Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

The Festival of Trees is an annual holiday-themed family event that benefits Kennedy Krieger Institute. The focal point of the event is the display and sale of more than 800 spectacular holiday trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses created by local designers, artists, florists, individuals, schools and community groups. Additional attractions include live holiday entertainment, and seasonal merchants. One of the event’s most popular areas is SantaLand, an indoor carnival-style experience for children featuring crafts, games and Santa visits, and pony, carousel and train rides.

The festival is held inside the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, located at 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093. For directions, please call the Maryland State Fairgrounds at (410) 252-0200 or visit their website here.

The Festival of Trees occurs annually during Thanksgiving Weekend. The 2019 event will take place on:

  • Friday, November 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 1, from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

Yes. You can purchase your tickets online and print them at home to avoid the lines at the Box Office!

Advance General Admission Ticket Prices

Discounted advance event tickets may be purchased online at MissionTix for:

  • Adults: $14
  • Seniors 65 and older: $8
  • Children 5-12: $6
  • Children 4 and under: Free

Discounted advance ticket prices expire Thursday, November 28, 2019, at 11:59 p.m.

General Admission Ticket Prices:

  • Adult: $16
  • Seniors 65 and older: $10
  • Children 5-12: $7
  • Children 4 and under: Free

Want to skip the lines, but didn’t buy your tickets in advance? You may still purchase tickets online throughout the event for the regular ticket price. If you do not wish to purchase your tickets online, discounted coupons may be found on our website for $1 off admission the day of the event.

Parking is free for Festival of Trees and there is limited handicap accessible parking.

Also, it is suggested that motorist do not attempt a left hand turn into the fairgrounds off of York Road. Motorists are advised to approach the York Road gate from the north (from Padonia Road) or the Timonium Road Gate from the east (from York Road) during this period. 

Event attendees can:

Leave The Driving To MTA:
The Timonium Light Rail Stop is located a short walk from the entrance to the Fairgrounds near the Cow Palace. The MTA No. 9 bus line also serves the Timonium Park and Ride/Light Rail Stop. Because convenient parking is limited, use of the Light Rail or the No. 9 bus line is encouraged. For detailed schedule information please contact MTA directly at 410-539-5000

Park and Ride:                                                                                    
Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Park and Ride lot on Deerco Road, with pedestrian access to the Fairgrounds through the gate opposite the Cow Palace. The Cow Palace gate is open throughout the Festival of Trees.

UBER/LYFT drop off and pick up location is on the Deerco Road Park and Ride Lot.  Patrons may then enter the fairgrounds through the Light Rail admission gate.

Coupons are not accepted for online transactions, but advance tickets may be purchased at a discounted price through Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

No. Just purchase as many tickets as you need (you will need a ticket per person per day that you plan on attending) and then come on the day/time that works best for you! Tickets for Breakfast with Santa are only for Sunday, but include admission to the Festival of Trees.

Since you have purchased your tickets online, you get to SKIP THE LINE! Just print your tickets at home, bring them with you to the event and proceed directly to the event’s main entrance. You may also show your tickets on your smartphone.

There are a number of reasons that it is in your best interests to purchase your tickets in advance online:

  1. You can print your tickets at home or show them on your smartphone at the event entrance.
  2. You get to SKIP THE LINES at the Box Office since you have already printed your tickets at home.
  3. Tickets purchased in advance are DISCOUNTED!!! You save $2 off regular Adult and Senior admission and $1 off Children’s admission (through Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.).

By signing up for a Festival Friends and Family FUNdraising Page, participants can receive one FREE ticket to the Festival of Trees 2019 for every $13 that you raise in support of the children we serve at Kennedy Krieger. You can earn as many tickets as you have $13 donations to your page, so call on your friends and family to support Kennedy Krieger and we’ll say “thank you” with FREE tickets. Learn more

Yes, you may. When you leave, ask one of the volunteers at the Entrance/Exit to stamp your hand so that you may come back in.

We do not provide wheelchairs at the event.

Items purchased at the event are only tax deductible if they have been purchased for higher than their fair market value. This can ONLY happen with Silent Auction items. Admission tickets, trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and raffle entries are NOT tax deductible.

There will be food at the event. The Fairgrounds’ vendor Hightopps Backstage Grille will be open and selling items all day. There will also be snacks (fudge, popcorn, slushies) that are available to buy from other vendors throughout the event.

There is an ATM onsite at the event itself; however, most of the activities/vendors do accept credit cards.

  • Purchase Admission Tickets in advance to save money and time.
  • Leave your coat in the car. (Although it is cold outside, it gets VERY warm inside!)
  • Bring a shopping bag for all your goodies. (Remember, all wreaths and 2-foot trees are cash & carry and we will not be able to hold them for you.)
  • Coordinate a designated meeting spot in case you and your family/friends get separated.
  • Don’t forget your camera. (There are many great opportunities to take your holiday greeting card picture at the event.)
  • Bring your spare change to throw in the Wishing Well.
  • Be prepared to spend at least two hours at the event.

Pets are not allowed inside the Cow Palace during Festival of Trees. However, service animals specifically trained to aid a person with a disability are welcome. 

SantaLand (Children's Area)

  • Santa
  • Train Ride
  • Carousel (Wheelchair accessible)
  • Boat Ride
  • Fun House
  • Carnival Games
  • Remote Control Race Track
  • Race Car Simulator Ride
  • “Reindeer” Pony Rides
  • Make Your Own Craft
  • LEGO Display Area
  • Coloring
  • Santa Letter Writing/Express Mailbox
  • Other activities offered by our vendors

SantaLand Activity Ticket Prices (Red Activity Tickets are $1 each)

  • 1 Red Ticket: Carnival Games
  • 2 Red Tickets: Arts & Crafts, Carousel, Train Ride, Boat Ride and Fun House
  • 3 Red Tickets: Remote Control Race Track and Simulator Ride
  • $5 Green Ticket: One Pony Ride (You may also use 10 Red Tickets)
  • $10 Wristband: Unlimited Carousel, Train, and Boat Rides, and Fun House Walkthroughs

You can purchase a Discount Pack for $25 at the Ticket Booth in SantaLand. The Discount Quick Pack includes 14 Red Activity Tickets, one Wristband (good for unlimited Carousel, Boat and Train Rides, and Fun House Walkthroughs), and one Pony Ride. 

There are several activities that are free at the event! This includes:

  • Viewing of more than 800 decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses
  • All-day entertainment (check the schedule here)
  • Coloring Station for the kids
  • Letter Writing to Santa & Express Mailbox to the North Pole
  • Santa visits (Don’t forget your camera!)
  • Model Train garden/display  

Trees, Wreaths and Gingerbread Houses

These items may be purchased at the Sales Booth (to the right when you walk in the main entrance) by paying with cash, credit card or check. All checks can be made out to Kennedy Krieger Institute. Please note: There are no refunds on any of these items.

Yes, for an additional $60 almost all 7-foot and 4-foot trees can be delivered. (If tree or parts of tree cannot be delivered, you will be told at the time of purchase and then you must make arrangements to pick them up after the event.) Trees will be delivered the week following the Festival. We cannot guarantee a delivery time/date. All tree deliveries are subject to these additional terms and conditions:

  • Trees can only be delivered within a 30-mile radius of the Fairgrounds.
  • Trees are purchased in “as is” condition.  
  • Deliveries are made outside to first floors only of all homes, condos, apartments, businesses, etc.
  • If you are not home at time of delivery, the tree will be left at your front door or garage area.
  • Tree deliveries to businesses will be made to the loading dock, or building front door.
  • Buyers are responsible for unpacking and setting up trees.

All 2-foot trees and wreaths are cash and carry. As soon as you purchase the item, you must take it with you. Due to space constraints, we will not be able to hold items for you. Please bring a bag to carry the item with you while you enjoy the rest of your day, or be prepared to take it out to the car right away. All gingerbread houses must be picked up after the event.

If you are not having your 7-foot or 4-foot tree delivered, or if you bought a gingerbread house, you can pick up these items at the close of Festival of Trees on December 1, 2019 from 6 to 9 p.m., or December 2, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Maryland State Fairgrounds are not responsible for items left after these pick-up times.

We will wrap the tree in the best way possible to fit it in your vehicle. We typically shrink wrap your tree very tightly, with all the ornaments and lights still attached. If you would rather take some of the ornaments off, you are welcome to bring some bags or boxes for you to package them. We do have tree boxes that we can put the bottom of your tree in; however, these boxes don’t fit in most vehicles. Make sure to bring rope or bungee cords when you pick up your tree, as we won’t have any on hand.

When your tree is delivered using our delivery company, we place your tree in one of our tree boxes that covers the bottom half of your tree. We then place a large plastic bag over the top of your tree and wrap it tightly to the box with shrink wrap. While every effort is made to keep your tree in pristine condition, please understand that some ornaments may get displaced during the delivery process.

The trees/wreaths/gingerbread houses get distributed to various departments and clinics throughout Kennedy Krieger Institute for the children to enjoy. We often donate some to other non-profit organizations in the area.

How to get Involved

Festival of Trees at Kennedy Krieger Institute could not happen without the generous support of our incredible sponsors and donors. We have sponsorships available from $1,000 to $40,000, and each level includes a variety of benefits, including signage, advertising, event tickets, etc.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please call the Kennedy Krieger Institute Office of Philanthropy at 443-923-7300 or email

Please contact the Kennedy Krieger Institute Office of Philanthropy at 443-923-7300 for more information on how to become a designer at the Festival of Trees. You can also register to design an item; the designer guidelines and regulations can be found here.

If you are interested in having a vendor booth the Festival of Trees, please call the Kennedy Krieger Institute Office of Philanthropy at 443-923-7300 or email

Please contact Kellan Newby-Matthews at or call the Kennedy Krieger Institute Office of Philanthropy at 443-923-7300.

Thanks to all our generous sponsors! View All

Thanks to all our generous sponsors! View All

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