. This makes it easy to find that perfect gift for someone special or a treat for yourself.

Children will love writing letters to Santa and dropping them off at his mailbox, strategically placed nearby. It’s a magical touch that captures the spirit of Christmas for the little ones.

The shops in Rock Hall take part in the festivities with special sales, mini-events, and open houses. There’s always something to see and do, adding to the holiday cheer.

You can immerse yourself in the community’s warm atmosphere while enjoying the twinkling lights and festive decorations throughout the town. Rock Hall truly shines during this festive season.

Event Details:

Date(s)AddressTime(s)Prices
DecemberMain St. and Sharp St., Rock Hall, MD 21447VariesFree Admission

10) Snow Hill Candlelight Tour

The Snow Hill Candlelight Tour is a charming way to immerse yourself in holiday spirit. Held annually, this event invites you to stroll through historic homes bathed in the warm glow of candlelight.

Each home features unique decorations and festive ambiance that is perfect for the season.

During your visit, you’ll get to see the rich history of Snow Hill. The architecture and decor reflect different periods and styles, making each house a unique part of the tour.

It’s not just about the visuals—many homes also offer refreshments and musical performances to enhance the experience.

DateAddressTimePrices
December 9-10, 2024Various Historic Homes, Snow Hill, MD5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.$15 per person

History of Christmas Markets in Maryland

Maryland’s Christmas markets carry rich traditions and have evolved greatly over the years. From European roots to modern-day festive events, these markets have become a beloved holiday tradition for many.

Origins and Traditions

Maryland’s Christmas markets draw inspiration from traditional European Christmas markets. The idea was brought over primarily by immigrants who wanted to recreate the festive atmosphere they knew from their homeland.

These markets originally focused on handmade crafts, seasonal foods, and artisanal gifts. A significant part of these early markets included caroling, traditional holiday treats such as mulled wine and gingerbread, and local crafts that provided a distinct sense of place. The historic Frederick city often hosts one of Maryland’s oldest markets, maintaining that traditional feel.

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Evolution Over the Years

As the years passed, Maryland’s Christmas markets grew in size and variety. The Maryland Christmas Show at the Frederick Fairgrounds has become one of the state’s largest, featuring over 500 vendors.

Markets not only expanded in size but also began to include more modern elements. Nowadays, you can find technology-based crafts, gourmet foods, and international gifts. Events like the Greater Goods Holiday Market integrate music performances and interactive experiences.

Much of this evolution is driven by a desire to attract a wider audience and offer something for everyone. From the quaint, historic beginnings, Maryland’s Christmas markets have transformed into grand festive spectacles while maintaining their charming traditions.

What to Expect at Maryland’s Christmas Markets

Maryland’s Christmas markets provide a joyful and inviting experience with festive vibes, unique gifts, and delightful local treats. You’ll find yourself immersed in a world of holiday cheer and craftsmanship.

Festive Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Maryland’s Christmas markets is nothing short of magical. Picture twinkling lights, holiday music, and the scent of pine in the air.

These markets often feature beautifully decorated stalls, echoing traditional European Christmas markets. Children and adults alike can enjoy various activities such as carnival rides in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor or Santa visits. Events like the Vintage Christmas Market at Wildberry Farm ensure you’re surrounded by holiday spirit.

Expect to see smiling faces, cozy fire pits, and maybe even a light snowfall to enhance the experience.

Unique Gifts and Crafts

Maryland’s Christmas markets are a treasure trove of unique gifts and crafts. You’ll find over 500 vendors at the Maryland Christmas Show in Frederick offering a range of handmade items.

Shoppers can browse through intricate ornaments, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and handcrafted toys. Artists and creators display their work, making it easy to find a special gift for loved ones. Markets like these also include rotating vendors, so there’s always something new to discover.

Whether you’re looking for holiday decorations or artisanal crafts, these markets provide endless options.

Local Food and Drink

Local food and drink are at the heart of Maryland’s Christmas markets. Wander through the stalls and savor everything from hot cocoa to local craft beers.

Markets in the Inner Harbor and Frederick serve a variety of festive foods like pretzels, roasted nuts, and Christmas cookies.

Culinary offerings often include regional specialties, so you might sample Maryland crab cakes alongside traditional German sausages. Don’t miss out on the chance to warm up with some mulled wine or hot apple cider as you explore the market, making the culinary experience as memorable as the shopping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover all you need to know about Maryland’s top Christmas markets, from family-friendly spots to unique, local attractions. Explore some of the best places to visit and enjoy the holiday season.

What are the best family-friendly Christmas markets in Maryland?

The Festival of Trees in Timonium offers a magical experience for kids with beautifully decorated trees, holiday games, and festive performances.

The Kris Kringle Procession in Frederick is another family favorite, featuring a charming parade with live music and a holiday atmosphere.

Where can I find Christmas markets near Baltimore?

Baltimore hosts several wonderful markets. The Baltimore Christmas Village is a well-loved destination with its German-inspired stalls and festive ambiance.

For more variety, visit the Charm City Christmas Market, where you can find local artisans and unique holiday gifts.

Which Christmas market in the Washington, D.C. area is considered the top attraction for the holidays?

The Downtown Holiday Market in Washington, D.C., is a top attraction. It features a wide range of crafts, gifts, and festive foods. It’s a great place to find unique holiday items and enjoy the festive spirit in the nation’s capital.

What is the best Christmas market in the United States?

The Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is often cited as one of the best Christmas markets in the United States. It offers a variety of festive goods, handmade crafts, and delicious holiday treats, all in a charming, seasonal setting.

Where is the largest Christmas market located?

In Maryland, the largest Christmas market is the Maryland Christmas Show hosted in Frederick at the Frederick Fairgrounds. This extensive market features over 500 vendors spread across two weekends, offering an incredible variety of holiday decorations, gifts, and artwork.

What are some unique features of the Christmas Village in Baltimore?

The Christmas Village in Baltimore stands out for its German-style market stalls and festive decorations. You can find imported products, traditional German foods like bratwurst and mulled wine, and unique crafts.

It’s a delightful way to experience European holiday traditions without leaving Maryland.

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