The world's most famous ballet - heck, many people probably couldn't name a second ballet if their lives depended on it - comes to the Lyric with all the color and glory the renowned Moscow Ballet can muster. Expect lots of impressive sets and colorful costumes (including new ones for Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden), all in service to some of the season's most beautiful music.
Showtimes are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 20. Tickets are $24.50-$84.50. Information: 410-685-5086, lyricoperahouse.com or nutcracker.com/md.
Day 12Sunday, Dec. 20
Holiday Festival of Trains, B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St.
Some harried MARC riders might argue there's nothing festive about a train ride, but fortunately, the rest of us have no qualms associating Christmas with the toots, rumbles and whistles of an old-fashioned holiday train garden. Through Jan. 10, the B&O Railroad Museum will be playing host to many of the area's most avid model railroaders, displaying train gardens that do everything except actually take you from one place to another. Visitors will also be able to ride on a real train today, accompanied by Santa; after Christmas, and continuing on weekends through Jan. 10, Frosty the Snowman will replace Santa on the rails.
"It's just really a festive time to be at the museum," says spokeswoman Dana Kern. "The kids especially love it. I always joke that when a kid leaves kicking and screaming because he wants to stay, we've got another satisfied customer."
The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Weekend train rides are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Museum admission is $14, $12 for seniors, $8 for kids age 2-12. Train rides are an additional $2 for adults, $1 for children. Information: 410-752-2490 or borail.org.
A selection of other events going on in and around Baltimore over the next 22 days:
Dec. 4-6: Pittsburgh Ballet's Nutcracker, France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome; 410-837-7400 or francemerrickpac.com
Dec. 5: Dundalk Main Street Holiday Festival, Dundalk
Dec. 5: Holiday Traditions at Mount Clare, Mount Clare Museum House, 1500 Washington Blvd.; 410-837-3262 or mountclare.org
Dec. 5-6: Holiday Sing 2009, Harborplace Amphitheatre, between the Light Street and Pratt Street pavilions; harborplace.com
Dec. 6: Children's Hanukkah Festival, Beth Shalom Congregation, 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane, Columbia; 410-531-3115 or beth-shalom.net
Dec. 9: Collection Tour: Look for the Light: Seasonal Celebration Tour, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr.; 443-573-1700 or artbma.org.
Dec. 10: Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour 2009; 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St.; 410-347-2020 or baltimorearena.com
Dec. 11: Mob TV's Holiday Screening Bash, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave.; 410-276-1651 or creativealliance.org.
Dec. 11-12: Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall; 410-783-8000 or bsomusic.org
Dec. 12: Bill Gaither Homecoming Christmas Tour, 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St.; 410-347-2020 or baltimorearena.com
Dec. 12: Unsilent Night Baltimore; at the male/female sculpture in front of Pennsylvania Station, 1515 N. Charles St.; unsilentnight.com
Dec. 14: The Stoop Extreme Holiday Show, Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St.; 410-332-0033 or centerstage.org.
Dec. 19: Trixie Little & Monkey's 5th Annual Holiday Spectac-U-Thon, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave; 410-276-1651 or creativealliance.org.
Dec. 20: Kwanzaa Family Day, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr.; 443-573-1700 or artbma.org.
Dec. 21-22: An Annapolis Christmas, Rams Head on Stage; 410-268-4545 or am-fm.org.
Dec. 23: Collection Tour: Look for the Light: Seasonal Celebration Tour, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr.; 443-573-1700 or artbma.org.