First Christmas in Maryland - How to Celebrate Christmas Maryland Style

If you’re like many of Maryland’s new residents, this is your first holiday season in our beautiful state – and if that’s the case, there are some things you should know. First, Maryland celebrates Christmas like no other state; we’re just outside Washington, D.C., which means you can make a trip to see the National Christmas Tree and be home by dinner. And even better, we have a whole host of statewide traditions that you’ll become familiar with pretty quickly. Here’s what you need to know. (And if you’re still looking for a home for sale, don’t worry – we can help you find one!)

First Christmas in Maryland: How to Celebrate Like a Local

The Old Line State is known for some of its traditions, but others are a closely held secret among locals. Check out these interesting traditions and quirky additions that many of our longtime residents uphold:

  1. We serve stuffed ham at Christmas. Particularly in the southern part of the state, you’ll find families dishing up delicious stuffed ham for Christmas dinner. (You can get a great recipe for it here.) It’s a great combination of mustard greens or kale, green cabbage, onions, and plenty of spices. Oh – and we serve it at Easter, too, so now’s a great time to perfect your recipe.
  2. You’ll find crab trap Christmas trees around the shoreline. Primarily in Talbot County (and on Tilghman Island), we have Christmas trees made from crab pots – and we have entire lighting ceremonies for them.
  3. You may see a bushel basket Christmas tree or two. Cambridge is home to a truly spectacular bushel basket Christmas tree tradition, which rivals any crab trap tree you’ll find on the shore.
  4. You can check out Baltimore’s Miracle on 34th Street throughout the month of December. Now in its 73rd year, the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore hosts a festive – and dazzlingly illuminated – celebration on the street.
  5. We have dozens of city-wide holiday celebrations all over the state. In fact, there are entire towns that dedicate themselves to Christmas, including North Beach, Berlin, Bethesda (specifically, Bethesda Row), Hagerstown and St. Michael’s.
First Christmas in Maryland - How to Celebrate Like a Local

If you’re celebrating your first Christmas in Maryland, check out the following attractions – they’re all part of local traditions you’ll love.

Big Holiday Celebrations in Maryland That You Don’t Want to Miss

There are dozens of great holiday celebrations all over the state, ranging from holiday light displays to those at theme parks.

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags in Bowie

Six Flags’ holiday spectacular is packed with glittering lights, dazzling entertainment and even visits with Santa – plus you can ride, eat and play. Get in the merry mood with a visit to all ten holiday destinations within the park, such as Candy Cane Lane, the North Pole or the Merry Masquerade, and take in a nightly tree-lighting show that brings millions of lights to life.

ZOO Lights Baltimore

From November 19 through January 2, you can enjoy a dazzling display of lights all over the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. You can drive or walk through the festival of wildlife-shaped light displays – and this year’s walking path winds through Schaefer Plaza, the Farm Yard and even the train station, which is farther than it went in previous years.

German Christmas Village in Baltimore

Visit an authentic German Christmas market from now until Christmas Eve. Located in the Inner Harbor, this Euro-style wonderland features a heated festival tent and outdoor wooden booths with all kinds of vendors.

Inner Harbor Ice Rink

Dust off your skates and head to the Inner Harbor ice rink (and don’t worry, you can rent skates, too). The rink is at the top of the amphitheater between the Harbor Place Pavilions, and it’s open day and night.

Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railroad Museum

The annual Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railroad Museum is a winter wonderland. You can snap photos with Santa, ride the Reindeer Railway or hop on the Polar Express train ride – all while enjoying spiced cider and sugar cookies and seeing spectacularly lit train displays.

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