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Holiday Guide Calendar


Highlandtown Holiday Train Garden At Engine Company 41 Dec. 5-27.

Holiday Guide 2009

Stuffed The 2009 City Paper Holiday Guide

The Gifts That Count The presents that have stayed in our writers' thoughts | By Raymond Cummings, Lauren Bender, Charles Cohen, Alex Epstein, and John Barry

The Wish List Gifts we wish we could afford

Posted 11/18/2009

Pumpkin Spice Candles, 1-3 p.m. Nov. 21, Irvine Nature Center, 11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, (443) 738-9220,, $10, members $8. Learn how to make your own candle and make it smell like your winter mornin' latte.

The Great Westminster Train Show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22, Agriculture Center, 700 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster, (410) 848-4929, It's almost as fun to watch the trains as it is to ride the trains. Visit, examine, and privately critique displays, interact with fellow train enthusiasts, and enhance your collection.

Vegan Thanksgiving, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 24, Emily's Café & Desserts, 4901 Springarden Drive, (301) 891-2458, $25. Revel in Thanksgiving favorites, vegan-style, at this cute café in Cold Spring, and maybe chat up that cute single about Natalie Portman's appearance on Top Chef. Proceeds go to Compassion Over Killing and Humane League of Baltimore.

Holiday Festival of Trains, Nov. 27-Jan. 10, B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St., (410) 752-2490,, $14, seniors $12, children 2-12 $8, members free, train rides a little extra; Nov. 27-Jan. 31, B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station, 2711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City (410) 461-1945,, $5, seniors $4, children $3, members free. Baltimore: Craft tables in the Roundhouse, weekend rides with Santa and Frosty the Snowman, and live entertainment make the Railroad Museum in the Inner Harbor a great place to take family. Ellicott City: The oldest railroad in America shows off its holiday tracks, a new exhibit about the rail's first 13 miles of commercial track, and celebrates Christmas with two Santa appearances. Kris shows up in his Victorian garb opening weekend, then accepts visits in the station's Red Caboose until Christmas.

Make your own Blown Glass Holiday Ornament, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 28-Dec. 12, Corradetti Glassblowing Studio, 2010 Clipper Park Road,, $42. Learn to blow glass and make an ornament with the assistance/instruction of a master glass artist.

Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Parade, 5 p.m. Nov. 28, Locust Lane and Main Street, Westminster, (410) 848-9161,, free. Westminster flips the switch on its town tree to a live soundtrack from Westminster Municipal Band. Santa will oversee the activities, and the mayor will present awards for the town's front décor contest, just like a scene from a family-friendly Turner Classics movie.

The Christmas Story: Picturing the Birth of Christ in Medieval Manuscripts, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 3-Feb. 28, the Walters, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000,, free. Examine the Walters' private collection of 16th- and 17th-century rare manuscripts, which chronicle the life of Christ, beginning with the Nativity scene.

Madrigal Dinners, 6:30 p.m. Fridays, 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 4-13, 18751 Hogaboom Lane, St. Mary's City, (240) 895-4991, $85, members $75. Revel in a Colonial-style Christmas feast in the State House.

Holiday Portraits, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5, the Living Well, 2122 St. Paul St., (410) 261-3200,, $25 for up to four people. Living Well and Soulstice City photography want to help you make memories this year by offering visual ones on the cheap. Call or e-mail to schedule a sitting, and start planning your matching ensembles.

Highlandtown Holiday Train Garden, 5-8 p.m. Thursdays, noon-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 5-27, Engine Company 41, 520 S. Conkling St.,, free. An old-school 16-by-8-foot, two-tier choo-choo layout to spur memories from the elders in your family and delight the young ones. In railway solidarity, a free showing of the film Polar Express will take place at the Southeast Anchor Library noon on Dec. 12.

Fiore Winery Christmas Dinner, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Fiore Winery, 3026 Whiteford Road, Pylesville, (410) 879-4007,, $65, reservations required. A six-course menu paired with delicious local wines in a quaint country setting.

Natural, Wholesome Gifts, 1-2:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Irvine Nature Center, 11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, (443) 738-9220,, $10, members $6. Learn to make ornaments and gifts from recycled and natural organic materials--because that pine cone slathered with glitter ain't gonna cut it, Martha.

Coping with the Holidays, 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 10, Gilchrist Hospice Care, 11311 McCormick Road, suite 350, (443) 849-8251, free. The holidays can be difficult. Whether its grief, depression, or stress, this free workshop wants to help. Reservations required.

Sock Monkey Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 12, American Visionary Arts Museum, 800 Key Hwy., (410) 244-1900,, free. Our favorite gift-making tradition returns! Bring your own pair of socks for this afternoon devoted to the classic stocking stuffer.

Silhouettes for the Holidays, noon-4 p.m. Dec. 12, Homewood Museum, 3400 N. Charles St., (410) 516-5589,, $40. You know those darling silhouettes from the 18th and 19th centuries? Get two copies of yer head (or someone else's) and class up the joint (or someone else's) with the assist of magic at the hands of Anne Leslie.

Holiday Card Making Workshop, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 12, Evergreen Museum and Library, 4545 N. Charles St., (410) 516-0341,, $5, members free. Remember making cards in elementary school and feeling like the most brilliant, crafty kid there ever was? Now you can wow the socks off your family and peers, again, with crafty sophistication. Macaroni?

"The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: Origins, History, and Community," 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000,, free, pre-registration recommended. Author, historian, and founder of the Museum Company William P. Edwards discusses this super-old tradition and how to bring it home, followed by a book signing if you really do want to bring it home. You know, the book he wrote.

Unsilent Night, 7 p.m. Dec. 12, Penn Station, 1515 N. Charles St.,, free. A parade of spirited participants blast bits of Phil Kline's "sound sculpture" through the streets of Station North and Mount Vernon, spreading holiday cheer through sheer enthusiasm and the everlasting power of 9-Volt batteries. It would make Jam-Master Jay proud.

Related stories

Holiday Guide Calendar archives

More Stories

The Holiday Guide (11/18/2009)
Our guide to getting through--and enjoying--the holiday season

Shopping (11/18/2009)

Kid Stuff (11/18/2009)

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