Santa. Christmas trees. Buying stuff. That’s where we’re at this week…and the next two also, for that matter. But hey, when the holiday spirit’s in the air, we must embrace it. And by “embrace it” I mean dressing up like Rudolph and joining in on all the Santacon games. There are craft sales and holiday fests from Kennebunkport to Farmington, plus a couple of beer-centric evenings to make everything right again. (Want even more holiday events? Done: 35 can’t-miss holiday events in Southern Maine)
For the weekend of Dec 4-7, 2014
5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday | City Square, downtown Biddeford | heartofbiddeford.org
Entertainment kicks off at 5 p.m. with Andrea Wollstadt’s Intermediate School Choir, selections from “Children’s Nutcracker Holiday Show.” At 5:45 p.m., Santa arrives in all his jolly glory to help light the tree with Mayor Casavant. Then get ready for a downtown treasure hunt, sleigh rides, s’mores, an ice carving show and more holiday than you can handle.
5 p.m. Friday | Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport | $25 | www.trolleymuseum.org
It’s a trolley-meets-hot-toddy experience during the Golden Chariot Ride & Cocktail Party, which takes place two evenings only, Friday, December 5 and Friday, December 12. (The dates correspond to Kennebunkport’s annual Christmas Prelude, which runs from Dec. 2 to Dec. 14.) Attendees will get to ride through the wintry Maine woods in one of the museum’s gorgeous open cars, which originally operated in Montreal from 1906 to 1963. The sight-seeing car is known as “The Golden Chariot.” Afterward, they’ll partake in a cocktail party to warm up. To reserve your spot: 207-967-2800 ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more: Take an open trolley ride through the wintry Maine woods (with hot toddies, too!)
5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday | Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland | Free admission | meca.edu/holiday-sale
Buy gifts for the art fans in your life (and by that mean yourself, too, because you’re going to find a lot of things you really like at the MECA Holiday Sale). There will be fine art, handmade art and crafts.
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday & 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Sunday | East End Community School, Munjoy Hill Portland | www.seaportland.org
Art on the Hill at the East End Community School is a huge show bursting at the seams with jewelry, knits, artwork, pottery, ornaments, cards and pretty much every other handmade thing you can shake a reindeer antler at.
Starts at 4 p.m. | Itinerary not yet released. Check Facebook for the latest | Free to participate | www.facebook.com/events
Hundreds of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, Rudolphs, Mistletoes, Christmas trees, Abominable Snowmen and Elves turn out for a festive bar crawl. This is the seventh year for Santacon in Portland and it just keeps getting bigger and more festive. And remember, you’re representing Santa out there, so be jolly, be generous and don’t drink too much.
8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday | Rising Tide Brewery, 103 Fox St., Portland | $25 | www.momentumme.com
Pair Rising Tide beer with a selection of desserts from Bomb Diggity Bakery. Pretty sure this an everything-goes-with-everything situation. Sales from this event will also help send athletes from Maine’s Team Momentum to the Winter Special Olympics.
6 p.m. Friday | Lewiston Public Library, Lewiston | Free | lplonline.org/events/pages-pints-jim-baumer
Maine writer Jim Baumer will talk about Moxie, books, and beer in the Library’s Callahan Hall. The evening will then continue with a tour of Baxter Brewing Co. followed by a reception and beer tasting – including a small batch Moxie beer.
Friday and Saturday (events run all month) | Downtown Gardiner | Most activities free | www.gardinermainstreet.org
While the Days of Light run all month in Gardiner with tree lightings, shopping specials and contests and a variety show, this weekend is extra bright. There’s a Holiday ArtWalk on Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. And on Saturday there are no less than five area craft fairs, horse drawn wagon rides and the Gardiner Parade of Lights, which takes place on Water Street at 4:30 p.m. Plenty of stuff for the kids all day, too.
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday | Downtown Farmington | www.downtownfarmington.com
Festival of Trees, 5K run/walk, “Earmuffs for Everyone” book signing, Farmington Christmas Show and the Annual Polar Dip at Clearwater Lake.
4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday | Mill Creek Park,, South Portland | Free | www.portlandregion.com
Now if this isn’t good old-fashioned fun, I don’t know what is. Eat pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, drink hot chocolate and sing along to Christmas carols. Once properly in the spirit, visit Santa at City Hall or go on a horse drawn carriage ride through the park. Then watch the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Now that’s some holiday.
December 2-14 | Various locations, Kennebunkport | www.christmasprelude.com
You know those utopian-looking holiday cards depicting a New England Christmas with carriage rides, giant trees draped in white lights and cheery, rosy-cheeked townspeople sipping hot cocoa and peering into downtown shop windows? Yea, Prelude in Kennebunkport is kinda like that. Except the carriage rides are really jaunts in an historic electric streetcar, one of the decorated trees is made out of lobster traps, and the hot cocoa might be a cocktail. There are craft fairs, chowder supper, string quartets, Christmas karaoke and bonfires.
Friday-Sunday | Downtown Freeport | Many activities free | sparklecelebration.com
Parade of lights, musical holiday light show, old-fashioned horse drawn wagon rides, holiday ornaments and craft projects for kids, holiday caroling and Sunday’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk.
AMC Dog Sledding Presentation
7 p.m. Thursday. Curtis Memorial Library, 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick. curtislibrary.com
Mush your way to Brunswick to hear Bryan Courtois and Polly Mahoney share their experiences about dog sledding. Courtois traveled extensively through northern Canada. Courtois lived in the bush of the Yukon Territory for ten years where her huskies were essential to survival. She’ll be bringing two of her dogs with her to the library.
14th Annual Westbrook Festival of Trees
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. through December 13. Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church, 810 Main St., free, donations for local charities accepted, westbrookfestivaloftrees.com
View more than fifty festively decorated Christmas trees on display. New to the festival is a display of model trains and Nativity scenes.
Astronomy Cafe: Kepler’s Search
7 p.m. Monday. Southworth Planetarium, University of Southern Maine. 96 Falmouth St., Portland. $5 to $7 suggested donation, usm.maine.edu/planet
Explore far beyond this planet as you learn about The Kepler Probe. The probe continues its search for planets within our vast galaxy. The discussion includes a question and answer period and a night sky tour in the planetarium.
7 p.m. Tuesday. Elements Books Coffee Beer, 265 Main St., Biddeford, free. elementsbookscoffeebeer.com
Put a team together of up to six of your smartest friends and head to Biddeford to show off your collective brainpower. Tuesday Trivia awards prizes along with bragging rights.
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Falmouth Memorial Library, 5 Lunt Road, Free; donations for food pantry welcome. falmouthmemoriallibrary.org
Nothing spreads joy quite like a ukulele. There will be a whole mess of them being played as The Flukes celebrate the holidays with music for the whole family.