For the first time since 2019, Festival of Trees returns as an in-person event at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium during Thanksgiving weekend!

This three-day holiday celebration — which runs November 25-27 — is the perfect way for families to kick off the most wonderful time of the year. And as an added bonus? Proceeds benefit the patients, students and programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute

“For the past two years, Festival fans enjoyed a hybrid event that was adapted to provide families safe festival fun during the pandemic,” said Brad Schlaggar, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute. “Now, we are very excited to again bring everyone the joy of the holiday season through our in-person, three-day event.”

Hundreds of designer-decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses will be on sale and displayed throughout the fairgrounds’ Cow Palace, which will be transformed into a winter wonderland for Festival of Trees weekend. Timed-entry tickets this year will minimize crowds and allow Festival-goers and Kennedy Krieger’s patients, students, families, employees and supporters to have a positive and safe experience.

Returning Festival favorites include Santa Claus, of course, who is set to arrive at Festival on Friday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. to kick off this weekend celebration. Grammy-nominated band Milkshake returns to rock the house with holiday and original songs for adults and children alike.

Young Festival-goers can enjoy a carousel, rides, and games. For grown-ups, there will be plenty of holiday shopping options including an online auction and a raffle, which includes a Maryland Lottery scratch-off tree as one prize. New this year? Food trucks!

“Festival of Trees is Kennedy Krieger’s largest fundraising event. During this weekend, the community helps us raise funds for research, patient care and special education school programs, and the support we’ve received over our 33 years of Festival has been amazing,” Dr. Schlaggar said.
Kennedy Kreiger's Festival of Trees

Truist is back as the event’s lead sponsor, and they are spearheading this year’s toy drive. In the weeks leading up to Festival, they will have drop boxes in 33 bank branches around the area, ready to receive new, unwrapped toys to help make the holidays bright for the Institute’s patients and students.

For up-to-date information on Festival, follow Kennedy Krieger on Facebook or Instagram. Additionally, head to for timed-entry tickets and more details on Festival’s offerings, as well as COVID-19 safety precautions.

Editor’s Note: This event spotlight is sponsored by Kennedy Krieger Institute. (Cool) Progeny is a proud media sponsor of Festival of Trees.