Christmas & Holiday Events 2017

New England covered bridge at Christmas New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas and holiday celebrations and traditions. Come and enjoy classic favorites, like performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, and local traditions, like the festive lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. Lodgings offer plenty of ways to combine a holiday getaway with pastimes like skiing, shopping, or theater-hopping.

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All Ages

Rockland Festival of Lights 2017 - Rockland, ME

Nov 24, 2017 - Nov 26, 2017 Downtown Rockland, ME
Celebrate the unofficial start of the Christmas season with the seaside Maine town of Rockland. This weekend after Thanksgiving is filled with holiday events, including the arrival of Santa aboard a U.S. Coast Guard boat on Friday at noon, the lighting of the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree Friday at 6 p.m., horse-drawn wagon rides, Santa's workshop, The Parade of Lights on Saturday at 6 p.m., and the pancake breakfast with Santa on Sunday at 8:30 a.m..
Time: See description above

Lighting of the Nubble 2017 - York Beach, ME

Nov 25, 2017 - Nov 25, 2017 Cape Neddick Lighthouse, Sohier Park York Beach, ME
 Nubble LIght at Christmas Christmas lights on the Nubble (Cape Neddick) Lighthouse are illuminated during this annual gathering.
Come for cookies, hot chocolate, music, Santa Claus, with a countdown to the lighting.
Neighborly and festive!
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Telephone: 207-363-1040

Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude 2017 - Kennebunkport, ME

Nov 30, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Various locations Kennebunkport, ME
Maine kennebunkport christmas prelude Days of indoor and outdoor Christmas fun in this beautiful Maine seacoast town includes a tree lighting, Santa's arrival, caroling, trolley rides and more. Many more events include mead tastings, dinners, and music, See schedule of events. Some highlights:
December 1
Tree Lighting Ceremony in Dock Square. 5:30 p.m. and bonfire at Washington Hose Fire Station. 7 p.m. Cape Porpoise Lobster Trap Tree Lighting. Cape Porpoise Square. 7 p.m.
December 2
Hat Parade at Dock Square. A parade of holiday hats for children and adults led by the Patriot Fife and Drum Duo. All hats welcome! 3 p.m.
Lower Village Tree Lighting and Christmas Stroll. Christensen Lane and Route 35. 5:30 p.m.
Christmas Candlelight Caroling at the Franciscan Monastery, 6:30 p.m.
December 3
Merry TubaChristmas at Nonantum Resort. 2 p.m.
Santa Arrives by Lobster Boat Santa docks at David's KPT on Ocean Avenue and then goes to the Community House to meet kids. 2 p.m.
Time: Consult event website

Freeport Sparkle Celebration 2017 - Freeport, ME

Dec 1, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Various locations Freeport, ME
 Freeport Maine Sparkle Celebration The weekend kicks off Friday night with a Parade of Lights down Main Street, and the fun continues all weekend with horse drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, a talking Christmas Tree and much more. Schedule of events.
Continuous events: Talking Christmas Tree, illuminated Discovery Forest and model train village at L.L. Bean, Home Time Radio Hour with the Freeport Players, Maine-crafted gifts pop-up at L.L.Bean, visits with Santa and his reindeer, horse-drawn wagon rides.
December 1
Parade of Lights. See Main Street come alive with twinkling lights and song. Concludes with Santa bringing Freeport’s Talking Christmas Tree to life.
December 2
Night Tree at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. A holiday tradition for children, the Night Tree event is inspired by Eve Bunting’s book The Night Tree.
Make Your Own Cozy Cottage at Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections
Festive Music at L.L.Bean
Tuba Christmas Concert at Freeport Performing Arts Center
Time: Consult event website

Christmas with Mr. Dickens - Portland, ME

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street Portland, ME
British actor Andrew Harris plays Charles Dickens in this seasonal entertainment of Dickensian readings. This evening’s event includes a chance to tour Victoria Mansion decked out in holiday splendor.
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Admission: $20 - $25
Telephone: 207-772-4841

Light Up Main Street - Bethel, ME

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Main Street Bethel, ME
Watch Main Street businesses light up one by one as carolers walk up Main Street towards the Town Common to light the Christmas tree, accompanying Santa on a fire truck! Meet at Philbrook Place by 3:45 p.m. to participate. Tree lighting on the common will take place at approximately 4:45 pm.
Time: 3:45pm
Admission: Free
Telephone: 207-824-2282

Christmas by the Sea 2017 - Ogunquit, ME

Dec 8, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017 Various locations Ogunquit, ME
December 8
Concert by Wells High School Select A Cappella group at Ogunquit Baptist Church. 7 p.m.
Tree Lighting at Veterans Park. 8:15 p.m.
December 9
Visits with Santa upstairs at the Fire Station. 9-11 a.m.
Basement Bazaar downstairs at the Dunaway Center (23 School Street). 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
History Games the DIY gifts for families at Meetinghouse Museum at the Historical Society of Wells. 10 a.m.-1p.m.
Arts and Crafts Show at the Fire Station on School Street. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Taste the Season upstairs at the Dunaway Center. Taste a variety of foods from local dining establishments.$10. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Art Sale at Gypsy Sweethearts. Fifteen artists and crafters selling their wares
Christmas Parade from Perkins Cove to Main Beach.3-4 p.m.
Bonfire at Main Beach. 4:30 p.m.
Fireworks from the Main Beach Parking Lot. 5:30 p.m.
Living Manger at Ogunquit Baptist Church. 6:30 p.m.
Concert at Ogunquit Baptist Church. Barbershop back by popular demand. 7 p.m.
Levi Kreis Home for the Holidays Tour at MaineStreet Nightclub (195 Main Street). Join Levi for a night of piano/vocal classics.
December 10
Christmas Parade in Wells. Wells Plaza to Wells Junior High School. 2 p.m.
Time: Consult event website

Children & Families

The Polar Express 2017 - Portland, ME

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Ocean Gateway Visitor Center, Thames Street Portland, ME
Polar Express 2017 Portland ME The adventure begins at the Ocean Gateway Train Depot where passengers arrive to meet the Conductor and board the train. Holiday decorations add to the festive atmosphere as guests enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, and listen to a reading of the “The Polar Express.” Santa will greet children aboard the train. Every child receives a bell as a souvenir of the event. Dates: November 24-26; December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 19-23. Tickets for the Polar Express are sold through PortTix. Tickets.
Time: 2:45. 4, 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. on select dates
Admission: $29-$45
Telephone: 207-842-0800

Stories on the Staircase 2017 at Victoria Mansion - Portland, ME

Nov 29, 2017 - Jan 3, 2018 Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street Portland, ME
Every Wednesday during the Christmas season at Victoria Mansion children ages 3-5 are invited to a free story hour and a tour tailored just for them. This winter's books will feature stories that fit with the holiday theme of a Christmas in the City by the Sea. Each child will get a take-home activity relating to the day's books. Dates: Wednesdays, November 29 - January 3. Due to space constraints, we ask that only one adult accompany each child.
Time: 10 a.m.
Admission: Free. Pre-registration is not required but first seats will go to those who have signed up in advance.
Telephone: 207-772-4841

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus and the Elves - Kennebunkport, ME

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Avenue Kennebunkport, ME
Sunday December 3 Come to this special holiday breakfast buffet hosted by our visitors from the North Pole. Entertainment and souvenir photo provided. $20pp, children $10pp. Reservations appreciated for parties of 6 or more, 207-967-4050
Time: 8-11 a.m.
Admission: Adults, $20; children, $10

North Pole Express 2017 from Boothbay - Boothbay Harbor, ME

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Boothbay Railway Village, 586 Wiscasset Road Boothbay Harbor, ME
Start your trip inside historic 1912 Freeport Station. Train conductors will call “All Aboard.” Settle into a comfortable seat and enjoy the winter wonderland slide past. The train will carry you through the Village and arrive at the North Pole (Thorndike Station), where Santa will greet you. The train will whisk you back to the station where you will be invited to Spruce Point Chapel for a storybook reading. Then passengers head to the Boothbay Town Hall for more festivities, hot chocolate and cookies while enjoying the G-scale model of the Museum’s own locomotive. Dates: December 9-10, 16-17 and 23.
Time: Departures at 11 and 11:45 a.m., 12:30, 1:15, 2 and 2:45 p.m. each day.
Admission: $15-$20

Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus - Kennebunkport, ME

Dec 10, 2017 - Dec 10, 2017 Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Avenue Kennebunkport, ME
A special holiday breakfast buffet hosted by our visitors from the North Pole. Entertainment and souvenir photo provided. Reservations appreciated for parties of six people or more.
Time: 8 a.m.-noon
Admission: Adults, $22; children, $10
Telephone: 207-967-4050


"The Santaland Diaries" - Monmouth, ME

Nov 23, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Theater at Monmouth, Cumston Hall, 796 Main Street Monmouth, ME
 Santaland Diaries at theatre at Monmouth Meet “Crumpet” the sour elf working at Macy’s who describes his misadventures in David Sedaris’s hilarious story of holiday havoc.
Crumpet handles the insufferable shoppers and kids with near-evil humor.
Dates: November 23-30; December 1-3
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website

DIY Gifts & Crafts

Gingerbread House Making - Kennebunkport, ME

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 9, 2017 Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Avenue Kennebunkport, ME
Children and adults are invited gingerbread houses with plenty of frosting, sprinkles and festive holiday decorations. Reservations requested. Part of the proceeds will benefit a local charity.
Time: 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Admission: $3 per person; ages 2 and younger free


Chester Greenwood Day 2017 - Farmington, ME

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017 Downtown Farmington, ME
chester greenwood day 2017 The Chester Greenwood Day events honor the memory of local inventor Chester Greenwood, who, in 1873, at the age of 15, invented the first pair of earmuffs. The day includes a big parade, open houses, Festival of Trees, a gingerbread house competition, and horse-and-buggy rides in town.
This year’s theme is Favorite Childhood Toys. Email: info@franklincountymaine.org
Time: Consult event website

Food, Wine, Beer

Christmas Tea at Jefferds Tavern - York, ME

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 Jefferds Tavern, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME
Old York hosts this traditional tea time in Jefferds Tavern, with fine organic teas by White Heron Tea and Coffee in Portsmouth, accompanied by homemade desserts, fireside tables, and festive decorations. Silhouette artist Leona Hosack will cut profile portraits from life. Tickets available at the door (no advance purchase).
Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $10; children ages 5–14, $5

Cookie Crawl - Kennebunkport, ME

Dec 4, 2017 - Dec 7, 2017 Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Avenue Kennebunkport, ME
Take a sweet stroll down Ocean Avenue to taste a variety of holiday cookies - then vote for your favorite. Purchase tickets at The Nonantum.
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at your leisure
Admission: $10 per person


Christmas at Norlands 2017 - Livermore, ME

Dec 9, 2017 - Dec 9, 2017 Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, 290 Norlands Road Livermore, ME
 Washburn Norlands Living History Center at Christmas Stop by for a 19th-century holiday and winter celebration. Enjoy wagon rides, 19th-century parlor games, stories, children’s crafts in the cozy kitchen, caroling, the one-room schoolhouse, mulled cider made on the woodstove, and the simply decorated 1867 Washburn mansion.
Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $12; age 12 and younger, $6; family, $25
Telephone: 207-897-4366


Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy in a Celtic Family Christmas 2017 - Portland, ME

Nov 29, 2017 - Nov 29, 2017 Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street Portland, ME
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy – masters of Cape Breton fiddle music - bring many talented musicians including their children for this special holiday concert.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $35-$50

Magic of Christmas 2017 - Portland, ME

Dec 8, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street Portland, ME
Music Director Robert Moody, the Portland Symphony,and guest artists light up Merrill Auditorium with the miracle of the season. Enjoy traditional orchestral music or this festive season. Organist Ray Cornils will perform an organ prelude one hour before each Magic of Christmas performance. Dates: December 8-10 and 15-17. Times and tickets.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $23, $46, $56, $63, $82
Telephone: 207-842-0800

Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas - Portland, ME

Dec 13, 2017 - Dec 13, 2017 State Theatre, 600 Congress Street Portland, ME
Jim Brickman has added a new sound to solo piano music with his original instrumentals and guest singers. Hope, faith and peace inform Brickman’s songwriting, making his Christmas performances extra profound. This event is for all ages. Buy tickets at the Port City Music Hall box office, 504 Congress Street, Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $61.50, 51.50, 36.50

The Fogcutters Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza - Portland, ME

Dec 15, 2017 - Dec 15, 2017 State Theatre, 600 Congress Street Portland, ME
The Fogcutters update “big band” with 13 horns, a five-piece rhythm section and the stellar vocals. It is original big band combined with funk, rock, Afro-Cuban,and hip hop. Buy tickets at the Port City Music Hall box office, 504 Congress Street, Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m.; show at 8 p.m.
Admission: $16 in advance; $20 day of the show

Yuletide Concert with Great Bay Sailor - York, ME

Dec 15, 2017 - Dec 15, 2017 Old York Historical Society. 3 Lindsay Road York, ME
Great Bay Sailor's Yuletide repertoire includes songs of Brittany, British carols of the 17th century, ceremonial marches, pub carols, tunes from the Anglican Ceremony of Carols; Appalachian Christmas music, Irish songs, classics of the British Music Hall.
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Outdoor Activities

Gardens Aglow 2017 at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Boothbay, ME

Nov 17, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017 Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive Boothbay, ME
 Gardens Aglow 2017 Boothbay Harbor Maine See hundreds of thousands of lights strung through these glorious gardens and buildings in a beautiful display. Visitors will enjoy special food and beverage options in the Kitchen Garden Café and holiday shopping in the Gardens Gift Shop. See events website for hours and ticketing.
Time: Thursdays through Sundays, 4-9 p.m. (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve)
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $10; children age 3-17, $6; family for four, $30

Parties, Dances, Balls

Victoria Mansion Christmas Gala 2017 - Portland, ME

Nov 29, 2017 - Nov 29, 2017 Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street Portland, ME
Open the Christmas season at Victoria Mansion with signature cocktails, fabulous food from the Cumberland Club, valet parking, and raffle prizes while you tour the Mansion’s dazzling interiors expertly decorated for the holidays.
Time: 6-8:30 p.m.
Admission: $60

Performing Arts, Theater, Dance

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play - Portland, ME

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 Portland Stage, 25A Forest Avenue Portland, ME
This heartwarming story of renewal is presented as a 1940s-style radio broadcast with sound effects performed live on stage. With the help of an ensemble and an angel named Clarence, George Bailey learns the million different ways that we are tied to those around us. Dates; November 24-26; December 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 19-23.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: Previews November 24-26, $38-$58; all other times $45-$65; students, $20; children, $15.

“A Christmas Carol,” Performed By Gerald Dickens - Portland, ME

Nov 27, 2017 - Nov 27, 2017 First Parish Church, 425 Congress Street Portland, ME
“A Christmas Carol” is by Charles Dickens’s great-great-grandson, Gerald Dickens and inspired by the 1860s performances by Charles Dickens. Gerald Dickens has worked as an actor, director and producer for many years and has appeared at several arts and literary festivals in the United Kingdom.
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: $35 general admission and $15 for age 18 and under.

Night of the Nutcracker with Portland Ballet - Portland, ME

Dec 3, 2017 - Dec 17, 2017 Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street Portland, ME
Victoria Mansion and Portland Ballet present an event filled with holiday wonder. Children are invited to bring their grownups to see the Mansion, decorated for the Christmas season, and meet dancers dressed for Portland Ballet’s Victorian Nutcracker. There will be music, dance performances, and every child leaves with a special treat. Two children age 17 or younger may attend for free with each paying adult. Reservations are required and space is limited. Dates: December 3, 10, and 17.
Time: Two performances, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $16; two children admitted free with each adult; additional kids $5 each

Vivid Motion's Nutcracker Burlesque 2017 - Portland, ME

Dec 15, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017 St. Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress Street Portland, ME
Vivid Motion's holiday show is a perennial favorite. The company adds some spice to the classic Nutcracker story with some stripteases, some lingerie, some sexy dance moves, and a whole lot of fun. This season, the theme returns to the 198s. Bust out the big hair and get ready for the 2017 Nutcracker Burlesque! Dates: December 15-17 and 19-23.
Time: All performances 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $20

Shopping & Sales

Shaker Christmas Fair 2017 - New Gloucester, ME

Dec 2, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 707 Shaker Road New Gloucester, ME
Join in celebrating holiday traditions of this living Shaker community. Taste and buy baked goods, fruitcakes, herbal biscuits, cookies, and more. Gift items include herbs and herbal teas, pickles, candy, biscuit and pancake mix, maple syrup, pickles, cheese, furniture, antiques, baskets, knit goods, toys, ornaments, Christmas trees and balsam wreaths, hot cider and homemade donuts.
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Telephone: 207-926-4597


“The Nutcracker” by Maine State Ballet - Portland, ME

Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 2, 2017 Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street Portland, ME
the Nutcracker with Maine State Ballet Maine State Ballet presents its perennial holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.” This performance presents the traditional story of the Nutcracker Prince and Clara, classic choreography, glorious sets and costumes. Thirty professional ballet company members are joined by 200 southern Maine dancers. Dates: November 24, 25, 26, and December 2 and 3 at 2 p.m.; November 25 and December 1 and 2 at 7 p.m.
Time: See description above
Admission: $21, $31, $41, $51, $61
Telephone: 207-842-0800