If you live within the vicinity of Boothbay, Maine or if you are visiting the area during the holiday season....

Then I highly recommend you check out the Gardens-A-Glow event at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Boothbay is about 1.5 hours north of Portland, Maine and is a beautiful community. Tickets for the event need to be purchased in advance as many evenings sell sell out. We went on New Year's Eve this year and a sign posted near the entrance let prospective visitors know the event was sold out! Each year the event gets bigger and bigger and seems to be more popular. We arrived about 15 minutes before our ticketed time and there was already quite a crowd of people! Thankfully, there were plenty of people helping with parking and at the check-in desks to get everyone to the event efficiently. Other than the line of cars when we first pulled in and a line of people during check-in, crowds were never really an issue (and the process of both parking and checking in went super quick!) There are a ton of areas to walk around so even with a sold out evening, we never really felt overwhelmed or rushed. One thing to note if you are traveling with younger children or if you have a child/children with certain special needs - many of the trails are dark, muddy, and can get a little backed up. So having on brighter clothing, light-up bracelets, etc. may be helpful. I would also recommend a trail-worthy stroller if at all possible. Since we have experienced so much rain in coastal Maine this winter, the trails were often very muddy. Other than that though, the event is so much fun! There are kid-friendly and adult-friendly beverages and snacks, and enough lights to enjoy for at least an hour. I also appreciate that they do not blast any loud music which could prove to be overstimulating for some individuals. Below are some photos I took both this year and last year, as well as a video I put together with footage from this year. Enjoy and make sure you check it out!

Exterior holiday lights shine brightly outside of the building normally filled with butterflies at the Botanical Gardens
One of a few illuminated moose shines bright at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.
An adorable child in a snowsuit smiles near the sensory garden area at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
A look out over the bridge and holiday lights at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.
Another moose, this time in the water, illuminates in beautiful neon colors at the Botanical Gardens.
A mushroom shines brilliantly near the entrance to Gardens-A-Glow.
Lights create the feeling of the ocean in Maine at the Gardens A Glow event at the Botanical Gardens.
Even the hallways and decorate in beautiful holiday lights at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
One of the wooden trolls in lit up for the holidays and welcomes guests in for photos.