There are plenty of ways to celebrate the season locally. Here are just a few festive occasions.
Main Street, Ellicott City, visitellicottcity.com
On Dec. 6, shops in Historic Ellicott City will stay open until midnight and the Main Street corridor will be festive with live music, carolers and special attractions like a tree-lighting ceremony.
Festival of Trains
B&O Railroad Museum, 2711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City, borail.org
Ellicott City’s B&O Railroad Museum will be filled with toy trains and model railroads designed by local clubs, including an ornate, interactive Lego model and a Thomas the Tank Engine layout. The exhibit runs through Jan. 26, 2014, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Local artists and crafters will showcase their wares at several holiday sales.
Dec. 6: The Howard County Center for the Arts will host its annual Open House & Holiday Sale, featuring original art, jewelry, pottery, textiles and more. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Howard County Center for the Arts, Ellicott City. hocoarts.org
Dec. 7: Holiday Mart will bring some 140 artisans to sell seasonal items at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center in Cooksville. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $4 admission. 410-313-4840.
Dec. 7: The Howard County Conservancy will host a Natural Holiday Sale, featuring local crafts and natural decor. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Howard County Conservancy, Woodstock. hcconservancy.org
Dec. 14: The Artists’ Gallery will hold a special holiday sale, featuring a mix of paintings, photography, pottery, sculpture, stained glass and woodwork from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. artistsgallerycolumbia.com
Miracle on Foundry Street
Historic Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage, savagemill.com
Historic Savage Mill will transform into a winter wonderland this holiday season with lights, garland, sculptures, towering evergreens and more. And, for the first time, the historic Bollman truss bridge will be illuminated by some 12,500 energy-efficient LED lights, thanks to a joint effort by Historic Savage Mill, Howard County’s Department of Recreation & Parks, Howard County Tourism Council and the Savage Community Association. The bridge lighting will take place Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m., followed by a community tree-lighting at Savage’s historic Carroll Baldwin Hall. The bridge lights will remain through Jan. 7, 2014. The holiday display at Savage Mill shopping center, designed by Baltimore-based The Becker Group, will include massive wreaths, sculptures of Santa and his elves, and a 20-foot Christmas tree topped by a “starburst fireworks” light display. The center will host special events throughout the season, including visits from Santa, strolling carolers, performances by local students and puppet shows.
Holiday Tours at Waverly Mansion
Waverly Mansion, 2300 Waverly Mansion Drive Marriottsville, 301-572-7744
Historic Waverly Mansion in Marriottsville will showcase the work of local garden clubs Dec. 8 and 9. Docents will greet visitors, refreshments will be served and ornaments and fresh greens will be sold. Sunday, Dec. 8, the property will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. with live music. On Monday, Dec. 9, hours are from 10 a.m. to noon, and candlelight tours featuring Marriotts Ridge High School’s Madrigals will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for children 12 and younger.
Holiday Historic House Tour
Howard County Historical Society, hchsmd.org
This annual event by the Howard County Historical Society will feature five destinations, including Richland Farm’s original log house built in 1781, Sykesville’s Salopha (circa 1742) and Dalton, a home that predates the Columbia Thunder Hill neighborhood that surrounds it. Also featured will be Ellicott City’s Shrine of St. Anthony and the adjacent Folly Quarter Manor, once home to Gov. John Lee Carroll and Van Lear Black, once publisher of The Baltimore Sun. The tour, by Eyre bus, will take place Dec. 15 from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Tour departs from Miller Branch Library in Ellicott City. $35 for members, $45 for members’ guests, $50 nonmembers (which includes a 2014 membership).
Symphony of Lights
Symphony Woods, Columbia, 410-740-7666, hopkinsmedicine.org
Now in its 20th year, this Howard Hospital Foundation fundraiser offers a variety of ways to take in the 1.4-mile outdoor lights display in downtown Columbia’s Symphony Woods.
Drive through: Traditionalist? The attraction is open seven days a week from 6 to 10 p.m. for cars, vans and buses through Jan. 5, 2014. $20 admission for cars.
Walk through: On Mondays and Wednesdays through Dec. 18, the course is open to walkers from 4 to 5:45 p.m. Registration required. 410-740-7666. $10 per walker; children 4 and younger are free.
Military appreciation: On Thursday, Dec. 12, visitors with a military ID get $10 off the price of drive-through.
Blinkin’ Binkies: On Thursday, Dec. 5, families with strollers and wagons reign on the walk-through course from 4 to 5:45 p.m. $10 per walker; children 4 and younger are free.
Tail Lights: A special evening has been set aside for visitors to walk the course with their leashed dogs on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 4 to 5:45 p.m. $10 per walker; children 4 and younger and dogs are free.
Midnight at 7: Celebrate the New Year a tad early with a special festival in Symphony Woods, including fireworks, a bonfire, food vendors and music. The attraction is closed to cars this evening. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 5-7:30 p.m. $15/individual, group discounts available. Children age 3 and younger are free.