Holiday Happenings near Camden, ME; Gardens Aglow

Holiday Happenings near Camden, Maine

November 26th, 2017 by Hawthorn Inn B&B

As a Christmas junkie, I look forward to the Holiday happenings near Camden, Maine.  Rockland, Camden, Rockport, and Belfast all have entire weekends devoted to holiday activities.  Then, there are all of the midweek activities to get you through to the next weekend.  It requires serious planning to get in all of the holiday festivities!

The Holiday Event to Kickoff the Season

Holiday happenings near Camden, Maine fairy house

Fairy house at Gardens Aglow; anew addition in 2016.

The first holiday event starts the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The Coastal Botanical Garden staff decorate the central gardens and building for Gardens Aglow. Boothbay is about an hour away from Camden. This event is well worth the trip.  The Gardens Aglow gets bigger and better each year!  Read our blog post to learn about the 2015 Gardens Aglow. This year, there are over 500,000 energy efficient LED lights glowing on Thursdays through Sundays, November 17 through December 31.

There are multiple events that occur throughout November and December as part of the Boothbay Festival of Lights. For the full calendar of events, click here. One can combine multiple activities to get into the holiday spirit:

  • Christmas concerts
  • North Pole Express on weekends
  • Arts in the Square
  • and Holiday Sparkle Fireworks just to name a few.


Holiday Happenings Near Camden, Maine

Rockland Festival of Lights

Rockland’s Festival of Lights is the next holiday happening.  It is always the weekend after Thanksgiving. It starts with the arrival of Santa aboard a U.S. Coast Guard boat on Friday at noon. Then Santa visits with children in Merrill Park.

holiday happenings near Camden, Maine Lobster trap Christmas tree

Friday evening begins with the final Art Walk of the season and the lighting of the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree.

The Festival of Lights continues on Saturday. Saturday’s activities include:

  • Shop Local Saturday at local downtown businesses
  • The Farnsworth’s Share the Wonder – an annual family holiday celebration with model trains, music, and prizes
  • Festival of Trees at the Public Library
  • Tour of the Historic Inns of Rockland
  • The Parade.

The Festival of Lights parade is a wonderful community event. After the parade ends, each viewer can vote for the People’s Choice Float with a non-perishable food item or a toy.  The donations go to the Salvation Army for Rockland families.

Camden Christmas by the Sea

Camden’s Christmas by the Sea festival follows on the first weekend in December. Events occur Thursday through Sunday. One can find the complete list of events on the Camden Area Business Groups event page.  For a detailed account of a previous Christmas by the Sea weekend, read our blog.

As part of Christmas by the Sea, there are also events occurring in Lincolnville and Rockport.  The Rockport Opera House hosts the Holly Berry Fair. Kinetic Energy Alive Dance Productions presents The Lion King: A Brothers’ Tale at the Strom Auditorium in the Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport. Santa arrives by boat in Rockport Harbor.  Later on Saturday, Santa arrives by fire engine to Lincolnville Beach. Carol and sit by the bonfire on the beach as you await Santa’s arrival. Windsor Chairmakers in Lincolnville host their annual holiday showroom sale on Friday and Saturday. Perhaps you will find the perfect Christmas gift, a handmade in Maine piece of furniture.

Camden celebrates a Day of Giving on Saturday, Dec 9. Participating businesses will donate a portion of their proceeds to United Midcoast Charities. A great chance to support local businesses and support a good cause at the same time!


Belfast is located half an hour north of Camden, Maine.  It is particularly difficult to decide which holiday happenings near Camden, Maine one should attend on the first weekend in December. Belfast has a number of events that weekend that compete with Christmas by the Sea.  The last Belfast art walk of the season is the first Friday in December.  Early Birds can receive deep discounts at downtown Belfast stores from 6am to 9am the first Saturday in December.

Belfast is bustling with holiday happenings. Check here for all of the events through out the month of December.

Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor

Spend the afternoon of the second Saturday in December listening to concerts at the Rockport Opera House. Then head down the hill to Rockport Marine Park.  Enjoy some of the 2000 luminaria throughout the village lighting the path to the harbor.

Holiday on the Harbor Rockport Maine; harbor master boat

Wait for the Harbor Master to cross the harbor to set off the fireworks.

Holiday on the Harbor Rockport Maine; fireworks

I like fireworks as much as parades and holiday festivals.  These are quite special.

For more details on Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor, click here.

Lodging for holiday happenings near Camden, Maine

With so many holiday happenings near Camden, Maine, you will probably need someplace to stay.  Consider making the Hawthorn Inn your home base to attend all of the festivities.  Check out our Promotions page to find current specials to enhance the festivities.

May you have a truly blessed and happy holiday season!  We hope that you take the time to enjoy it!