Weekend Plans: What to Do 12/1-12/4 It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays!

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THURSDAY 1

Event: Monument Lighting
Considered the unofficial official launch of the city’s holiday season, the annual Monument Lighting features the ooooohh-aaaahhing simultaneous illumination of 16,000 LEDs strung from the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. In the quartet of parks surrounding the statue, you’ll find food vendors, a beer garden and a Kids Corner. Also: live music and, after our nation’s first President gets his glow on, a fireworks display.
Free. 5-8 p.m. in Mt. Vernon Place.

FRIDAY 2

Music: Holiday Music at the Walters
Peabody musicians perform holiday favorites (featuring voice and lute) in the sculpture courtyard of the Walters.
Free. 12 p.m. at the Walters.

Theater: A Christmas Carol
The classic Christmas tale comes to life.
Tickets: $19-$49.  Dec. 2-23 at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

Music: Handel’s Messiah
The BSO’s annual presentation returns.
Tickets: $25-$84. Dec. 2 & 4 at the Meyerhoff, Dec.3 at Strathmore.

SATURDAY 3

Festival: Old Tyme Christmas
Get ready for a jam-packed day of Christmas cheer: Santa in a tugboat, carolers, eggnog, kids’ games, a lighted boat parade and more!
Free. Begins at 9 a.m. in Fells Point.

Celebration: Kwanzaa Family Day
Celebrate African heritage and history with games, crafts, lectures, music, dancing and more!
Free. 12-3 p.m. at the Creative Alliance.

Shopping: Green Spring Makers Market
Join Baltimore Style for a day of shopping, food, and holiday merriment! The Green Spring Station Holiday Makers Market is modeled after the Bryant Park holiday craft bazaar in New York City!
Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Green Spring Station.

Dance: The Nutcracker
See the first of two local productions of the holiday staple, this time by the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and a live orchestra featuring the Concert Artists of Baltimore.
Tickets: $29-$54. Dec. 3-4 at the Lyric. 

Music: Tchaikovsky
The Columbia Orchestra, now in its 39th season, presents the Fourth Symphony. Also on the bill: Golijov’s “Azul”—on which cellist Rachel Young accompanies—and Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Two Oboes.”
Tickets: $10-$28. Dec. 3 at the Jim Rouse Theatre.

Music: SHUFFLE
SHUFFLE, a young group composed of accomplished chamber musicians from New York, gives you the opportunity to conjure the evening’s program on the fly. Actively participate in the selection of songs to be performed (choose from classical, baroque, jazz, pop, Broadway, solos, duos… you name it) and lose yourself in the resulting musical gumbo.
Tickets: $15-$30. 8 p.m. at Gordon Center.

SUNDAY 4

Parade: Mayor’s Christmas Parade
See scads of high-stepping marching bands, decorative floats, local TV and radio honchos, a gaggle of motorcycles, an army of Shriners wearing fezzes while riding kooky kiddie vehicles, a steam-powered calliope, elected officials waving from convertibles and, naturally, Santa, all wending their way along a 2.5-mile route through Medfield and Hampden.
Free. 1 p.m. along Falls Rd./36th St.

Trash: Professor Trash Wheel Debut
Meet Professor Trash Wheel as she makes her debut at Harris Creek Park and Canton. Grab some hot chocolate and Trash Wheel cookies and toast to Baltimore’s newest trash gobbler.
Free. 2:30 p.m. at Harris Creek Park.

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