Annapolis is Maryland’s capital city. It is located on the Chesapeake Bay and it is filled with historic 18th century brick houses. Sights to see include the Maryland State House, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church that features Tiffany glass windows and a historic cemetery and the sprawling waterfront grounds of the Naval Academy.
Annapolis is especially lovely to visit during the holiday season. The whole city lights up and there is plenty to see and do. Here are some things you’ll want to add to your list of activities.
Lights on the Bay
Lights on the Bay is a drive through event that has become a tradition for Annapolis families. Cars can drive by to see Chesapeake Bay lit up with over 60 animated and stationary displays. The event is sponsored by the SPCA of Anne Arundel County and is ongoing from late November until January first.
Holiday Candlelight Stroll at Hammond Harwood House
The Hammond Harwood House is a historic house built in 1774. It is one of the few houses remaining in America from the British colonial period and it now serves as a museum. At Christmastime, the house hosts a Holiday Candlelight Stroll where a period attired guide talks about old time holiday traditions and the house is dressed up to reflect the seasonal spirit. Tours are available weekends in December leading up to Christmas.
Jolly Express Cruises
Watermark hosts Jolly Express Cruises throughout the holiday season. The ride is meant to simulate a sleigh ride. The Miss Anne ship will be decked out with decorations, hot chocolate will be served and festive music will pipe through the ship. You can also cruise with Captain Santa at the helm. If you choose to do this, bring along some blankets for warmth.
Cruises are available Friday through Sunday throughout December.
Midnight Madness Holiday Shopping
The stores of Annapolis aim to make your shopping experience as easy as possibly by hosting this fun event Saturdays in December. It kicks off at 6 PM and runs through midnight with shops staying open throughout. In addition to great shopping, you can also enjoy terrific музычны entertainment and refreshments. Stroll through Main St., Maryland Ave., West St. State Circle and City Dock to get your shopping on while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Illuminated London Town
London Town is a 23-acre park featuring history, archaeology and horticulture. It is located on the banks of the scenic South River.
On Fridays and Saturdays in December, the park lights up for holiday fun. Guests can sip hot cider and roast s’mores over the firepits lit in the historic area. The gardens are illuminated, and visitors can enjoy nighttime activities at the candlelit William Brown House. There are also live performances in the gardens.
Annual Eastport Yacht Club Lights Paradise
Every year, residents gather around the Annapolis waterfront and Spa Creek to see the 30 plus brightly lit boats parade through the water. Each has a different theme such as Санта Клаўс, Polar Bear, Christmas angels and the Abominable Snowman. Prime viewing areas include Eastport, Spa Creek, City Dock and the Navy Academy seawall.
This is a once-a-year event that typically occurs in early December.
European Christmas Market
This is a relatively new tradition that features over 30 local food and gift vendors. The European style market is Annapolis’s first ever and it’s a great way to enjoy the holiday spirit while getting some much-needed shopping done.
Holiday Open House
The Holiday Open House takes place at the William Paca House and Garden. Every year, this colonial house of Declaration of Independence signer William Paca and his wife Mary opens up to guests who want to find out how the household celebrated Christmas way back when. A dance mistress and musicians demonstrate the dances the Pacas and their friends may have enjoyed.
Then, walk down to Hogshead, an 18th century building down the bock for more dancing, a cup of hot cider, festive treats and crafts. This is a one a year event that typically takes place in early December.
Military Bowl Parade
The Military Bowl Parade takes place a few days after Christmas. Fans line the street to watch the procession, which includes музычны groups, civic organizations, military groups, youth clubs and Budweiser Clydesdales, walk to Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The parade is led by the Hogs and Heroes, a motorcycle group made up of veteran service members. Also in attendance is the governor, the mayor and other local politicians and well as Miss Maryland and Miss America.
Flags are displayed to honor the teams that will be participating in the game which typically takes place on New Years Eve making for another event worth sticking around for.
City of Annapolis New Year’s Eve Celebration
If you aren’t a sports fan, there are plenty of other celebrations taking place in the Annapolis area.
Families can gather at Weems Whelan fields behind Maryland Hall and Bates Middle School to enjoy children’s activities like crafts, obstacle courses, moon bounces and performances by kid’s rock bands. The festivities wrap up with a firework display at 5:15.
If you’re in the mood for some late-night partying, you can join the fun at Susan Campbell Park at City Dock. Kicking off at 8 PM, get ready for a night of music and dancing that ends with a firework display at midnight.
Grand Illumination Annapolis Christmas Tree Lighting
Don’t miss out on the Grand Illumination event that takes place at the Market Space at the Market House. Santa will be on hand and there will be singing and dance performances by local youth groups. Refreshments will be provided, and ornaments will be handed out to children to be used to decorate the tree that is lit up later in the evening.
Guests are invited to bring nonperishable food items and unwrapped toys that will be donated to Jaycee’s annual Angel Tree project.
Annapolis certainly has its share of things to see and do during the holiday season. Which of these are you most interested in checking out?