Holiday Happenings

There are many fun holiday events planned throughout the city this season! This information is summarized in our Holiday Happenings newsletter (PDF). Print it out to make sure you don't miss anything.

Beginning Saturday, November 25

Holiday Shopping at Belair Mansion

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 25 through December 23, 12 to 4 p.m., Belair Mansion

Find one-of-a-kind gifts at the Belair Mansion Gift Shop. There are teapots and cups, cozy blankets, holiday ornaments, local history books, great stocking stuffers, and much more. 

Beginning Sunday, November 26

Letters to Santa

November 26 through December 17
Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., City Hall
Friday to Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m., Old Town Bowie Welcome Center

Kids, there’s a jolly old fella waiting for your letter to arrive at the North Pole. Stop by City Hall or the Old Town Bowie Welcome Center to drop off your letter to Santa in the North Pole mailbox. Bring your letter from home or fill out a pre-formatted letter provided on-site. Free. 

Through December 31

Visit Belair

12 to 4 p.m., Belair Mansion
Tour the mansion decked out in all its finery and revel in live holiday music from local favorite Bedlam. There’s no better way to begin your holiday season.

Monday, December 4

Holiday House Decorating

Does your house look like one of the magical homes in Dr.Seuss’ Whoville? Enter it into the City of Bowie’s Holiday House Decorating competition. Homes must be within the municipal limits of the City of Bowie. Entries are due by 5 p.m. on December 4. You must complete the 2023 Holiday House Decorating form (PDF) and submit prior to the deadline. Judging will be on December 6 between 6 and 11 p.m. An awards ceremony will be held on December 18 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Apply now at

Tuesday, December 5

Holiday Craft Fair

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Senior Center
Start your holiday shopping by visiting the Senior Center’s Holiday Craft Fair. This event features various tables of unique handcrafted items made by members of the Center and is open to the public. 

Thursday, December 7

Senior Christmas Cactus Workshop

10 to 11:15 a.m., Senior Center
The Natural Resources subgroup of the Green Team will host an information session about Christmas Cactuses - what they are, how they bloom each year, and how to take care of them - followed by a workshop where participants will plant their own to take home! A Christmas Cactus is a sustainable gift that truly keeps on giving as it blooms every year around the holiday season. This event is open to Senior Center members. Please register directly at the Senior Center.

Friday, December 8 

Toys for Tots 2023

The Bowie Police Department is accepting donations of NEW and UNWRAPPED toys through December 8 in support of Toys for Tots. Drop off locations include:

  • Bowie City Hall / Police Department 
  • Bowie Gymnasium
  • Bowie Senior Center 
  • Bowie Ice Arena
  • Kenhill Center 

Kringle Kaboose

10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Old Town Bowie Welcome Center  
Visit the Old Town Bowie Welcome Center and enjoy a reading of the new classic, “Polar Express.” Receive your very own Kringle bell.  

Magic Elf Hunt!

December 8, 9, 10, 15, & 16 
12 to 4 p.m., Belair Mansion
Calling all Elf Hunters! Elves are missing from the North Pole and Santa believes they are hiding at Belair Mansion…again. Santa needs your help. Come to Belair Mansion and become an official elf hunter. Help return those naughty elves to the North Pole in time for Christmas. Free. No reservations needed.

Shop With a Cop

Bring holiday cheer to 100 children from the City of Bowie. Each child will be paired with an officer for a special day of music, food, and shopping. Donate today and help the Bowie Police Department ensure local families in need have a wonderful holiday season. Send a cash or check donation by December 8 to: 

Police Federal Credit Union 
9100 Presidential Parkway, 
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. 

Checks can be made payable to “Bowie Police Department.”

Saturday, December 9

Saturday Fun with Santa 

10 a.m. to 12 p.m., City Gymnasium 
Come see Santa in a festive environment with moon bounces, live holiday music, and face painting. Families with children age 10 and under are welcome. Admission is $3 or free with a donation of a new and unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots Drive.

Holiday Jingle Skate

1 to 2:45 p.m., Ice Arena
Come skate with Santa! There will be door prizes, free mini-lessons, a bake sale, and an ugly sweater contest. Free admission with a donation for the Toys for Tots Drive or Holiday Paws & Claws Drive. Skate rental is $3.

Senior Chorale Winter Concert "When the Angels Sing" - SOLD OUT

2 p.m., Bowie Center for the Performing Arts
The Senior Chorale is back. This year’s concert will be directed by Craig Sparks, featuring “When the Angels Sing” and holiday songs. Tickets can be purchased online for $10 (plus a small service fee) at or at the BCPA box office (15200 Annapolis Rd.), Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, December 15

Senior Holiday Party

12:30 p.m., Senior Center 
Enjoy the sounds of DJ Gigi and enjoy light refreshments. Pre-register by December 8. $5 residents/$6 non residents. Seniors 55+ only. 

Saturday, December 16

Breakfast with Santa - SOLD OUT

9 to 11 a.m., Senior Center
Bring the family to visit Santa, eat breakfast, make crafts, and watch a magician. Hurry! This event is only open to 90 participants and sells out quickly. Admission is $5. Children 2 and under are free. Pre-register at the Senior Center or at by filling out this registration form (PDF) that can be mailed or dropped off at the Senior Center. 

Sunday, December 17

Reindeer Games

12 to 4 p.m., Belair Stable
We all know about Rudolph and his friends, but did you know that Santa uses Belair Stable to train reindeer? Learn what it takes to be a North Pole reindeer and play reindeer games. 

Holiday Paws & Claws Drive

Nov. 1 to Dec. 17, Ice Arena
Let’s not forget our furry friends this holiday season. Help support the local animal shelter by donating to the Ice Arena’s first Holiday Paws & Claws Drive. You can donate unopened dog or cat food and cat litter, dog or cat toys, and clean blankets through December 17. When you donate, stop by the rink office to pick up your coupon for free admission to any public skating session as our way of saying thanks.

Saturday, December 23

Bowie Playhouse Holiday Movie Series

Movies will be shown at the Bowie Playhouse in Whitemarsh Park. Register for your free ticket.

1 p.m. "The Polar Express" (Yep I want FREE tickets)PolarExpress

5 p.m. - "Elf" (Yep, I want FREE tickets)Elf

Monday, December 25

All City Facilities & City Offices Closed

City offices and City facilities will be closed Christmas Day. There is no trash or recycling service on this date. Service will resume on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Wednesday, December 27

Bowie Playhouse Holiday Movie Series

1 p.m. - "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" (Yep, I want FREE tickets)Muppet Christmas

Friday, December 29

Welcome 2024  – “Noon” Year’s Party 

12:30 p.m., Senior Center 
Put on your finest party outfit or come casual and celebrate. DJ C-Well will provide the entertainment, and there will be noisemakers, and light refreshments. Seniors 55+ only. Pre-registration fee is $5 for residents or $6 for nonresidents.

Monday, January 1

All City Facilities & City Offices Closed

City offices and City facilities will be closed on New Year’s Day. There is no trash service on this date. Service will resume on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Please note: Recycling will be collected on the holiday for those on the Monday pickup schedule. 

Christmas trees will be collected on Wednesdays in January with yard waste. Remove lights and decorations and leave unbagged.