Howard County Times
Howard Magazine

15 things to do in Howard County in December

Looking for ways to get out of the house as the weather takes a turn? Try one of these Howard County events.


New Media: Poetry in Motion

Through Dec. 13 This showcase features video works by Vin Grabill, Brandon Morse and Joon Sung as they experiment with time-based media to create works of art that double as visual poems. Times vary. Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-2787 or


Ice and Fire: A Winter Wonderland

Through Dec. 22 Enjoy fire arts and fire pits, lighted holiday displays, ice sculptors, performances and more. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, 10431 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Free-$10. 443-832-3223 or

Symphony of Lights

Through Jan. 1 This holiday tradition features a display of more than 100 larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations, made up of approximately 300,000 bulbs. 6-10 p.m. weekdays and 5-10 p.m. weekends. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $20.

Community Candle Lighting

Dec. 22 Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah at a community candle lighting sponsored by the Board of Rabbis, County Executive and Jewish Federation of Howard County. 5:30-6:30 p.m. George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City. Free. 410-730-4976 or

A Christmas Story: The Musical

Through Jan. 5 Enjoy a theater production of the classic holiday tale, “A Christmas Story.” Follow the bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he pursues the ultimate holiday present. Times vary. Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia. $49.50-$68. 410-730-8311 or


Art for the Holidays

Through Jan. 12 An annual show of three-dimensional works — including ceramic pieces, jewelry and wooden bowls — to inspire giving throughout the holiday season. Times vary. Artists’ Gallery, 8197 Main St., Ellicott City. Free. 443-325-936 or

Midnight Madness

Dec. 6 Stroll through town and shop for the perfect holiday gift from more than 50 shops, galleries and artist studios. 4 p.m.-midnight. Main Street, Ellicott City. Free. 443-240-2060 or

Jingle Bell Run

Dec. 8 Join a festive race to raise support for the Arthritis Foundation. Bring family, friends or a co-worker, and run or walk in your favorite holiday costume. 7:30-11:30 a.m. Centennial Park, 10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City. $35. 443-948-6657 or


A Nutcracker Tea

Dec. 8 Enjoy performances by the Ballet Conservatoire XIV and readings from “The Nutcracker,” while sipping on holiday tea and snacking on treats. 3-5 p.m. Old Mill Cafe, 4 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. $30. 410-465-2253 or

Sundays at Three

Dec. 8 Violinists Regino Madrid, Jennifer Rickard and Jennifer Ries; cellist Alison Bazala Kim; and pianist Glenn Sales perform the works of Bartók, Brahms, Mozart and Schubert. 3 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia. Free-$20.

Wilde Reading Series

Dec. 10 The monthly literary and open mic series features the work of authors Jona Colson and Danuta E. Ksok-Kosicka. 7-8:30 p.m. Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia. Free. 410-730-0075 or

Calmus Vocal Ensemble

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Howard County Times: Top stories


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Dec. 14 Candlelight Concert Society offers this performance of holiday music from around the world featuring the works of Bach and Thomas Tallis. 7:30-10 p.m. Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $40. 410-997-2324 or


Nutcracker on Ice

Dec. 14-15 Enjoy a retelling of an age-old holiday classic performed by the Columbia Figure Skating Club. Times vary. The Columbia Ice Rink, 5876 Thunder Hill Road, Columbia. $14.50-$39.50.

A Christmas Noel

Dec. 15 The Columbia Pro Cantare chorus performs seasonal a cappella music from four centuries. 7 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia. $10-$17. 410-696-2888 or

New Year’s Eve Celebration

Dec. 31 Ring in the new year at the annual Turf Valley Resort celebration featuring a dessert buffet, food stations, hors d’oeuvres, noisemakers, a photo booth and a champagne toast and midnight. 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Turf Valley Resort, 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City. $132.50-$430. 410-465-1500 or