Updated for 2023
It’s time to get ready for all the holiday activities near Rockland and Camden, Maine! One of the most magical times of the year to be along the coast of Maine, the holidays truly bring out the kid in all of us. Santa sightings and tree-lighting ceremonies bring back fond memories of special times with friends and family.
Stockings hang by the fireplace, candles flicker in the windows, and pine boughs perfume the air. It’s a heady experience made better when you share it with loved ones. Join us this year at our historic inn in Rockland for the Festival of Lights and Camden’s Christmas by the Sea, two local holiday traditions loved by all. And, make it extra special by venturing to Boothbay, less than an hour away, for Gardens Aglow or a ride on the Polar Express.
Of course, taking part in these holiday festivities requires some planning. You’ll need advance tickets for the Boothbay events. Available for purchase online. But, here in Rockland and nearby Camden, all you need is a schedule of events and some warm woolies to keep you comfortable while watching the parades and keeping an eye out for old St. Nick.
See our post about festivals happening all year in Rockland and Camden!
Rockland Festival of Lights
A Christmas tree built of lobster traps sets the tone for Rockland’s Festival of Lights, a Maine festival loved by all. In this lovely seaside village, the holidays embrace a nautical theme. Santa arrives via the Coast Guard for Friday night’s lobster trap tree lighting. And no doubt you’ll spot a boat or two lit up for the holidays floating down Main Street during the Parade of Lights on Saturday night. Many fun family events fill this magical weekend, with more than one opportunity to get up close and personal with the guy in the red velvet suit. It is absolutely one of the most cherished things to do near Rockland, Maine, during the holiday season.
Christmas by the Sea
Of all the events in Maine, this time-honored tradition is one of Camden’s most spirited. Always held on the first weekend of December, Christmas by the Sea features caroling, carriage rides, tree lighting, craft fairs, and more. Take advantage of special holiday sales at local shops and boutiques and dining discounts at restaurants. Santa and his side-kick, Ellen the Elf, make several appearances throughout the weekend. Bring a camera for a photo op with this dynamic duo. Check out the Camden Maine Events calendar for more information about free things to do in Maine.
November 18 – December 31
Imagine driving through a coastal landscape all lit up for the holidays. Gardens Aglow at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is all about that. Twinkling lights adorn the trees and sculptures of this magnificent venue along the Back River in Boothbay. Get into the season’s spirit in the comfort of your own vehicle. Advance tickets are required for a timed entrance to this event.
December 2-17, Saturdays and Sundays only
This cherished children’s story comes alive with a bit of help from Boothbay Railway Village Museum volunteers. Hop on board the Polar Express for a trip to the North Pole aboard a vintage narrow-gauge train dressed in holiday finery. With hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy, a souvenir bell, and a visit from Santa, this delightful reenactment of a classic Christmas story will bring a smile to everyone.
A Midcoast Maine Holiday Getaway
Let these outdoor and indoor holiday events near Rockland and Camden, Maine, fill you with the season’s joy. Book your stay soon, as these events usually sell out quickly. During the holiday season, a midweek or weekend stay at our bed and breakfast in the Midcoast of Maine is the best way to get into the spirit. You can give the gift of a getaway to someone special on your list by purchasing a gift certificate.
Happy Holidays, everyone from our house to yours!