Seeing the holiday lights

December 03, 2005|By SARAH YURGEALITIS

Public spectacles

Baltimore Parade of Lighted Boats --At the Inner Harbor tonight at 6, enjoy the sight of dozens of brightly decorated vessels, from kayaks to Coast Guard boats, as they make their way through the Inner Harbor after a tree-lighting ceremony in Fells Point. Free. Find a spot near the water at the Inner Harbor or Fells Point. For more information (or to register a boat for the parade): 410-342-4858 or fpyc.net.

Lights on the Bay --See Sandy Point State Park in a completely different light. This drive-through display of more than 70 lighted scenes decorates a 2-mile drive. Proceeds benefit Anne Arundel Medical Center. Now through Jan. 1. Hours are 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily. $12 per car; $50 per bus. Sandy Point State Park, western end of the Bay Bridge, exit 32 off U.S. 50/301. 410-974-2149, 443-481-3161 or aahs.org.

Winterfest of Lights --Ocean City's yearly Winterfest of Lights is a delightful display of lights where visitors can board a train and ride past lights creating various themes, including nautical and fairy tales. In the Yukon Cornelius gift shop, guests can browse for trinkets to remind them of their visit. Now through Jan. 2. Hours are 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $4 (under 12 free). Northside Park at 125th Street in Ocean City. 410-250-0125.

Symphony of Lights --Symphony Woods is filled with more than 70 dazzling displays of animated and stationary lights for a good cause. Proceeds benefit the pediatric units of Howard County General Hospital. Now through Jan. 1. Until Friday, hours are 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. After Friday, hours will be 6-11 nightly. $15 for cars and vans; $25 for commercial vans and minibuses; $100 for buses. Symphony Woods at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. 410-740-7666 or hcgh.org.

Winter Lights --Almost 400 light displays decorate a nearly 4-mile stretch of road with themed areas including the North Pole and Toyland. Now through Dec. 31. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. $10 per car Sundays-Thursdays; $12 Fridays-Saturdays; $25 for vans; $50 for buses. Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg. 301-258-6350 or gaithersburgmd.gov

Winter Festival of Lights --The Winter Festival of Lights displays more than a million lights. Watkins Regional Park, where the event takes place, will also feature lighted trees and numerous holiday displays. Now through Jan. 1. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. $5 per car or van; $15 per minibus or limo; $25 per bus (donations of canned food for area shelters accepted at the gate). Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro. 301-699-2456 or pgparks.com.

Garden of Lights --One of the largest illuminated attractions in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Garden of Lights is a spectacular walk-through display of lights with various themes. There is also a light display and live music in the visitors center. (Pedestrians are not admitted; park and then do the walk-through.) Today and tomorrow, Dec. 7-11, 14-23, 26-30 and Jan. 1-8. 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. (last car admitted at 8:30 p.m.) $15 for cars and vans; $120 for buses (cash only; buses must register in advance at 301-962-1457). Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. 301-962-1453 or brooksidegardens.org

Garden in Lights --In this drive-through light show, all displays are made on the premises. There are seven themed areas, including "Outer Space" and "Undersea Adventure." Opens Dec. 9, runs through Jan. 2. Hours are 6 p.m.-9 p.m. daily. Closed Dec. 24 and during inclement weather. Suggested donation of $5 per car. Annmarie Garden at 13480 Dowell Road in Solomons. 410-326- 4640 or annmariegarden.org.

Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade --More than 20,000 people a year come to see the Eastport Yacht Club's multitude of theme-lighted boats sail past the Annapolis Harbor. This year's themes include "The Joy of Christmas" and "Disco Christmas." 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 10. Free. Find a spot with a good view of Annapolis Harbor. 410-263-0415 or eastportyc.org.

Washington Monument --While the grand lighting of Mount Vernon's landmark monument took place Thursday, there are plenty of other goings-on in the area throughout this holiday season. The monument is lighted with strings containing more than 2,100 bulbs until mid-January. Mount Vernon Square, 600 N. Charles St. godowntownbalti more.com.

Resplendent residences

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