Winter is headed our way, bringing frosty nights and noses, but we like to think of this season as an opportunity to share warm times with family and friends. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or none of the above, we’ve collected a handful of our favorite seasonal Columbia, MD events here to get you in the holiday spirit.
Columbia, MD Holiday Events for 2018
Pet Photos with Santa
When: Mondays from 5 PM - 8 PM, through Dec. 17
Cost: $39.99 - $49.99
If you’re too old to sit in Santa’s lap, your beloved pet can take your place instead. You’ll get glossy prints and digital copies to take home, and your friends and family will share in the puzzling (but undeniable) joy of receiving seasonal cards featuring your confused-looking pet.
We strongly recommend you make a reservation as this fun-filled event often sells out in advance.
Symphony of Lights
When: Wed. - Sun. Nov. 22 - Dec. 30, plus Mon. - Tues. Dec. 24 - 25
Cost: $25 per vehicle
Where: Merriwether Park at Symphony Woods
Imagine animated and stationary displays decorated with some 300,000 LEDs glittering over the course of a scenic one-mile route through the heart of downtown Columbia. Sounds a bit trippy, dare we say! But take it from us: This event is straight-up holiday cheer, including a seasonal broadcast on the HCGH Symphony of Lights FM radio station. This is another popular event, so you may want to save a spot by purchasing tickets online.
Annual Bollman Bridge Lighting
When: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 6 PM
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the Bollman Bridge—a historic example of 19th-century civil engineering—but you do have to love old-fashioned holiday cheer to really appreciate this cherished local tradition. And Santa himself will be appearing in the nearby New Weave Building from 5 - 8 PM that date. Visit the Savage Mill website for full details.
When: December 2, 12 - 3 PM
Cost: $15 per child (over 1 year old); $7 per adult
Where: Robinson Nature Center
Children (and their adults) can delight in an afternoon billed as "Reindeer Games.” It’s a family-friendly, self-guided adventure featuring Santa’s four-legged assistants. You’ll create holiday crafts, enjoy festive snacks, and be treated to an optional guided winter walk in the woods. Unbelievably, Santa will be at THIS event as well! No online registration, but call (410) 313-0400 to reserve your spot today.
Christmas in the Park
When: Saturday, December 8th, 4 - 5:30 PM
You won’t want to miss Howard County’s official tree lighting ceremony, especially since there will be caroling and light refreshments. You can enjoy the frosty beauty of the park and the warmth of companionship (and cocoa). Is it possible that Santa will be here TOO? It is.
Belmont Manor Open House
When: Sunday, December 16th, 3 - 6 PM
Again, you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate this historic and pristine manor house, but it certainly doesn’t hurt! Drink in the past as you enjoy a self-guided tour around the mansion, constructed in 1738. Local historian Fred Dorsey will be providing scheduled tours throughout the day.
We hope you have a great holiday season and are able to enjoy some of the area’s fun local events. We know it can be a stressful season for some, so be sure you aren’t also worried about your medication. Visit our menu to see our available strains and to stock up.