On The Town

Holiday Light Shows and Drive-Thru Displays to Check Out This Month

From the harbor to the zoo, the city is aglow with festive family fun.

As we prepare to ring in 2022, we could all use a heaping dose of holiday cheer. And lucky for us, several of our favorite festive Charm City happenings are back in full swing. Among these is a handful of holiday light installations posted all around town, to be viewed while on foot or from the comfort of your very own own car.

Below, see our list of local light displays to help you make the most of this year’s holiday season.

TO 12/31: Guinness Holiday Light Walk
This month, the outdoor decor at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe will expand well beyond its impressive holiday keg tree, which is constructed from more than 250 kegs of Diageo beer. To accompany the tree this season, the brewery will feature a number of glowing outdoor installations that range from the famous Guinness toucan and harp to a classic Maryland crab. While strolling along the walk, guests can sip winter beers such as the new Gingerbread Spiced Stout, the toasty Winter Warmer reminiscent of a cream soda, and the Barrel Aged Coffee and Chocolate Mint Stout, aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The light walk is free and open to the public all month long. Plus, catch holiday movie nights on Thursdays through 12/30. Favorites on the lineup include Jingle All the Way and The Santa Clause. 5001 Washington Blvd., Halethorpe. 

The Diageo keg tree. —Courtesy of Guinness Open Gate Brewery

TO 12/31: Miracle on 34th Street
In Hampden, on the 700 block of W. 34th Street between Keswick Road and Chestnut Avenue, the 73rd annual Miracle on 34th Street runs through New Year’s Eve. The time-honored winter tradition features more than two dozen Baltimore rowhomes and front lawns decked out with over-the-top light displays.

TO 1/2: Lights on the Bay
Now in its 26th year, this holiday drive-thru is lighting up Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. Open evenings from 5-10 p.m., the annual fundraiser for the SPCA of Anne Arundel County allows cars to travel through illuminated archways and experience shining sleighs, stars, castles, and, of course, installations dedicated to our furry friends. The price of admission varies by the size of your vehicle and visitors also have the option to purchase 3-D glasses. 1100 E. College Pkwy, Annapolis. 

TO 1/2: Merriweather Symphony of Lights
More than 300,000 bulbs are used to light up Merriweather Post Pavilion for this Howard County tradition. With the exception of designated walk-through nights on Dec. 8 and Dec. 31 (when fireworks will go off on the hour for the annual New Year’s Eve celebration), the holiday spectacular is open to cars from 6-10 p.m. on weekdays. 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia. Drive-thru entrance on Broken Land Pkwy / Hickory Ridge Rd. $20 per car. 

TO 1/2: Upperco Yuletide Village 
Bundle up and make a trip out to the county, where this mesmerizing drive-thru installation (courtesy of Upperco Volunteer Fire Co.) awaits. Complete with everything from twinkling lights and a train garden to a Santa-ready reindeer station helmed by Rudolph, this year’s iteration of the beloved tradition promises to be much bigger than before, with new time slots Dec. 20-22. As you take in all the fun, don’t forget to snap a pic with Douglas Fir-wood, the fire company’s new Christmas tree mascot. 16020 Carnival Ave. $5-20

TO 1/3: Zoo Lights
Grab the whole family and head to The Maryland Zoo, where more than 100,000 LED lights will shimmer in the shape of the historic institution’s most beloved creatures. To feast your eyes on the seasonal spectacle, which comes to the 135-acre Druid Hill landmark once a year, you’ll need to make online reservations in advance. Visitors can choose to traverse the twinkling exhibit by foot on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. (this option comes with hot chocolate and free carousel rides) or opt to drive through the dazzling display while staying toasty in your car on Wednesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 5 p.m. All ticket proceeds benefit The Maryland Zoo’s animal care and conservation work. 1 Safari Place. $28-33.

TO 2/2022: Sailing Through the Winter Solstice
Delight your favorite sailor with a road trip out to Downtown Frederick to enjoy this ever-growing fleet of holiday-themed vessels, which will be on display now through February 2022. Feast your eyes on an array of glowing pirate ships, gaff-rigged ketches, sparkling schooners and yawls. Plus, be sure to cast a vote for your favorite one. Proceeds from each vote are set to benefit Color on the Creek and other Frederick county-based initiatives. 35 E. All Saints St. $1 per vote

—Courtesy of Old Westminster Winery

TO 3/2022: Winter Igloos Beneath Twinkling Lights at Old Westminster Winery
This Carroll County spot is taking holiday sipping to enchanting new heights with brand new winter igloos. Each weather-proof fixture—reminiscent of a larger-than-life snow globe—comes adorned with sparkling strung lights, toasty heaters, and decor to make the perfect festive setting for your party of six. 1550 Old Westminster Road  $65 ($150 food and beverage minimum.)

Additional reporting by Grace Hebron and Lydia Woolever.