Five things to eat, drink, see, hear, and do with your Charm City weekend.
West Shore Park, 501 Light St. Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.
Although it is certainly tempting, don’t overstuff yourself with turkey and pie this Thanksgiving. Instead, leave some room for your favorite German fares, featured at the annual Christmas Village, opening this weekend in the Inner Harbor. Stroll through this traditional holiday market, filled with vendors serving up a full menu of mouthwatering eats from Deutschland. For the meat-lovers, devour all kinds of wursts—bratwursts, knackwursts, weisswursts—or schnitzels, sauerkraut, potato salad, and latkes. For those with a sweet tooth, indulge in traditional desserts like lebkuchen (German gingerbread), stroopwafels (waffle cookies with caramel), spekulatius (Christmas spice cookies), and of course, strudels. And don’t forget about all the imported German delicacies to take home or save for holiday gifts, including German chocolates and marzipan.
De Kleine Duivel, 3602 Hickory Ave. 9 p.m. Free.
What better way to start your Thanksgiving weekend than with a combo of dancing and beer. Get your groove on tonight with the city's beloved Save Your Soul dance party at the city's authentic Belgian beer hall—De Kleine Duivel in Hampden. Amidst this beer hall's old-world charm, shake your giblets to DJs Rob Macy and King Gilbert, plus guest spinner Baby Alcatraz. As you sweat it out to the best of classic funk, vintage soul, Motown, and R&B, satiate your Thanksgiving Eve thirst from a selection of more than 235 Belgian beers, including traditional lambics, stouts, sours, ales, and porters. Don't worry if you indulge in one too many—every Turkey Day has at least one hangover.
November 25-Dec. 31: Miracle on 34th Street
700 block of W. 34th St. Times vary. Free.
The holidays officially arrive in Baltimore when the 34th Street stretch of Hampden transforms into its annual winter wonderland. Once all the Thanksgiving and Black Friday chaos subsides, grab a cup of hot cocoa, head to the northern neighborhood, and partake in this kitschy tradition. Delight in the neighborhood houses decked in hundreds of twinkling lights, including illuminated Natty Bohs, Maryland crabs, the glittering Utz girl, and, of course, the iconic 8-foot Christmas tree made entirely out of old hubcaps.
Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. Tues.-Sun. 1-8 p.m. Prices vary. 410-837-7400.
Since 1997, Julie Taymor’s record-shattering stage interpretation of The Lion King has hauled in millions of viewers and heaps of awards to make it the third-longest running show on Broadway. It’s been 20 years since the original cast graced the stage in gigantic head costumes and intricate patterns of bright body paint, but the show has proved its staying power, still churning out about $2 million in sales each week and nabbing the title of highest-grossing show in history. Until December 10 at the historic Hippodrome, experience the show’s visual and aural splendor for yourself—from its colorful dances and superb songs, to its elaborate costumes and state-of-the-art marionettes. Bring your young ones—in age or at heart—and let the show transport you to the savanna as you sing along to all those beloved songs, including Hakuna Matata. We know you remember the lyrics.
American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Hwy. Fri. 12-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 410-244-1900.
Forget Black Friday—instead, devote yourself to supporting local artisans for Small Business Saturday. Escape the hordes of holiday shoppers hunting down sales and tick off gifts at this Baltimore-centric art shop, equipped with hand-crafted gifts by more than 40 regional artists. With a plethora of unique goods, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list, like natural body scrubs by Becca and Mars, letterpress city cards by Tiny Dog Press, organic bamboo and cotton kids’ shirts by Tale of Monsters, and handcrafted knitwear by Twigs and Wool. You’ll even find visionary art as whimsical and wacky as AVAM itself.