6 Things to Do in Portland, Maine With Littles This Holiday Season

The days are getting shorter. The air is growing cooler. The holidays are upon us. It's time to put on your cutest boots, put the toddler in a marshmallow-man style coat, and head out to enjoy the season! 

1. Nutcracker:

The music and imagery of The Nutcracker has become synonymous with the holiday season. This year there are a few options if The Nutcracker is on your "must see" list.The Children's Museum is presenting a reindeer version suitable for the youngest viewer, the Portland Ballet is offering a Victorian Nutcracker, and the Maine State Ballet brings the traditional performance.

2. Polar Express:

Every December for the past 8 years, the narrow gauge railway has transformed into a magical adventure to the North Pole. Stories, hot cocoa, cozy pjs, carol singing, santa - What could be better? Tickets are limited, so visit Port Tix for more info on dates, times and prices. They've just added the last of the first class tickets tonight!

At the LL Bean musical light show

At the LL Bean musical light show

3. Trees, trees and more lighted trees!:

Some of the Christmas trees had lighting ceremonies last month, but there are more happening this weekend and lots of opportunities to admired the lights through the season. This weekend there will be lightings in Biddeford, Cape Elizabeth, and North Yarmouth, among others. If you are dazzled by the bright lights, you don't want to miss the big tree in Monument Square or the display at LL Bean. The trees in front of the home store on the LL Bean campus feature an impressive musical light show from 5-9pm until the end of the month. 

4. Trains at the Maine Mall:  

Do you have a train fanatic? Make sure you stop at Starbucks if you are heading to the Baby Gap because you will be delayed at the train display there, assembled by the Maine Garden Railway Society! There are more than 10 trains on multiple tracks with buttons for interactive fun. The volunteers from the society are very friendly and happy to explain any part of the set up. The trains will be there until the mall closes on December 24th. Good for a rainy day! 


5. Holiday at Hadlock:

This annual event is happening on December 5th from 10-2. The Sea Dogs are decking out Hadlock Field in a scene of Winter Wonderland. The fun seems limitless here: horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, live music, petting zoo, and more! Of course, Santa will be in attendance. 

6. Choose your own tree:

Whether or not you are a celebrator of Christmas, going to a tree farm can be a magical experience. At Old Farm Christmas Place, you can take a tractor-drawn wagon ride up the farm hill to rows and rows of perfect evergreens. There's hot cocoa and a place to sit by the fire. So bundle everyone up and go before the sun sets! You may leave with a tree, but you'll definitely leave with a memory.

What are your favorite memories of traditions your family had when you were young? We'd love to hear them!