Events,  Experience Maine,  Holidays,  Maine Real Estate,  Shop Local,  Winter in Maine

Tis the Season for Maine Holiday Festivals

Kick off the holiday season by visiting one of these charming towns throughout the state for annual festivals, including the Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport, the Christmas by the Sea in Camden, and the sparkling Gardens Aglow event at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.

Maine Holiday Festivals

Christmas Prelude, Kennebunkport
December 1-11, 2022

Voted the number two Christmas town in America by HGTV, Kennebunkport hosts its 41st annual Christmas Prelude festival. “In Kennebunkport, you can watch Santa Claus arrive by lobster boat during the annual Christmas Prelude, and there are many other festivities hosted throughout the holiday season. One of the best places to celebrate Christmas in New England, the town is picture-perfect, especially with holiday lights and a dusting of snow, ideal for photo-ops, while seashore holiday trolley rides, wine tasting and lobster bakes are hosted too.” Learn more on the event website.

Christmas by the Sea, Camden
December 2-4, 2022

Held annually the first weekend in December, this Midcoast holiday tradition kicks off the season in the charming downtown with a parade, carriage rides, tree lighting in Harbor Park, carolers, and visits from Santa. On Saturday at 4 pm, the Lincolnville Beach hosts a massive community bonfire on the sand followed by Santa arriving by firetruck. Learn more on the event website.

Christmas by the Sea, Ogunquit
December 2-4, 2022

Now in its 36th year, the Southern Maine iteration of the Christmas by the Sea festival happens in Ogunquit with caroling and cocoa in Perkins Cove, tree lighting ceremonies, an arts and crafts show at the town fire station with a visit from Santa, and a holiday market at the historic Meetinghouse. Learn more on the event website.

Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest, Wiscasset
December 2-4, 2022

Enjoy special shopping sales in the historic village of Wiscasset and a holiday pop-up gift shop inside the Nickels-Sortwell Barn on Federal Street. There are also tours inside the decorated Nickels-Sortwell House, built in 1807, plus fireworks over the Sheepscot River, a petting zoo on the Creamery Pier, caroling, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Learn more on the event website.

Photo Credit: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Gardens Aglow, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Harbor
Thursdays-Sundays, through December 31, 2022

More than 750,000 LED lights illuminate the 14-acre Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, where you can walk through the lighted one-mile pathway in the seasonal exhibit. Learn more on the event website.

While in the area, be sure to visit downtown Boothbay Harbor for its annual Boothbay Lights festival, which includes weekend rides on the North Pole Express at the Boothbay Railway Village Museum, a Lighted Boat Parade in the harbor on December 3, and a Gingerbread House exhibit at the Boothbay Opera House.


Photo Credit: Griffin & Griffin Lighting / Erin Little Photography
Northern Lights, L.L. Bean Campus, Freeport
Through December 31, 2022

The L.L. Bean campus in downtown Freeport is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with visits from Santa’s reindeer from the North Pole, a hot cocoa bar, free ice skating and ice skate rentals, a photo-op-worthy Snow Globe, and more. Learn more on the event website.

Sugarloaf Tree Lighting Festival & Gift Bazaar, Carrabassett Valley
December 10-11, 2022

Browse the local artisan market at the Holiday Gift Bazaar inside the Sugarloaf Hotel throughout the weekend, and be sure to catch Santa’s arrival on Main Street in the Base Village at 4:30 pm on Saturday. After, check out the Tree Lighting Ceremony and fireworks. Learn more on the event website.


Photo Credit: Sunday River Media Center
Sunday River Santa Sunday, Newry
December 11, 2022

Skiers and snowboarders in full Santa costumes hit the slopes at Sunday River for the annual Santa Sunday, a charitable event raising money for the River Fund. All pre-registered participants are required to wear the following: a red Santa hat with a white pompom, a red Santa jacket, red Santa pants, and a Santa beard. Spectators should get to South Ridge by 11 am to get a good view of the skiing Santas. Learn more on the event website.

Traditional Holiday Market at Guini Ridge Farm, Rockport
Saturdays in December 2022, 9 am-2 pm

Explore the Traditional Christmas Market inside the heated greenhouses at Guini Ridge Farm in Rockport, showcasing an artisan craft fair and vendors with handmade gifts, holiday decor, local wines, baked goods, and more. The farm also offers several workshops throughout the month including wreath-making, holiday centerpieces, holiday gnomes, and kissing balls. Learn more on the event website.

Comments Off on Tis the Season for Maine Holiday Festivals