From the cobbled streets of Fells Point to the antiques town of New Market, yuletide events abound in Maryland.
The spirit of the season is captured in a series of memorable scenes: a luminary-lit battlefield, a gristmill filled with poinsettias, Dickens read by a fireside, horse-drawn carriage rides, a candlelit ferry tavern and madrigals sung in the old State House of 1676.
Here is a preview of what can be seen at the many holiday happenings throughout the state this weekend and in the days ahead:
THROUGH DEC. 8
Christmas Tours at Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and all through the farmhouse, scenes from this classic tale are brought to life. Santa pays daily visits from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There are also open-hearth cooking and crafts demonstrations in outbuildings, Christmas carolers, wagon rides and holiday foods. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Admission: $3 for adults, $2 for ages 6 to 18 and 60 and over, free for under age 6 with adult. Details: (410) 876-2667.
DEC. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15
Winter Holiday Open House at Rockville Civic Center Mansion, 603 Edmonston Drive. Sixteen rooms of this 19th century mansion have been decorated by community groups. Dec. 1: House tours concert and tree lighting. Dec. 7: Children's open house with Santa. Dec. 8: House tours, musical groups perform every hour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15: Open house with musical entertainment. Hours: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Details: (410) 309-3001.
Candlelight Tours at Montpelier Mansion, Route 197 and Muirkirk Road, Laurel. The atmosphere of the 18th century prevails with traditional greens in each room and the mansion lit by candles. Hours: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4-6, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7. Live Christmas music each evening; light refreshments available. Admission: $3 for adults, $1 for children. Details: (410) 953-1376.
Holiday Candlelight Tour, 10440 Falls Road, Brooklandville. Traditional candlelight tour at the Cloisters Children's Museum of Baltimore features lavish decorations, wassail and gingerbread, musical entertainment. Hours: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: $5, free for members. Reservations suggested. Details: (410) 823-2550.
DEC. 6, 7
State House by Candlelight, Annapolis. Open house candlelight celebration with holiday music. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free. Details: (410) 974-3400.
DEC. 6-8, 13-15
Ballestone Manor Holly Tour, Rocky Point Golf Course, Back River Neck Road, Essex. Costumed guides lead candlelight tours through the manor house, followed by homemade cookies and hot cider by the fireside; Civil War soldiers in full-dress uniform act as escorts both weekends; an exhibit of 19th century festive clothing; Civil War encampment (second weekend only); visits by Santa and holiday music. Hours: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission: $2.50 for adults, free for under 14. Details: (410) 887-0218, (410) 687-3945.
Christmas Madrigal Evenings, St. Mary's City. Dine on festive holiday fare in the decorated Reconstructed State House of 1676, accompanied by madrigals and other 17th century Christmas entertainment. Admission: $40. Reservations limited and available on first-come, first-serve basis. Details: (410) 862-0960.
DEC. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22
Candlelight Christmas in Fells Point, Baltimore. Shops and houses in this waterfront historic district are decorated for Christmas; a town crier announces the events of the evening: A lamplighter tour by actors from the Vagabond Players; fireside readings from Dickens with hot refreshments at the Admiral Fell Inn; tours, Colonial music and refreshments at Robert Long House, Baltimore's oldest home; horse-drawn carriage rides; pipers and drummers; caroling and refreshments at area inns; a children's breakfast with Old St. Nick and a holiday musical for children. Daytime hours vary; evening hours: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Most events are free. Details: (410) 327-8360.
Christmas at Mount Clare Mansion, Carroll Park. Ride the special trains from the B&O Railroad Museum to Carroll Park to see the 1760 home of Charles Carroll, dressed in its Christmas finery and illuminated by candlelight; 18th century music and dancing. Decorations remain through Dec. 31. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Mondays, and Dec. 25. Admission: $2 for adults, 50 cents for children. Round-trip train fare: $1. Details: (410) 837-3262.
A Family Holiday Celebration, 201 W. Monument St. The Maryland Historical Society presents "A Winter's Day in Maryland," an afternoon of music, magic and merriment.