30+ Can’t-Miss Maine Christmas Things to Do This December
Around December in Maine is the perfect time to enjoy winter events like holiday festivals, picking out and decorating a Christmas tree, seeing festive lights, joining a Santa convention, snowboarding as Santa, and much more seasonal fun. Read on to find the best things to do this Christmas in Maine!
Visit a Christmas Tree Farm in Maine
Piper Mountain Christmas Tree Farm
27 Trundy Rd, Newburgh, ME 04444
Wander this 30-acre Christmas tree farm, and choose your favorite one to take home. After picking the perfect fir tree, you and your family can head to the barn to cozy up with a cup of hot cider and complimentary homemade doughnuts!
Once you’re warm again, head to the gift shop with unique Christmas ornaments, handmade wreaths and centerpieces, and other locally-made wares. Piper Mountain also hosts visits by Santa, food trucks, and horse-drawn carriage rides!
140 Egypt Rd, Raymond, ME 04071
Since the 1990s, Balsam Ridge has been a local favorite Maine Christmas tree farm and sugarhouse. Through winter and the beginning of spring, you can purchase fantastic, fresh, waffle-worthy maple syrup.
If you head to the combined gift shop and sugarhouse on a Saturday, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to visit the farm’s horses — Rex and Ginger — and also meet Santa Claus!
As for Christmas Trees, this farm offers pre-cut Fraser fir trees up to 10 feet tall. If you prefer to cut down your own tree, you can do so instead and will have the option of a Fraser or balsam fir.
Callnan Family Christmas Trees
47 McIntyre Rd, Houlton, ME 04730
Take home a highly fragrant, perfectly maintained balsam fir from 3 feet to 9 feet tall from the Callnan family farm. The family cares for the trees for around eight years before they’re available for sale.
You can head down in person to get the Christmas tree of your dreams and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery, but the farm also offers shipping to certain areas of New England.
Another plus about this Christmas tree farm is that it produces honey! Take home some of the local honey to stir into your next cup of hot tea while you warm up by the fire.
Trees To Please
111 Smithfield Rd, Norridgewock, ME 04957
Beginning Black Friday every year, head to this Maine Christmas tree farm to choose the perfect, freshly pre-cut Christmas tree. Or, you can enjoy cutting down your own Fraser or balsam fir.
If you’d like to keep your Christmas tree well past wintertime, you can pick up a potted tree to plant in your yard and watch it grow!
Trees To Please is also known for its lovely little gift shop. It’s packed with Christmas wreaths, holiday ornaments and decor, and other local goods. A classic way to celebrate Christmas in Maine is to hang kissing balls (circular bunches of holly and evergreen), which the shop also has.
Attend a Winter Festival in Maine
North Pole Express
586 Wiscasset Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537
A Christmas train ride is one of the classic Maine Christmas things to do. On Saturdays and Sundays in December, you can take a historic train ride from the Boothbay Railway Village Museum’s train station (built in 1912) to the North Pole. There, you will, of course, meet St. Nick!
Whether you sit in a comfortable passenger car or in the 1904 Little Red Caboose, you’ll enjoy the wonderful feeling of classic Christmas nostalgia as you drive through idyllic winter scenery.
An Old Fashioned Christmas in Bath
Delight in a traditional, charming way to celebrate Christmas in Maine with this annual winter festival. Here are some festive events to look forward to in Bath:
- Caroling and cookies
- Trolley caroling
- Community tree lighting ceremony by Santa and Mrs. Claus
- Red Magic Letter Boxes throughout the town to deliver letters to Santa
- Holiday concerts
- A Neighborhood Decorating Contest and a Shop Window Decorating Contest
- Late evening shopping with outdoor live music and carolers
York’s Festival of Lights
Held on the first Saturday in December, the Festival of Lights hosts many delightful events.
The holiday fun includes The Polar Express, Breakfast with Santa, a Festival of Lights Parade, and ornament painting.
Christmas By The Sea
Camden, Lincolnville, and Rockport Maine
For more than 20 years, this annual festival has brought Christmas cheer to the hearts of those living in coastal Maine towns. It’s grown from humble beginnings in Camden to a larger Midcoast Maine celebration now held in the surrounding communities of Lincolnville and Rockport too.
The festival kicks off with the arrival of Santa and his elf by lobster boat, followed by a tour around town for meet-and-greets. Festivalgoers can also enjoy a Christmas Parade, Community Tree Lighting, the Lincolnville Community Bonfire, holiday sales, and restaurant specials.
Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, ME
Boothbay Lights is the ultimate celebration of the holidays in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. Starting right after Thanksgiving, there are lots of fun events for folks of all ages to enjoy for six weeks.
The only question you’ll ask yourself is what to do first. You can hitch a ride aboard the North Pole Express, watch a lighted boat parade and fireworks display, stroll through Gardens Aglow, watch the Gingerbread Spectacular, do some holiday shopping, and much more.
Mountain Holly Days
Mountain Holly Days in Rangeley holds an annual December celebration that epitomizes all that people love about the holidays.
Rangeley’s downtown features specials in participating shops offering visitors and their families a chance to enjoy the holiday spirit and shop together without the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping in a big city.
There are also open houses, refreshments, a shoppers raffle, caroling, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and holiday hayrides.
Christmas by the Sea
Ogunquit’s Native American name means “Beautiful Place by the Sea” and it’s never truer than during Christmas by the Sea.
This December seaside celebration presents a beautiful two-week display of Christmas parades, games, craft fairs, and bazaars for holiday shopping galore, caroling, and live entertainment.
Kids will enjoy family scavenger hunts, photo ops in Santa’s Village, holiday storytelling, hayrides, or cookie decorating.
Katahdin Festival of Trees
The Katahdin Festival of Trees, is a December tradition, so come enjoy the festivities, including parades, concerts, food, games crafts, and good old fun.
Though the event is only a few years old, it’s been well-received across the region. There’s also a preview of the festival, which allows paying visitors to see decorated trees up close and enjoy catered food, all in a private setting.
Bethel’s Country Christmas
Experience Christmas in the postcard-perfect New England village of Bethel during its annual Country Christmas celebration, which takes place from mid-November through mid-December
Shop locally, meet Santa, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, enjoy the light decorations and Maine performers.
Festival of Trees
Traditionally taking place from late November through December, visitors can enjoy dozens of stunningly decorated trees and wreaths are created based on the year’s special theme.
Hosted at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum, highlights of the festival include the Gala Preview kickoff party, a raffle of designer trees and wreaths, the popular Gingerbread Village, a kids drawing contest at the Dyer Library, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and Children’s Crafts Day.
Downtown Waterville has turned into “Kringleville” each year since 1969. It’s a much-loved tradition that takes place every December in Maine, from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Children can visit Santa Claus and take photos while telling St. Nick what they want for Christmas. Families can also watch the Christmas parade and enjoy holiday decor like arctic animals, a miniature gingerbread house, and a mini ice skating rink.
Watch a Maine Holiday Parade
Wells Christmas Parade
This annual tradition has become a local favorite Maine Christmas thing to do during December. Past parades have featured Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves. Plus, horse-drawn carriages, marching bands, costumed mascots, unicyclists, and more! Visit this year to see what’s new and enjoy the Christmas spirit.
2022 marks the 37th annual Wells Christmas Parade!
Christmas Prelude is much more than just a parade, although it’s a great one!
The annual event also includes a winter festival, a Christmas tree lighting, the arrival of Santa by lobster boat — a popular Maine tradition — holiday lights throughout the picturesque town, winter trolley rides near the coast, wine tastings, lobster bakes, and more!
Holiday Light Parade
Presque Isle, ME
Held on the first Saturday in December, this is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
Traditionally, the Light Parade sets off from North Street and proceeds to Clukey’s Auto Supply for the lighting of the Tree of Hope and then continues to Gentile Hall at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Parade floats are encouraged to be festival and fun, though the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce is the only float allowed to have a Santa Claus.
View Festive Lights
105 Botanical Gdns Dr, Boothbay, ME 04537
Walk through the 14 acres of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens while it’s decorated with more than 650,000 twinkling lights! It’s the biggest Maine holiday light display.
After wandering the gardens, continue to explore Boothbay. The shops in town are adorned with lights and festive decorations, and they offer exclusive holiday hours during the Boothbay Festival of Lights.
Lighting of the Nubble at Cape Neddick
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is one of the best times to be in York for the annual Lighting of the Nubble at Cape Neddick.
The town lights the famous Nubble Lighthouse; oft-cited as the most photographed lighthouse in Maine.
Visitors can enjoy live music, hot cocoa, and snacks while Santa makes his presence in Sohier Park.
The lights run from the day after Thanksgiving until Jan. 1
Festival of Lights
This annual Rockland celebration is a sight to behold.
Join the caroling, and horse-drawn carriage rides, warm up by the bonfire, browse the shops, and enjoy refreshments.
Don’t miss Santa arriving by boat and the world’s largest Christmas tree made up of lobster traps and lit up for the season.
Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting
Head to Post Office Square each year on the first Saturday in December for Belfast’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting! For those who celebrate Hanukkah, downtown Belfast also has an annual Menorah Lighting ceremony that takes place at sundown on the first night of Hanukkah. The celebration includes community readings and music.
See the Northern Lights in Maine
Various locations in Northern Maine
Winter in Northern Maine provides an opportunity to view the stunning aurora borealis. It’s best viewed from December to February.
A couple of locations where you may be able to see the northern lights are the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge and the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness.
Ski or Snowboard at Santa Sunday
15 S. Ridge Road, Newry, ME 04261
Celebrate Christmas in Maine by hitting the slopes in full Santa attire (beard included!) at Sunday River Resort. At the beginning of December, about 250 Santas ski and board down to South Ridge. Money raised from the event benefits the River Fund.
If you don’t want to participate, you can still watch the Santa spectacle from the sidelines. Arrive at South Ridge by 11 a.m. so that you’ll have a great view.
Enjoy Shopping and Celebration in Freeport
There are so many fun things to do in Freeport including during the holidays.
Get your holiday to-do list done, tree lighting and Sparkle Weekend takes place the first weekend of December.
The weekend kicks off with a Parade of Lights down Main Street.
Other events include Freeport’s talking Christmas tree, a holiday movie marathon, a reading of The Polar Express aboard the Amtrak Downeaster, a tuba Christmas concert, visits with Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, musical holiday light shows, a crooked playhouse village, holiday ornament, and craft projects, complimentary gift wrapping and more.
Visit Portland Maine
Portland Maine is Santa Central and a hub for all things Christmas during wintertime. There are quite a few Maine Christmas things to do in the state’s largest city. Head to the coast and celebrate at the following festive celebrations:
- The Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet theatrical production
- Victoria Mansion holiday decor
- The Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
- Merry Madness late-night, holiday shopping
- The Portland Harbor Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
Celebrate the Holiday Season With Maine Christmas Things to Do
Christmas in Maine is one of the most beautiful times of the year, with beautiful winter scenery, snow-capped trees, and many family-friendly holiday events.
You and your family can enjoy December in Maine and create new traditions to enjoy time and time again by attending annual holiday festivals, parades, and more. On top of that, there are plenty of things to do all winter in Maine.