The holiday season in Maine just seems magical to me. There’s usually some snow, there are always twinkle lights and festive celebrations abound. There are things to do all over the state but here are some of my favorites. Most are within an hour of the Portland area.
Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude
Celebrating its 40th year! Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude is a magical seaside holiday celebration. It’s also the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season. The Prelude will remind you of Christmas’ of the past, with the whole town dressed in twinkling lights, bows and boughs. This is also a great place to pic up some gifts!For more info click here.
Christmas By the Sea
Ogunquit is a Native American name which means “Beautiful Place by the Sea” and during the holiday season it really shines. This seaside celebration has a ton to offer. From Christmas parades to live entertainment to holiday bazaars, there is truly something for everyone. Kids will especially love the family scavenger hunts and photo ops in Santa’s Village. Get more info here.
Visit the Victoria Mansion
This is my must do every year and I love to see what the theme will be each season. You can find my post about past visits and themes here. This year the theme is A Maine Christmas in honor of the state’s delayed bicentennial (it would have been the theme in 2020, but you know… Covid) Before the holiday season begins local florists, designers, and artists transform the rooms of this mansion into beautiful Christmasy displays. It’s a must while in the Portland area. For more info click here.
See A Show At Merrill Auditorium
Merrill Auditorium is a 1,908-seat auditorium located in Portland and is the venue for some pretty amazing festive fun during the Christmas season. The Maine State Ballet performs the classic Nutcracker each year and it should not be missed. This family tradition ushers in the holiday season with 6 performances over two weekends. Another great show to catch is the PSO Magic of Christmas. This beloved tradition is now in its 43rd year! As always it will feature lively renditions of holiday classics both new and old. For more information on events at the Merrill click here.
Freeport’s Sparkle Celebration
Sparkle Weekend takes place the first weekend of December and is the perfect festive activity. You are in the middle of prime shopping, there’s a parade and tons of festive decorations. Click here for more info! LL Bean has there own Northern Lights celebration too. You can meet Santa’s reindeer (great photo op), go ice skating, get toasty of a heated bench in between shopping and participate in a workshop like tote stenciling. More info about Northern Lights here.
Visit the Gardens Aglow
This is the largest holiday light display in all of Main and is located in Boothbay. The gardens are open for visitors to stroll through 14 acres of gardens covered in more than 750,000 lights. Be sure to bundle up and bring your camera/phone! Click here for more info. Be sure to check out the area while you’re in town. Many businesses and home get into the holiday spirit was festive light displays as well.
Gingerbread Spectacular at the Opera House
The competitive gingerbread contest returns to the Opera House, where castles, cabins, fairy houses and other creations will be on display. Prizes awarded for not only the Most Spectacular, but also for Best Holiday Spirit, Most Hilarious, Best Landscaping, Best Representation of a Local landmark, Best Youth Design, Most Delicious Looking and more! There’s also a holiday bake sale that you know will be amazing. Check out the details here.
What are your favorite things to do in Maine or in your area during the holidays? I’m always looking for new places to explore. Happy Holidays!