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December 20, 2023

Holiday Light Displays to Visit in Maryland

Maryland transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the holiday season. From the sparkling waterfronts to the charming small towns, each corner of the state lights up. Here’s a guide to some of the most loved holiday lights and events in Maryland, perfect for making your holiday season bright.

Holiday Lights in Maryland

There’s no shortage of holiday light displays in Maryland! Below are just some of the most popular lights you can enjoy all winter.

The Miracle on 34th Street Christmas lights at night, in Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland.

Miracle on 34th Street, Baltimore

 Now in its 76th year, Miracle on 34th Street is a well-known holiday light display in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. This neighborhood tradition features homes on the 700 block of West 34th Street adorned with vibrant and creative holiday lights. 

Visitors can walk down the street and enjoy the unique and often whimsical decorations put up by the residents. It’s a community-driven event free for all to enjoy and reflects the residents’ love for the city of Baltimore. The lights are on every night until New Year’s Day

Lights On the Bay, Sandy Point State Park

Experience a holiday spectacle at Lights On the Bay, a two-mile drive along the Chesapeake Bay becomes a dazzling light show. There are 60 light displays to admire, ranging from traditional holiday scenes to unique Chesapeake Bay-themed animations. 

The lights are on display from mid-November through early January. The admission fee per vehicle supports the Anne Arundel Medical Center, making your visit both enjoyable and impactful.

Winter City Park, Baltimore

Discover a festive paradise at Winter City Lights, open mid-November through December 30. Spanning 18 acres with over one million lights, this 1.5-mile trail is one of the most dazzling holiday light displays in Maryland. The centerpiece of the display is a towering 52-foot Christmas tree and a 200-foot diameter canopy of lights, creating an immersive experience.

Beyond the lights, Winter City Lights offers a variety of seasonal treats and activities. Warm up with hot chocolate and s’mores, or indulge in festive snacks like funnel cakes and fried Oreos. Plus, the event utilizes high-quality, low-energy lighting, making it an eco-friendly celebration. ​​Admission is $6 for guests 12 and older and free for children 11 and under.

Winterfest of Lights, Ocean City

Celebrate the holiday season at Winterfest of Lights, a beloved annual event held from November 16 through December 31. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through 58 acres of animated light displays that bring the holiday spirit to life.

You can also indulge in hot chocolate, take photos with Santa and engage in family-friendly crafts. The event also offers unique gift shopping opportunities at the charming gift shop. Special attractions include the Winterfest Express tram ride and the COCA-COLA New Year’s Weekend Giveaways.

Festival of Lights, Upper Marlboro

The Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park is an annual drive-through holiday light display that runs from November 16 to January 1, including Christmas Day. Visitors can enjoy the lights from the comfort of their cars, with a $10 admission fee for online purchases or $15 at the gate.

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens, Montgomery County

The Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens is a walk-through holiday light display. Open from November 17 to December 31, visitors can stroll through the beautifully illuminated gardens. Each flowerbed is adorned with sparkling lights and unique, glimmering displays. 

The event also features a gift shop with seasonal items and concessions selling hot chocolate and light snacks. Tickets are $10 per person and must be purchased online. The event is held rain or shine, so visitors are advised to dress accordingly.

Holiday Lights Walk to the North Pole at Willow Oak, Severn

The Holiday Lights Walk at Willow Oak in Severn, Maryland, offers a self-guided walk to the North Pole to visit Santa in his cabin. The walk features new trails illuminated with festive Christmas scenes, including Polar Bear Central and a Gingerbread house. Visitors can enjoy this light display from November 24 to December 29, and admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Sailing Through the Winter Solstice, Frederick

Sailing Through the Winter Solstice transforms Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick into a festive spectacle. Visitors can expect a delightful walk along the creek, enjoying the twinkling lights and artistic decorations that reflect off the water.

On December 25th, admission is free for Prince George’s County residents as a thank-you for their support throughout the year. The festival also encourages visitors to donate canned goods to help local families in need. Typically, this event starts in late November and continues through the winter season.

Cedar Lane Holiday Light Show, Bel Air

The Cedar Lane Holiday Light Show is a unique, music-synchronized light display on a personal property. The show features over 25,000 lights on almost 100 props, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Visitors can tune into a specific radio station to watch the lights and video sync up, adding an auditory dimension to the visual experience.

Open Thursday to Saturday from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, the light show aims to raise awareness and funds for Type-1 Diabetes.

Mamulaville Christmas Display, Severn

Mamulaville in Severn, Maryland, is a community-driven Christmas light display located at 1545 Ringe Drive. The display features an array of festive lights and decorations, creating a cheerful atmosphere for visitors. It’s known for its cheerful setup and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the holiday spirit. Updates and schedules for the display can be found on their official Facebook page.

Tips for Enjoying Drive-Through Light Displays

Drive-through light displays are a popular and convenient way to enjoy holiday decorations. Here are some tips to make the most of your experience:

Plan Your Visit

Check the event’s website for timings and ticket information. Some displays may require advance ticket purchases, and knowing the hours can help you avoid peak times.

You’ll also need to ensure your car is ready for the drive. This includes checking that your headlights and brake lights are functioning properly. Clean your windows for clear visibility. It’s also a good idea to arrive early, especially during weekends or closer to the holidays, These events can draw large crowds, so getting there early can help you avoid long lines.

Follow Driving Etiquette

Each event may have its own set of rules and guidelines. Following these ensures a pleasant experience for everyone. However, there are some unofficial guidelines drivers should follow to ensure they’re respecting everyone’s experience. 

Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you and drive slowly to enjoy the lights and ensure safety for all attendees. Turn off your car’s headlights when driving through the display if the event allows. This can improve visibility for everyone and enhance the lighting effects. 

Keep in mind high attendance can lead to slow-moving lines. Patience ( not honking your horn) is key to enjoying the experience without stress. Finally, stay inside your vehicle unless the event specifies areas where you can park and get out.

Dress Comfortably and Bring Snacks 

Even though you’re in your car, having snacks and drinks can make the experience more enjoyable — especially if there’s a wait. One of the biggest perks of not getting out of the car is wearing comfortable clothes. Make the event extra cozy by wearing your favorite holiday pajamas!

Book a Holiday Stay at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve

Located in Hanover, MD — a short drive outside of Baltimore — the Hotel at Arundel Preserve is the perfect place to stay during a holiday visit. Enjoy a central location and convenient amenities, including a free airport shuffle to BWI. 

Contact us today to learn more and book your stay today!  

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