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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: shop local


Holiday ShoppingScrap the Malls
A 12 days ‘til Christmas shopping list

Fronda Cohen
Baltimore County Office of Communications

Twelve days to go, twelve ideas for unique and memorable gifts. So scrap the malls and head for the one-of-a-kind.

1. Sip local. Wine tours and tastings from Baltimore County’s vineyards

2. Spark the adventurous. Classes in rock climbing (Earth Trek Climbing Center), fencing (Baltimore Fencing Center), or flying (Middle River Aviation)

3. Get creative. Tickets to a County performance (check out Baltimore Actors Theatre, Gordon Center for Performing Arts, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Music in the Great Hall)

4. Add some class. Check out the Community College of Baltimore County.

5. Go old. Antiques

6. Go trendy. Boutiques

7. Skip the 800 numbers. Flowers from your neighborhood shop

8. I feel pretty. Salon services

9. Everybody dance now. Tickets to the Baltimore County Dance Celebration

10. Because they’ve always talked about it. Music or painting lessons from a local studio

11. Get a Big Tree. Not for Christmas, but a certificate for a native tree from your local nursery. Plant in the spring for a lifetime of beauty and shade.

12. Just Eat It. Restaurant gift card

The twelve day countdown starts today. No pressure. Really.


Photo of the 2012 Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyCounty Executive Kevin Kamenetz

'Twas the Day After Thanksgiving

'Twas the day after Thanksgiving, when all through the mall,

shoppers stood in long lines that reached the back wall.

With walkways too crowded and parking a mess,

Black Friday was causing consumer distress.

When just down the street, there arose such a glow

from the storefront of a local shopkeeper I know.

He invited us in - even offered us chairs -

and was ever so cheerful while he showed off his wares.

He had handcrafted specialties and homemade delights

and gadgets and gizmos.and the best Christmas lights!

He wrapped what we purchased with delicate care,

and we finished our shopping with a few hours to spare!

So, support small business as you shop this December

for the gifts that'll make this a holiday to remember.

And if you really need another good reason,

don't forget - parking is free - so shop local this season!


Baltimore County Free ParkingContributed by Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore County Executive

Let’s face it. No one likes the holiday hassle of driving around for a parking space, then hauling packages across a huge parking lot. Baltimore County’s holiday gift to harried shoppers is 1,735 free parking spaces during some of the busiest shopping days of the season. Every one of these free parking spaces is near great locally owned shops and restaurants.

Shoppers get two hours of free parking over Thanksgiving weekend, November 22-25, and December 20-25. Just look for the meters decorated with red “free parking” bags in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh, and Dundalk.

Find unique gifts and services, support your local store owners, and do your part to keep the neighborhood economy going strong. 

Check out our holiday parking — then get up, get out and shop local!


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