After you’ve traveled to grandma’s house, eaten more food than you should have and exhausted yourself opening all your presents, what do you do with yourself (and all those visiting relatives)? While most stores and venues will be closed, there are still some things you can get out and do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Here are a few:


See “A Christmas Carol” — Portland Stage Company wraps up its annual production of Charles Dickens’ holiday tale with one show at noon. Tickets are $25 to $39; $12 for children under age 12. Call 774-0465 for tickets. Portland Stage Company is at 25A Forest Ave., Portland.

Experience the 12 Days of Christmas — While you are not likely to see 12 actual lords a-leaping at Victoria Mansion, you will see sumptuous decorations on the theme of the 12 Days of Christmas. The mansion’s holiday decorations are on view until Jan. 8. On Christmas Eve, the mansion is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. As an aside, the first 100 folks touring the mansion on Dec. 23 will get a free commemorative poster. Tickets are $15; $13.50 for age 62 and older; $5 for youths ages 6 to 17; free for children under age 6. Family rate is $35. The mansion is at 109 Danforth St., Portland. Go to for information.

Share Christmas with the Longfellows — Tour the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Unlike Victoria Mansion, the Longfellow home is decorated to represent the more understated decorating traditions prior to the Victorian age. Holiday decorations are on view through Dec. 31. Christmas Eve hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Longfellow home is at 489 Congress St. Go to for information.

Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride — Evoke a bygone era by taking a sleigh ride through the center of Bethel. Rides will take place with or without snow, leaving from the Bethel Inn Resort, 21 Broad St. Reservations are required. Call 824-2175, Ext. 0. Tickets are $15, $12 for children under age 12.

Visit with Santa — In spite of his busy schedule Santa will be visiting several locations in the Oxford Hills area on Christmas Eve. Here’s his itinerary: At 4 p.m. at Stevens Memorial Hospital, 181 Main St., Norway; 5 p.m. at Steve’s General Store, 1573 Main St., Oxford; 5:30 p.m. at Smedberg’s, 1408 Main St., Oxford; 6 p.m. at Daddy O’s Restaurant, 901 Main St., Oxford; and 6:30 p.m. at Polly’s Variety Store, 115 King St., Oxford. The folks at Steve’s put on a party for Santa’s arrival, complete with refreshments and stockings for the kids. All children attending will receive a gift. Parents may drop off a gift for their child in advance for Santa to give them at the party. For more information, call 743-9553. All of Santa’s visits are free.

Roast marshmallows — Head to the outdoor fire pit at Sunday River’s Jordan Grand Hotel to roast marshmallows and munch on s’mores. The roasting is free and takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday River is on the Sunday River Road in Newry. Call 824-3000 for information.

Donate blood — Give the gift of life, as the promo says, and head over to the American Red Cross Donor Center at 524 Forest Ave. in Portland between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Go to for information.


See a movie — Going to the movie theater to watch a movie on Christmas Day is a tradition for some families. New on local screens this week are “Little Fockers,” “True Grit” and “Gulliver’s Travels.”

Do some (more) shopping — Maybe you got gift certificates or cash for Christmas and they’re already burning a hole in your pocket. Hit the Internet for some online shopping or head over to L.L. Bean or Walgreen’s (only 24-hour stores are open on Christmas Day).

Go skiing — Several ski resorts are open for those who want to get out on the slopes. Sunday River, Sunday River Road, Newry ( is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sugarloaf, 5092 Sugarloaf Access Road, Carrabassett Valley ( is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saddleback, Saddleback Mountain Road, Rangeley ( is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Participate in a community dinner — The folks at Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church offer a free community meal on Christmas Day. The menu features baked ham, roast pork loin, cranberry-stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes, bread rolls and assorted desserts, including homemade chocolate cream and apple pies. Reservations are not necessary. Volunteers are needed. Please call 854-9157 to volunteer. The church is at 810 Main St., Westbrook.

Visit Acadia National Park — Most people think of visiting the state’s only national park during the warm summer months, but parts of the park are open through the winter. You can drive part of the Loop Road, or, if there is snow, ski or snowshoe the carriage trails. There are snowmobiling routes, too. Blackwood Campground also offers a limited number of campsites for primitive camping. You’ll have to hike to the campground and you’ll need to get a camping permit in advance. Call park headquarters at 288-3338. The park’s office is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but is open today from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Staff Writer Stephanie Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]


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