Christmas Village

Christmas Village Through Dec. 24

When we had the pleasure of visiting our ancestral home, Germany, last year, one of the many great cultural traditions we encountered was the town festival, where vendors gathered in the central square to hawk things you might expect—folk art, beer steins, beer for said steins, and schnitzel—along with the more benign, such as socks and cookware. Naturally, the town sets up a similar festival around Christmas, meaning Germans can get their holiday shopping done with a boozy walk under starlit skies instead of waiting in line at Best Buy. How did we botch that one? Luckily, for the second year in a row, Baltimore’s own German Christmas market sets up shop near the Inner Harbor, offering visitors the chance to purchase ornaments, arts and crafts, and much more while knocking back beer or gluhwine and noshing on wurst, schnitzel, pretzels, and traditional German sweets lebkuchen, stollen, and spekulatius. Sure as hell beats the mall. And really, who couldn’t use a Paulaner or two (or 10) around Christmas? Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., West Shore Park, 501 Light St., baltimore-christmas.com, free weekday admission, $1 on Dec. 6-7, $5, ages 3-18 years old $3, younger than 3 free. (Brandon Weigel)

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