Christmas Village Brings Big Surprises To Baltimore

Christmas Village Brings Big Surprises To Baltimore

Christmas Village in Baltimore will once again transform West Shore Park (501 Light Street) into a traditional indoor and outdoor German Christmas Market. For the new holiday season, this annual Baltimore tradition will even open one weekend early (Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18, 2018) to give visitors the opportunity to catch a first glimpse at the remodeled event venue featuring not only an indoor area, but also an extended outdoor area with booths around a magnificent Christmas trees and along the Inner Harbor promenade. Those booths will extend Christmas Village's footprint as far as a second twenty-one-feet-tall Christmas tree right next to the PANDORA Ice Rink.

This Christmas tree provided by Christmas Village, will be part of the new Holiday District in the Inner Harbor which will be officially opened during the Inner Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 17th. On top of the new layout and expansion down the Harbor, guests will delight in a brand-new 65-feet surprise - a Christmas Village Ferris Wheel located right next to the Baltimore Visitor Center. Here are highlights summarized for the 2018 holiday season:

Returning favorite traditions will include:
* A visit from the official Christkind from Nuremburg, Germany
* Photo sessions with Santa in the outdoor area
* German American Weekend and the fourth annual Bratwurst Eating Contest
* Well-known German vendor Käthe Wohlfahrt
* Gingy the Gingerbread Man appearances
* Christmas Decorations and Herrnhut Stars (Moravian Stars)
* Hofbräu Beer Garden inside the heated tent
* Wine Tastings in cooperation with Boordy Vineyards
* Free games for children at the kids' corner

New surprises for 2018 will include:
* A new 65-feet-tall Ferris Wheel with a breathtaking view of Christmas Village and the entire Inner Harbor
* A brand-new preview weekend on November 17 and 18, 2018
* A completely new event layout with booths along the Inner Harbor promenade and more space to explore
* The official Inner Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony as part of the Holiday District opening with guest of honor Mayor Catherine E. Pugh
* Beer Tastings in cooperation with Hofbräu München on every Friday
* HoHo Happy hours featuring open mics on every Thursday
* New tasty food offerings such as freshly grilled brats from the charcoal grill, Swiss Raclette cheese and Belgian Fries
* Collectors mug with a new design for 2018

Please see below for a full overview including market hours, special events, vendor lists, food/drink details, entertainment rosters, special weekends and much more.


1) Hours and Schedule

Christmas Village in Baltimore is open from Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22, 2018 through Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 2018. For the first time ever, Christmas Village will also be open for a Preview Weekend on November 17-18, 2018. Daily market hours will be Friday through Saturday 11:00am to 8:00pm, and Sunday through Thursday 11:00am to 7:00pm. Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve hours are 11:00am to 5:00pm. Christmas Village will be closed November 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and December 3, 4, 10, 11, 2018.

2) Admission

Admission to the outdoor area along the Inner Harbor promenade and the magnificent Christmas tree is always free. All weekdays, the preview and the opening weekend are free as well and cost is only $1 on December 8 and 9, 2018. Admission for the remaining three weekends is $5 for adults and free for every visitor under 18.

3) Connect

Spread holiday cheer by following @bmorechristmas on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat or by liking Christmas Village in Baltimore on Facebook. Visit the website at


4) Themed Weekends

For detailed information about special events and entertainment on weekend days, check

November 17 and 18 - Preview Weekend
The special Preview Weekend will feature an illumination ceremony of the official Inner Harbor Christmas Tree provided by Christmas Village and located next to the PANDORA Ice Rink. The ceremony which includes speeches and special guests will officially open the Baltimore Holiday Season of 2018. The preview weekend does not only add time to Christmas Village but also the official Inner Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, November 17, 2018 where Mayor Catherine E. Pugh will not only illuminate the 21-feet-tall Christmas Tree but also open the newly created Holiday District. Special guests will also include: Bernhard C. Young, President of the Baltimore City Council, and Eric Costello, Member of Baltimore City Council.

The schedule for the Inner Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting on November 17th is as follows:

4:50pm - 5:10pm

Ceremony of the new Inner Harbor Christmas Tree with music and speakers

5:10pm - 5:15pm

Lighting Tree

5:15pm - 5:20pm

Official photo shoot with city representatives in front of the lighted Christmas Tree

5:20pm - 5:35

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Chorus

On Sunday, Christmas Village is starting a new Holiday tradition for the whole family with a special Brunch with Santa and their beloved gingerbread mascot Gingy! This brunch will take place inside the Christmas Village tent, where kids will be invited to dine with Santa and the gingerbread mascot! Santa will be taking a break from toy making and planning his trip to Christmas Village and will read Christmas stories on the stage.

November 24 and 25 - Christmas Village Opening Weekend
Once again, the official Christkind from Nuremberg will open the Christmas Village in Baltimore with her solemn prologue! She will be accompanied by city officials, a local choir and musicians from the Baltimore area to kick off the 2018 Holiday Season on Saturday, November 24th. She and her pal Gingy, the gingerbread man, will be available to take photos after the Opening Ceremony.

The schedule for the Christkind Opening Ceremony is as follows:

2:30pm - The original Christkind from Nuremberg is arriving at the Inner Harbor with Watermark's Raven
3:00pm - The official Opening Ceremony with the Christkind takes place at the Christmas Village
4:15pm - Christkind walks through the market and stops for photos!

Guests of Honor at the Opening Ceremony:

Thomas Bauer, President of German American Marketing, Inc. and founder of the Christmas Village
Holger Mahnicke, Head of Department: Communications and Culture Department of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Susanne Randel, representing City of Nuremberg
Anton Smoot, President German Society of Maryland
Pastor Anke, representing Zion Church

December 1 and 2 - German American Weekend
Christmas Village is celebrating the beloved German American Weekend on December 1st and 2nd! German American Clubs of the area will share German culture like Schuhplattler dances, German choir songs and much more with guests! Additionally, to all of these performances, the German American Weekend will feature a beer mug lifting contest and lots of German and European delicacies as listed below.

December 8 and 9 - Mascot Weekend
For the first time ever in Baltimore, dozens of beloved mascots from all over Maryland will be coming together at one event! Team and company mascots will be available at the Christmas Village to meet fans and take photos. The day will begin with a parade during which the mascots will send greetings to the audience while they parade along the promenade of the Inner Harbor. After the parade, there will be photo opportunities where fans can take pictures with their favorite mascots. For the grand finale, there will be a Mascot Dance-Off in the heated tent, where every mascot will have the chance to dance to his/her favorite song in front of a cheering crowd and the winner will be named 2018's Most Magical Mascot!

December 16 and 17 - First Responder Weekend
Christmas Village would like to show appreciation for all active service members through its exclusive discounts on First Responder Weekend. This time is dedicated to thanking the American military, police force, and fire department members for their service. Christmas Village will be providing free entry to all active service men and women and their family members. First responders should bring their identification in order to get the exclusive discounts.

December 22 and 23 - Last Minute Shopping Weekend
This weekend is the last chance for visitors to shop for the perfect Christmas presents at one of Christmas Village's booths! Last minute holiday shopping will be easy at Christmas Village with over 50 vendors offering Holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, arts and crafts, and so much more! December 22nd and 23rd will be the last weekend Christmas Village is open for the 2018 season and therefore the last possibility for guests to stop by for live performances, shopping, and traditional German food.

5) Photos with Santa Clause

Santa will be taking a break from toy making and planning his Christmas Eve trip and be at Christmas Village for pictures! He will be in his outdoor booth at Christmas Village on the following days: Nov 17, Nov 18, Nov 23, Nov 24, Nov 25, Nov 30 and Dec 1, Dec 2, Dec 7, Dec 8, Dec 9, Dec 14 - 24, 2018.

Bring the kids and family including your four-legged friends to make Christmas memories that will last by taking pictures with Santa!

6) Music and Performances (Daily)

Enjoy live music, concerts, dance performances, children's choirs, big bands and festive fun at the central stage inside the heated tent. Performances take place:

* Wednesday and Thursday - 4:00pm to 7:00pm
* Fridays - 4:00pm to 8:00pm
* Saturdays - 12:00pm to 8:00pm
* Sundays - 12:00pm to 7:00pm

A preview of the entertainment is as follows:
* White Marsh Ballet: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
* Washingtonia ("Schuhplattler"): Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
* Girls Scout Chorus of Central Maryland: Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
* Cecilia Grace Music: Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

7) Kids Corner and Family Fun (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

While parents are searching Christmas Village in Baltimore for the perfect holiday gifts, little guests want to enjoy their stay at the market, too. Fortunately, Christmas Village is absolutely kid-friendly! Its kids' corner featuring face painting, balloon artists, caricaturists, giant games and other forms of entertainment set up on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays is great fun for kids of all ages. Christmas Village's cute mascot, Gingy the Gingerbread Man, will stroll the market to take pictures with all visitors. Guests should also visit the large photo wall to take home the perfect memory of an unforgettable day and ride the newly added Ferris wheel with a stunning view of the Inner Harbor!

8) Christmas Village Ferris Wheel

For the first time ever, visitors to Christmas Village will enjoy a festive birds-eye view of Inner Harbor and Baltimore! Ride sky high in the new Christmas Village Ferris Wheel. The festive 65-foot tall ferris wheel will be placed next to the Baltimore Visitor Center and will be operating every Friday (3:00pm - 10:00pm), Saturday (11:00am - 10:00pm) and Sunday (11:00am - 10:00pm) the event is open. Tickets are $5.00 per person. Stay tuned for details and more information about this huge development for 2018.

9) German Culture Lesson (Weekdays)

On weekdays (from November 28 to December 21, 2018), Christmas Village offers students and seniors a wonderful guided tour through the Christmas Village which can be given in German or English whether for advanced German language learners or for anyone interested in learning about a new culture. Explore the history of European Christmas markets from the very beginning to the present, learn about German Christmas traditions, and enjoy an outing full of holiday cheer. Interested schools or senior citizens' homes can get more information by emailing


10) Annual Bratwurst Eating Contest

On Friday, November 30,2018 at 6:00pm, Christmas Village in Baltimore will host its fourth annual Bratwurst Eating Contest. It is an amateur competition with no entry fee. Each contestant must eat as many Bratwursts as possible (up to 10) in fifteen minutes. The contestant who eats the most or finishes them all first will be declared the winner. The winner receives a prize and a travelling trophy.

11) Wine Tasting Events (Wednesdays and the last Monday before Christmas)

Wednesdays and the last Monday before Christmas, Christmas Village will be hosting Wine Tastings in cooperation with the well-known Maryland Winery, Boordy Vineyards. Guests will need a ticket in order to enjoy a classy evening with fine wines and cheese. As a memento, participants receive a take-home Boordy Vineyard wine glass, a ticket for a tasting tour at the vineyard and a season pass for the Christmas Village 2018 to come back and stroll the market for free as often as they would like. Tastings start at 4:00pm and last until 7:00pm. More information can be found at

12) Beer Tasting Events

There is no better way to experience authentic German culture than by enjoying a flight of German beers! That is why Christmas Village is now also offering Beer Tastings in cooperation with Hofbräu München brewery, which will be held every Friday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm in 2018! Visitors should get their tickets now to enjoy exclusive food and discounts along with the delicious Hofbräu beer. As a memento, participants get a take-home Hofbräu München beer mug, coupons, and a season pass for the Christmas Village 2018 to come back and stroll the market for free as often as they would like. More information can be found at

13) Business Lunches

Every Wednesday from 11:00am to 1:00pm, Christmas Village is offering special Business Lunches. During those times, a Bratwurst Lunch including a soft drink is only $5 instead of the regular $9.

14) HoHo Happy Hour

After the huge success in the past year, Christmas Village is bringing back its HoHo Happy Hour. Guests can take a break from the weekly shuffle and enjoy special offers every Thursday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Happy Hour deals include a $5 mug of mulled wine, and $4 for select German drafts. To add some extra Christmas charm to the HoHo Happy Hour, Christmas Village is bringing in Rob Hinkal and his open mics. More info on the Happy Hour and on how to participate in the open mic can be found at


15) Food and drink vendors with summarized menus:

* TOP NEW ADDITION: Swiss Raclette "Melted" Cheese - Swiss Raclette cheese served on fresh bread, this enormous cheese wheel is melted directly on to fresh bread
* Schnitzel Hut - German Schnitzel with potato salad, latke or as a Schnitzelburger
* Torchbearer Sauces - A range of handmade fiery hot table sauces
* Kurt's Delikatessen - Large variety of imported German delicacies such as honey, sweets, dumplings, coffee, and more
* German Grill - Bratwurst, Knackwurst, Leberkase and Weisswurst fresh from the grill! Sides include potato salad, pretzels and more
* Hot Beverages - Hot chocolate, cider, coffee or tea
* German Glühwein - original Gluhwine imported directly from Augsburg/Germany or PA made Chaddsford Winery Spiced Apple
* Beer Stand - Hofbräu beers imported directly from Munich
* Crepe - Sweet and savory crepes served hot
* TheNutRoasters - Roasted nuts and hand spun sugar
* Lebkuchen - German gingerbread imported from Germany
* Mayor Flavor Seasonings - Seasoning spices and candied/seasoned Virginia peanuts
* Schokolat - Uniquely shaped chocolate gifts
* The Taste of Europe - Truffles, chocolates, gouvrais and stroop waffles
* Belgian Fries

The special food and seating area - The Alm - will be enlarged and therefore enrich the outdoor area for the fourth straight year. Designed after the cozy ski huts in the Bavarian Alps, this additional food court will serve a variety of German Bratwursts and more. For those who get cold easily, Christmas Village in Baltimore and Hofbräu München will once again host a "Hofbräu Beer Garden" within the heated tent. Equipped with authentic Brewery Tables made in Austria, this area will invite visitors to sit down and enjoy their food in a great atmosphere.

16) Mulled Wine

Glühwein, hot mulled wine, is the MUST DO drink for all visitors of age. No German considers a visit at the local Christmas Market to be finished without having a sip! Choose between a traditional spiced, red wine which is imported directly from Germany and is a product of Germany! In case you like it fruity: our Glühwein also comes in an apple spiced flavor which is produced by Chaddsford Winery in Pennsylvania.


17) Vendors

Christmas Village in Baltimore consists of more than 50 booths both outside along the Inner Harbor promenade, around the magnificent Christmas tree, and inside the heated tent. Christmas Village in Baltimore, therefore, is much like Christmas markets that can be found all over Germany. Within this village, you'll experience a wide variety of seasonal goods that cannot be found elsewhere. Aside from our local vendors, we have German vendors like Käthe Wohlfahrt selling Christmas ornaments, decorations from genuine Erzgebirge, accessories, fashion, jewelry and much more. Find an up-to-date vendor list at the Christmas Village website:

For the Home/ Home Decor:

* Russ Brown Photography − Framed photo art with Baltimore motifs

* The Coaster Factory - Coasters with vintage photos of Baltimore, Washington D.C. and other cities

* Thru Sherri´s Eyes Studio - Unique, custom personalized etched glass

* Art of Words - Sports and pop word art

* Chopstick Art - Up-cycling of discarded chopstick into home accessory products

* The Art of Drinking - Hand painted drink glasses

* Man Cave Basic Plus - Patent prints

* Inspire Light Candles - Scented candles

* Milk Reclamation Barn - Candles and premium scents

* Dezigns by JJ - Wine stoppers and more

* Cutco - Cutlery, kitchen knives and accessories

* Edible Birdhouses - Edible birdhouses with seeds

* Götze - Swiss Götze peelers

Christmas Ornaments:

* Käthe Wohlfahrt − Incense smokers, nutcrackers, pyramids, schwibbogen, music boxes, wooden ornaments, and glass ornaments

* Myroslava Creations − Ukrainian embroidered shirts, towels, hand painted real egg shells (pysanky), carved Santas and Mrs. Clause

* Andrey's Gifts from Afar − Russian Christmas ornaments, nested dolls, wooden ornaments, amber jewelry, wooden carved Santas, lacquered boxes, birch bark boxes, and glass animals

* Nordic Dreams Giftware − Scandinavian ornaments and gifts

* Unique Ornaments − Glass Christmas ornaments from Egypt

Fashion and Beauty

* Land of Wool & Felt − Handmade hats, handbags, and paper art from Nepal and the Himalayas

* Donegal Importers - Irish capes, sweaters, and gifts

* The Alpaca Girl − Alpaca fashion, scarves and teddies

* Wolf's Den - Fragrance oils, soaps and artisan salts

* Soldier Solutions - Patriotic apparel for devoted patriots

* Siam Scarves - Hand-woven and hand-dyed silk and cotton scarves from Thailand

Jewelry and Accessories:

* Bella U - Younger designer jewelry

* World of Wool, Crafts and Accessories - Handmade Native American musical instruments and crafts

* Click Heat - Hand warmers

* Eardivine - Fine jewelry

* Paradiso - Fine gemstone jewelry

* Tibet Tree of Life - Fine shawls, singing bowls, cotton journals and other gifts from Nepal

Toy and Family Gifts:

* Annie's Pooch Pops - Baked dog treats and canine accessories

* Ye Olde Gamery - Original game puzzles in acrylic and wood, playable art. Geometric mosaics form many beautiful designs, play unique games. Great fun for all ages

* Homegoods - Massagers and straighteners

* Just Makes Scents - Herbal packs

Special Booths:

* Information Booth: Christmas Village in Baltimore and Visit Baltimore - Information about Christmas Village and Visit Baltimore in general

* Santa's House - Santa photography

* Bath Fitter - Bathroom remodeling and solutions

* T-Mobile - Mobile phone carrier

18) New Vendors for 2018

* Man Cave Basic Plus - Patent prints
* Schokolat - Uniquely shaped chocolate gifts
* Dezigns by JJ - Wine stoppers and more
* Wolf's Den - Fragrance oils, soaps and artisan salts
* Annie's Pooch Pops - Baked dog treats and canine accessories

19) Herrnhut Star Decorations

The entire Christmas Village in Baltimore will once again shine bright in the light of over 20 original Herrnhut Stars (Moravian Stars) presented by MyBrilliantStar, which decorate the huts of the market at West Shore Park. They will be placed on top of the outdoor booths and around the site and will create an even more authentic German and Christmassy atmosphere.

20) The New Holiday District

The Holiday District spans from Christmas Village down at West Shore Park up until the PANDORA Ice Rink and includes nearby attractions, shopping destinations, museums and restaurants. Organizers include Christmas Village, Waterfront Partnership, Visit Baltimore, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Harbor East, Port Discovery Children's Museum, Horseshoe Casino, and B&O Railroad Museum. To make the Holiday District even more appealing to the crowds, Christmas Village is not only moving some of its booths to the promenade but also adding a 65-feet-tall Ferris wheel. The Ferris wheel will be placed next to the Baltimore Visitor Center and will be operating every Friday (3pm - 10pm), Saturday (11am - 10pm) and Sunday (11am - 10pm) the event is open.

21) Parking Recommendation

Parking in the heart of Baltimore is exhausting and usually very costly. That is why Christmas Village teamed up with the Harbor Court Garage (30 East Lee Street, Baltimore, MD 21202) to offer parking for just $8 per day. The offer is valid every day Christmas Village in Baltimore is open - including weekends and holidays. Check for more information.

Please stay tuned for FREE parking and shuttle information on the weekends to and from Horseshoe Baltimore Maryland Casino. Details are coming soon.

22) General Information - Christmas Village in Baltimore

The Christmas Village in Baltimore is an authentic German Christmas market, located at the Inner Harbor. It has run from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve every year since 2013. For the first time ever, Christmas Village will also be open for a Preview Weekend (Nov. 17th - Nov. 18th) in 2018. Vendors in unique wooden huts and a huge heated tent offer high-quality local and international gifts and a great variety of European food, sweets and drinks. Furthermore, many festive events and special acts are to be expected every day.

23) General Information - Baltimore's Holiday District

Charm City's new Holiday District around the Inner Harbor will offer shopping, entertainment, family fun and even photos with Santa for visitors from Baltimore and D.C. metro regions. The District will span from Christmas Village in West Shore Park down the Inner Harbor promenade to the PANDORA Ice Rink, and include nearby attractions, shopping destinations, museums and restaurants. Organizers do include Christmas Village, Waterfront Partnership, Visit Baltimore, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Harbor East, Port Discovery Children's Museum, Horseshoe Casino, and B&O Railroad Museum.

Next on Stage

Related Articles View More Baltimore Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You