5 Things to do in August in Baltimore

Every month I find myself saying “I can’t believe it’s [insert month] yet,” but I really mean it this August. Where did the time go? While it may be the usual hot & humid Maryland summer, it is still sweet, sweet summertime. I’m not quite burnt out enough to be craving the fall weather (until I just mentioned it….) and I still want to enjoy the long days filled with sunshine. If you are looking to fully embrace your summer and try some new adventures, here are a few events happening around Baltimore in August:

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WTMD First Thursdays – Photo Credit: Will Cocks Photography

August 4th

Check out one of my personal favorite summer events, the WTMD First Thursday Concert featuring the Revivalists, Brooks Long & the Mad Dog No Good, and the Saint Johns. As the event continues to grow, you can find me heading over early to grab my spot in Canton Waterfront Park.

Photo from Knits, Soy and Metal Facebook Page

August 10th

Are you interested in candle making but have no idea where to start? Check out Candle Making with Knits, Soy, and Metal at The Room in Mt. Vernon. They will bring the supplies, you bring your creative spirit.

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Photo from Mt. Vernon Marketplace Facebook Page

August 13th

Baltimore’s newest marketplace is expanding to the outdoors for ParkFest, Mt. Vernon Marketplace’s first block party. You can’t get much more summer than a block party.

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Photo from Baltimore Magazine Facebook Page

August 18th

Join the finest our city has to offer at Baltimore Magazine’s Best of Baltimore Party. They will have tastings, cocktails, and live music at the Hippodrome, complete with a swinging 60s theme.

August 21st

Come together with many of Baltimore’s yogis and yoginis at the Baltimore Free to Breathe Yogathon. Be a part of a one-of-a-kind team yoga experience, all while raising funds to change the future of lung cancer. You can participate in up to 8 hours of yoga with varied intensities and instructors from studios all around the city, while also enjoying acupuncture, hair braiding, metallic tattoos, reiki, henna, foam rolling, cupping, PT, clothing, mala, and tons of healthy foods and drinks. Also, a big thank you to Annie Truax of BmoreToned for hosting a very inspiring sneak peek of the Yogathon at Core Power Yoga. If our morning yoga class is any indication of how the Yogathon will be, I am confident everyone is in for an energizing and motivating day.


Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their August and summer!

Mac + Cheese = Baltimore Love

As the day comes to an end, I think it is never too late to say happy National Mac n Cheese Day to all my cheese loving friends! I have always been enamored with this cheesy dish. Growing up, my father’s baked Mac n Cheese was always my favorite meal… actually it still is. My coworkers and I were discussing this delicious holiday at work and started listing all of the great places to get the tasty dish around town. I thought it would be best to share some of the best places to grab Mac n Cheese around Baltimore:

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Photo taken by @brian_weiner on Instagram

Alexander’s Tavern in Fells Point has two amazing Mac n Cheese dishes. If you are there for brunch, try out the Breakfast Mac n Cheese with scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage.

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Or you could order the Mac n Cheese pizza, complete with bacon and jalapeños. This was the very first meal I ate in Baltimore after signing my first Baltimore City lease 8 years ago. This picture is literally from that day (for real, check out the Mr’s sliding phone in the background). Still a favorite dish of mine to date!

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Photo taken by @linggdongg on Instagram

You could also head across the street to Stuggy’s for a Crab Mac dog topped with Old Bay. It’s like America’s favorite past time had a baby with the state of Maryland and topped it with Mac n Cheese. Not nearly the best way to describe it, so let the photo do the talking.

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Photo taken by @cardinaltav on Instagram

Over in Canton, many of my neighbors’ favorite corner bar boasts a very creamy Mac n Cheese. Don’t miss out on the rest of the true southern food at Cardinal Tavern.

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Photo taken by @roliepolieolgie on Instagram

Head up to Highlandtown to taste Snake Hill‘s flavorful Mac n Cheese. Best when paired with one of their sausages.

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Photo taken by liketheteaeats.com

Across the harbor, you can carry on to Wayward Southern Bar & Grill for their Brisket Mac n Cheese. Hello 14 hour brisket, smoked gouda, and I don’t care if mason jars are over used because that is simply adorable. I just want to eat it right up…oh wait, yeah, that is the point.

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Photo taken by @fbjackson on Instagram

While I have never had it myself, this photo of the Mac n Cheese at Brewer’s Art is making my mouth water. Must. Go. ASAP.

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Photo taken by George T. on Yelp

I am not going to lie, while looking for photos of the Mac + Cheese + Chocolate from Jack’s Bistro, it was hard to find one that looked appetizing. Most photos do not do it justice and it is a must try. That is coming from a girl who severely dislikes mixing her sweets and savories.

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Photo on TheFoodNetwork.com

Something would be amiss if I did not include the Gypsy Queen’s Mac n Cheese Cone with Bacon Bling. Yes, you heard me, Mac n Cheese in a CONE with BACON. It was even featured on Food Network with a recipe, but I would recommend going right to the source.

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Photo taken by @dmcgphotography, posted on @thefoodmarket Instagram

Last, but you know the saying, not least, head on up to Hampden to sample The Food Market‘s Lobster Mac n Cheese.

Now I am off to have noodly dreams with all of my favorite cheeses. Goodnight, Bmore!

With Love & Cheese,


Ocean City Summer 2016 Bucket List

Who else is heading to the beach this weekend? Ocean City, of course. Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about my favorite spots to visit while there.

This year, I have compiled a bucket list for this summer. Some are new, some are repeats, check it out:

  • Fish Tales – get there early, nab a hammock or adirondack chair, and sip on an ice cold beverage while the sunsets.
  • Old Pro Mini Golf – You know how people always think it is impossible to get the hole-in-one at the end and win a free game? It isn’t. I did it. I’ll do it again.
  • Fractured Prune – I doughnut know what a weekend to OC would be without this place.
  • Kayaking – a peaceful morning paddle to help balance your weekend out.
  • Backshore Brewing – still one of my all time favs. It’s a chill spot complete with boardwalk people watching.
  • Hooked – a nice change of pace from many OC restaurants. Also has a cute little outdoor bar if you are looking to keep it more casual.
  • Barn 34 for brunch – haven’t been yet, but that’s what this list is for, right?!
  • Thrasher’s or Boardwalk Fries – or BOTH – give me all the fries, topped with all the vinegar and all the Old Bay.
  • Yoga on the Beach – I love me some yoga, but then you put it on the beach… yes please.
  • Liquid Assets – you run in to restock your beach house bar, you get distracted with some cheese and charcuterie boards, and before you know it, you’re hanging out at the bar, feasting on some shrimp and grits. It happens. Embrace it.
  • Macky’s – what is a Maryland summer without a bucket of Orange Crush and as many bros as the eye can see?
  • De Lazy Lizard – the open air tiki bar on the bay is refreshing. For the young parents out there, there is a huge playground for the kids.
  • And if I am temporarily missing Baltimore – Ropewalk or Abbey Burger should help ease the pain.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and enjoy your summer downy oshun, hon.


What is This Light City Thing Anyway?

You’ve probably seen your Instagram and Facebook feeds blowing up with Light City images all week. This festival is bringing literal light and brightness to a city that is on the edge of something great. I can’t even begin to describe what this festival means to me or for this city, but I’ll quote Thomas Dolby from the Light City U Creative Conference, “what is going on in Baltimore today sets the stage for a beautiful resurgence.” 

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, here are a few photos from what I’ve enjoyed so far this week. But please, come out tonight or tomorrow to see the festival and the community with your own eyes.

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The Big Wheel: Ride high above Light City on a LED Ferris wheel (Special thanks to Sherwood Amusements).

Lumen presented by Kaiser Permanente: created by Kristin McWharter and Steven Lymana, it is a visual art installation, performance, and interactive community space that allows users to draw with light across the Baltimore city landscape. Each night of the festival, Lumen invites local muralists and festival attendees to contribute to an illuminated 100’ fluorescent mural wall.

The Creative Alliance Light City Lantern Parade kicked off the Light City festival on Monday. The parade f music performances by 901 Arts Drumline, Tongue N Cheek, Twilighters Marching Band, N Full Motion Marching Band and Mariachi Rey Azteca.

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(Left) Michael Owen, Tony Byrd and Jay Herzog put on a live 30-minute performance every night, featuring light, dance, sound, and paint in a life-size diorama.

(Right) Diamonds Light Baltimore presented by Legg Mason: created by Cheon and Kroiz, Artist and Architect Collaborative, complete with 15 LED Diamond sculptures.

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Dear Baltimore: Thick Air Studios from Detroit created letters that float above bicycles. As they join together, they spell out various phrases composed of the letters from “Dear Baltimore.”

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Dunson, a Baltimore hip hop artist, played at the Harbor East stage on Friday night. 
Like I said earlier, it’s not too late to see it with your own eyes. Get out there tonight or tomorrow!


Hello, March. Looking for something to do around Baltimore?

March is here and Spring is just around the corner. Until then, we will alternate between snow and 65 degree days, in typical Maryland fashion. It also means it is the month of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, like it or hate it, it happens. Beyond the bar crawls (the Canton Irish Stroll, the Fed Hill Irish Stroll, Canton Square’s Meet in the Street, or St. Natty’s Day Pub Crawl), there is still a lot to check out in Baltimore:

Photo Credit: Birroteca’s Facebook Page

Thursday, March 10th

Grab some Flights & Bites with Burley Oak at Birroteca. They will have multiple beers and food pairings that you can sample. Get yourself a beer flight for $14 or the beer & food pairing for $24.

Thursday, March 17th

Looking to do something a little different on St. Patrick’s Day? Join CorePower Yoga for a special St. Patrick’s Day class at Little Havana. The class is FREE and Little Havana is offering drink and food specials after the class. Namaste and slainte. 


Photo Credit: Creative Mornings

Friday, March 18th

Start your day off with Creative Mornings Baltimore. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community across the world. Their free events feature a short talk and breakfast at a new venue every month. This month’s theme: Change.


Photo Credit: Baltimore Museum of Art Facebook Page

Friday March 18th

End your day with Art After Hours at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The event provides after hours access to their new exhibit, signature Van Gogh cocktails, food from Clementine, and some Friday night dancing. The first one in January sold out in a matter of days, so don’t wait to buy your tickets.

Thursday March 24th

Check out the new Pulse concert series at the Meyerhoff. This month they are bringing together the classical sounds of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra paired with the indie rock tunes of Dr. Dog. Get there early for happy hour and lobby activities with great local restaurants and vendors.


Photo Credit: Light City Facebook Page

March 28th- April 3rd

The inaugural Light City Baltimore is almost here, featuring a 1.5 mile Light Art Walk with illuminated visual artworks, street theater, musical performances, and concerts. This includes (but not nearly limited to) a ferris wheel, a 20′ tall by 40′ wide animatronic peacock, a labyrinth, 300 “paper boats” in the harbor, the sounds of Bosley, the beats of Dunson, and Dan Deacon (who is known for his interactive shows), all of these with LIGHTS. Did we mention it is FREE?

During the day, you can also get tickets to Light City U, which has daily innovation conferences dedicated to powering social change. You can see engaging speakers from all over, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, MICA, UMBC, Center Stage, OrderUp, Mindgrub, the National Aquarium, BGE, Betamore, Revolution, Johns Hopkins, Girls Who Code, and don’t forget, Ray Lewis.  

I’m incredibly excited for this celebration of ideas and creativity through art, music, and innovation. Hope you can join!

Welcome Baby Charlotte! | Virginia Family Photos

I was so excited to meet my new niece, Charlotte, and visit with my brother’s family a couple weeks ago. Capturing baby photos is always a fascinating experience, but even more so when you are their Aunt!

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While Charlotte was overcoming her hiccups, Sami was running around showing off her buddies (stuffed animals) and telling me about her new baby sister. 

Their house has so much light and looks absolutely stunning with all of Kris & Christy’s hard work. It has been amazing to see the life they have literally built themselves.

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Sami was so perfectly gentle with Charlotte. It has been lovely watching Sami grow into who she is over the years and I cannot wait to see the same for Charlotte.

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8 Ways to Have a Fabulous February in Baltimore

The ground hog did not retreat back into his burrow this morning and I suggest you follow his lead because hey, spring might be here soon. Either way, there are a lot of fun events happening this month that you do not want to miss.

Photo Credit: brewmorebaltimore.com

February 4th

The local documentary, Brewmore Baltimore, will be shown at the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Thursday. There is no better way to enjoy some popcorn and a beer than learning about beer brewing history and its reemergence in Baltimore at the same time.

Photo Credit: The Charmery Facebook Page

February 6th

The best part about being an adult is choosing how you handle big life decisions, like is it okay to eat ice cream for breakfast? The Charmery says yes, especially on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. There will be a full lineup of special flavors (think French Toast and Cinnamon Roll), served alongside fresh Belgian Waffles and Spro coffee. To top it off, it is not only socially acceptable but highly encouraged to wear your PJs.

Photo credit: baltimoremagazine.net

February 11th

Single and hoping to meet a new sweetheart? Check out Baltimore Magazine’s Top Singles Party at the newly renovated Baltimore Museum of Art.

Photo Credit: mpoweryogastudio.com

February 12th

Thanks to the blizzard, M. Power’s Rock N’ Flow yoga class was rescheduled to this month. Head over to Ram’s Head Live to enjoy the perfect pairing of music and yoga.

Photo Credit: Bmore Musical

February 12th & 13th

If you are looking for a way to celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s Day, head up to Hampden to check out BMore Musical’s Red Velvet Evening at the Ideal Arts Space. It will feature love songs from Broadway shows, movies, and recent pop songs. And bonus… the event is BYOB!

Photo Credit: Mother’s Grille

February 14th

Forget getting dressed up and attempting to get a reservation for Valentine’s Day, stay in your PJs and head over to Mother’s Federal Hill Grill for their bi-annual Pajama Brunch. You may be noticing a PJ theme in this blog post, but this time you get 1/2 off your ENTIRE check (including booze) if you’re wearing your PJs. (P.S. no joking, real PJs, no sweats)

Photo Credit: BlackTieBaltimore.com

February 27th

Okay, fine, by now you are looking to get out of those PJs. Get dressed up to the nines for the Black Tie Baltimore party at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. All net proceeds go to support three education-related non-profits in the Baltimore area – Carson Scholars Fund, Midtown Academy, and Teach for America.

Photo Credit: Union Craft Brewing

February 28th

Union Craft Brewing is hosting a Pinewood Derby at the end of the month. Head over to their website for official rules & regs, but be ready to design based on speed and style.


Travel Blogging: BS in Asheville

Growing up, we often spent our summer vacations one of two ways. Visiting my grandparents at the beach or my father would pick historic locations for us to visit. We are talking no Disney World for little Becky, more along the lines of Colonial Williamsburg and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. At the time, I might not have been able to fully appreciate this, but I do remember one of my favorites being the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. I had not been back there since I was a kid, but had heard many friends speak highly of Asheville. That meant the minute Southwest had a sale, we grabbed some tickets to Charlotte and asked a couple friends to road trip to Asheville with us.

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When we arrived to town, we were getting a bit hangry and headed straight for the White Duck Taco Shop. I would highly recommend it, with it’s great outdoor seating and delicious tacos of all flavors. Since we were in the River Arts District and had nothing on our agenda, we decided to wander through the working artist studios, which surely got the creative juices flowing.

One of our favorites was Jonas Gerard. As we were looking through his gallery, he was there with his quirky commentary and was quick to encourage his patrons to touch the paintings. He did this by insisting his employees put up more “Please Do Touch” signs around the gallery. We were also able to stay when the mood struck and he wanted to paint. He set the mood with some really loud music and as he painted, we were able to take in all the inspiring messages in his studio.

With more breweries per capita than any other US city, we knew we had to check out some local beer and found ourselves at Wedge Brewery.

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I quickly found a friend… who then met another friend.

We opted to travel to Asheville in the fall in order to take in all the colors of the changing leaves. We went for a beautiful drive on part of the Skyline Drive and hiked in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I felt like we were in a Jeep commercial. 

In Japan, they have a word, Shinrin-yoku (森林浴), which translates best to “forest bathing.” While at first, it seems like a comical translation, I think they are onto something. Hiking in the US often means your walk has to be long and vigorous. As opposed to setting out to accomplish something difficult, I enjoy the perspective of the Japanese where you immerse yourself in the forest for the sake of relaxation and stress management.

After our hike… or bathing… or walk, whatever you want to call it, we built up quite an appetite and headed to the Corner Kitchen for a late brunch, complete with a bloody mary. If it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me.

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While in Asheville, we had one of the best meals I can remember at Curate. The menu was full of tapas and the waitress was very helpful. She took us through each section of the menu, letting us know the chef’s favorites and guiding us on our food journey.

While we thought Curate would be a tough act to follow, we found ourselves at Sovereign Remedies, an adorable light filled corner bar with craft cocktails. You are sure to find something to fix what ails you there.

While we weren’t able to visit the Biltmore this past go around, we will without a doubt be back to Asheville soon. Plus, I hear there is a tubing trip that takes you by some of the breweries. Yes please! 

Thank you, Asheville, for filling my soul with all the art you had to offer and for being so adorably dog friendly! See you again soon.



Meat Baltimore’s New Favorite Sausage Joint

The owner and bartender of Johnny Rads, Rich and Randy, have teamed up to open a new restaurant in the Baltimore neighborhood of Highlandtown. I recently reached out to Rich to hear more about what inspired Snake Hill Tavern and all the delicious details.

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Over the past few years, Rich and Randy have often visited friends in other cities, always looking to taste the best local eats. The restaurants that stood out were the ones that had no equivalent in Baltimore and they noticed that there were no sausage-centric restaurants here at home. Many of the places they visited had common thread of great beer, sausages grilled to order, and simple side dishes. Rich and Randy thought “Baltimore doesn’t have anything like this… let’s change that.” With that, they set forward and opened Snake Hill Tavern this past November.

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Yes, Snake Hill. Why the name, you ask? Apparently, the area now known as Highlandtown was once farmland (weird to think) and was called Snake Hill (how lovely). As business grew around the harbor, there became a need for more housing, and a community was developed in the area around 1866. Rich informed me that “the residents decided that Snake Hill wasn’t the most inviting name for a neighborhood, so around 1870 it was changed to Highland Town because of the expansive views it offered of growing Baltimore City.”

Rich and Randy were attracted to Highlandtown for this project because to them it is home. They foresee Highlandtown becoming more desirable, and not just for it’s close proximity to Canton and lower real estate prices.

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“Highlandtown is one of three dedicated Arts Districts in the city … It is FULL of progressive thinking, ambitious, and creative residents. We see Highlandtown quickly becoming one of the hipper, more in-touch neighborhoods in Baltimore … Why not give something back to the community we decided to live in?”

As for the restaurant itself, a majority the “gourmet” sausages are sourced from local distributors, like the Rabbit & Rattlesnake and the Lamb Merguez. Other sausages like the Chicken Apple are from local makers like Logan’s Sausage. Snake Hill also has an in-house butcher who makes the “FatCityMeats” sausages such as the Pho-Q and the Pig Newton.

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I asked Rich which has been the most popular sausage so far. It has been a dead even tie between the ‘Pho-Real’ signature sandwich (the Pho-Q sausage topped with fresh chopped basil, sprouts, sliced jalapeño, and hoisin sauce like a traditional Pho soup) and the ‘Rico Suave’ signature sandwich (pictured above – the ‘Rico’ Peruvian chicken sausage topped with the popular “green” and “yellow” sauce found at popular Peruvian chicken restaurants around town). The Rico Suave has been my favorite so far, until I met their DiPasquale (pictured below) that was a special on the day I visited, but hopefully soon to be served every day. 

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For the adventurous eater, Rich would recommend the Rabbit & Rattlesnack or the Alligator Andouille, paired with spicy peppers and one of their house made whole grain mustards like the Old Bay Mustard or Duckpin IPA mustard.  “Most people get scared of the Rabbit & Rattlesnake simply because they have never even had the option to taste it.” 

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Rich & Randy have plans to open future locations around the Baltimore area and possibly expand out into surrounding local cities like Annapolis, Frederick, Ellicott City, and Ocean City. Before that though, they plan to fine tune the Highlandtown location and make it part of the conversation. Rich and Randy’s goal is to create a place that when friends visit Baltimore, locals say “Oh man, you gotta come to Snake Hill while you’re in town!”

9 Baltimore New Year’s Eve Parties You Don’t Want To Miss


Before we start thinking about resolutions and 2016, let’s talk how you are going to see 2015 out. While many may argue that New Year’s Eve is a very overrated night, I am never one to pass up an opportunity to dress up and drink champagne. I’ve gathered up a few ideas for how to ring in the New Year in Baltimore:

  1. Rock in the New Year at the Wonderland Ball, hosted by Union Brewery and Baltimore Soundstage. You can enjoy 2 sets of Cris Jacobs Band, Bawdy Shop Burlesque, a Pixelated Photobooth and a food truck court. You even have options on whether to buy the $25 GA ticket or $50 open bar ticket for those concerned about ticket prices.
  2. Cheers to 2016 at the new City Garage in Port Covington. It is hosted by Baltimore Social, which means there will be a free arcade and skeeball tournament in addition to a brass band, DJs, an open bar, buffet and more. 
  3. If you haven’t been to the Mobtown Ballroom before, I have a feeling this will be the party of the year for them (which says a lot). They are hosting their first-ever New Year’s Eve party featuring the soul & R&B sounds of Bosley. 
  4. Head over to the Yellow Sign Theater’s Third Annual Gong Show for a night of music, comedy, monkeys, burlesque and quote “general weirdness”. Yes. Not only is it FREE, but the show will end just before midnight, giving you enough time to duck next door to Club Chuck to make a toast to 2016.  
  5. If you consider yourself a karaoke connoisseur, the Metro Gallery New Year’s Eve Karaoke event is where you need to be. Each hour will have a different karaoke theme with prizes to the top singer.  
  6. If food is more your thing, snag yourself one of 12 exclusive tickets to dine in the Food Market’s private kitchen. We’re talking oysters on the half shell and gingerbread tres leches.
  7. Then head over to 34th street as everyone gathers to countdown to midnight. One of the neighbors creates a homemade ball drop on a lamp post and another runs around in a diaper. Only in Hampden. BYOC[hampagne].
  8. For one of the best views of the fireworks downtown, head over to Little Havana. Enjoy an open bar, appetizers, dinner buffet, and wait for it… a continental breakfast after midnight. Forget the champagne, pass me the bacon.  
  9. If all you really want is to get your groove on, one of the best dance parties in Baltimore, Save Your Soul, is taking on the New Year at the Wind Up Space. 

Stay safe, stay weird. Happy New Year, Bmore!