Festival Of Trees 2022: A Magical Holiday Experience

Festival Of Trees 2022: A Magical Holiday Experience

Festival of Trees 2022: A Magical Holiday Experience

Are you looking for things to do in Baltimore over Thanksgiving Weekend?  Festival of Trees 2022, is a magical holiday experience for everyone!  From the moment you walk through the entrance, your holiday senses spark.  The twinkle lights and festive decorations greet you with cheer.  It is time to indulge your holiday spirit.

As professionals in the fair and festival industry, we have had the honor of participating in this event for twelve years.  Let us give you our unique perspective of what to expect when you attend the Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees.

Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees 2022: 

When: November 25-27, 2022

Where: The Cow Palace, Maryland State Fairgrounds

              2200 York Rd, Timonium, MD

Festival of Trees: The Experience

With over 158,000 square feet of everything Christmas, The Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds is transformed into a magical holiday experience.  Festival of Trees brings together an array of music, family entertainment, holiday shopping, and festival treats under one huge roof.  

As you wander through the beautifully decorated Christmas trees or beeline to Santa Land to meet the Big Guy himself, you will be mesmerized by the Holiday Spirit!  This is the one-holiday event in the Baltimore area not to be missed.  

There is something truly special about the Festival of Trees.  It combines the holiday spirit, community involvement, and family fun into an incredible and necessary fundraiser for The Kennedy Krieger Institute.  With the financial help of this event provides, Kennedy Krieger is able to continue its life-changing research and treatment for those affected by spinal and brain trauma.

Christmas Trees: 

Of course!   Hundreds of beautifully decorated trees and amazing wreaths are everywhere.  From professionally decorated 7ft trees to table toppers trimmed by local civic organizations, there is something to catch your eye.  With imagination and a flair for accents, the evergreens are transformed into amazing and beautiful works of art. 

As a major fundraiser for The Kennedy Krieger Hospital, these exquisite trees are available for purchase.  If you see something you like, don’t wait!  Buy it!  These trees will go fast!  They will even help you package it and arrange for pick up.

Hon Tree Festival of Trees.

Entertainment: 

Baltimore’s very own musical talent, (Grammy Nominated) Milkshake, starts the festivities with a Live Concert!   Kids and adults love the contemporary rock renditions of traditional Christmas music.  This whimsical creative rock band for kids brings The Festival of Trees alive!

Throughout the entire weekend, stage performers include local ballet companies, dance troops, school orchestras, storytellers, and who knows what else may be new this year.  There is plenty of seating, so you and the whole family can sit back and be entertained!

Santa Land: 

Festival organizers often say, “If Santa had a theme park, it would look like this!”, and we couldn’t agree more.  

Santa Land is a magical space, full of wonderful surprises.  This fun area changes yearly, with different attractions for the kids and young at heart.  From a full-size indoor Carousel to Radio-Controlled Car Racing and pony rides, you can easily spend hours playing in Santa Land.  Don’t miss the huge model train layout.

Festival of Trees has something for everyone in this area.  Interactive attractions like decorating a giant cookie, playing carnival games, or simply strolling through the Christmas trees will keep you entertained for hours.  

Radio Controlled Racing Festival of Trees

Photo Credit: Drew Cope

Santa:

Of course, the main attraction to any Christmas celebration is Santa Land.   The Big Guy himself is here, listening to Christmas lists, wishes and checking them twice.  Stop by, for that special picture and let Santa know what you want under your tree.

Santa Festival of Trees

Photo Credit: Cheeky Eye Candy Studios

 

Food:

Festival of Trees offers a variety of festival fun foods.  From kid-friendly chicken tenders and fries to health-conscious salads, the menu is both appetizing and affordable.  As you walk about you will also be surprised to find many other sweet delectable delights. 

As a bonus, the food court area has ample seating.  So take a load off your feet, grab a bite and relax.  There is still plenty more to see and do!

Shopping: 

Many of us are looking for just the right gift to give our friends and family.  Festival of Trees vendors have some of the most creative and unique offerings you will find anywhere.  

Be sure to check out the hand-painted Christmas ornaments, leather shop, bakery treats for pets, and more in the Shopping Village.  Remember, the trees and wreaths are also available for purchase.

Perhaps a vacation for two is more what you are looking to buy.  The Silent Auction is filled with gift baskets, experiences, and artwork.  Proceeds benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institute. 

Sensory Rooms:

The organizers understand that sometimes there is a need for a quiet place to regroup.  A specially designed area for those needing a break from the crowds is provided.  Accessible restrooms are close by as well. 

Much, Much, More: 

There is still so much more to see and do at the Festival of Trees.  The organizers keep the entertainment fresh each year and continue to bring the very best holiday celebration to the Baltimore area on Thanksgiving weekend.  The Festival of Trees is a magical experience.

Is this your first time attending the Festival of Trees? 

These StroTips may help you navigate the show.  

🎄 Pre-Purchase tickets online.  

🎄 Arrive within your 30-minute reservation time.  The show floor is crowded, especially on opening day.  Friday and Saturday afternoons the crowds generally thin out later in the day.

🎄 Layer your clothing.  Thanksgiving weekend is typically cold in Baltimore.  However, The Festival of Trees is inside and it does warm up inside.  

🎄 Bring a shopping bag.  Whether you are purchasing some gifts to take home or simply holding your family’s coats, a reusable shopping bag is a perfect solution to keeping your items contained.

🎄 Make sure your phone and camera are charged before coming to the show.  There is nothing worse than missing that perfect photo opportunity.  Charging stations are not publicly available in the expo center.  

🎄 Designate a meeting place and time for family members to gather before leaving.  The Cow Palace is a huge event area with thousands of people milling around throughout the day.  It may be difficult to find someone wandering through the Christmas trees.

🎄 Parents, this is a good opportunity to discuss personal safety measures.  Giving your children a clear plan on what to do if they get separated in the crowd is beneficial to all.  The coordinators, security staff, and volunteers have protocols in place to reunite you quickly.  Point out the uniformed guards and adult staff to your children throughout the areas.

🎄 Have fun!  The start of the holiday season is here!  Take pictures, make memories and enjoy your day at the Festival of Trees.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute

The Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Mission:

“To transform the lives of children, adolescents, and adults with diseases, disorders, and injuries impacting the nervous system.  We do this through groundbreaking research, integrated therapies, and innovative education, all led by expert, compassionate staff members, faculty members, and trainees.”  

The first Festival of Trees opened in 1990 and since then has raised more than 25 Million Dollars for the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  This event is special to all that participate.  From the hundreds of community volunteers and dedicated staff to those that make the Festival a family tradition, everyone has a place at the Festival of Trees. 

Spend Thanksgiving Weekend in Baltimore

Join the fun during Thanksgiving weekend in Baltimore.  There is plenty more to do in the area.  Just take a look at this list!  Shop, play, eat and enjoy your time!

  • Baltimore Aquarium
  • Inner Harbor
  • Wine and Chocolate Tour
  • The Selfie Museum
  • Foodie Tour of Fells Pointe

Conclusion

Whether you stop in for a few hours or spend the weekend, The Festival of Trees is sure to jumpstart your holiday season.  Not only is this magical event fun for the entire family, but it also raises awareness and much-needed funding for the many that suffer from brain and nervous system disabilities.   

Research, treatment, and recovery for those in need are possible through generous donations to The Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees.

Thank you for supporting Kennedy Krieger Institute Festival of Trees

Photo Credit: Drew Cope

Join the fun and Happy Holidays!

Not going to be in the Baltimore area?  Check out a Festival of Trees in your area that supports local charities.

Festival of Trees: Philadelphia, PA

Festival of Trees: Wilmington, DE

Festival of Trees: Pinehurst, NC

Festival of Trees and Lights: Des Moines, IA 

Festival of Trees: Gatlinburg, TN

Festival of Trees: Gillette, WY

8 Swank, Sexy and Social Speakeasies For a Fantastic Date Night Out

8 Swank, Sexy and Social Speakeasies For a Fantastic Date Night Out

Are speakeasies even a thing?

Are speakeasies even a thing? And if they are so cool, where can I find them?  These 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies are perfect for a fantastic date night out.  Speakeasies are the rage for urban dwellers. Rather than the club scene and sports bars, this crowd enjoys quaint venues, craft cocktails, and a little mystery.

To access these hidden gems, you may need a password, a key, or even the elusive token.  We want to introduce you to 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies that are fantastic for a date night out.

Back in the Day

From history lessons, we have all heard the words “speakeasy”, “blind pig”, “blind tiger” or “jazz club”.  Most times they refer to the underground club or bar from the Prohibition Era of the 1920s.  During this time in America, it was illegal to manufacture, transport, and sell intoxicating liquors.  The prohibition laws, however, did not stop the American people.

Much like the entrepreneurs of today, creative people found a way to find and sell alcohol in some secret tucked away places, and those that wanted to consume libations supported these establishments.  Thus, the speakeasy was born.

Most times, owners hid their clubs in the backrooms of an existing store, or even in the basement of the house. Speakeasies were often filled with music, cigarette smoke, and the upper echelon. Since they were illegal, the only advertisement for these locations was word of mouth, and most times, you needed a password to gain entrance.

The In Scene

Fast forward to the early 2000s and the modern-day speakeasy emerged.  These new underground, backroom bars became the “in scene”.  Although many of these clubs have been around for quite some time, it has only been in the last 10 years or so that we have started investigating and visiting many of them.

Like any exclusive venue, there are some general etiquette rules to understand.  We want you to feel comfortable while enjoying the ambiance the owners have created for you. Keep in mind these few tips and you will have a great time.

Most of these clubs are small and dimly lit.  Speakeasies are not a great place to shuffle into with bigger groups unless, of course, you make prior arrangements.  Because these backroom bars are smaller, they make a perfect setting for date nights, anniversaries, and first dates.  The atmosphere invites us to dress up a little, (leave the athletic wear and t-shirts home), sit close, and talk quietly.  Speakeasies are sexy and intimate.

Each of the cities below is home to numerous Speakeasies. This list is a starting point. If you enjoy the vibe and want to know of other nearby places, ask your bartender.  They know all of the hot spots and will gladly give you the details.

 

These 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies are fantastic for a date night out.

 

Savannah, GA:  Alley Cat Lounge:   207 W Broughton Ln, Savannah, GA 31401

The Alley Cat Lounge is a short walk down a well-lit alleyway.  There is a sign on the door so as not to be missed.  Come down the steps and find a table.  The Alley Cat Lounge is dimly lit, with ample seating and a perfect place to have a quiet conversation with a friend or a date.

Alley Cat Lounge

Orlando, FL:   Mathers Social Gathering:  Phoenix Building, 30 South Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL.

There is no sign at this secret speakeasy.  Outside the door, you will see velvet ropes and a friendly doorman.  After check-in, your host will usher you to the elevator and give you a hint about the hidden door.  It is up to you to find your way in, and if you can’t perhaps you can just read a book.

Mathers Social Gathering offers live music, including dueling pianos, happy hour pricing, and even a 1st class burlesque show.  This is one place to put on your must-go list!

Mathers Social Gathering

Las Vegas, NV:  Ghost Donkey:  Cosmopolitan Hotel Level 2 Behind Hattie B’s Chicken, , Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas.

Located in the food court behind Hattie B’s is a green exit door with the ghost donkey painted on the door.  There is no sign, no neon lights, and no doorman.  Ghost Donkey is super small with about 10 seats at the bar and 6 tables with a few stools. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about their mezcal and tequila selections. The crowd cycles quickly, so be patient, especially if mezcal is your thing.

Ghost Donkey

Durango, CO:  The Bookcase and Barber:  601 E 2nd Ave B, Durango, CO 81301

Wait, this is a working barbershop, right?  It sure is, but after 5 pm, something changes.  Call for a reservation and the password.  The host will give you all the details. Once inside, there are intimate spaces for parties of 2-4 people.  Keep your voice low and speakeasy. The Bookcase and Barber is perfect for those of us looking for a quiet intimate evening.

Bookcase and Barber

Wilmington, DE:  Hummingbird to Mars: W 16th St, Wilmington, DE 19806 above Catherine Rooney’s

This well-decorated speakeasy is located above the popular Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square. Enter from the back door, ring the bell and proceed upstairs.  The food is amazing and the service impeccable.  Hummingbird to Mars is a perfect location to start your evening with a cocktail or end with a nightcap.  You will impress your date for sure!

Hummingbird at Mars

Charlottesville, VA:  Lost Saint: 333 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Located in the basement of Tavern and Grocery, you will feel like you stepped back way back in time.  Many deals were made in this quaint, dark, and damp space.  The decor seems legit and the food is amazing

Lost Saint

Baltimore, MD W.C.Harlan: 23rd St, Baltimore, MD 21211

Unless you are from the neighborhood, you probably won’t find it.  What looks like a corner-row house is a very intimate secret speakeasy.  Don’t try to come in the front door, instead, look for the side entrance.  No password is needed.  Be patient with the staff, they are working as fast as they can.  Happy Hour drinks, or late-night cordials, the choice is yours.

Costa Mesa, CA:  The Ruin Bar: 2930 Bristol St a111, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 at the LAB anti-mall.

The crazy eclectic decor is sure to keep you entertained.  Sit outside in the gardens, or inside in a vintage ski gondola and enjoy a craft cocktail. The Ruin Bar is very small, quirky, and worth the stop when in the area.  Watch this video on Instagram!

If you are looking for something different than your average sports or karaoke bar, find a speakeasy.  Share a conversation, some craft cocktails, and an unforgettable experience. Whether it is date night or drinks with a friend, these 8 swank, sexy and social speakeasies are perfect for a date night out.

 Tell Us!

As you discover speakeasies around the globe, we kindly ask that you share them with us!  Drop us a line at contact@thestromads.com.   Tell us what you loved and give us a location.  You never know when we will be in your neck of the woods and ready for a drink!

 Thanks for reading and spending time with us.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often.

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