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Keyword: christmas

photo of child doing holiday craftsEvents and Outings for All

The weather outside may be getting a bit “frightful,” but the County’s parks are delightful in every season.

Sure, you’ll need to bundle up and instead of the water bottle you can take a thermos of hot chocolate, your camera, warm jacket, socks and boots, hat, scarf and see the sights! Imagine the sounds of the wind blowing through the forest, the rustle of leaves as you walk those same trails you love in the warm weather. 

And, the fine folks at Baltimore County’s Department of Recreation and Parks, and all of our essential volunteers (“helpful elves” if you will) are eager to have a part in making your season bright, warm and filled with memories that will last well beyond the decorations and food.

Holiday Events Galore!

Your friends at Recreation and Parks and our many recreation and nature councils have lots of seasonal events that are sure to keep you in the spirit of the season in your eyes, in your bellies and in your heart, here are just a few…

Santa with childSanta's Rounds

Want to meet the “Big Guy?”  Yep, SANTA’s making the rounds this December, and let us tell you, that guy really gets around:

  • At Battle Grove Elementary on December 12, from 9 to 11 a.m. Sponsored by North Point Village Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • At Bear Creek Elementary on December 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Bear Creek Recreation Council (410-887-7529 for details and reservations)
  • At Turner Station Recreation Council’s Christmas Celebration at Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center on December 12, between noon and 4 p.m. (410-887-7134)
  • Watersedge Recreation Council is having their Christmas event on December 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Watersedge Community Center (410-887-7134)
  • Tuesday, December 8, West Inverness Recreation Council is sponsoring their Christmas event at the Inverness Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (410-887-7134)

Christmas Tree Sales – All for a Good Cause

  • Hannah More Park in Reisterstown – on sale through December 24 (410-887-1142)
  • TALMAR Gardens and Horticultural Therapy Center; inside the Sherwood entrance of Cromwell Valley Park. (410-825-2020)

Holiday Crafts

  • Mini Christmas Tree – Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Natural Ornaments – Saturday, December 12, noon to 3 p.m., at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)
  • Holiday Centerpieces – Saturday, December 12, 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Cromwell Valley Park (410-887-2503)
  • Log Cabin Christmas – Sunday, December 13, noon to 3 p.m., at Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Natural Ornament Making – Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, at Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815)
  • Wreaths and Natural Ornaments – Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, noon to 4 p.m., at Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • Short Days Candle Making – Saturday, December 19, 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • Solstice Candle Making – Sunday, December 20, 1 to 3 p.m., at Willow Grove Nature Center (410-887-2503)
  • Make Signature Wrapping Paper and Giant Ribbons – Tuesday, December 15, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Gingerbread Houses for You and the Birds – Saturday and Sunday, December 19 and 20, 1 to 3 p.m., at Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815)

Some Very Special Events

  • Holiday Craft Show, Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at General John Stricker Middle School sponsored by Gray Charles Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • Holiday Craft Show, Saturday, December 12, 9 a.m. to noon, inside Battle Grove Elementary School. Sponsored by North Point Village Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • Holiday Basket BINGO, Saturday, December 12, 7 to 9 p.m., inside Battle Grove Elementary School sponsored by North Point Village Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • 38th Annual Holly Tour at Ballestone-Stansbury House, Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13. Sponsored by Back River Recreation Council. Call for times. (410-887-0234)
  • Holiday Party – Tuesday, December 15, 7 p.m. – Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • Winter Solstice Campfire, Friday, December 18, 7 to 8 p.m. – Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)
  • Kids Night Out, Friday, December 18, 6 to 9 p.m. – Lake Roland (410-887-4156)
  • The Long Dark – Hike and Campfire – Friday, December 18, 7 to 8:30 p.m. – Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • S’mores, Stars and the Winter Solstice, Saturday, December 19, 6 to 8 p.m. – Lake Roland (410-887-4156)
  • Christmas Movie-thon, Saturday, December 19, 2 to 4:30 p.m., at Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Kwanzaa Celebration, Saturday, December 26, 1:30 to 3 p.m. – Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)
  • Winter Break Camp, Monday, December 28 through Thursday, December 31, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Lake Roland (410-887-4156 – call for availability, details and pricing)

While this is a listing of some of Recreation and Parks holiday and seasonal events, you can be sure there is lots more for you to do with us. Select a link to all our recreation and nature offices where our staff members will be able to offer more information about the above events and let you know of other events of the season. 

More Events at

Also, be sure to check out the County’s Tourism and Promotions website, for more great events.

Greetings from Recreation and Parks

So you see, Baltimore County Recreation and Parks this time of the year probably should be at the top of your list when thinking holiday and seasonal programs and events. From all your friends at Recreation and Parks, here’s wishing you a great holiday season – and a Happy New Year, too!

Michael L. Schneider,  Community Outreach Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

County Christmas treeFeatures Santa, Towson U. Marching Band, Holiday Musical Performers

Baltimore County's Annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place next Friday, November 20, at 6 p.m.

It will be held in the downtown Towson shopping district at Olympian Park, located at the corner of Allegheny Avenue and the traffic circle. This year’s festivities will include a holiday performance by the 250-member Towson University Marching Band, Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on a fire truck, free hot chocolate and pastries, and holiday musical performances.

Musical performers include the Perry Hall Middle School Choir and the  Anna Apicella School of Dance.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will preside over the official lighting of the Baltimore County Christmas tree at approximately 6:20 p.m.

Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Immediately following the tree lighting, the Towson Chamber of Commerce will host a Santa's Workshop featuring free visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as holiday musical performances. Santa's Workshop is located across York Road from Olympian Park at 1 E. Joppa Road (next to Barnes and Noble). Parents should bring their own cameras if they'd like photos of their children with Santa

Temporary Road Closure and Free Parking

To accommodate the event, Allegheny Avenue will be closed to traffic from Washington Avenue to the traffic circle from 4 until approximately 8:30 p.m., that evening.

Mid-Atlantic Properties will offer free parking from 5 to 9 p.m., at 111 Allegheny Avenue.

Thank You to Event Sponsors

The event is organized by the Towson Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and Baltimore County Government. Sponsors include 101.9 Lite FM, Mid-Atlantic Properties, Zerodraft, Trends, the Baltimore Sun Media Group and Towson Circle. Refreshments are being provided by the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel, Sheraton Baltimore North, La Cakerie and Cunningham’s Kitchen. 

A Season of Celebrations in Towson

The Christmas tree lighting event kicks off the Towson Chamber of Commerce’s WinterFest 2015 – a series of holiday-themed events that serves as an open invitation for families to visit restaurants and shops while seeing the new developments around the Towson community. Members of the community are encouraged to come down and get acquainted with the talking reindeer Beau and Tinsel, visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, have breakfast with Frosty and the Grinch, create holiday gifts in Santa’s Workshop, and participate in many other festive activities!

More Information

For more information about this event and Towson Winterfest, a month-long series of holiday events, contact the Towson Chamber of Commerce online or call them at 410-825-1144.

Jordan Fish
Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion

Among the hustle and bustle of the holidays try to remember the excitement and warmth that you felt as a kid during the holiday season. Why not take a moment to recall those great holiday childhood memories and how wonderful this time of year can be.

Below you’ll find a list of some of the fun events and activities around Baltimore County to help you and your family get in the humor of the holidays. You can enjoy everything from train gardens and wine tastings to concerts and visits with Santa and the Grinch!

Here’s a day by day guide to finding your holiday magic right here in Baltimore County. And, you can scroll down to find a listing of events hosted by volunteer fire companies and holiday train garden locations.

Breakfast with Frosty – Towson

Saturday, December 6 at 9 a.m.

Bring the family for a breakfast with Frosty at Souris’ Saloon in downtown Towson.

Santa’s Workshop and Movie – Towson

Saturday, December 6 at 9:30 a.m.

Children can create holiday gifts at Santa’s Craft Workshop, followed by a showing of the holiday classic Frosty the Snowman.

Cromwell Valley Park Holiday Open House – Parkville

Saturday, December 6 at 10 a.m.

Find all of your holiday excitement on one farm. Create seasonal crafts, sip hot mulled cider, decorate cookies, visit with Santa, and relax while listening to holiday music.

Holiday Ornament Making – Hunt Valley

Saturday, December 6 at 10:30 a.m.

Use farm themes and farm materials to create a series of holiday ornaments and decorations.

Holiday Lights at the Hilton Mansion – Catonsville

Saturday, December 6 at 12 p.m.

A host of activities for adults and children of all ages including face painting, craft stations, balloon art and a visit by Santa and Santa’s elves. Tours of the Hilton Mansion, an early 20th century, Georgian-revival mansion farmhouse, are another highlight of the event.

Tuscan Christmas at Basignani Winery – Sparks

Saturday, December 6, 13 at 12 p.m.

Christmas is a special time at Basignani Winery. Come see the winery decorated for Christmas, with holiday music in the air.

Christmas in the Barn at Boordy Vineyards – Hydes

Saturday, December 6, 13, and 20 at 1 p.m.

Boordy's Barn is the perfect setting for seasonal merry-making with traditional music and tours of the winery.

Babes in Toyland – Towson

Saturday, December 6 and 7 at 2 p.m.

Babes in Toyland, the Victor Herbert Operetta, is Maryland's longest-running Holiday Musical Spectacular. Babes in Toyland is highlighted by a cast of 100, a 20-piece orchestra, and features a Toyland Parade, Dragon Ballet, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, and a beautiful Toyland Wedding.

Holiday Hoopla – Dundalk

Saturday, December 6 at 4 p.m.

A truly memorable celebration that starts with a holiday parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, a cookie tour, and the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum Train Garden.

Dundalk Gingerbread 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk – Middle River

Sunday, December 7 at 8:30 a.m.

Work off some of that holiday weight while raising funds for the CenterPiece Family Arts Center.

Children's Chorus of Maryland & School of Music, Images of the Season! – Owings Mills

Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m.

Enjoy a delightful afternoon listening to a variety of seasonal and holiday selections performed by some of the area’s best trained young singers.

Fire & Ice and Christmas Tree Judging – Towson

Friday, December 12 at 6 p.m.

View ice sculptures located around Downtown Towson! There will also be street performers, free roasted chestnuts, Christmas tree judging and s’mores.

Breakfast with the Grinch – Towson

Saturday, December 13 at 9 a.m.

Bring the family for a breakfast with Frosty at Charles Village Pub in downtown Towson.

Santa’s Workshop and Movie – Towson

Saturday, December 13 at 9:30 a.m.

Children can create holiday gifts at Santa’s Craft Workshop, followed by a showing of the holiday classic The Grinch.

Natural Ornaments at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum – Oella

Saturday, December 13 at 12 p.m.

Drop in and create one-of-a-kind natural ornaments, one to take home and one to decorate the Banneker Museum Christmas Tree.

Log Cabin Christmas at Holt Park – Overlea

Saturday, December 13 at 12 p.m.

Families can make crafts, evergreen swags, pet presents, sweet treats, and explore our beautifully decorated log cabins.

Pints and Panic at Heavy Seas Brewery – Halethorpe

Saturday, December 13 at 12 p.m.

Haven’t finished (or even started) your holiday shopping? No need to panic! We’ll have an amazing selection of shopping vendors, selling their wonderful products for the holiday season.

Santa Arrives by Fire Truck – Jacksonville

Saturday, December 13 at 12 p.m.

Santa Claus arrives at the Manor Center on a fire truck! Enjoy hot cocoa, light refreshments, face painting and fun activities.

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas at Cromwell Valley Park – Parkville

Saturday, December 13 at 1 p.m.

Come and learn about gifts, decorations and recipes that use less and mean more.

Mix 106.5’s Mistletoe Meltdown! – Towson

Saturday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Baltimore’s biggest holiday show returns with Train, Daughtry, O.A.R., and Ingrid Michaelson.

Holiday Centerpieces at Cromwell Valley Park – Parkville

Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m.

It’s time to deck the halls! The fresh greens in your arrangement will bring the scent and beauty of the outdoors into your home.

Holidays at Hampton Mansion – Towson

December 12, 13, and 14

Festivities include a special evening open house on Saturday, antique cars, period crafts, musical & dance performances, African American storytelling, unique holiday shopping in the Museum Shop, and more.

Ballestone-Stansbury House 37th Annual Holly Tour – Essex

December 6, 7, 13, and 14

Be transported to Christmas past as each room is decorated to depict the holiday traditions of a different time period.  Also enjoy the Civil War Christmas encampment, live Christmas music, as well as complementary apple cider and cookies served in the kitchen building after the house tour.

Marshy Point Holiday Party – Middle River

Tuesday, December 16 at 12 p.m.

All are welcome to celebrate the season at this fun-filled family event. Santa will be sure to stop by. Activities include wreath making, carols and songs, popcorn-stringing, and live music.

Baltimore Symphonic Band Holiday Concert – Catonsville

Tuesday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The Baltimore Symphonic Band returns for their annual holiday concert, full of sing-a-longs and beloved holiday favorites.

Men’s Shopping Night – Towson

Thursday, December 18 at 5 p.m.

Men, tonight is your shopping night! Locally owned shops in Downtown Towson will offer specials and promotions to help you select the perfect gifts! Souris’ Saloon will wrap your gifts for free.

Luminaria Night – Dundalk

Friday, December 19 at 6 p.m.

This year's Luminaria event will expand to include more areas of the community. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the train garden, as well as live outdoor music.

Kids’ Night Out – Baltimore

Friday, December 19 at 6 p.m.

Drop off the kids for a few hours while you shop. Children can make wonderful nature crafts, look for nighttime creatures, make gingerbread houses and gingerbread people, and participate in holiday activities.

Sing-Along Messiah – Towson

Friday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Music Director Tom Hall leads the Chorus, Orchestra, and audience in the magnificent choruses of Handel's "Messiah." You’ll enjoy the surround-sound of this exhilarating experience, even if you don't sing along!

Christmas for Kids - Towson

Saturday, December 20 at 11 a.m.

An annual family favorite, this fun-filled holiday program features an all-new show featuring Pepito the Clown, Music Director Tom Hall and the Chorus, and Santa of course!

Christmas Animals at Cromwell Valley Park – Parkville

Saturday, December 20 at 1 p.m.

Can reindeer really fly?  Mrs. Claus will be on hand to answer questions about these “Christmas Animals”.

Annual Breakfast with Santa at The Manor Tavern – Monkton

Sunday, December 21 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Bring the family for photos with Santa, face painting, games and prizes, and a family brunch buffet.

Christmas with the Suspicious Cheese Lords – Catonsville

Sunday, December 21 at 3 p.m.

The Suspicious Cheese Lords return to Our Lady of the Angels to present "On Christmas Night - A Celebration of Joy". Specializing in early music, this male a cappella ensemble will share the beauty of 16th-century polyphony along with traditional choral favorites.

Kwanzaa Celebration – Oella

Saturday, December 27 at 1:30 p.m.

Bring the whole family to learn about Kwanzaa and celebrate this holiday honoring family, community and culture.

Holiday Train Gardens

Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum Train Garden – Dundalk

December 4 - January 4 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Closed December 25, open December 24 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

Fire Museum of Maryland Holiday Train Garden – Lutherville

December 6, 13, 20, and December 27-30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jacksonville Senior Center Train Garden – Jacksonville

Please check the flyer for specific dates and times.

The Shops at Kenilworth Annual Train Garden and Holiday Events

Please check the website for specific dates and times.

Baltimore County's volunteer fire stations continue to offer an assortment of activities, including train gardens, Christmas tree sales and appearances by Santa.

To find out about other great happenings in Baltimore County throughout the year, visit the Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion events calendar.

Revised September 26, 2016