Tis the season for tree lightings and shopping sprees! Mark your calendar, round up a few friends, and experience the magic of the holidays at these festive outings in Howard County:

Yuletide Festival Weekends—

Savage Mill and Historic Savage

Fill your weekends with Yuletide Festival fun starting November 27th and running through December 19th. Don’t miss the Santa Heim Holiday Market at Savage Mill, where you can purchase gifts from local artisans, including pottery, handbags, jewelry, and more.

Do you know the history behind Santa Heim? In 1948, Harry Heim, an ornament maker and the owner of Savage Mill and much of the surrounding town at the time, converted his property into an 1800s Christmas Village. He imported reindeer, set up a circus, and flew Santa in via helicopter! View photographs and learn more about this unique event at the Santa Heim display at the New Weave Building inside Savage Mill. For an interactive experience, take a Santa Heim walking tour on Sunday, December 5 or 19, from 12-1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.savagemill.com/savageyuletidefestival/

Head to Bollman Iron Truss Bridge on December 4th to watch the bridge lighting and listen to carolers spreading cheer. 

What makes the Bollman Iron Truss Bridge so historic and important? The Truss Bridge crosses the Little Patuxent River and was finished in 1869 by architect Wendel Bollman of Baltimore. Bollmans’ design was the first truss design to be most used by the railroads, which in turn added to the greater development and use of the truss design. Today, this is the last remaining example of Bollmans’ truss design, making it invaluable historically. The bridge was later restored in 1983 and 2000.

Midnight Madness—Historic Ellicott City

Admire windows decorated with holiday flair and pop in and out of shops as you gather gifts for friends and family during “Midnight Madness” on December 2nd in Historic Ellicott City. Take advantage of sidewalk sales, dining specials, and a free shuttle! Earlybirds can begin appreciating the festivities at 4 p.m., but the fun continues right up to—you guessed it—midnight.

Are you bringing grandkids along? Don’t miss the chance to watch the tree lighting ceremony and say hello to Santa and other seasonal characters. This event is free. For more information, visit visitoldellicottcity.com/events/midnight-madness/

The Elkridge Furnace Inn. (Visit Howard County photo)

A Dickens Literary Tea—The Elkridge Furnace Inn and Garden House 

Sip in style during “A Dickens Literary Tea” at The Elkridge Furnace Inn and Garden House on December 27th and 28th from 12-3 p.m. Delight in the charm of the circa-1810 manor house as you listen to a reading of “A Christmas Carol” around the fireplace and dine on a deluxe four-course menu, including mini Beef Wellingtons and plum tarts. This is an excellent opportunity to see a historic property up close! Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at elkridgefurnaceinn.com/in-house-events

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