Chugging eggnog in front of a roaring fire while chestnuts roast sure sounds appealing, but it’s not for everybody.

Some folks, of course, don’t celebrate Christmas. Others might be alone or away from family this year. Others might have a house full of holiday guests and feel a need to get away now and again.

Whatever their reasons, people who want places to go and things to do on Christmas Day in southern Maine are in luck. Movie theaters are open and playing some of the season’s box office hits, for instance. So are some corner stores and bigger ones, coffee shops and some bars and restaurants. Here are just a few places that will be happy to welcome your business on Christmas.


Apple Cinemas locations in Westbrook and Saco, formerly Cinemagic, will both be open on Christmas. The Westbrook theater recently underwent a major renovation and now features fully reclining seats in all the auditoriums and 4K laser projectors. The new lobby features self-serve popcorn dispensers, concessions and ticketing. Some of the films on the bill will be “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” For more information and movie times, go to

Nickelodeon Cinemas in the Old Port is among several movie theaters open on Christmas. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Nickelodeon Cinemas in Portland is also open. Because of its location, you could combine a movie with a stroll around downtown to see the city’s impressive holiday light displays designed by artist Pandora LaCasse. Nickelodeon is also playing some big movies, including “Avatar,” which even has a Maine connection. Gorham native Eric Saindon was the film’s special effects supervisor and has twice been nominated for an Oscar, for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in 2014 and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2013. For more information about what’s playing at Nickelodeon Cinemas, go to


The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine on outer Congress Street in Portland is hosting a Chinese Food and Films event on Christmas Day from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a Chinese buffet lunch plus snacks, games, Hanukkah-themed gifts and the family film “Paddington 2.”  The buffet lunch is $5, and the other festivities are free. People must register by Dec. 21. For more information and to register, go to 

DiPietro’s Market in South Portland has been staying open on Christmas for 20 years, just in case. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster


DiPietro’s Market on Cottage Road in South Portland will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s been open on Christmas for over 20 years, and people in the neighborhood have come to expect that when they forget something for Christmas dinner (and they will), they can always run out to DiPietro’s, which has grocery items, pizzas and a really nice selection of wines, liquor and beer. For more information, go to DiPietro’s Market on Facebook.

Hilltop Superette on the top of Munjoy Hill in Portland will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for groceries and other goodies, though the kitchen will be closed. You can find more info on the store at Hilltop Superette on Facebook.

L.L. Bean in Freeport is known for being open all year long. So it’s a great place to pick up a very last-minute gift for somebody, or just to browse. The store is huge, carrying clothes, camping and hunting supplies, home decor and a lot more. Also on Christmas Day, L.L. Bean will still be hosting its Northern Lights holiday celebration, with the store and surrounding area decked out in a very festive way. There’s free ice skating in Discovery Park, skate rentals and heated benches. There’s a very detailed model train layout running through a tiny New England village in the camping department. To get to the store from Main Street, you can walk through a tunnel of twinkling lights, and just outside the camping section, you can pose for pictures in a giant snow globe. For more information, go to and search for “Northern Lights.”

L.L. Bean in Freeport is always open, including on Christmas Day. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer



Dock Fore, a restaurant and bar in Portland’s Old Port that has been in business for more than 40 years, will be open beginning at 3 p.m. Christmas. The kitchen closes at 7 p.m. Specials include Santa Hat jello shots. Get more info at Dock Fore on Facebook.

Coffee By Design in L.L. Bean in Freeport will be open its regular hours on Christmas Day, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., so you can grab a cup of pick-me-up while doing last-minute chores or just enjoy a quiet cup of coffee away from the holiday bustle at home. They have some special holiday drinks and an inflatable Buddy the Elf, from the comic holiday film “Elf,” for people to take selfies with. For more information, go to 

Union Restaurant in the Press Hotel on Congress Street in downtown Portland is featuring a three-course Christmas dinner menu, for $89 per person or $134 with wine. Entree choices include a herb-crusted prime rib, pan roasted cod loin and mushroom-parsnip agnolotti. Dessert options include a German stollen and gingerbread mousse with chocolate tart. For more information, go to

Salt Yard Cafe + Bar at the Canopy Portland Waterfront hotel will be open 7 a.m. to noon for food and from noon to 6 p.m. for cocktails. There will be several “Taste of Maine” cocktails available, including a “Moxie Old Fashioned,” with Old Port Bourbon, Moxie syrup, orange bitters and Fernet Michaud. For more information, go to

The Salt Yard Cafe + Bar will be open for food in the morning and cocktails in the afternoon on Christmas Day. Photo by Jamie Mercurio Photography

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