Christmas here on the East Coast is pretty magical. Maybe it’s the snow or the old buildings in old towns; but whatever it is, Christmas is a big deal around here. The entire town turns out for a celebration, Christmas lights are everywhere, and there is something for everyone this holiday season. So while you are staying in our Fort Meade crash pad this holiday season, take the time to really enjoy Christmas here in the Maryland/DC area.
You can easily fill a whole day at the National Harbor experiencing Christmas on the Potomac. Most of the amazing Christmas events take place at the Gaylord Hotel, in the heart of the harbor. Watch the special Christmas Cirque Dreams Unwrapped performed in the atrium twice daily. Then spend time in Christmas Village visiting Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and seeing the amazing ICE exhibit. Enjoy the many restaurants in and around the hotel, snap a picture in front of the Habor’s Christmas tree, and then return to the Gaylord for the evening light show and experience some indoor snowfall.
Come experience Christmas in the city of Baltimore! See the Washington Monument (yes, there is one here too!) decked out in Christmas lights. The 178-foot monument has its own special lighting ceremony, just like a town Christmas tree lighting. Other important stops on your Baltimore adventure would have to be Christmas Village, in the Inner Harbor. This authentic German market is open from the day after Christmas until Christmas Eve. Experience food and shopping and all that a traditional German Christmas market has to offer. Round out your holiday experience with a trip down 34th street and view the most Christmasy street in Baltimore. For over 70 years the lights of 34th street have brought joy to the residents of Baltimore.
In Virginia, we drive our cars through Bull Run National Park to see the lights displayed, but in Annapolis, you can drive along the shore and see over 60 lights displays along the way. The lights at Sandy Point State Park are up until New Year’s Day! The Maryland State House is also a beautiful site to see during the holiday season. Garden clubs from the area donate trees and wreaths with special decorations. Don’t forget to stop by and visit the Annapolis Christmas tree at the Annapolis City Dock.
While heading into Washington, DC might be a trek, it is well worth the magical Christmas experience it will bring. With many Christmas trees to see, as well as special Christmas displays, it makes even the Grinch enjoy Christmas. Its hard to choose between the National Christmas Tree, the Capitol Christmas Tree, and the Union Station Christmas Tree, so just visit all three of them! When you visit the National Tree you also get to see trees representing each state. It’s a really awesome experience, especially for the military family who gets to see a tree from their “home state” and every state they’ve been to. Next stop by the Botanical Gardens, which are beautiful any day of the year, but during Christmas time it is particularly magical. Each year is a new theme, and this year the theme is “Season’s Greetings, All Aboard!” See some of the United States most famous train stations made from plant materials. Plus you can see beautiful heirloom and newly created poinsettia’s which are a gorgeous display only available during this time of year.
Living in this area is exciting, and with so much to see it only makes sense that the holiday season would be an even more exciting time. It comes with its challenges for sure – traffic and cost – but enjoying where you live, and really taking it in is all a part of the experience that this crazy military life provides us. So get out there an experience all that it has to offer!