New Bay Times * Holiday 1998
Plans for Merriment | Maybe
Next Year | Illuminations
| Santa Sightings
|Entertainments | Displays & Sales | Day-by-Day |
Jump to a special list of kids' activites.
Boogie Down in Old Town
Looking for a New Year's Eve party to entertain the entire family? Or do you simply want to forgo the cliché of dozing off on the sofa sometime around midnight despite your best efforts to stay up long enough to see a lighted ball drowsily drop hundreds of miles away in Times Square?
If so, downtown Annapolis is your scene.
First Night Annapolis breathes vibrant life into the city's scenic streets and waterfront, letting loose a plenitude of music and merriment. With live bands, kids' fun, creatively interactive entertainment, colorful scenery, fantastic fireworks and an alcohol-free environment, you can get down with your jiggy jive groove thing and stay sober enough to remember all the fun you had come New Year's Day. And it's fitting for families, too.
Here now is a short list of some of the fun that's there to find (for more information on times and locations, call First Night Annapolis' office at 410/280-0700 or find them on the web at www.fstngt.org):
Plan ahead and come early. Venues fill quite quickly, so it's best to have an idea of where you're going and what you're doing. Many spots are thinly spread, so allow plenty of travel time.
Kids' performances start 3pm; evening entertainment runs 6pm-midnight. Park at the Naval Academy Stadium on Rowe Boulevard ($3 with free shuttle).
Buy admission buttons ($14, kids under 4 free) at Giant supermarkets, area Starbucks stores, Bay Trading Company at Annapolis Mall, Record and Tape Traders, Zany Brainy at Annapolis Harbour Center, Annapolis Marriott, Chesapeake Heat at the Market House or Kaufman's. Hang on to your button afterwards as the key to downtown discounts throughout the month of January. Also order via post mail, e-mail or website: 410/280-0700· firstname.lastname@example.org www.fstngt.org.
Make Plans for Merriment
Black Nativity Dec. 15-Jan. 3-Rejoice in Langston Hughes' Black Nativity, a joyous retelling of the Christmas story in the form of a brilliant musical spectacle. An eye-popping wonder, the performance teems w/glittering costumes, glorious dance and a 2nd act that raises the roof w/soul-stirring gospel celebration. The show's a perennial favorite, too; get your ticket now while the picking's good. 7:30pm @ Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC. $29.50 FSaSu, $26 M-Th, $32 New Year's Eve; rsvp: 800/444-1324.
Maybe Next Year
Messiah Maxes Out Dec. 12-13-Tickets for Handel's Messiah - performed by the USNA Glee Club, Hood College Choir and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra - have already sold out. If you have one you're quite lucky; if not, make plans to purchase one within the 1st week of November, 1999 when they are sure to sell out once again: 410/268-6060.
Zoo Lights Nov. 27-Jan. 3-Baltimore Zoo gets wildly festive this season, setting itself aglow in 500,000+ lights and brimming w/delights such as Santa Claus, his 9 real reindeer (thru Dec. 24) and the Zoo's playful polar bear, Magnet. Enjoy live enter- tainment, meet a menagerie of animals, peek at the Elves' Holiday Hideout and pop into KidZone, Santa's Workshop, Mrs. Claus' Toyland and Polar Express Depot. Warming stations thruout. Theme nights include Santa Celebration Nov. 27-29 and Antler Night Dec. 12. Benefits the Zoo's conservation programs. 5:30-9:30pm Th-Su thru Dec. 13; nightly Dec. 17-Jan. 3; closed Christmas @ Baltimore Zoo. $4.50 w/discounts: 410/396-7102.
Watkins' Winter Festival of Lights Nov. 27-Jan. 3-Wander Watkins by car and peek at a lighted showcase of Peace Through Diversity. The theme shines brightly via 450,000+ colored lights decorating trees, shrubs, buildings and roads. This twinkling array expands over years past to new magnitude as it highlights the symbols of PG County's various ethnic, cultural and religious groups. 5-9:30pm @ Upper Marlboro. Admission: donation of canned foods: 301/699-2545.
Christmas on Congress' Doorstep Dec. 8-Jan. 1-The People's Christmas Tree reflects the season spirit and itself, casting a thousand points of light on Congress from its prominent perch between the US Capitol and the Capitol Reflecting Pool. See and hear the fanfare of the free public lighting ceremony as the Congressional Chorus and a military band let flow the carols (starts 5pm; lit by 5:30pm). See tree anytime on Capitol Hill: 202/224-3069.
National Christmas Tree Shines Bright Dec. 9-Jan. 1-The 85th annual National Christmas Tree casts a glorious glow over the Ellipse once again, becoming the centerpiece of holiday season festivities in DC. Fifty smaller trees, representing each of the states, line the winding path you follow to get up close to the gilded gargantuan. Carolers make the music every night; Pres. Clinton ceremoniously illuminates it in a free public lighting Dec. 9 (5pm). See it anytime on the Ellipse, btwn. Washington Monument and the White House: 202/208-1631.
Illuminating Art Dec. 11-Jan. 11-Cruise thru a sculpture-studded landscape and delight in the added splash of colorful lights that grace the many sculpted forms. The intermingling of festive lights and the serene setting spawns a seasonal display w/a unique artistic flare. 6-9pm nightly @ Annmarie Garden, Dowell Rd., Solomons. Admission: non-perishable food for Calvert's Food Pantry: 410/326-4640.
Lights on the Bay Thru Jan. 3-Meander thru a menagerie of pious and whimsical light sculptures along 2.5 miles of Bayfront by the Bay Bridge. Headlining the collection of 50 forms are a circus display and wild animal kingdom; other creations include an acrobatic gingerbread man, a colonial village and Santa. To top it off, enjoy a seasonal serenade on your car radio, courtesy of local performers. $12/car to benefit the new pediatric unit at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Step out of the car for concerts at the marina Dec. 1, 8 & 15. Benefits Anne Arundel Medical Center. 5-10pm nightly @ Sandy Point State Park, by the Bay Bridge: 410/295-3161.
Symphony of Lights Jan. 3-Roam Symphony Woods and admire the dazzling array of 60+ illumination creations, including 5 themed areas of gigantic light sculpture and playful denizens. Elves, teddy bears, toy soldiers and much more stand against a wooded backdrop, illuminating a 1.4-mile path w/250,000 lights. To make your tour a bit more interactive, tune in your car radio for a special broadcast and enjoy a seasonal soundtrack. Benefits Howard County General Hospital. 6-10pm Su-Th, 6-11pm FSa thru Dec. 10; 6-11pm nightly Dec. 11-Jan. 3 @ Symphony Woods, Columbia. $12: 410/740-7666.
Fantasy of Lights Thru Jan. 3-Coast in your car thru historic Fort Howard Park along 1.5 miles of well-lit winter wonderland. The twinkling of 40,000+ lights illuminates 120 animated and still holiday images and fanciful figures. Many nights, you can hop out into a heated tent for Christmas concerts. 5:30-9 Su-Th; 5:30-10pm FSa @ Fort Howard Park, off I-695, Edgemere in Baltimore County. $10: 410/887-3780.
Ocean City's Winterfest of Lights Thru Jan. 3-Stroll beach and boardwalk as Maryland's Atlantic coast brightens up a bit for Christmas. The sandy shores and city streets of Ocean City cast a glow on the surf and sound as the town drapes lights from the nautical-themed inlet to the Christmas fantasy lightscape of Northside Park. Up at the park, you can tour the twinkling fantasy land as a passenger aboard the Winterfest Express (5:30-10pm Su-Th, 5:30-10:30pm FSa; $2). Evenings @ Northside Park and all over the rest of town, Ocean City: 410/289-2800.
Marley's Merry Elf Till Christmas Eve-Meet Santa at Marley Station's center court. Kids can enjoy breakfast and a movie w/the big guy, meeting and eating at one of the mall's many eateries before seeing suitable cinema on Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 & 19 (9am; $3; rsvp). 10-10 M-F; 9am-10pm Sa; 11-7 Su @ Marley Station Mall: 410/760-8900.
Magic Meetings at Annapolis Mall Till Christmas Eve-Bring the kids for sittings w/Santa Claus as they submit their wish lists atop his lap. Also take home pictures. 10am-closing @ Annapolis Mall: 410/266-5432.
Santa's Place & Petting Zoo Till Christmas Eve-Venture to the promenade of the Inner Harbor for a visit w/Santa in the magical setting of Santa's Place - an exquisite crystal-clear winter palace in miniature. Kids get to deliver their wish lists and get photos taken w/the big guy. Also, stop by the Petting Zoo at the same spot to meet llamas, alpacas and small farm animals (noon-4 daily). 10-8 M-Th; 10-9 FSa; noon-6 Su @ Harborplace Amphitheatre, Inner Harbor, Baltimore: 800/harbor-1.
A calendar of plays, concerts, ballets and festivals with three or more engagements; find other events of one and two days in Day-by-Day.
Nutcracker in 3D Nov. 27 thru December-Should you venture south in your holiday travels, stop by the Virginia Marine Science Museum for the IMAX Nutcracker in 3D. The classic tale takes new form as 3D effects combine w/a gargantuan screen to absorb you into an elaborate fantasy. Call for times & cost @ the museum, Virginia Beach: 757/437-4949.
Chesapeake Music Hall's Christmas Carol Nov. 28-Dec. 27-Venture into Scrooge's torments as ghostly guides teach him a lesson in decency. Enjoy the metamorphosis from a dinner table. Doors open 2 hrs. before showtime; buffet opens 1.5 hrs. before. 8:30pm F; 8pm Sa; 2:30pm Su @ Chesapeake Music Hall, 339 Busch's Frontage Rd., Annapolis. $29.95 FSa; $26.95 Su: 800/406-0306.
Skate the Inner Harbor Thru Fall & Winter-Slip on skates and practice figure eights on the Inner Harbor Ice Rink. Noon-2, 4-6 & 7-9 M-F + 9-11 F;10-6 & 7-10 Sa; noon-5 & 7-9 Su @ the rink, Rash Field, Baltimore. $5 w/discounts; skate rental $3: 410/385-0675 www.bop.org
Quiet Waters Freeze Over Thru Winter-Skate gracefully over Quiet Waters as the park opens its ice rink for the season. Open for all the holidays except Christmas. 3-9 MWThF; 2-hour sessions start at 10:15, 12:30, 2:45, 5, 7:15 SaSu @ Quiet Waters Park Ice Rink, Annapolis. $5 w/discounts; skate rental $3: 410/280-1ice.
Displays & Sales
A listing of long-term events; shorter runs of the like can be found in Day-by-Day.
Save a Starving Artist Nov. 25-Jan. 1-Make it a merry Christmas for area artisans this year by spending some of your holiday budget on their creations. The Maryland Federation of Art's Holiday Exhibition and Sale offers up an array of fine arts and crafts including ceramic bowls, platters, candle holders, Christmas ornaments, stocking stuffers, wood & clay sculptures, jewelry, hand-painted silk scarves, watercolor & acrylic paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, etchings and much more. 11-5 Tu-Su; 11-midnight Dec. 3 & 10 @ MFA Gallery on the Circle, 18 State Circle, Annapolis: 410/268-4566.
Treasures of Christmas Past Dec. 1-Jan. 3-Make a foray to St. Clement's Island for Potomac River Museum's 13th annual Christmas Doll and Train Exhibit. The festive display reflects on Old World and old New World holiday traditions w/fresh greenery and rooms filled w/antique and reproduction trains, toys, dolls, teddy bears and hand-made quilts. Come for the Christmas Open House (Dec. 12 & 13; free admission) for the added treat of cookies, punch, hot cider and eggnog. Noon-4 W-Su @ the museum, 38370 Point Breeze Rd., Colton's Pt. $1: 301/769-2222.
Norwegian Yule at Union Station Dec. 1-Jan. 3-A 35-foot Norwegian spruce once again stands tall in Union Station as centerpiece to the station's Norwegian Christmas. Delight in the world's biggest portable Scale G model train display as the little engines recreate a rail trip thru Norway. Norwegian artist Jarle Rosseland exhibits her linocut pictures, a Viking ship sits outside the station and the northern nation's culture is exhibited in many displays. Highlights: Sons of Norway's Holiday Bazaar (10-3:30 Dec. 5); Washington Symphony Orchestra concert of Schubert, Poulenc and Norwegian carols (7pm Dec. 10); A holiday bazaar w/Norwegian foods & crafts (10-3:30 Dec. 12-13); Viking sword fighting, handicraft demos, history displays & music (10-3:30 Dec. 19-20). Business hours @ Union Station, 40 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, DC. Free: 202/289-1908.
Quaint, Cozy History Dec. 2-29-Hand-made quilts fill the Red Green & Blue exhibit, highlighting Maryland's rich history of quilting. A total 44 quilts show how the intricate art preserves heritage for future generations. 9-5 daily; closed Christmas @ Maryland State House, Annapolis. Free: 410/974-3400.
Tree of Lights Thru Dec. 31-View the Hospice of the Chesapeake's Tree of Lights as it stands out for the public to see, serving to commemorate the memories of lost loved ones on the nearby Tree of Lights Memorial Wall. The lighting ceremony happens Dec. 6 (5pm); for $10 you can place a name on the wall and receive a dove bearing their name. Benefits Chesapeake Hospice. Free to see @ west lobby, North Arundel Hospital: 410/974-6506.
Drum's Decked Thru December-Tour the relocated Drum Point Lighthouse (c. 1883) where it now stands in Solomons and get a glimpse of what Christmas was like for the lightkeep, wife and brood. The turn-of-the-century, octagonal screwpile cottage lighthouse is finely trimmed for the holidays and stays open daily for guided tours included in the price of regular admission. 10-5 @ Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons. $5 w/discounts: 410/326-2042.
Remembrance Tree Thru December-Add the name of one you've loved and lost to the Remembrance Tree shining throughout the holiday season. Donations benefit Anne Arundel Medical Center's Remembrance Fund. See it anytime @ lobby, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis. $5+ donation requested: 410/267-1249.
Little Iron Horses Thru 1999-Train lovers young and old delight in an array of classic miniature trains in the Miniature Marvels exhibit. Featured are builders, patent and prototype models, toy trains and live steam & scale model sets. See some of the rarest and best examples from the early 1800s to present. 10-5 @ B&O Railroad Museum, 901 West Pratt St., Baltimore. $6.50 w/discounts: 410/752-2388.
Light the Candle of Faith Whatever your faith, you're invited to pay homage to the true meaning of the season. The annual candle-lighting service is enhanced w/dancing by Elizabeth Brown and special music by Susan England, Dennis Kolb, Charlie Rewa, Bernadette Lea Sweeney & Charles Carlton. 7:30pm @ Unity by the Bay, 836 Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park: 410/544-7990.
Congregate for Christmas Celebrate w/Unity by the Bay as one big family and listen to a Christmas message from Rev. Judith Anne Ballard. This special service is enlivened by music from Stefan Scaggiari, Sherry Kuznicki and Unity's own little drummer boy, Kevin Whisman. The Unity Children's Dance Troupe also performs. 11am @ Unity by the Bay, 836 Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park: 410/544-7990.
Sun. Dec. 27
Burning Bowl Sunday Join in Unity's Burning Bowl service, a New Year's tradition used as a time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the new one. Dan & Erin Johnson perform the music. 9:30 & 11am @ Unity by the Bay, 836 Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park: 410/544-7990.
Tues. Dec. 29
Mother-Daughter Holiday Tea Belair Mansion (c. 1745) invites you to tea. The Friends of Belair Estate welcome you in for another holiday spot of tea, treats and tours of the ornate estate. 4pm @ Belair Mansion, 12207 Tulip Grove Dr., Bowie. $15; rsvp: 301/809-3089.
New Year's Eve
Peace on Earth Join the 13th Annual World Peace Day Meditation and join people around the world in simultaneous meditation w/the focus to bring about world peace. Bring a dish for pot luck breakfast after. Annapolis' meditation sponsored by The Annapolis Holistic Health Community. Meditation begins 7am (noon Greenwich Mean Time); arrive by 6:45am @ Country Sunshine Market, 115 Annapolis St., Annapolis. Rsvp: 410/757-5885.
Boogie Down on First Night Whole families get jiggy and groove in the streets of Annapolis as the city launches itself into the new year. First Night Annapolis fills the waterfront and beyond w/a dizzying array of eclectic entertainment indoors and out. Annapolis is but a stage to party on as hundreds of musicians entertain, including Lazer Vaudeville w/an intermingling of acrobatics, acting and comedy against a backdrop of blacklights and lasers; jazz vocalist Jeanie Bryson (Dizzie Gillespie's daughter); African griot-musician Djimo Kouyate; and legendary folk singer Tom Paxton. Local talents include the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble - which celebrates its 25th anniversary here; Maggie Sansone on dulcimer; Footworks dance company; jazz virtuoso Rob Levit; and the Maryland Sings ensemble. City Dock rocks w/the African & Caribbean rhythms of Mama Jama. Help paint a wall-size portrait of van Gogh's Starry Night, take a turn in the whimsical Wish Chairs to launch your New Year's hopes and do like a DJ at the WHFS Local Music Showcase. The festivities are alcohol-free. Parking at Naval Academy Stadium on Rowe Blvd. ($3; free shuttle). Admission buttons for sale starting Nov. 29. 3pm-1999 @ downtown Annapolis. $10; $14 after Dec. 19: 410/280-0700 www.fstngt.org.
Baltimore's Big-City Bash Make like the artist formerly known as Prince and party like it's 1999. Families get into the groove at Baltimore Convention Center's Dancin' Downtown w/the tropical rhythms of Grupo Latino, R&B by State-of-Affairz and country tunes by Stampede. Bust a move at the dance club w/a non-stop DJ kids' zone, karaoke, Percussion Discussion, astrologers and tarot card readers. The center's skywalks make a good vantage point for the city's fireworks (skywalks open 11:30pm). Elsewhere, The Turnstyles entertain at Harborplace Amphitheatre (9-midnight) and ice skaters enjoy added pluses of refreshments, party hats and perfect placement to peer at the pyrotechnics on the Inner Harbor Ice Rink at Rash Field (10pm-1am; $12 w/discounts). Dancin' Downtown 8:30pm-1999; fireworks midnight @ Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W Pratt St. $10 w/discounts: 800/282-6632 www.bop.org.
Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Wander Happily into 1999 Get started on that New Year's resolution to get more exercise as the Freestate Happy Wanderers welcome you to noncompetitive 10k or 6k walks. The club is part of the international Volksmarch Club. Start btwn. 8am & 1pm; finish by 4pm @ Owen Brown Community Center, Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free: 410/437-2164 www.ava.org.
Sun. Jan. 3
Christmas Bird Count Help compile a Christmas list of birds to rival Santa's list of kids. Anne Arundel Bird Club needs volunteers to help tally totals from Gibson Island to the Annapolis Area to add to others from around the nation, providing a valuable database of statistics for conservationists. Tally fee benefits the Audubon Society. Time & place to bird at by rsvp. Tally totals after dusk @ DNR Conference Room, Tawes Bldg., Annapolis. $5; rsvp: 410/647-7439.
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