No Place Like B’More for the Holidays

Whether you’re celebrating the holidays, the end of exams, or both, Baltimore has something for everyone to enjoy this December. Take a break from studying for finals and visit one of these festive attractions — your mind will thank you later!


Washington Monument Lighting

600 block of North Charles St.

If you’re looking for something to do tonight, December 4, head over to Mount Vernon for the annual lighting of the Washington Monument from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will feature area choirs, fireworks and refreshments.


Waterfront Partnership Ice Rink

McKeldin Plaza

November 21, 2014 – January 19, 2015

The ice rink is open and awaiting your arrival! Conveniently located in the Inner Harbor, the rink is only $9 for adults and $3 for a skate rental. If you get a group of 10 or more friends to join you, you each pay only $9 including skates (reservation required).

This is the first time the Inner Harbor has had an ice rink for about a decade. The opening of the ice rink this year is part of the 4th annual “It’s a Waterfront Life” movement, an effort to bring more people downtown during the holiday season.

The rink will be open seven days a week, even on holidays. You can find out their hours for each day here.

If you want to shop or eat near the Harbor after skating, your ice rink wristband can get you a ton of discounts at local restaurants and stores.

National Aquarium’s Holiday Celebration

On Friday, December 5 at 5 p.m., the National Aquarium’s annual event will feature music and dance performances, a holiday village with live music and crafts, and Kwanzaa and Hanukkah displays. Food and hot chocolate will be available, regular or spiked (for 21+ guests) for purchase.


Dollar Days

Maryland Science Center, National Aquarium, Top of the World, The Christmas Village

Visit these museums and exhibits on December 6th and 7th for just $1 each! What a deal! Tickets must be purchased onsite at each attraction.

For more information, please visit:


The 41st Annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade

December 7, 2014: 1 PM

The Mayor’s Christmas Parade is a staple of North Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. Last year, over 25,000 people were in attendance for the festive event. This year, the parade will have floats, local TV and radio personalities, Harley Davidson motorcycles, local bands, Mummers of Philadelphia, Miss Yuletide and everyone’s favorite – Santa!

For more information and directions of the parade route, please visit:


Hampden 34th Street Lights

While in Hampden, you must stay until 5 p.m. when the lights turn on along 34th Street. Known as the “Miracle on 34th Street”, (for Baltimoreans anyway) every year for the month of December, the residents of the 700 block of 34th Street all decorate their homes with a plentiful amount of lights and unique displays (nothing says festive like a hubcap Christmas tree). This year will be the 67th year of the lights, and they will be on everyday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, the lights will be on all night. Be sure to check out this classic, cheerful Baltimore event before you head home for the holidays!

Want more information? Please visit:


The Holly Jolly Trolley 

Departs from Pier 5 Hotel, 711 Eastern Avenue

From now until December 21, the holiday trolley will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. to travel around Baltimore for a tour of the most decorated neighborhoods and attractions of the season, such as Hampden and Mount Vernon.

Purchase tickets in advance:


MICA Art Market 

Brown Center’s Leidy Atrium and Falvey Hall Lobby

1301 W. Mount Royal Ave

Between December 10 and 13, MICA will have its eighth annual art market with a plethora of illustrations, paintings, prints, posters, t-shirts, ceramics, jewelry, toys, wrapping paper, and more all designed and created by MICA students, alumni, faculty and staff. This is an awesome opportunity for guests to buy friends and a family a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for the season!

To find out more about the event, visit


Hot Chocolate Happy Hour

Happy hour on a Tuesday, anyone? On December 9 and 16, Whole Foods Harbor East will offer complimentary hot chocolate “shots” and sweets street-side between 5 and 7 p.m. A perfect treat during holiday shopping!

For more information, visit


Moonlight Madness & Tree Lighting

Federal Hill Main Street

On Friday, December 12 from 8 p.m. to midnight, Baltimorean’s favorite holiday shopping event returns! Head down to Federal Hill to visit the local shops, galleries and businesses that will be open late and are offering specials, discounts and refreshments to get something for everyone on your list this holiday season! The shopping begins at 8 p.m., but don’t miss the evening kickoff tree lighting between 7 and 8 p.m.

For more information on participating stores and the event, visit


Baltimore Chanukah Festival and Menorah Lighting

McKeldin Square

On December 20 at 7 p.m., head downtown to see Baltimore’s tallest Menorah! Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be in attendance for the lighting of the Menorah and the event will include special performances, live music, latkes, jelly doughnuts, and more. Admission is free and open to the public.

Warm Up In a Baltimore Museum this Winter!

As the weather gets colder, it can be difficult to find fun, indoor activities to pass the time! Have you ever considered visiting a museum in Charm City? The variety is unbelievable – everything from a railroad to a tattoo museum, and many are free or cheap for students.

Walters Art Museum

The collection at the Walters Art Museum is an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, including Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories and Old Master paintings.

On October 26, a free installation called Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story, opened in honor of the Walters’s 80th anniversary as a public institution, and takes visitors on a journey through the extraordinary gift given by Henry Walters to Baltimore.

Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Address: 600 N. Charles St, Baltimore, Md., 21201

Admission: Free

Phone: 410-547-9000


Baltimore Museum of Art

The BMA is celebrating 100 years this November! On Nov. 15, the museum will host an 100th Anniversary Gala, and the public grand opening will be on Nov. 23, a free and festive day filled with storytelling, musical performances, food trucks, and in-gallery conversations with museum educators!

Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Address: 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md, 21218

Admission: Free

Phone: 443-573-1700

American Visionary Art Museum

AVAM’s art is visionary, meaning self-taught individuals that typically don’t have formal training produce it from their own creative visions. AVAM believes their artwork is different from “folk art” (typical museum art) because it is spontaneous and individualized.

The current exhibition on display is The Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster, which features a centennial celebration of American artist, Rev. Howard Finster. The museum also just installed a huge outdoor mosaic.

Don’t miss: Sideshow shop, the museum’s gift shop full of funny, bizarre and trendy books, jewelry, and other items!

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed Mondays

Address: 800 Key Hwy, Baltimore, Md., 21230

Admission: $9.95 for college students, $15.95 for adults

Phone: 410-244-1900


Baltimore Museum of Industry

Founded in 1981, the BMI features exhibits focused on the industrial and technological heritage of the Baltimore region for the public by highlighting the stories of Maryland’s industries and the people who worked to create them.

On November 7, the Baltimore Shops exhibit opens, which examines the impact left by 19th century markets, downtown department stores, and today’s independent merchants. It will be opened until March 8, 2015.

On December 4, beer lovers rejoice. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hugh Sisson of Heavy Seas Brewery will lead a beer tasting. Learn about the brewing process and the history of Baltimore beer while enjoying a local beer and a food pairing provided by Kloby’s Smokehouse.

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed on Mondays

Address: 1415 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230

Admission: $7 for students, $12 for adults

Phone: (410) 727-4808


Baltimore Tattoo Museum

While BTM displays exhibits of traditional electric tattooing in America, the museum is also a fully functioning tattoo studio.

Some of the exhibits include Carol Nightingale, Stoney St. Clair, Doc Webb, and Carney.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Address: 1534 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231

Admission: Free

Phone: (410) 522-5800


B&O Railroad Museum

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum is the oldest, most comprehensive American railroad collection in the world. The 40-acre site is always changing exhibits and collections.

Starting on November 22, the B&O Magical Holiday Express begins, with six festive weekends filled with activities. The museum also has a Community Giving Train, a celebration that helps local charities who help those in need this season, like Toys for Tots, Maryland Food Bank ad Maryland Book Bank.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Address: 901 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21223

Admission: $18 for adults

Phone: (410) 752-2490


Maryland Science Center

The MSC provides scientific exhibits for people of any age wanting to learn, including: the Maryland blue crab, Newton’s Alley, Life Beyond Earth, and Dinosaur Mysteries. The center also features the Davis Planetarium, a dark dome filled with thousands of stars and planets for space lovers.

Currently, the IMAX theater has a mix of films, such as Flight of the Butterflies 3D, Forces of Nature, Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty, Penguins 3D, The Human Body, and more.

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Mondays

Address: 601 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230

Admission: $18.95 for an adult with exhibit halls, planetarium and demo stage. $22.95 with one IMAX film

Phone: (410) 685-5225


Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

Halloween in Boo-more

Whether it’s a ghost tour in Fells, a crawl in Fed, or a haunted house in neighboring Jessup, Baltimore has plenty of Halloween activities for all ghouls and gals. Not sure what you’re doing yet? Check out some of the spooky highlights this weekend:

Halloween Baltimore Pub Crawl

Fells Point has always been a hotspot during Halloween – and this year won’t disappoint! For those over 21, there is a three-day pub crawl, which kicks off on Thursday, October 30. The check-in is at the Point in Fells (located at 1738 Thames St.) where crawlers get a map, drinking cup, and wristband.

Participating venues include: The Points in Fells, Leadbetters Tavern, Riptide by the Bay, Bond Street Social, and Dog Watch Tavern.

Find out more information and buy your ticket here.

Halloween Bike Party

Baltimore Bike Partiers will be celebrating Halloween by biking through Charm City in their favorite costumes. The adventure starts at St. Mary’s Park in Seton Hill at 6:30 pm and concludes at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (1415 Key Highway).  There will be an after party at Little Havana (1325 Key Highway) with a costume contest and prizes.

Go here for more information.

Federal Hill-O-Ween

This costume party bar crawl will be just one night, on Halloween. More than 17 Federal Hill restaurants and bars will be participating in the event and offering food and drink specials.

Check-in is at Mother’s Parking Lot from 6-10 pm, where participants receive wristband, souvenir koozie, map of bars, and giveaways.

Don’t forget to dress up! There will be Halloween costume contests with great prizes.

Buy your ticket here.

RA Sushi’s Boo Bash Halloween Party

Sushi lovers, beware! From 11 am to close on Halloween, RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant will be decked out in Halloween décor and offer a variety of “Boo Bites” and “Potent Potions” while haunting music plays throughout the restaurant.

Some of the spooky offerings include:

  • Zombie Roll: spicy salmon, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeno rolled and topped with avocado and sriracha.
  • Witches Brew: a bubbling blend of Southern Comfort, Amaretto Disaronno, cold sake, liqueurs and tropical juices.

Any creepy customers that dare to dress in the best costumes may be able to win some tricks or treats, such as RA Sushi gift certificates.

Bennett’s Curse Haunted House

If you’re looking for a night away from the city and want some creepy mansions, hop over to Jessup to visit Bennett’s Curse Haunted House! $30 ticket includes admission to the three haunted houses on the property – Medieval Underworld, Inferno 3D, and Sanctuary of Insanity.

Buy your tickets here.

Still not sure what to wear? Take a look back at 2014 and gain some dress-up inspiration! These are some of my favorite ideas:

  • Support our home team, the Baltimore Orioles, in their incredible journey this season and dress up as one of the superstars – Adam Jones or Nick Markakis anyone?
  • Frozen fans, you’re in luck! There’s an endless amount of things you could be. Let it go and hop over to Pinterest for some ideas.
  • Didn’t complete the ice bucket challenge? No worries, there’s a costume for that.
  • Honor one of the greats we lost this year and dress up as Joan Rivers or Robin Williams (bonus points if you’re a male and dress up as Mrs. Doubtfire!)

Whatever you do this Halloween, make sure you’re being safe and smart. If you’re of the legal drinking age, always drink responsibly and travel in groups.  If you’re new to Uber, use our promo code COLLEGETOWN for a free ride up to $20.  From all of us at Baltimore Collegetown, have a happy Halloween!

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

Staying Active in College

Don’t let your schoolwork get you into a slump! This is the time to develop a consistent workout regime in order to stay fit and healthy for years to come. Baltimore has tons of great options for staying active. Check out some fun running events this fall to get your body in shape before the holidays!

Race for the Cure: October 26

The Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure returns to Maryland! Although it may be too late for you to prepare for a 5K run this Sunday, you can still consider the 5K walk, or volunteering at the event.

The race will be in Hunt Valley, at the Executive Plaza parking lots, across Shawan Road from the Hunt Valley Towne Centre. The race doesn’t start until 8 am, but participants are encouraged to get there between 6 and 7 am to avoid any parking issues and to have adequate time for checking-in or registering.

If you can’t make the event, still consider donating to the foundation. About one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and we need to find a cure!

The Running Dead Virtual Run – 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon: October 25 through November 1

For those of you that may not have adequate transportation, this run is perfect! It’s a virtual run, so it can done from the comfort of your treadmill!

The Halloween/zombie-themed run’s proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All participants will also receive a Running Dead medal in the mail.

Color Run: November 15

The Color Run comes back to Baltimore! Nicknamed the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” the run is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, and individuality.

The 3.1-mile loop circles Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Ravens Stadium. Runners wear white at the starting line and get doused with five or six different colors throughout the run!

The daylong event has a morning run at 9 a.m. and afternoon run at 1 p.m., and dismisses runners in shifts every few minutes. The race isn’t timed, and encourages everyone to go at his or her own pace.

My personal experience with the Color Run was incredible. I completed the Color Run in May of 2013 with a group of friends and it was one of the most fun events I’ve done. Everyone is in a great mood, happy to be there, and encouraging of strangers to keep going!

Y of Central Maryland Turkey Trot: November 27

If you’re staying in the area over the Thanksgiving holiday, rise and shine to run before you feast! This year marks the 20th year of the Turkey Trot in Towson.    It will start at the Orokawa Family Center Y in Towson, run through the hills of West Towson and Southland Hills and finish back at the Y.

There will be prizes for the top three males and females overall, and there will be food available after the course for runners!

Other locations for the Y of Central Maryland Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day include Ellicott City, Bel Air, Arnold, and Westminster.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk: December 14

This festive run is a great way to kick off your holiday celebrations! The proceeds from the 5K go towards finding a cure for arthritis. Runners and walkers are encouraged to dress up in a holiday themed costume.

The walk/run starts at 9 am and is located at Du Burns Arena at Bonvenga Field, 1301 S. Ellwood Avenue n Baltimore Md. Get into the holiday spirit by giving to others in need! Let’s find a cure for arthritis!

What are your plans for staying in shape this fall and winter? Let us know if you have any tips or ideas!

Baltimore Book Festival

Calling all nerds! If you’re anything like me, you’re more than thrilled for the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend. Not only will 2014 be the 19th year of the festival, but it is in a brand new location! If you’ve never been or don’t know what I’m talking about, listen up! You won’t want to miss out.

The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of author appearances and book signings, 100+ exhibitors and booksellers, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, a variety of food, beer and wine, and much more!

The festival has usually taken place in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, but due to the restoration of the historic Washington Monument, the festival will take place in the Inner Harbor this year! I, for one, am excited about this change. What’s better than listening to some poetry, sipping some wine, and being right on the harbor?

The festival will begin on Friday and Saturday at noon and run until 8 p.m. On Sunday, it will begin at noon and run until 6 p.m.

Some exciting guests:

  • Jessica Merchant, Friday at 5:30 p.m., Food for Thought Stage – I am personally EXTREMELY excited for Merchant’s arrival! I have followed the five-year food blogger for a few years, and she has introduced me to everything from pumpkin fettuccine alfredo to fudgy avocado brownies to banana bread, Brie and chocolate grilled cheese. She’s incredible and just came out with a book, Seriously Delish. She’s pretty funny throughout her blogs, so you won’t want to miss her speak!
  • Kathy Wakile, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Food for Thought Stage – You heard right, Real Housewives fans! The Real Housewives of New Jersey star came out with a book earlier this month called Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts that Keep Life Real Sweet, with over 75 yummy treats!
  • Mark Mazzetti, Friday at 6 p.m., Ivy Bookshop Stage – The New York Times national security correspondent discusses the War on Terror and the CIA’s secret army.
  • Brian Stelter, Saturday at 2 p.m., Ivy Bookshop Stage – The former Towson tiger and current CNN anchor exposes the cutthroat world of morning television and his 2013 book Top of the Morning.

  • Bill T. Barry, Sunday at 1pm, Radical Book fair Pavilion – Local labor educator and organizer Bill Barry will be discussing his extensive research on the first national railroad strike in the U.S. that began in Baltimore in 1877.

Some new things for 2014:

  • #EpicBookFest: Geared towards children and young adults, this new component will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, and includes author presentations and discussions, such as The Storybook Parade and Superhero Figure Drawing Demo!
  • Charm City Comic Book Pavilion: Comic fans rejoice! You can come and browse through thousands of books and collectibles, chat with professional comic book creators and game designers, and participate in an informative panel!
  • National Aquarium Ocean Exploration Stage: A full weekend of free programming at the Aquarium for ocean and conservation fans! The programming includes author appearances, special animal encounters, live music, interactive eco-programs and more.

Getting there:

Before you go:

Check out the map to make sure you know where you’re going!

Let us know what you think of the festival! Tweet us at @baltcollegetown or write on our Facebook wall, Baltimore Collegetown Network. Enjoy the festivities and refer to the festival’s website for further information! Have a great weekend!

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

Star-Spangled Spectacular in Baltimore

Big boats, Blue Angels, and bombs (okay, fireworks) bursting in air! Why, you ask? This weekend is the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, and we’re having a seven-day festival to celebrate!


Well, our national anthem’s lyrics were taken from a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry” which was written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.


Some of the highlights of the festival include:

  • The Star-Spangled Spectacular Air Show on September 13 and 14 from 2-4 p.m. will feature the Blue Angels, the US Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. They will also have air show practices from 12-3 p.m. on September 12.
  • Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem is a two-hour concert at Pier Six Pavilion co-hosted by John Lithgow and Jordin Sparks. Performances will include Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Train and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. You can still purchase tickets online at
  • Starting on September 11, you can go on FREE public ship tours between noon and 5 p.m. Ships are located at the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point, and North Locust Point.
  • A 20-minute massive firework show on September 13 at 9:30 p.m., which can be viewed from dozens of points around Baltimore’s waterfront.
  • Red, White & Brew Festival in Fells Point on September 13 from 2:30-9 p.m. and September 14 from 11-7 p.m.
  • Orioles will host the Yankees for the weekend, with games on September 12 at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m., Saturday September 13 at 1:05 p.m. and a Star-Spangled game on September 14 at 8:05 p.m., where the players will wear specially designed patriotic uniforms.

For a full list of events, click here.


There will be three festival areas in the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry and Martin State Airport that will have street fair type food vendors. There is also a wide variety of restaurants located in the Inner Harbor – including the Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys, the Hard Rock Cafe, James Joyce and Bertha’s.

If you want to look a little further than the harbor for some Baltimore-based grub, Fell’s Point has a variety of good places. The Point at Fell’s, Max’s Taphouse and Thames Street Oyster House are all worth a try.


Parking can be tough in the city, but Star-Spangled Spectacular has partnered with Parking Panda to allow customers to purchase parking passes at many parking facilities within easy walking distance to the events.

Buy your ticket here.

If you’re not driving into the city, you can also check out:


Check out these maps to make sure you know where you’re going!

Enjoy the events this weekend, and refer to Star Spangled Spectacular for more information!

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

Signing Off

Summer in Baltimore 

As finals week and graduation loom in my future, my time interning at Baltimore Collegetown Network comes to a close. I’ve had a tremendous year working for this awesome organization, and I encourage any of you looking for an internship to keep Collegetown on your list for next Fall!  My time here as afforded me so many opportunities, but my most poignant takeaway is an enhanced understanding and appreciation for all Baltimore has to offer. So I thought it’d be appropriate for my final blog post (*tear*) to include a list of some of the great events, festivals, and activities happening this summer in Charm City!

  • Artscape Friday, July 18 – Sunday, July 20
    • Be a part of America’s largest free arts festival! Artscape features more than 150 artists and Artscapelive performances including: dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra! Plus a variety of hands-on demonstrations and competitions to put your creative abilities to the test!
  • Outdoor Movies 
    • Little Italy – the original outdoor movie venue of Baltimore! Beginning July 11, enjoy live music and festivities starting at 7pm and a film at 9pm!
    • Flicks on the Hill – sponsored by the American Visionary Museum this weekly movie night is one of the city’s largest. Thursday nights, beginning July 10, be sure to head down to Federal Hill to enjoy a summer flick!
    • Fells Point Films on the Pier – If Wednesdays are better for you, then be sure to check out the outdoor films in Fells Point beginning July 9 at 8:45pm.
  • Summer Sounds at Belvedere Square 
    • Free outdoor concerts every Friday at Belvedere Square starting May 16 with an upbeat Cajun performance by The Crawdaddies at 6pm.
  • PrintChesapeake Crab and Beer Festival  Saturday, June 21
    • Get Crackin’ In Charm City! Enjoy tons of Old Bay, Maryland crabs, and specialty beers (21+, of course)
  • Cultural Festivals – Experience Baltimore’s melting pot of cultures and enjoy these awesome ethnic celebrations
  • Beat the heat with some sweet treats! What better way to celebrate summertime than with some frozen deliciousness?
    • Check out a few of the city’s top ice cream joints according to The Baltimore Sun!
    • And for all you culinary adventurers out there — check out The Sun’s list of the city’s strangest flavors and where to try them!


No class, no commitments, no worries – right? And still plenty of things to take advantage of in your favorite college town – sounds like a perfect summer to me! Please leave any additional Charm City summer time plans in a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

And now, as the old cliché goes – all good things must come to an end – farewell Baltimore Collegetown, it’s been an incredible year! Can’t wait to explore the city’s quirky charms as a … dun, dun, dun … college graduate!


-Madison Boris, intern