Watch out, Chanukah comes early this year, so don’t let the Festival of Lights sneak up on you. Find the time to celebrate with these fun events for all ages, including music, food, storytelling, bingo, menorah lightings, latke contests, pot lucks and more. Chanukah begins Sunday evening Dec. 2 and ends the evening of Monday, Dec. 10. Light up your nights at these special activities scheduled in and around the Baltimore area.
>> Chanukah at Hunt Valley Town Centre, hosted by the JCC of Greater Baltimore, offers Chanukah activities, story time and a special sing-along with Chanukah songs at Greetings and Readings on Dec. 1 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Visit jcc.org/chanukah-events.
>> Get in the swing of the season Dec. 2 with the giant 32-foot menorah lighting at the Baltimore Chanukah Festival, hosted by Chabad-Lubavitch Centers of Greater Baltimore and the City of Baltimore. Activities kick off at 2:30 p.m., followed by a 3:30 p.m. concert and a menorah lighting ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Activities include dreidel cookie decorating, menorah velvet art, Chanukah-themed face painting, chocolate-gelt activities and photo-ops with Judah Maccabee. Hot drinks and refreshments will be available in a heated tent. Kosher food will be available for purchase. The free festival is at McKeldin Square, 100 E. Pratt St. Visit baltimorechanukahfestival.com.
>> Chanukah at Foundry Row, hosted by the JCC, brings morning Chanukah activities inside of Wegmans, with dreidel spinning, story time, edible crafts and music for kids of all ages Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit jcc.org/chanukah-events.
>> Lace up those running shoes Dec. 2 for the third annual Chanukah Hot Chocolate 5K, 1-Mile Fun Run & Family Fun Day, with check-in at 7:30 a.m. and the race stepping off at 9 a.m. at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. Hosted by the JCC, Hadassah Greater Baltimore and LifeBridge Health, hot cocoa and swag awaits at the finish line along with an afterparty and prizes for top finishers. Register online at jcc.org/chanukah5k.
>> Congregation Tiferes Yisroel celebrates Dec. 2 from noon to 3 p.m. with a Chanukah Carnival, including games, prizes, face painting, and more. No fee, but a $5 donation is suggested. Visit tiferesyisroel.org.
>> Hanukkah Lights Up the Sky is set for Dec. 3 from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. Join Beth El and Chizuk Amuno congregations in Beth El’s rear parking lot for a Chanukah celebration featuring festival-style dinner stations, candle lighting and a performance by Johns Hopkins University’s Jewish a cappella group Ketzev. Then hang around for the fireworks. Fees are $5 per person or $18 per family in advance or $6 per person or $20 per family at the door. Visit bethelbalto.com/hanukkah-2018.
>> Jewish Community Services presents A Shining Light: Special Chanukah Program for Those Who Lost a Loved One on Dec. 4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 5750 Park Heights Ave. The free event, for people who are grieving, includes a Chanukah candle lighting and special program honoring those who are no longer with us but continue to be a light in our lives. Light refreshments will be served and kosher dietary laws observed. Visit bit.ly/2KDTtrS or call 410-466-9200.
>> Try your luck at Family Chanukah Bingo at Beth Tfiloh Auditorium on Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be latkes and menorah lighting. Fees are $5 per person or $25 per family. Visit bethtfiloh.com/register.
>> Chanukah Brew Ha Ha is back Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. The annual Charm City Tribe event for young adults ages 22-39 is at the new Union Collective this year. Visit facebook.com/CharmCityTribe.
>> Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim presents Chanukah Chagiga for all ages on Dec. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. with music, mingling, dinner and a make-your-own sufganiyot bar. Fees are $18 for adults and $15 for children ages 4 to 13. Visit suburbanorthodox.org/event/chanukah.
>> Hebrew-speaking families are invited to the Israeli Chanukah Party 2018 at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC community room Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be Chanukah candle lighting and sufganiyot decorating. Participants of all abilities are welcome. For special accommodations, please contact Amalia Phillips at [email protected] Presented by the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education. For more information or to register, visit bit.ly/2DYKy3K.
>> Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah and Azamra Chevre presents A Rockin’ Chanukah Extravaganza on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. featuring Avraham Rosenblum & The Emmisaries, Yitzy Kaplowitz & Ohr Haganuz, Pinny Schachter, Kol Fusion and David Gerhardt. Tickets are $8, seniors tickets are $7 and student tickets are $6. Contact [email protected] or visit mmae.org.
>> Join Beth Israel Dec. 7 from 6:13 p.m. to 9 p.m. for their Chanukah Celebration on Shabbat, including Shabbat Around the World with activities for all ages such as storytelling and musical performances plus a Chanukah dinner. Dinner is $22 for adults ages 13 and over, $12 for children ages 6 to 12 and $8 for children ages 3 to 5. For more information visit bethisrael-om.org.
>> Congregation Beit Tikvah celebrates Chanukah Dec. 7 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. with a potluck dairy/vegetarian/vegan dinner, including fried falafels. People are encouraged to bring their Chanukah menorah, Shabbat candles and favorite latkes for a creative latke contest. There will be dreidel spinning and Chanukah songs. RSVP to [email protected]
>> Chanukah-themed free story time, songs, and crafts for children ages up to 5 years will be offered at multiple JCC Hands on Holidays events at area venues on Dec. 6, 7 and 9. Visit jcc.org/handsonholidays.
>> The Weinberg Park Heights JCC and the Chabad of Park Heights presents a two-day Chanukah Wonderland, Dec. 9 and 10 with family activities including an olive press demonstration, donut decorating, Chanukah arts and crafts, a moon bounce, face painting, Chanukah photo booth and food for purchase. RSVPs are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. RSVP to Shira Heideman at 410-500-5907 or [email protected] For all Chabad of Park Heights Chanukah events, including the Chanukah parade, visit bit.ly/2FGFO4n.
>> Check out Bolton Street Synagogue’s Shabanukkah Pot Luck and Menorah Museum on Dec. 7 from 6 to 11 p.m. that will include a Chanukah Pot Luck Shabbat celebration and community menorah lighting. Families are encouraged to bring their own menorah to light. The pot luck should be a vegetarian dish that can serve 6-8 to people. The synagogue students’ Menorah Museum will be displayed and families are encouraged to create and bring in their own. For information or to RSVP, email [email protected]
>> There will be entertainment, refreshments and an artworks raffle at Artistpalooza: A Chanukah celebration of local artists and performers Dec. 8 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Myerberg Center. Fees for adults are $20 in advance and $25 at the door; and fees for youths over age 13 are $10 in advance and $15 at door. Visit chevreitzedek.org.
>> Gordon Center for Performing Arts celebrates Chanukah with performances by Lisa Loeb Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. and the Maccabeats Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Visit jcc.org/gordon-center/music.
>> Check out the many Chanukah events in Howard County, including the Community Chanukah Celebration at Oakland Mills High School, Dec. 9 from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Columbia Jewish Congregation’s Klezmer Band, pool, foosball, cards, Israeli dancing, candle making, a latke challenge and more. For more information, call 410-730-6044. Other Howard County-area events include Knesset Club’s Latkes & Vodka, Festival of Enlightenment, Latkes & Lights, PJ Chanukah and the Hanukkah Extravaganza at Beth Shalom Congregation. Visit bit.ly/2PZgbAD.