Baltimore is a city with plenty to do.
By itself, the Inner Harbor area offers great food and drink, the National Aquarium and the U.S.S. Constellation, the last sail-only warship built by the Navy.
Those items are only a start to a city with professional sports teams (yes, even the Ravens), a symphony orchestra and a few neighborhoods that alone are worth the trip.
But Baltimore also is a place with museums and galleries that are hosts to tempting tourist-ready events.
Some of the current ones are holiday-related, but the best are those that share some of Baltimore’s secrets.
Ho, ho, Harbor
One of the biggest elements of the worldwide celebration of Christmas has returned to West Shore Park on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
The German Christmas Market brings a touch of central Europe to town with 45 vendors and their arts and crafts in a heated tent near a huge holiday tree.
A Bavarian beer garden offers pretzels, bratwurst and gingerbread along with brews. There are daily concerts by choirs, bands and other performers with themed weekend events.
The market runs through Dec. 24. Weekdays are free.
For weekend events and admission: 443-760-0686 or baltimore-christmas.com
And, say, you can see
Baltimore is an appropriate place to have any kind of examination of the United States flag. After all, the Star-Spangled Banner got its name in one explosive night at Fort McHenry.
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture is looking at how people of all races and colors have had a role in making the flag a symbol of freedom. “For Whom It Stands” has more than 100 pieces of art, artifacts and documents showing the American experience with the flag.
It includes works by white, black, Arab- and Israeli-Americans among others and has a sound installation with many interpretations of the national anthem.
It runs through Feb. 28 and is included with admission, which is $8, $6 for seniors, students and ages 7 to 17, and free for those younger.
Details: 443-263-1800 or rflewismuseum.org
Mendes Cohen did it all. Or so it seems.
The Jewish Museum of Maryland tells the story of the exploits of the banker-philanthropist-adventurer who was part of the small Jewish population of Baltimore in the early 1800s.
“The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen” looks at his experiences in the city when the British were threatening Fort McHenry, at the Vatican for the installation of a pope and sailing down the Nile.
It does so in the form of a maze where visitors can make choices of directions they want to go, seeing exhibits of his various adventures.
It is open through June 14. Admission is $8, $6 for seniors, $4 for students and $3 for those under 12.
Details: 410-732-6400 or jewishmuseummd.org
A new way of thinking
America’s founding fathers, dreamers, saints, inventors and scientists all share one part of their realities: the “a ha!” moments when ideas strike.
The American Visionary Art Museum looks at those moments in “The Visionary Experience: St. Francis to Finster.”
In pieces of art that represent such thinking, it looks at the philosophy of the Roman Catholic saint, the spirituality of guitarist Jimi Hendrix and the religion of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick.
It leads viewers down the road of ancient and futuristic thought, where the voice of brilliance beckoned its listeners.
It runs through Aug. 30. Admission is $15.95, $13.95 for seniors, $9.95 for students and children, and free for those under 6.
Details: 410-244-1900 or avam.org
You can’t tell a book …
Decades from now — perhaps even sooner — the Walters Art Museum might have a display called “The Disappearance of the Book.”
For now, though, it is looking at the early evolution in the information industry: “From Pen to Press: Experimentation and Innovation in the Age of Print.”
It deals with the time when Johannes Gutenberg’s Bible in 1455 was a new, experimental medium. New formats and failed experiments developed into new forms of books.
The display examines manuscripts and early printed books and deals with issues such as how printers developed typefaces for use in these early works.
As the digital age continues, this display is a timely look at a technological revolution.
It runs through April 12. Admission is free.
Details: 410-547-9000 or thewalters.org
Something of a Marvel
African-American contributions to music, art and film are well known, but Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is looking at a role that is a bit Marvel-ous.
“Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond” is a exhibit on innovations from or influences by black creators.
They include work in companies like Dark Horse, DC and Marvel Comics. It is a complete look at the black role in comic-book and graphic-novel history, curator Michael Davis says.
It will close at the end of the year. Admission is $10, $9 for seniors, $7 for those age 5 to 18 and free for those 4 and younger.
Details: 410-625-7060 or geppismuseum.com
May the Armed Forces be with you
Of course, events that are held only once a year have a great deal of significance. Christmas, for example. Or the Army-Navy game.
This year’s clash between the Black Knights of West Point and the Midshipmen of the nearby Naval Academy will be Dec. 13 at M&T Bank Stadium.
This is the third time M&T has played host to the classic, with previous stops in 2000 and 2007. It will return in 2016.
In 114 games, the Naval Academy has a 58-49-7 edge.
Details: 410-261-7283 or baltimoreravens.com
Bob Karlovits is staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.