It’s Friday. Thanksgiving 2019 is in the rear-view mirror, the turkey has been reduced to leftovers, the yuletide season is about to be in full swing.
But still, there’s this weekend, the one after Thanksgiving. It’s the one where you need to work off all that overindulging you did, the one where you still have to entertain family and friends who won’t be heading home for a few more days, the one that still kinda feels like a holiday (seriously, having to work the day after Thanksgiving ought to be outlawed), but isn’t.
Looking for something that will accommodate your post-turkey hangover? Here are eight suggestions, all special, all geared to providing a good time for just you or you and a bunch of your best buds, all happy to help bridge the gap between turkey dressing and Christmas fruitcake. And tacked on to the end, for those who have had enough of friends and family and desperately need a little breathing space, we’ve include a trio of activities that offer at least the feeling of alone time. Because sometimes, even during the holidays, the only person you want to hang out with is yourself.
Embrace Black Friday happenings
The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, and for plenty of people, that’s the day to actually celebrate — at no point of the year is the idea of shopping until you drop more appropriate. It would be impossible to list all the stores offering please-come-here-and-shop discounts to all the hardy consumers anxious to test the retail waters on this shopping-day-to-end-all-shopping-days, but we will note a couple ways to augment your Black Friday experience.
If you’re wondering what to do with the kids while you’re out spending profusely, the Sky Zone, at 8645 Pulaski Highway in Rosedale, is offering a Black Friday Shop 'N' Drop Sky Camp from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., with all sorts of indoor activities (plus lunch!) to keep the young ones, ages 5-12, busy. $30. skyzone.com/east-baltimore.
Over at Harbor East, where merchants will be offering all kinds of sales (with discounts as high as 40 percent on your entire purchase!), a block party centered at 800 Aliceanna St. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. will include a mimosa and bloody Mary bar, food specials, live music, complimentary DIY hot chocolate bar and stuff for the kids — face painting, cookie decorating, a balloon artist and holiday characters strolling about. harboreast.com.
And to top off the day, Baltimore Soundstage will play host to The Emo Show’s “Black Parade Friday,” an evening of emo and pop punk (with singalongs) from Maryland bands playing the music of My Chemical Romance, Neck Deep, Green Day, The Used and Blink-182. 7 p.m. $12-$15. baltimoresoundstage.com.
Find a gift like no other at a craft sale or bazaar
'Tis the season for craft sales and holiday bazaars, the perfect places to get those handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts for the special people on your Christmas list. The holidays are replete with such sales, but one of the best is this weekend:
Bazaart, Friday and Saturday at the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Hwy., offers a roomful of vendors (about 50 in all) selling the sort of stuff you’d find displayed in the museum itself, and how cool is that? Noon-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Free. avam.org.
Also this weekend, the Holiday Bazaar & Tea at The Cloisters, 10440 Falls Road, offers not only handmade crafts from Maryland artisans, but the chance to slow down for an old-fashioned cup of tea, complete with the namesake beverage, finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, scones, cheese and an assortment of pastries and desserts. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission to the show, $35 for the tea (reservations for the latter at 410-821-7448). cloisterscastle.com.
And the Holiday Market at Cross Street Market, 1065 S Charles St., offers abundant gift ideas made by local hands. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. Event name on facebook.com.
Kick off your holiday celebrations
Lots of Baltimore’s most popular holiday traditions are amping up this weekend, so this might be a good time to start taking advantage.
The German Christmas Village at the Inner Harbor, off Light Street, runs through Dec. 24, offering all manner of holiday decor and very cool Christmas gift ideas. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. baltimore-christmas.com.
The high-voltage good time that is Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street, with some of the city’s most gaudily decorated homes and holiday cheer to burn, kicks-off Saturday, and will be flicked on nightly around 5:45 p.m. through Dec. 31. Plug in 720 W. 34th St. to your GPS. christmasstreet.com.
And the inventively decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and other holiday staples of the Festival of Trees are back for a 30th edition. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road in Timonium. $7-$16, with proceeds benefiting the Kennedy Krieger Institute. festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org.
Shop during Museum Store Sunday
Great idea: More than 1,200 stores and gift shops at museums in all 50 states and 18 countries will be offering enticements Sunday to get you to buy the fabulous stuff they have to offer. And while you’re visiting the store, maybe check out the museum as well?
Eight Baltimore museums are listed on the day’s website: the Walters Art Museum (offering 10 percent off all purchases, 20 percent to members), Maryland Historical Society (which is offering a 10 percent discount on regular gifts and books), Jewish Museum of Maryland, Homewood Museum, Baltimore Museum of Industry, Evergreen Museum and Library, Baltimore Museum of Art and Historic Ships in Baltimore. In Annapolis, there’s the Historic Annapolis Museum Store and Annapolis Maritime Museum.
Or feel free to do a little traveling; more than 25 D.C.-area museums are on the list, including President Lincoln’s Cottage in Northwest, which is offering 20 percent off everything. If you can’t find a great gift idea at these places (or something to gift yourself), you’re not trying. museumstoresunday.org.
Attend an intimate concert
Our fair city offers a range of smaller music venues, where you and the performers are practically rubbing elbows. This weekend might be a good time for you and some carefully chosen family members to try one.
A trio of possibilities: at Cabaret at Germano’s, 300 S. High St., on Saturday, mezzo-soprano Christine Thomas and music director Michael Tan will present a musical revue called “Ding-a-Ling, I Feel So Christmasy!” at 6 p.m. $20. germanospiattini.com.
At Keystone Korner, 1350 Lancaster St. in Harbor East, veteran jazz and pop songstress Jean Carne will be reuniting with her ex-husband, pianist/organist Doug Carn, for shows at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $30-$45. keystonekornerbaltimore.com.
And at the 8x10, 10 E. Cross St., Saturday brings together tribute bands paying homage to two of rock’s greatest singer-songwriters: The Bob Band (Bob Dylan) and Danger Bird (Neil Young). 7 p.m. $14. the8x10.com.
Take the family to a play
Maybe you and the gang would enjoy a little live theater to usher in the holidays? If something for the entire family is your goal, there’s always “Disney’s Aladdin,” wrapping its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., this weekend. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. $52-$161. france-merrickpac.com.
Perhaps of less interest to the kids: at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., the 18th-century comedy “She Stoops to Conquer" has performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $20. fpct.org.
And at Arena Players, 801 McCulloh St., “Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown,” which re-imagines Scrooge as a Harlem slumlord, opens with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday. $25-$30. arenaplayersinc.com.
Watch hoop dreams play out
If spectator sports are your thing, how about a look at where basketball is headed? Pitting some of the best Catholic high school hoops programs in Washington and Baltimore against one another, Saturday’s Charm City Challenge tips off at noon with Archbishop Spalding taking on Archbishop Carroll, followed by Calvert Hall and St. John’s at 1:45 p.m., John Carroll and Good Counsel at 3:30 p.m., Loyola Blakefield and Gonzaga at 5:15 p.m. and Mount Saint Joseph and DeMatha (in a rare Baltimore-area appearance) at 7 p.m. Reitz Arena at Loyola University Maryland, 4501 N. Charles St. $13-$15, with proceeds benefiting Charm City Charities. Tickets available through ticketmaster.com.
Take a moment for yourself
Maybe you’re an iconoclast, maybe you need to be alone with your thoughts, or maybe you’ve just had enough of your family and need some space. Three things you might want to try:
1) Take a walk. Maybe find a park or a nice recreation area somewhere; the 16,043 acres of Patapsco Valley State Park, 8020 Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City, straddles Baltimore, Howard, Carroll and Anne Arundel counties and has over 200 miles of trails. dnr.maryland.gov.
2) Catch a movie, solo. True, you won’t exactly be alone, but if you go by yourself and avoid the big new releases (like “Frozen 2” or “Knives Out”), you get to sit alone, in a comfortable chair in a darkened theater, just you and your thoughts. Maybe try the revival series at The Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., which is showing Ingmar Bergman’s “Dreams” at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. thecharles.com. Or check out the latest from director Noah Baumbach, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in “Marriage Story,” opening Friday at the SNF Parkway, 5 W. North Ave. mdfilmfest.com.
3) Float your pressures away. If you really want to be alone, try a float room. Truth Mind and Body, 10 Fila Way in Sparks, offers 60- and 90-minute floats in salt-laden waters, all by your lonesome, for $80-$100. (Tandem floats are available, too, in case you don’t want to be totally by yourself.) truthmindbody.com.