A good Christmas movie is truly my weakness. Every year I binge loads of cheesy Hallmark movies, watch the newest Netflix Christmas specials and series (shoutout to Dash and Lily, which I think is easily the best one of this year), and revisit classic holiday movies like A Charlie Brown Christmas. These movies are somewhat formulaic but super fun and lighthearted, and who out there doesn’t get stars in their eyes at the thought of falling in love during a sleigh ride through a small idyllic town while discovering the true meaning of Christmas.
So, I decided to plan out my dreams and design a holiday itinerary fit for a Christmas movie protagonist!
Note: All of these activities can be done pretty much anywhere but this list is fairly Maryland-centric so if you are in the Loyola area, be sure to check these holiday outings out!
Day One: Head to a Christmas Theme Park and end the day with S’mores by the fire
Unpopular opinion: I like theme parks more at Christmas than I do in the summer!
The rides are strung with garland and the lights are all aglow. My personal favorite within a reasonable distance of Baltimore is Christmas Candylane at Hershey Park. You can even visit with Santa’s reindeer (ZooAmerica located at the park takes the best care of our antlered friends, including Rudolph!). And after you have gotten your rollercoaster fix on the Wild Mouse and Skyrush, head to the Sky View Gondola ride for a prime spot to see the NOEL lights display featuring 250,000 dancing lights to your favorite holiday tunes. End the day with hot cocoa, you are surrounded by Hershey chocolate after all. Relax by the fire with a s’more filled with melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Other theme parks in our region that are all decked out for Christmas, include Busch Gardens and Six Flags. Go with friends or that special someone to get a cinematic Christmas experience.
Okay, this one is essential! There’s nothing like swinging your boots from the side of a hayride as you make your journey out to a field of evergreens. Most tree farms provide saws and will also assist in securing the tree to the roof of your car. My family gets a real tree every year and the scent of a freshly cut tree signals Christmastime for me. Christmas Tree farms are popular in our region. Special shoutout to Mayne’s Tree Farm in Buckystown, Maryland, and its rhyming counterpart Payne’s Tree Farm in Elkridge, Maryland. Once you find and cut down your perfect tree, pop on some Christmas carols and deck the halls! After you deck the halls, it’s time to deck the malls! In the time of Covid-19, it can be tempting to order all your gifts from Amazon but supporting small businesses is vitally important, and it also makes gift-giving more unique! Check out the little boutiques in Hampden, Downtown Frederick, Historic Ellicott City, or another downtown area. Or buy online from Etsy shops to support small businesses.
Day Three: Enjoy a meal at an igloo restaurant and take in Christmas lights
We are ending the weekend with a bang! Enjoy lunch or dinner inside an igloo. More and more of these are popping up recently and they are just the cutest thing. Imagine little glass domes made super cute and cozy with string lights and fuzzy blankets, could anything be any more magical than to enjoy your food in a Christmassy environment? I would recommend Ted’s Bulletin in D.C for some homemade pop tarts enjoyed in an igloo. Or visit the Watergate hotel restaurant for a more luxurious experience. Then you can take a stroll through Christmas lights. Take in the glittering lights and Christmas joy with light displays like the ones at the D.C Botanical Gardens, National Harbor, Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street display, or the Zoo Lights at the Maryland Zoo. There are so many different light displays, you could even light hop or drive around neighborhoods and look at all the residential light displays! Just make sure to sing Christmas songs and take loads of pictures!
I hope this list of Christmas actives gave you some ideas on how to live your best Hallmark/Netflix/any other Christmas movie life! Make sure to check out the links throughout the article for more information. Merry Christmas, Greyhounds!