Guess what… Santa Claus is coming to town. Actually, judging by all the (cool) Baltimore family fun this weekend the Big Guy is already here! Want to track him down? Maybe snap a picture or two? Check out our round up of prime places for Santa spotting around Baltimore.

Don’t let old Jack Frost keep you at home this weekend. Glide across the ice, go shopping in the Christmas Village, catch a concert or ballet. Get out there, board the holiday magic express, and make memories together.

(cool) baltimore family fun this weekend

Excerpts from The Nutcracker Skate by The Next Ice Age
December 15 | 7 PM
Visitors will get to enjoy live and choreographed performances of scenes from The Nutcracker. The PANDORA Ice Rink at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hosts this free event with a special performance by The Next Ice Age. FREE! MORE (UPDATE: This event has been canceled due to high wind)

BSO Movie and Music: It’s a Wonderful Life
December 15 – 16 | 7 PM
George Bailey’s extraordinary Christmas Eve journey with an Angel Second Class is a story we turn to year after year. As the BSO performs the score live to accompany the film, you’ll experience the warmth of this cinematic classic as never before. MORE

$2 Family Fun Night at Port Discovery
December 16 – 18 | 4 PM – 8 PM
Here’s a great deal that’s not to miss: Visit Port Discovery ahead of the holidays for just $2 per person! On Friday, December 16, visit PortDiscovery from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and get in for just $2.  Play and learn while exploring Port Discovery’s three floors of interactive exhibits including KidWorks, Kick It Up, Tiny’s Diner, Miss Perception’s Mystery House and so much more! This event is generously sponsored by Target, allowing visitors to get in for just $2 each (that’s a discount of more than $12 a person off of Port Discovery’s normal admission!). MORE

Magical Holiday Express @ The B & O Railroad Museum
December 16 – 18 | Times Vary
Trains are magical during the holidays! There is no better place to be a child than at the B&O Railroad Museum! All aboard the B&O’s Magical Holiday Express, a holiday spectacular celebration in the B&O Roundhouse devoted to trains of all sizes and shapes, holiday festivities, and a winter wonderland of family fun and activities. The holiday magic boards at the B & O! MORE

Baltimore Christmas Village  
December 16 – 18 | Times Vary
Christmas Village in Baltimore is a combination of an outdoor and indoor Holiday Market at West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor. The event is modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany like the famous Christkindl Market in Nuremberg. From Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, vendors in more than 50 booths will sell traditional European food, sweets, and drinks. They also offer a great shopping experience with a large variety of international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. MORE

Winter Solstice Campfire
December 16 | 6 PM – 8 PM
At Eden Mill Nature Center on Dec. 16 from 6:00-8:00pm for all ages. $3/member or $5/non-member. Gather around our campfire to learn about the solstice and the folklore of holiday traditions. Enjoy a holiday sing-a-long and warm up while roasting marshmallows. Pre-Registration IS required: 410-836-3050 or edenmillnaturecenter@gmail.com. MORE

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 4-D @ the National Aquarium
December 16 – 18 | Times Vary
The National Aquarium presents a magical twist on a holiday classic this winter, as the beloved animated movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D” debuts at the National Aquarium’s 4-D Immersion Theater. Guests can journey with Rudolph as he sets off on a series of funny and endearing adventures after being ousted from Christmas-town because of his bright and shining nose – meeting new friends the Abominable Snow Monster and Hermey the elf on the way. MORE

Holiday Spectacular with Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra
December 16 – 18 | Times Vary
Join the Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale for a Holiday Spectacular! The HVSO will be joined by many special guests, including the Children’s Choir of Maryland, Gospel Artist Latisha Hamilton, the Mercy High Dance Troupe, and more! Come early for a meet and greet with Santa, and stay for a night of festive entertainment for the whole family. December 16th and 17th at 7 PM, December 18th at 3 PM. Children under 12 are FREE! MORE

See Santa @ Homestead Gardens
December 17 – 18 | Times Vary
Santa Claus makes his grand debut Saturday after Thanksgiving – arriving in his alternative sleigh….a firetruck! He will be at both the Davidsonville and Severna Park locations every Saturday and Sunday through December 18th. MORE

Castle Construction at The Walters Art Museum
December 17 – 18 | 11 AM – 4 PM
Every weekend join The Walters Art Museum in their studios and create artful projects related to the collection and special exhibitions. This month’s theme is Medieval life and this weekend’s project is castle construction! No registration required—drop in, make, and take a fantastic work of art home with you! MORE

Mid Atlantic Youth Ballet presents The Nutcracker
December 17 – 18 | Times Vary
Join Mid Atlantic Youth Ballet as they present The Nutcracker in two acts. A family friendly event for all ages. Shows on Saturday and Sunday, times vary. MORE

Santa at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum
December 17 – 18 | 12 PM – 5 PM
Santa returns this year to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum! Enjoy a ride on an authentic streetcar with Santa, see their decorated tree, listen to Christmas tales, and enjoy holiday refreshments and music! Museum opens at 11:30 AM on each day of the event and streetcars depart every 20 minutes. MORE

Mirabelle Craft & Story Time @ aMuse Toys 
December 17 | 11 AM – 12 PM
Mr. Muller & his lovable dog, Mirabelle are back at aMuse for a visit. Join them in #theLab at Quarry Lake for a morning of crafting and listening to stories about Mirabelle and her adventures with Mr. Muller. Miss Mirabelle LOVES making new friends and everybody loves Mirabelle. Celebrate the day by making your own happy dog ears to wear! Supplies will be provided for children in attendance. MORE

Ice Skating AND Santa @ the Pandora Ice Rink
December 17 | 11 AM – 1 PM
Grab those mittens and scarves and bundle up for a glide over the ice and maybe a hot cocoa break, too! Located between the Harborplace Pavilions, the rink is open for posted hours seven days a week with extended times on the holidays. It’s the perfect keep-em-busy activity for those days off of school, early evenings or weekend adventures. This is the stuff holiday memories are made of. This weekend add some extra holiday cheer as you visit with Santa himself! MORE

A Christmas Carol by Charm City Ballet
December 17 | Times Vary
Charm City Ballet (CCB), a Baltimore County-based performance company, presents their annual full-length ballet production of “A Christmas Carol.” Set in two acts, this classic holiday tale follows Scrooge’s transformation from bitterness to love and generosity. CCB productions are unique in that community dancers from all walks of life perform together in high-quality ballet versions of familiar tales. MORE

32nd Annual Merry Tuba Christmas
December 17 | 3 PM – 5 PM
Over 100 festively dressed tuba players will capture the spirit of the holiday as they blend their unique styles, rhythms, and progressions for all to enjoy. MORE

Book Signing: Little Leona of Monsters and Fire
December 17 | 3:30 PM – 5 PM
Meet children’s author Jae Sherwood at Greetings & Readings of Hunt Valley on Saturday, December 17, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Little Leona is a bright, young girl who enjoys slaying imaginary monsters in her home. One day she meets a real dragon. Ever alert, she rises to the challenge, employs her wits and lives to fight another day. The rhyming text and whimsical illustrations by Robert Charles Moore will keep children entertained while imparting a valuable lesson. Recommended for ages 5 through 10. MORE

Holiday Open House at the William Paca House
December 17 | 4 PM – 7 PM
Visit both the William Paca House and Hogshead for a variety of activities to celebrate the holiday season with a touch of history. At Hogshead, American Heritage® Chocolate will be giving demonstrations and tastings; sweet bags and greenery will be available to make and share; and a fiddler will bring holiday sounds to this cozy atmosphere. On Prince George Street, interpreters in colonial garb will fill the William Paca House, and games, music, and sweet treats will abound. It’s a celebration not to be missed. MORE

Zoo Snooze @ The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore 
December 17 – 18 | 6 PM – 9:30 AM
The Zoo is where the wild things snore! Join other zoo-loving families for an educational family sleepover in Penguin Coast! You and your children will explore Zoo exhibits to learn about African penguins, polar bears, African reptiles and mammals, and some of the Zoo’s local nocturnal animals. Who is invited to Zoo Snooze?  Families with children aged 6 and up are welcome to join in the fun! Space is limited, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. MORE

S’mores, Stars, and the Winter Solstice
December 17 | 6 PM – 8 PM
This week marks the longest nights of the year. Gather around the Lake Roland campfire to learn about the solstice, stars, and folklore of holiday traditions. Then enjoy a sing-a-longs, and warm up while roasting s’mores. Ages 5 and up,  $3 per person ($2 members). Registration required. MORE

Super Sunday @ Port Discovery
December 18 | 12:30 PM – 5 PM
Sunday FUNday takes on a whole new meaning with Port Discovery’s Super Sunday events! Check out the Percussion Garden, Circle Time, Mother Goose on the Loose, Math-antics, Art a-la-carte and MORE!

Breakfast with Santa at The Manor Tavern
December 18 | 10 AM – 2 PM
Join the Manor Tavern for a festive breakfast with Santa, including holiday crafts and photos! MORE

Editor’s Note: Photo provided by Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore