Maine has thousands of years of history and, unsurprisingly, many excellent museums and historical homes to explain and celebrate it. Major...
Enjoy the magic of Maine’s MidCoast as winter sets in. For generations, this beautiful region has been a holiday destination for those hoping to catch the first snowfall in Maine and enjoy the quaint New England coast with family and friends. These are some of our fondest traditions and most exciting winter delights.
1. NORTH POLE EXPRESS, BOOTHBAY RAILWAY VILLAGE All aboard! Whether you choose to ride in a cozy passenger car or a vintage Victorian coach, you are sure to transport yourself to the past on this truly special train ride through from the Museum’s train station to the North Pole where Santa awaits. Visit the historic Town Hall for stories and snacks, and make an old-fashioned holiday ornament to take home. When: Saturdays and Sundays, December
2. GARDENS AGLOW, COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDENS, BOOTHBAY HARBOR Experience the wonder of the largest holiday light display in Maine. Stroll through 14 acres of gardens boasting over 650,000 lights twinkling in the night, then stay for the Boothbay Festival of Lights, in which all businesses in Boothbay are aglow with holiday lights, and businesses offer special holiday hours. When: Thursdays-Sundays, November 20th through December 31st
3. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, ROCKLAND Spend Thanksgiving weekend in Rockland celebrating the season in true Maine style. Shop at a craft show featuring local artists, take holiday tours of historic inns, enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride and much more. Santa arrives by boat Friday night for the lighting of the world’s largest Lobster Trap Christmas Tree, and spends the weekend entertaining visitors at his workshop, hosting a Pancake Breakfast and leading the celebratory Festival of Lights parade on Main Street. See more. When: November 23-25
4. OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS IN BATH Commencing the holiday season just after Thanksgiving with a Christmas Tree Lighting and jingle bell walk with Santa, an Old Fashioned Christmas in Bath carries the holiday spirit through December with festive downtown shopping events, decoration contests, live music and more. An Old Fashioned Christmas doesn’t end until it’s time to usher in a new year with the annual Paul Revere Bell Ringing at City Hall on New Year’s Eve. When: Saturday following Thanksgiving to December 31
5. FROZEN 5K, POINT LOOKOUT, NORTHPORT During the Christmas by the Sea celebration in and around Camden, harness the giving spirit of the season with a fun and festive event that aids in efforts to find a cure for ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease. The annual Frozen 5k race is something different and exciting for the outdoor enthusiast, and a great way to kick off a Camden Christmas By the Sea weekend. When: First Saturday in December
6. BOOTHBAY HARBOR LIGHTS FESTIVAL, BOOTHBAY HARBOR Beautiful Boothbay Harbor hosts a full day of holiday fun with stories, crafts and more during the day and a live nativity scene, music and the town Christmas Tree Lighting in the evening. A Festival of Trees, Boat Parade of Lights and a special arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus by water round out this beloved annual event. When: First Saturday of December
7. CHRISTMAS BY THE SEA, CAMDEN Visit the charming coast of Camden to welcome Santa by lobster boat, be treated to musical entertainment and a tree lighting, and enjoy various family activities around town such as holiday shopping, a parade and story time with Santa. Communities come together to make this weekend a very merry experience you won’t forget. More information. When: First weekend of December
8. TROLLEY CHRISTMAS CAROLING, BATH Spend your evening immersing yourself in a unique caroling experience, riding the trolley through town as you sing your favorite seasonal songs with family and friends. With free rides departing from City Hall every 30 minutes each Friday night, there are plenty of chances to hop on board, cozy up and spread holiday cheer. When: Fridays and Saturdays, December 1-20
9. HOLIDAY ON THE HARBOR IN ROCKPORT The heart of Rockport village streets will be dotted with luminaria, while music and dining specials abound. The evening is punctuated by an amazing fireworks display over the harbor. For more information, visit here. When: December 8
10.HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR AND FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS SILENT AUCTION, ROCKLAND During Rockland’s Festival of Lights weekend, be sure not to miss a tradition that is much-loved by people both near and far. The Holiday House Tour will instantly have you feeling the essence of the season as you tour historic inns and homes decked in all the holiday trimmings. Then partake a silent auction of delightfully decorated table top Christmas trees, hosted by and in support of Rockland’s Public Library. When: Last Saturday of November
11. CHRISTMAS TREE AND MENORAH LIGHTINGS IN BELFAST Gather in Post Office Square to celebrate the holiday season with our Christmas Tree and Menorah lightings. Tree Lighting takes place the first Saturday in December (the same day as the Early Bird Sale). The community gathers for cookies, cocoa, and caroling while we countdown to the Christmas Tree Lighting after dark. Santa arrives downtown by firetruck just before the tree is lit. Then, on December 16, gather around the 7-foot-tall menorah near sundown on a Saturday during Chanukah. The community celebrates with music, readings, and traditional snacks. The menorah will be lit during Chanukah and remain lit throughout the holiday. When: December 2, 5pm and December 16th, 4pm
12. SLEIGH RIDES AT GORANSON FARM, DRESDEN Treat yourself to a time-honored holiday tradition, singing with the sleigh bells as you traverse the winter wonderland that is Goranson Farm. Admire the beauty of the bay Belgian draft horses, learn the history of the farm, and photograph the brilliant views of Merrymeeting Bay as you go. With rides offered both day and night under the stars (wool blankets provided!) this experience is everything from relaxing to romantic and is sure to be a delight for all ages. The one hour route wanders through sleeping fields, along the banks of the Eastern River, and wooded headlands. Rides are by appointment by calling 207-319-9772. When: All winter, weather permitting
13. NEW YEAR BY THE BAY BONFIRE AND HOLIDAY ART WALK, BELFAST The Belfast Art Walk gets festive for the month of December with a Holiday Art Walk downtown featuring a multitude of live street performers and more than 15 galleries to peruse, all decked out for the holidays. On New Year’s Eve, join the entire community for New Year by the Bay; the bonfire is incredible! Details. When: Art Walk 4th Friday, New Year’s By the Bay, December 31
14. THE GINGERBREAD SPECTACULAR, BOOTHBAY HARBOR The Gingerbread Spectacular is truly special. The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor is transformed into a magical holiday place with dozens of hand crafted gingerbread houses and displays. There is live music and the event is completely free. More details. When: December 15-16
15. SANTA'S SNOWBIRD EXPRESS IN UNITY & THORNDIKE ! Announcing Santa’s Snowbird Express! The trains are back! The Farwell Project is excited to partner with the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad to bring this premiere event to Waldo County! Over 60 round-trips between Unity and Farwell’s Mill starting Nov 23rd. Visit B&MLRR to book tickets for the upcoming holiday season. Proceeds benefit both of these non-profit organizations. When: Friday through Sundays in November and December
16. WISCASSET HOLIDAY MARKETFEST Turn your Christmas shopping into a joyful experience by attending Wiscasset Holiday Marketplace. Revel in the season and the region as you browse the town’s one-of-a-kind Maine shops and crafts. Adding this year to the festivities of the Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest Dec.6-9, a dance appropriately called "Snow Ball", a fun-filled evening of music, dancing and food! See full schedule here. When: December 6-9
17. YULETIDE IN ST. GEORGE ! Holiday bazaars and craft fairs abound, plus the Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum Gift Shop will be open. For more information, visit St. George Business Alliance. When: November 23-24
18. LIVING CHRISTMAS TREE The 22nd annual Living Christmas Tree returns to Thomaston the weekend of November 30, with a performance of “The Glory of Christmas” by Lloyd Larson. The Tree’s community chorus will sing at Thomaston Baptist Church on Friday at 7:00PM, Saturday and Sunday at 4:00PM. Donation only. More information. When: November 30-December 2
19. CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY Gather at Union Common for caroling around the bonfire, cookies and cocoa, and of course, Santa. Learn more. When: December 2 at 6pm
20. DAY OF GIVING Shop Local, Support Many! You can support local businesses and local charities all while doing some holiday shopping. Participating merchants and service providers in Belfast, Camden, Rockport and Rockland will donate a percentage of their sales from December 8, 2018 to United Midcoast Charities. More information. When: December 8
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