Miracle on 34th Street
For sure, there is no more incontrovertible harbinger of the holidays than this — the evening Hampden's lights gets turned on for the first time (usually between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.). Beginning Saturday, thousands upon thousands of artificial lights will turn the area surrounding the Avenue (aka 34th Street) into a Winter Wonderland of the first order. Look for plenty of Santa Clauses, reindeer and Christmas trees, but also some Mr. Bohs, a few blue crabs and who-knows-what-else. If you haven't checked this out, do, if only to experience the holidays in ways perhaps heretofore unimagined. And Merry Christmas, Hon. christmasstreet.com.
Festival of Trees
Hundreds of imaginatively decorated Christmas trees (we still remember fondly one that was made to look like Snoopy's doghouse), plus wreaths, gingerbread houses and other holiday decorations. You can come simply to admire, or you can pick one (or two) up for your own home. If this doesn't get you in the holiday spirit, we don't know what will. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. next Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road in Timonium. $7-$15. festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org.
Christmas Village opens
A slice of German holiday spirit descends on Baltimore for the holidays, complete with vendors (more than 50 of them), food (strudel, anyone?), entertainment and probably a nutcracker or two. Old World charm in Charm City? How appropriate. Freude Weihnachtszeit, everyone. Opens Thursday (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) and runs through Dec. 24. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (closed Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and 13) at the Inner Harbor's West Shore Park, 501 Light St. Free, except for the heated indoor area on Dec. 3-4 ($1) and Dec. 10, 11, 17, 18 and 24 ($3-$5, free for 3 and under). baltimore-christmas.com.
'Doc Severinsen and Friends: The Art of the Big Band'
Johnny Carson may be long gone, but Doc and his band soldier on. Enjoy an evening of the best of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, plus plenty more jazz and pop standards. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. next Sunday at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $33-$99. bsomusic.org.
'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'
Two French aristocrats decide to toy with other people's emotions, in the most destructive way possible. How deliciously heinous. Opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 23 at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. Performances Tuesdays-Sundays. $20-$64. Centerstage.org.
"Carry On Wayward Son" and all that. 8 p.m. Friday at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $36-$72. lyricbaltimore.com.
Holiday art markets
'Tis the season for holidays art markets, and here's two of the earliest (and best). The American Visionary Art Museum's Bazaart market features more than 40 artists and craftspeople, many selling items that would be right at home on the museum's walls. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at AVAM, 800 Key Highway. Free. (A "First Dibs Preview Party & Sale" is set for 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, $10-$20.) avam.org. Over the next three weekends, the Holiday Bazaar at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., spotlights area vendors offering adult and children's books, fine art, crafts, jewelry, ceramics, wood working, accessories, bath/body products and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, as well as Dec. 3 and 10, noon-4 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 4. Lewismuseum.org.
In this latest animated Disney feature, a young woman from a family of navigators and a demi-god named Maui set off for a fabled island. We're betting they have adventures. In theaters Tuesday.
Loyola takes on Calvert Hall for the 97th time. The Cards won last year, 6-0, (who knew all the scoring would be done by the third play of the game?), but the Dons lead the series, 49-39-8. Calvert Hall is 6-5 this season, Loyola, 5-5. And none of that will matter to the team that wins Thursday. 10 a.m. at M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St. $10.
Craft Hope Beer and Cheese Tasting
Local cheeses get paired with local beers, in what organizers promise will be "a celebration of everything beer and cheese." Hey, we're sold. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. today at the 13th Floor, 1 E. Chase St. $28. 13floorbelvedere.com.