Top 15 Holiday Festivities in MidCoast Maine

Top 15 Holiday Festivities in MidCoast MainePhoto credit: PJ Walter Photography

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 12th through December 20th 

 

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 150,000 lights twinkling in the night, then stay for a meal from the Cafe’s special seasonal menu and enjoy live music. 

When: Thursdays-Sundays, November 21st 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.

When: November 27th through 29th

 

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: November 28th through December 31st

 

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 6th annual Frozen 5k race is something different and exciting for the outdoor enthusiast, and a great way to kick off a Christmas By the Sea weekend.

When: December 5th 

 

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: December 5th 

 

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. 

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 4th through December 19th

 

9. Maine Eastern Railroad Jingle Bell Express, Rockland to Thomaston

Climb aboard the Jingle Bell Express in Rockland and settle in for a scenic ride to the North Pole (Thomaston) and back. Throughout the trip you and the kids can enjoy lively holiday entertainment, engage in story-telling and more with costumed characters, and let Santa Claus know your Christmas wishes. 

When: December 4th and 5th

Maine Eastern Railroad Candy Cane Train, Bath to Wiscasset

Meet Santa and his elves on this round trip train ride between historic Bath and picturesque  Wiscasset. Holiday spirit abounds on the Candy Cane Train as it fills with the smells and sounds of Christmas cookies and sing-alongs. Sip on some hot cocoa at the train station as you visit with Mrs. Claus.

When: December 12th and 13th

 

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: November 28th  

 

11. Santa visits Belfast Harbor, Belfast

Santa arrives by boat to spend the afternoon at the Belfast Boathouse enjoying activities ranging from crafts and photos to free sleigh rides. Join Santa for the festivities, food and jolly good fun!

When: December 12th 

 

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.

When: All winter, weather permitting

 

13. Belfast Arts and Holiday Art Walk, Belfast

The monthly 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.

When:December 4th 

 

14. ArtFull Gifts Shopping Gala, Point Lookout Resort, Northport

Turn your Christmas shopping into a joyful experience by attending ArtFull Gifts fine craft and gourmet food show at Point Lookout Resort. Revel in the season and the region as you browse the gala’s fifty exhibitors of one-of-a-kind Maine-made items and partake in complimentary local artisan food sampling, craft demonstrations and live jazz music. 

When: November 20th and 21st

 

15. 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 too and the event is completely free. It’s really great. 

When: December 11-13

 

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