Once winter hits, our inclination is to burrow under the covers with a good book until spring. But in Cecil County, there is no shortage of reasons to bundle up and get out of the house.
Winter Lights Cecil Nights brings two months of festivals, lights, shows, art, food, and family fun to its seven towns. Restaurants in Cecilton, Charlestown, Chesapeake City, Elkton, North East, Perryville, and Port Deposit are cooking up a variety of warm, comforting meals, and the whole county is rolling out the red carpet with a calendar of events celebrating this snowy season.
Whether you live in Cecil County and can partake in activities every weekend or you are planning a weekend trip, check below for the schedule of fun!
North East: Main Street Scavenger Hunt, Winter Lights Wagon Rides, and Snowman on Main Street
Through February 29, 2024
Go on a Gnome Hunt in Downtown North East! During this scavenger hunt, find at least eight Snowflake Gnomes – who are hiding among the shops and restaurants in this charming town – and win a chance at a $100 gift card!
You can also take a wagon ride through this waterside village, immersing yourself in a festive blend of nostalgia and community spirit. And during February, be sure to vote for your favorite snowman! The snowy contestants, made by local businesses and individuals, are built with crab baskets and will be on display on Main Street. Grab a selfie with your fav and cast your ballot.
Port Deposit: Second Saturday Block Party
Saturday, February 10, 4 p.m.
Step back in time at Port Deposit’s vibrant Second Saturday Block Party! Explore the rich history of this bustling port town, get cozy around the firepits sprinkled throughout town, and craft your perfect s’more or cuppa hot chocolate at the fixins’ bar.
Charlestown: Happy House Tour at the Ice House
Friday, January 19, 4 p.m.
Take a peek inside the circa 1880 P.K. Barnes Ice House at Veteran’s Park, built to support a thriving fishing operation and now an important piece of Charlestown history. Wellwood Restaurant will provide scrumptious hors d’oeuvres along with hot chocolate at this Friday evening get-together.
Elkton: 36th Annual Paper Americana Show
Saturday, January 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Browse through old books, magazines, promotional postcards, advertising signs, newspapers, baseball cards, postcards, and other paper memorabilia while reminiscing about days gone by at the annual Paper Americana Show at Elkton’s Singerly Fire Company.
Chesapeake City: Snow Much Fun
Saturday, January 27, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Gather your family in Chesapeake City’s Pell Gardens for a winter wonderland at the annual Snow Much Fun event! This free event will have falling snow, an old-fashioned snowball fight, putt putt, and corn hole.
North East: Firepit Family Nights
Saturday, January 27 and Saturday, February 17, 6 p.m.
Winter is the perfect time to gather your favorite people (up to six!) and cozy up around a crackling firepit at Turkey Point Vineyard. While you’re there, indulge in the delightful flavors of locally crafted wines.
Elkton: Lantern Making Workshops
Wednesday, January 31, 6 p.m. and Saturday, February 10, 12 p.m.
Elkton Gallery Display: Treasure and Treasury
January 31-February 24, 2024
While you are at this women-owned business, check out their workshop schedule, enjoy local musician sessions, and shop their eclectic mix of art, jewelry, books, and accessories.
Cecilton: Art Exhibit: Life on the Chesapeake
Thursday, February 1, 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy hand-made creations by local artists featuring the daily scenes of the Eastern Shore at this art exhibition at the Ceciltown Community Center. While you are in town, be sure to swing by Town Hall, which will be festively lit with lights.
Elkton: Soup There It Is!
Friday, February 2, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sample Elkton’s best soups at their annual soup contest held in the historic downtown. A nice twist: YOU get to be the judge! Sip your way through a sampling of the best soups winter has to offer and then vote for your favorite.
Perryville: Family Comedy Night
Saturday, February 3, 6:30 p.m.
Bring the whole family for a night of belly laughs at the Good Shepherd School’s Family Comedy Night. Enjoy snacks and mingling before the show kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets required.
North East: Black Angels Over Tuskegee
Saturday, February 10, 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 11, 2 p.m.
Milburn Stone Theatre hosts a two-performance limited engagement of Black Angels Over Tuskegee, an award-winning play featuring six trail-blazing African American aviators who overcame Jim Crow-era injustice. Tickets required.
Elkton: Winter Light Parade
Friday, February 16, 6:30 p.m.
Bring your homemade lantern (see workshops January 31 and February 10) and march through historic downtown Elkton as part of this spectacular community parade.
Chesapeake City: Sip and Stroll
Saturday, February 17, 1 p.m.
Sip and stroll along picturesque Bohemia Avenue, while sampling craft beer, wine, cider, and spirits from over a dozen vendors. Food will be available, and you can shop until you drop in Chesapeake City’s shops and boutiques.
Perryville: Starry Nights Class by Artisticaly Wired
Sunday, February 18, 2 p.m.
Add your own artistic flair to Van Gogh’s classic “Starry Starry Nights” when you create a twirled wire tree at this unique workshop. Taught by local artisans Artisticaly Wired and hosted at 5th Company Brewing, you can enjoy a lager, ale, or sour while you create your masterpiece. Tickets required.
Charlestown: Happy Hour Tour at the Tory House
Friday, February 23, 4 p.m.
Step into history during happy hour at the Tory House, a circa 1750 Federal-style home. Hosted by Colonial Charlestown, the evening will feature hors d’oeuvres by Market Street Cafe and hot chocolate.
Perryville: Winter Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, February 24, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Grab some teammates and race the clock to complete this cold-weather-themed scavenger hunt. Prizes will be awarded to the winners. Registration required.
North East: Lady Lightkeepers
Saturday, February 24, 5:45 p.m.
Did you know that four women kept the light at Turkey Point, ensuring safe passage of seafaring ships? Learn more about these brave women on a 1.6-mile guided hike with a Park Ranger to the Turkey Point Lighthouse.
Charlestown: Annual Ice Splash
Saturday, February 24, 1 p.m.
Take a frosty swim in the North East River! Bring yourself, your bathing suit, and a warm towel to Veteran’s Park for this annual event that brings the community together for a good cause.
About the Author
Heidi Glatfelter Schlag is a marketer, history lover, and traveler who can often be found exploring museums, parks, small towns, and farms. She founded Culture-Link Communications, where she helps local nonprofits and small businesses build their brands. Heidi lives in Frederick, MD, with her husband and two dogs.