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Look, reader. I’m going to level with you about winter. If it snows the right amount, then I might be willing to take a walk through our local woods. Otherwise, I am the sort of super introverted human being who is completely happy spending all of their time hanging out and hibernating with their books and pets. Leave the house for work and essentials? Okay.

Leave the house for fun? Before April? Are you sure? Granted, the warm Maryland winters do make this a bit easier.

Jokes aside, something I usually remind clients is that the line between therapeutic and unhealthy doses of “alone time” is quite blurry. During the holiday season, especially if you’re not from the area, it can be very easy to cross the threshold from recuperation to isolation.

In that spirit, I encourage you to take advantage of some fun holiday(ish) ideas in and outside of Baltimore during the holiday season. Below are some general ideas to get your gears turning, but I recommend really thinking about what would give the winter a sense of recuperation or wonder. While some of these are connected to holidays (both secular and spiritual) I’ve tried to only include what would be fun even without a religious connection to a given event.

Holiday(ish) Ideas in Baltimore

1. German Christmas Village

Photo of a women couple happily strolling around a Christmas village in Baltimore. This represents an example of holiday(ish) ideas to do in Baltimore.Liebst du Deutsche Eßen? Kennst du um die Weihnachtsmarkt in Baltimore? Don’t speak any German? No problem, though I’m sure that pushy Duolingo owl would disagree. (If you do speak German, please forgive my rudimentary grasp of your language.)

You can still enjoy the German Christmas Village near the harbor in Baltimore. I’ll level with you all: my partner and I go to this just for food. I purposely don’t eat at all the day of till we arrive at the market.

2. Gaithersburg’s Winter Lights Festival

Another great idea for folks who don’t mind a short drive is the Winter Lights Festival in Gaithersburg.

What I love about this particular drive-through lights display is that it includes more than just winter holidays. For instance, in past years there’s been a pretty impressive castle, dinosaurs, and even a pegasus.

3. Winter Hiking in Maryland

Photo of a couple with their dog doing a winter hike. This represents how exercising and outdoor activities are helpful for your mental health.Did I mention that winters here are very mild? Admittedly, this is only my third one – and folks have told me that they can occasionally be very cold and snowy. At the time of writing this, however, we’re in the midst of another record-breaking mild winter.

With that in mind, getting outside can still be very helpful for your mental health, particularly if you’re someone prone to depressive symptoms in the darker part of the year. Consider some of the coolest hikes available in our state: see here a list of the 10 best trails for winter hiking in Maryland.

4. Local Concert in Baltimore

Enjoy music? Consider attending a local concert. Baltimore is home to a fantastic music scene. One we’re personally considering is a traditional folk Winter Solstice performance at Goucher College.

Above are just some general holiday(ish) ideas to get you going around Baltimore. What’s more important than what you pick, is that you make time and space to leave the house during the winter season. That you make time to connect with friends and community. While winter itself is non-negotiable, how we get through it has a lot of wiggle room.

Depression Therapy in Baltimore, MD

Photo of a man sitting on the floor of a Christmas decorated room and smiling at his phone. This represents how it is important to stay connected with friends and family during the holiday season.Do you feel sadder or depressed around the winter? Have you noticed a drop in your mood and energy? Or maybe you find yourself more isolated and alone than usual?

Our therapists at New Connections can help you understand what you are experiencing and make the changes you need to feel more connected and enjoy the winter holiday season. We also specialize in anxiety treatment, EMDRtrauma therapycouples counseling, and other life challenges. Reach out to know more!

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About the Author:

Brandon Muncy

Therapist (LCPC)

Brandon specializes in gender affirmation care for trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming clients. He’s also experienced in LGBTQ+ identity development, men’s issues, and relationship/marriage counseling.

In his free time, he enjoys archery, running, learning ASL, and playing the violin (poorly).