Light­ing up the Hol­i­days

Christ­mas Light dis­plays are a Mary­land tra­di­tion

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Har­low

The hol­i­days are of­fi­cially here, and with all the shop­ping, wrap­ping, cook­ing and par­ty­ing go­ing on, be sure to take a break to just en­joy the spirit of the sea­son. Bun­dle up your fam­ily and friends and take time to visit to some of the best hol­i­day light dis­plays around. Whether you like to brave the cold and en­joy a crisp walk out­doors, or stay in the com­fort of your car com­plete with heated seats and Christ­mas tunes, here are some all-out light dis­plays that def­i­nitely make the nice list:

Mir­a­cle on 34th Street

720 West 34th Street, Bal­ti­more, Mar yland 21211

Now in its 72nd year, Mir­a­cle on 34th Street is still shin­ing strong. This na­tion­ally rec­og­nized light dis­play is on the most fa­mous block in Ham­p­den, and each house­hold par­tic­i­pates with their own hol­i­day flair. Some of the high­lights in­clude the hub­cap Christ­mas tree, bike rim snow­men, over­head trains, and the Big Red Lighted Crab. The lights will be on from around 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. ev­ery night ex­cept Christ­mas Eve and New Year’s Eve when they stay on all night. FREE.


Lights on the Bay

Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E Col­lege Pkwy, An­napo­lis, MD 21409

The SPCA of Anne Arun­del County’s 24th an­nual Lights on the Bay hol­i­day light show at Sandy Point State Park fea­tures a twom­ile scenic drive along the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay with ap­prox­i­mately 70 an­i­mated and sta­tion­ary dis­plays. In ad­di­tion to pop­u­lar clas­sic dis­plays that vis­i­tors have en­joyed for years, in­clud­ing a colo­nial vil­lage in­spired by his­toric An­napo­lis and one of the US Naval Academy’s mid­ship­men toss­ing their hats in the air, two new themes this year are the North Pole Vil­lage and En­chanted Fairy Tales. Chil­dren can par­tic­i­pate in a nightly scav­enger hunt, chal­leng­ing them to find items within the show, an­swer dis­play-re­lated ques­tions and en­ter a draw­ing to win prizes. Open daily from 5 pm to 10 pm through Jan­uary 1. Pur­chase 3D glasses at the park en­trance to make the mag­i­cal light show come alive. $15 per car and $30 for large pas­sen­ger vans and mini buses.


Sym­phony of Lights

Mer­ri­weather Park at Sym­phony Woods, Lit­tle Patux­ent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044

Sym­phony of Lights is a daz­zling dis­play of more than 100 larger-than-life an­i­mated and sta­tion­ary hol­i­day light cre­ations, made up of ap­prox­i­mately 300,000 bulbs. Dur­ing the past 20-plus years, nearly 2 mil­lion in­di­vid­u­als have vis­ited the lights, and pro­ceeds from the event have raised more than $8 mil­lion to ben­e­fit Howard County Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

Sym­phony of Lights is open Wed­nes­days-Sun­days, 6-10 p.m., in­clud­ing hol­i­days through De­cem­ber 30. The venue is closed to cars on De­cem­ber 2 for the Fes­tive Fam­i­lies Walk. Ve­hi­cle sup to 8 seats: $25. Mil­i­tary dis­count nights also avail­able.

https://www.hop­kins­ howard_­coun­ty_­gen­er­al_hos­pi­tal/ways_­give/howard_hos­pi­tal_­foun­da­tion/ foun­da­tion_events/sym­pho­ny_of_­lights/ An­n­marie Gar­den in Lights An­n­marie Sculp­ture Gar­den & Arts Cen­ter, 13470 Dow­ell Road, Dow­ell, MD 20629 Dis­cover new and sparkling, glow­ing sculp­tures that put a new twist on the gar­den’s fa­vorite dis­plays, lo­cated in Solomons, Md. Bring the lights to life by pick­ing up a “Hol­i­day I Spy” to guide you through the gar­den. Ex­pe­ri­ence the joy and warmth of the sea­son in the main gallery, where you can en­joy live per­for­mances, cozy up with hot co­coa and treats from the hol­i­day café, and check out the or­na­ment show and gift shop. Open 6:00-9:00 pm nightly from Nov. 30 – Jan. 1. Closed De­cem­ber 3, 4, 24 & 25. Ad­mis­sion: $7/per­son; mem­bers free; kids 2 & un­der free.­n­mar­ie­gar­ Fes­ti­val of Lights 301 Watkins Park Drive (Route 193), Up­per Marl­boro, MD 20774 For more than 30 years, Prince Ge­orge’s County has hosted its An­nual Win­ter Fes­ti­val of Lights at Watkins Re­gional Park. This hol­i­day drive-through event fea­tures more than 2.5 mil­lion lights, themed dis­plays, and a gi­ant, 54-foot LED mu­si­cal tree! Guests should plan to bring canned goods and non-per­ish­able items for do­na­tion to lo­cal food banks if pos­si­ble. The Fes­ti­val of Lights is open nightly from 5 pm to 9:30 pm through Jan­uary 1. Car or Van: $10; Check pric­ing for other ve­hi­cles and multi-day passes. On Christ­mas Day, the fes­ti­val is FREE.­­ti­val-of-Lights Ocean City’s Win­terfest of Lights North­side Park at 125th Street, Ocean City, MD Look­ing for a week­end get­away? More than one mil­lion hol­i­day lights are sparkling at Mary­land’s fa­vorite beach town. North­side Park will fea­ture hun­dreds of an­i­mated lighted dis­plays. Board the Win­terfest Ex­press to tour the lights, in­clud­ing the themed ex­hibits of clas­sic fairy tales. The one-mile jour­ney takes you through 58 acres of lights and fea­tures a 50-foot Christ­mas tree. Re­lax and sip hot choco­late in the heated Win­terfest Vil­lage pavil­ion and have your pic­ture taken with Santa. Win­terfest of Lights is open Sun­day – Thurs­day 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm and Fri­day & Sat­ur­day 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Ad­mis­sion is $5 (age 11 & un­der are FREE).

http://oco­ events/win­terfest-of-lights

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