Away for the Holidays

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Lights on the Bay in Annapolis, Maryland.

Lights on the Bay in Annapolis, Maryland.

While hunkering down at home during the holiday season is a cozy prospect on the East End, traveling just a few hours away offers the opportunity to experience communities with a true dedication to the spirit of winter celebrations.

Annapolis, Maryland

The state capital of Maryland offers a historic seaport and 18th century historic homes, as well as a robust business district — and the community wastes no time celebrating the holidays — it’s “Lights on the Bay” scenic drive and light show on Chesapeake Bay opening November 22 and runs through January 1. The lighting of the Annapolis Christmas Tree on Market Street will take place just after Thanksgiving, on November 27.

Festivities continue into December with the Anne Arundel County Holiday Farmers Market and the State House Holiday Concert on December 3. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the Chocolate Binge Festival on December 4. One of the most popular events of the season — the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade — will light up Annapolis Harbor on December 10 as dozens of boats feature festive holiday lights for a magical night on the water.

For more information, visit downtownannapolis.org.

 

Houses in Cape May garlanded for the season.

Houses in Cape May garlanded for the season.

Cape May, New Jersey

Situated at the southern tip of the Cape May Peninsula, Cape May in New Jersey begins its celebrations of the holiday season during the first weekend in December — Thursday, December 1 through Sunday, December 4. Opening Thursday with Cape May Stage’s production of “One Christmas Carol,” the weekend will also feature a Cape May Ferry Beer Dinner, the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting, Christmas crafts for the family, and the West Cape May Christmas parade. The 43rd Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour — the main attraction of the city’s holiday season — will take place on Saturday, December 3, with homes, inns and churches festooned for the season, singing carolers, and an Old Fashioned Christmas Exhibit in the Carroll Gallery.

For more information, visit capemay.com.

The Wassail Parade in Woodstock, Vermont.

The Wassail Parade in Woodstock, Vermont.

Woodstock, Vermont

A pre-Christmas tradition, the community of Woodstock, Vermont’s Wassail Weekend will be held this year Friday, December 9 through Sunday, December 11, celebrating Nordic culture and the winter holiday season with a variety of activities culminating in the Wassail Parade through the center of town, featuring over 50 horses and riders in early 19th Century period dress. Main Street businesses are also prepared to deck the halls, offering a picturesque village to enjoy shopping in, while local children perform in the annual medieval-themed Christmastime Wassail Feast. A holiday themed House Tour will also be offered on December 10, as will music, including the popular Irish Christmas in America, and cello for the Solstice with Eugene Friesen.

For more information, visit woodstockvt.com.

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