Local spots offer holiday possibilities

Residents of 34th Street continue the tradition of decorating the street in Hampden. (Photo by Kylie Handler)

Residents of 34th Street continue the tradition of decorating the street in Hampden. (Photo by Kylie Handler)

With Christmas less than one month away, it is time to start planning holiday festivities. Baltimore and the surrounding areas have kicked-started the holiday season with some of the best activities in the state.

One of the oldest Baltimore holiday traditions is the 34th Street light display. Commonly referred to as ‘Miracle of 34th Street,’ this is one of the most famous Christmas light displays in the world. Visitors from all over travel to experience the charm of this Baltimore event.

Located in the heart of Hampden, 34th Street is a block of homes, which are decorated with the best lights in Baltimore, ranging from a famous home-made ‘Hubcap Tree’ to the peace-themed house. The Hosler family started this tradition 69 years ago when the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” premiered and became one of their favorite movies.

Street parking is available on several side streets in the area. Festivities began on Saturday, Nov. 26, and are completely free. For more information about 34th Street, visit www.christmasstreet.com.

The Pandora Ice Rink is a fun holiday activity for any age. (Photo by Emily Rosenthal)

The Pandora Ice Rink is a fun holiday activity for any age. (Photo from Emily Rosenthal)

The Inner Harbor hosts another big attraction in Baltimore, the Pandora Ice Rink. The rink is located at the top of the Amphitheatre, between the Harborplace pavilions. Adults and children can skate for $10 and $9 respectively, while skate rentals are available for $4.

The rink is open seven days a week. Visit www.innerharboricerink.org for more information and special promotions regarding this activity. There is parking information on the website as well.

There is also a fabulous light display in Columbia, Maryland, called the ‘Symphony of Lights,’ sponsored by Howard County General Hospital. The lights are roughly a 20-minute drive away from the Owings Mills campus. One can drive, bike or walk through the light display, experience a laser light show or participate in the “Dazzle Dash Fun Run.”

It costs $20 per car to see the lights from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2017. The trail is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 5:30 to 10 p.m. This year there is also a 3-D holiday video located at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Also, from Nov. 20 until Jan. 8, 2017, ‘Symphony of Lights’ is hosting the only outdoor ice rink in Howard County. Costs are $9 for admission and $4 for skate rentals. For more information regarding times and ticket pricing, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org and search Howard County Foundation Events.

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