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Gardens Aglow 2016

As the leaves fall, I start counting down the days for Gardens Aglow 2016.  The staff at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens transform the upper gardens into the biggest and brightest holiday light display in Maine. The display lights up Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings (4:00 pm to 9 pm) November 18 through December 31, 2016. Last year, the first year, was absolutely amazing! I am an admitted holiday junkie therefore love this stuff!!

Fun Facts about Gardens Aglow 2015

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens supplied these fun facts during last year’s event.

  • There were nearly 200,000 lights in the upper gardens.  That is over 14 miles of lights. (Boothbay Register reports that this year will be twice as many lights.)
  • Every strand of lights in the gardens uses LED lights. LED lights have a much longer lifespan than traditional bulbs. Nine times longer!
  • A 20 foot tree takes two people over six hours to completely wrap with lights. Even the easiest trees can take over two hours to wrap.Gardens Aglow 2016, lighted trees
  • Due to the amount of work involved, the horticulture staff in 2015 began adorning trees with lights on September 9 while continuing to winterize the gardens, cut back perennials and plant 35,00 spring bulbs.

Everyone loves a Scavenger Hunt

Last year, there were 6 snowmen hidden in the gardens, both inside and out. Children were encouraged to mark the location where they found the snowmen on a copy of the map and hand it in at the Bosarge Family Education Center for a prize!

Gardens Aglow 2016; Snowman 2

I looked hard, but was not able to find all 6.  Probably just as well since I had not borrowed any children for the day to hand in the completed map for a prize.

This year the scavenger hunt will be for 5 large intricately detailed fairy houses that will be lighted from within.  I need to see if I can’t find some children to take along this year!

Food Options for Gardens Aglow 2016

Kitchen Garden Cafe

The Kitchen Garden Cafe is open with special food and beverage options.  I imagine it is quite magical to eat dinner and look out the windows at all of the amazing lights.  We need to plan ahead and have dinner there this year.

Food Trucks

There will be 3 or 4 food vendors added to Gardens Aglow 2016. Another wonderful option, you can walk through the lights while eating your food!


Everyone also loves a fire pit and s’mores.  A perfect treat to end the evening.

Gardens Aglow 2016 Details

You save $2 per ticket if you purchase the ticket in advance.  Purchase your tickets here.

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens physical address is 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay ME 04537. (Please note: On an older GPS, 200 Barters Island Road might work better). It is approximately 10 miles down the peninsula from Route 1.  In normal traffic conditions, it is about 1 hour from Camden. The Hawthorn Inn is a perfect place to enjoy a holiday retreat. Check out our Promotions page to see our current specials and packages.

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