Southern Maine is a lovely place to visit no matter the season, with scenic nature, beautiful beaches, and charming towns to explore. However, this area becomes an entirely different world during Christmastime. If you love the holiday season, don’t hesitate to book a trip to southern Maine this December.
Many of the region’s towns host their own holiday celebrations, but two significant standouts are Kennebunkport and Ogunquit. In fact, many tourists travel to southern Maine just to experience the Christmas magic that these two magical towns have to offer. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect during a visit to Ogunquit or Kennebunkport during the holidays.
Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport
In Kennebunkport, the days leading up to the Christmas season are uniquely celebrated in a long-standing tradition called the Christmas Prelude. For more than 40 years, Kennebunkport has been ringing in the holidays with special events throughout the first 10 days of December.
If you’re visiting Kennebunkport during this time, there is a long list of Christmas Prelude events to choose from. Any one of them will get you excited to celebrate the holidays in one of America’s top Christmas towns, according to HGTV.
Kennebunkport kicks off the season with tree lightings in the first days of the Christmas Prelude. This is followed by parades, community caroling, street fairs, and Santa arriving by lobster boat.
When you visit Kennebunkport during the holidays, you can truly choose your own adventure. Attend a variety of Christmas Prelude events in town or simply enjoy the atmosphere of twinkling lights, light snowfall, and the joyful anticipation of the holiday.
You can also take advantage of Kennebunkport’s many year-round features when you come in December. There’s an abundance of authentic local cuisine, wine tastings, lighthouses, and more available nearby.
You can experience Kennebunkport’s unique charm no matter what time of year you visit. That said, thanks to the Christmas prelude, the cozy holiday vibes around the beginning of December are unmatched.
Learn more at https://christmasprelude.com/.
Christmas by the Sea in Ogunquit
Ogunquit is a very popular destination in southern Maine during the holidays — and for good reason. On the second weekend of December each year, locals and tourists alike celebrate the beginning of the town’s beloved holiday celebration, Christmas by the Sea. During this time, everyone in Ogunquit truly experiences the Native American translation of the town’s name: “Beautiful Place by the Sea.”
You’ll know the celebration has begun when you hear the carolers and bell choir performing on the first Friday night of Christmas by the Sea. Throughout the weekend, you can make the most of all kinds of holiday-themed events, including:
- Tree lightings
- Visits from Santa
- Candlelight walks.
You also won’t want to miss the spectacular Christmas by the Sea Bonfire and Fireworks at Ogunquit Beach.
Even the businesses that aren’t specifically hosting Christmas by the Sea events in Ogunquit get involved in the festivities. As you stroll through town, you’ll see that just about every storefront is decorated for the season, and twinkling lights adorn many buildings. This is the perfect festive place to do your holiday shopping.
For many people, the delicious food and drinks are their favorite parts of the Christmas season. Foodies will have no shortage of events to explore in Ogunquit, especially with Chocolatefest and Chowderfest. Sample some delicious, locally made chocolates as you explore the town. And later, sit down and enjoy some authentic Maine chowder.
Learn more at https://www.ogunquit.org/christmas-by-the-sea/.
Christmas Events in York, Maine
Even closer to Stage Neck Inn are two great events right here in York, Maine:
- The Festival of Fostering Trees. The Festival of Fostering Trees is a magical display of Christmas trees donated by local businesses, individuals, families, anyone can enter a tree and are available for raffle. All proceeds benefit older youth (18+) aging out of the Maine foster care system while learning to navigate young adulthood. The funds provide multiple initiatives, support and guidance to these young people.This is a much loved community event for a great cause and admission is FREE!
- The Annual Lighting of the Nubble. The Town of York Maine Parks and Recreation Department host an annual event to kick off the holiday season with the lighting of the Nubble Light. The evening of the lighting includes seasonal carols, hot cocoa, cookies, and more. This is a fun family event and the lights can be enjoyed for the full month of December.
Enjoy the Festivities of the Holiday Season in Southern Maine
Kennebunkport and Ogunquit are two great examples of towns that go big for the holidays, but there are many other ways to celebrate Christmas in the area. Whatever’s on your itinerary, you’re sure to savor the joy and light of the holiday season during a trip to southern Maine.
Stage Neck Inn is an iconic destination where families and friends share delightful experiences that evolve into lifetime memories. Offering spacious accommodations with modern amenities and classic décor, breathtaking ocean and harbor views and the ocean’s relaxing sounds make for the perfect stay at our oceanfront resort in York Harbor, ME. Book your stay online now.