Maine November 21, 2016
11 Christmas Light Displays In Maine That Are Pure Magic
Well, at the risk of jumping the gun slightly, we’ve begun looking for the best Christmas lights in Maine! Is it just us, or does it feel like the folks of The Pine Tree State have felt the holiday spirit a bit early this year? We’re fine with that. I think we could all use some beauty, no matter what holiday you celebrate. As we get closer to Christmas and the promise of snow and colder weather grows nearer, think about taking a trip to these beautiful displays of light in Maine.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The North Waterboro Pole Christmas Light Display, Waterboro
Head to 74 Mayfair Way for this annual celebration! On Sunday, November 27th, The Waterboro North Pole is officially open! In addition to an incredible on-going light show, on Saturday, December 10th the Toys for Tots Fundraiser will take place beginning at 5:30pm. This will include a visit from Santa and Frosty and a few other surprise guests. And, this year a 20 foot Christmas tree is being erected!
When: Beginning Sunday, November 27th.
Where: 74 Mayfair Way, Waterboro / Click here for all the information on
2. Gardens Aglow, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Harbor
This is the largest holiday light display in all of Maine. Take a trip through 14 acres of gardens covered in no less than 150,000 lights. Stick around for dinner at the cafe which has a seasonal menu as well as live music.
When: Thursdays-Sundays, November 21st through December 31st
Where: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay / 207-633-8000
3. Old Port Area, Portland
If you prefer to avoid all the pomp and circumstance of a formal lighting, spend some time simply exploring the Old Port area of Portland. Check out
Tommy's Park, Longfellow and Monument Squares and then pop down to the Old Port and take a look at the lights the spread throughout the streets. They're some of our favorites and always end in hot chocolate!
When: The lights throughout the town should be lit up the weekend after Thanksgiving!
Where: Old Port Area, Portland
4. Norton Lights, Wells
The tradition of the Norton Lights began 2006, when two brothers created their own Crazy Christmas Contest to see who could install more lights in their yard. After weeks of decorating, the reaction received from friends and family was enough to keep them hooked. The Christmas light show begins the first weekend of December and runs through Christmas night. The operation has grown so much that they've now partnered with Make-A-Wish of Maine. You'll find a donation box at the end of the driveway for those who would like to donate.
When: Begins the first week weekend in December and runs until December 25th
Where: 213 Canterbury Road, Wells / Visit their
page to check for updates and more information.
5. Gardiner Parade of Lights, Gardiner
The Gardiner Parade of Lights is (you guessed it!) a parade with floats of varying shapes and sizes. Each must be decorated in lights and onlookers are treated to a festive celebration of fun and excitement. Want to take part in the parade? Registration is open until Monday, November 28th! There will be events throughout the town both before and after the parade, with judging at the end.
When: Saturday, December 3rd, 4:30pm to 7pm
Where: Water Street, Gardiner / Visit the town's
to check for updates and more information.
6. The L.L. Bean Northern Lights Celebration, Freeport
This event takes place nightly until December 31st. Every half-hour from 5pm to 9pm the synchronized show features music and visual effects. Catch it directly outside the flagship store and throughout the campus. Fun events and things to see include: The Discovery Forest, The Model Train Village (open 9am-9pm daily,) The Reindeer Barn (open weekends from 11am-5pm), Free Old-Fashioned Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides (weekends from 3pm-7pm,) and Santa Visits (open weekends 11am-5pm.) Our favorite part of this experience is the Night Sky Dome, a geodesic dome featuring a simulation of the Northern Lights, which is open daily from 9am-9pm.
When: Begins November 18th and runs until December 31st
Where: L.L. Bean, 95 Main Street, Freeport / Visit their
to check for updates and more information.
7. Monument Square Tree Lighting, Portland
While not an entire light show, the lighting of the Monument Square tree indicates the true start of the season in Portland. There will be a visit by Santa Claus, live music and free horse and wagon rides through town.
When: Friday, November 25th, 5pm-630pm
Where: Monument Square, Portland / Visit the Portland Downtown
for more information.
8. Wilton Lights, Wilton
Unfortunately, this year's Wilton Lights won't be the same as in past years. the folks responsible have recently moved and redesigning everything is quite expensive. They'd like to set something up on a smaller scale, but we're still waiting for an update on their Facebook page. We'll gladly continue to wait, because this is one of the best private light shows in Maine! In operation since 2009, Wilton Lights is a display created by the Hilton family in Wilton. Created in conjunction with InterFix Communications, the private home regularly receives mentions on local TV and radio. Each night's "performance" is set to music and runs from roughly 5pm to 930pm through January 1st.
Where: Wilton, Exact Address TBD / Click
to check for updates on their Facebook page.
9. Nubble Lighthouse, Cape Neddick
Every year, Nubble Lighthouse dresses in its sparkly finest to put on a nightly display between 4pm and Midnight. The first lighting and celebration takes place the weekend following Thanksgiving and if the weather holds out, it just might be warm enough to spend some time outside gazing up at the beauty. Can't make it all the way to York? Watch live on the light's
When: Lighting and Celebration takes place Saturday, November 26th, 4:30pm to 7pm
Where: Nubble Lighthouse, 200 US Route 1, York / 207-363-1040
10. Limington Lights, Limington
While this photo MAY look like just another home decorated for the season, what can't be seen in a photo is the precise coordination with music! This private home truly does a great job at enthralling the community. Last year's operation was stopped short due to rain and we're not entirely sure what the schedule might be this year, but we have our fingers crossed!
Where: 5 Coventry Drive, Limington / Visit them on
11. Boat Parade of Lights, Portland
This year's parade of lights will take place on Saturday, December 17th at 4:30pm. The wonderful harbor parade includes boats of all sizes. If watching from the sidelines isn't enough, for $10 Casco Bay Lines offers a cruise to see the boats up close!
When: Saturday, December 17th at 4:30pm
Where: Portland Harbor, Portland / Visit the Casco Bay Lines
for more information on purchasing cruise tickets.
If this has you in the spirit to celebrate, why not plan a trip to one of these
13 wonderful Christmas towns in Maine.