The entire town of Kennebunkport, Maine transforms into a real-life North Pole as it’s dressed in bright lights and festive bows for the 42nd Kennebunkport Maine Christmas Prelude. This transformation marks the commencement of the holiday festivities! HGTV featured the town as the “second-best Christmas town in America,” tourists and locals alike gather to kick off the holiday season, a tradition dating back to 1982!
When is the Kennebunkport, Maine ‘Christmas Prelude’?
The celebration always begins on the eve of November 30 and lasts through the first two weeks of December, meaning you can catch the tail of these fabulous festivities through Sunday, December 11. While the Christmas charm of the prelude is so accurate you’ll think you just stepped foot onto the set of a holiday Hallmark film, Kennebunkport highlights the Maine roots throughout the parade.
Local carolers echoe magnetic tunes off of seaside waves as Santa sails in on his very own Maine lobster boat. The festivities will continue through Sunday, December 10 so make sure to pay a visit for a day. The holiday spirit is so contagious you’ll probably end up prolonging your stay!
Where to stay in Kennebunkport, Maine?
There are plenty of lovely lodging options in Kennebunkport ranging from modern hotels and to romantic Kennebunkport inns. For luxurious resorts, head to the Rhumb Line Resort, a family-friendly hotel nestled in the woods near the ocean. Equally as luxurious are the B&Bs of the Kennebunkport Captains Collection, four historic homes that are a block from the beach and an 8-minute walk from the Dock Square tree lighting.
For inns, the Breakwater Inn and Seaside Inn are lovely picks! However, if you can’t find space it’s just an hour and a half from the city so you can make a day trip out of it!
All the festivities scheduled for the Kennebunkport ‘Christmas Prelude’
Perhaps one of the most recognized events of the Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude is the Dock Square Tree Lighting Ceremony and seaside fireworks display presented by Atlas Pyrotechnics of Jaffrey, N.H. which will take place from 5:30 PM to 6:15 PM on Friday, December 1.
Some other events running for the remainder of the prelude through December 10 include:
- Heated trolley rides on the private heritage railway
- Outdoor igloo winter picnic complete with an electric fireplace, blankets, board games, & choice a cheese board or s’mores
- Christmas street festival
- DIY hot chocolate bar featuring the finest European chocolates
- Fire+ Ice festival complete with Picasso-level ice carvings, live entertainment, award-winning eats, and more
- Pin the tail on Rudolph competition
- German coffee roasting demos
The full list of events can be found on the Kennebunkport website. There is not a minute of time wasted at the Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude–daily events run from as early as 6 AM until well past midnight.