A driving tour of magical light
November 20–Jan 1
4:30–8:30 p.m., Thurs. through Sun.
$40 per nonmember car
$30 per member car
Gardens Aglow will light up the Boothbay peninsula for the seventh year in a row in 2021 as a driving tour. This annual family tradition of experiencing the lights of Gardens Aglow will accommodate safety protocols necessary for large events.
All tickets must be purchased in advance; no admission tickets will be sold onsite. Tickets are valid only for the date and time for which they are purchased, and visitors must arrive on time for their tickets. In addition, guests without tickets will be turned away. Tickets are non-refundable–no exceptions. Make sure you read the Ticketing & Return Policies before purchasing tickets. (Policy information is above the calendar on the event tickets page.)
Gardens Aglow Lighting Contest
In addition to the dazzling lighting displays at the Gardens, visitors will also enjoy exploring the region to view entries in our Lighting Contest, which will be viewable on our map. Winners of the contest will be chosen by popular vote in a text-to-vote platform.
Are you a resident or business owner on the Boothbay peninsula looking to participate in the lighting contest this year? Enter online by November 8, and have your display installed by November 19. Please note this contest is only open to those in Edgecomb, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Trevett, East Boothbay, West Boothbay, or Southport.
While our Gardenshop is not open to browse in person during the event, Gardenshop online has hundreds of items to peruse and add to your shopping cart. Our curated collection of items make great gifts for family and friends of all ages, and every purchase in our store is powerful: each sale directly supports our mission to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants and nature.
Discover the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Gardens Aglow. Questions specific to members can be found below.
Safety is the primary reason. Given the considerations surrounding the ongoing pandemic and the fact that we needed to decide the event’s format nearly a year in advance of its implementation, we had to consider the best way to hold the event while ensuring everyone’s safety. The walking version of Gardens Aglow means thousands of people moving in and out of enclosed buildings, even more so than during our regular season, increasing opportunities for the virus to spread. With the rise of the delta variant, it just seemed like the safer course of action. Beyond being accessible to a wider variety of people, it’s a safer format, warmer and more comfortable, and requires fewer staff—a consideration since we’re facing a statewide staffing shortage.
No; tickets must be purchased in advance, and you will be unable to buy tickets onsite. Non-ticketholders will be turned away.
Make an evening of it by creating a festive playlist, brewing a thermos of tea or hot chocolate, packing snacks for the drive, and downloading a map of the region that includes entries in this year’s community lighting contest, available soon online.
- Gardens Aglow is illuminated by nearly 650,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs—that’s nearly 60 miles of lights!
No, they will not be mailed. An email will be sent to the email address you provide when purchasing your ticket, and there will be printable tickets included in that email.
Yes! You must print your tickets this year and have them in-hand when you arrive.
We have one price, and that is per vehicle. The number of passengers in the vehicle don’t factor into that price.
No. In Maine, passengers are restricted to the inside passenger compartment of pickup truck, therefore it is not allowed at Gardens Aglow.
Due to the 9-foot height restrictions along the route, only passenger vehicles will be allowed to participate—no buses, mini-buses, limos, trailers, or campers.
We’re open rain or (moon)shine! If it’s raining, our displays showcase an extra sparkle. As a general rule, we only close during major, unsafe weather events (see the next FAQ).
We’ll post on our website and our Facebook page if we need to close because of the weather, and it will be on local news closure lists. If you had purchased tickets for a night that we close, we will email you with news of the closure and remind you to contact us for a full refund. Since we do not store your credit card information, you must contact us for your refund, or for help rescheduling your visit for an open night of the event. You may also apply the cost of your tickets towards a Gardens membership, or use them as admission during our regular season, April-October.
Tickets are non-refundable. If circumstances prevent you from using your tickets at the date and time planned, please give us a call at 207-633-8000 and we will be happy to apply the cost of your tickets towards a Gardens membership, or you may use them as admission during our regular season, April-October.
We are open Christmas Day but closed Thanksgiving Day, Novemeber 25, and Christmas Eve, December 24. Otherwise, we’re open Thursday-Sunday, plus the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Wed., November 24), and daily, Christmas Day through January 1.
Since this year is a driving experience, Gardens Aglow is especially accessible for everyone.
No; there will be no shuttles this year.
Tickets are timed for entry, and the experience lasts about twenty minutes. The speed limit for the route is 5mph. Extend your visit to the region by exploring our Community Lighting Contest entries, where more than fifty participants have festively lit up their homes and businesses.
No. Your ticket is valid only for the date and time for which it is purchased, and you will be unable to use it for a different time slot. Adherence to arrival time is critical for the success and safety of this event.
All vehicles that are under 9 ft. in height will fit easily. No trailers, buses, limos, or RVs please. Vehicles not in compliance with these restrictions will be turned away; ticket refunds will not be available.
No. The Gardens is closed for safety reasons before and after the event. We close promptly at 9 p.m.
No. For safety reasons, all guests must remain in their vehicles at all times.
No. For safety reasons, we cannot offer food this year. Visit BoothbayLights.com for more information on where to eat in the region.
Check out the Boothbay Lights website or Facebook page to see a full listing of what restaurants, hotels and shops are open, as well as what other events are happening around town during the Boothbay Lights celebration. New this year, we also have a map here of our Community Lighting Contest participants—begin or end your evening with Gardens Aglow, and take a festive tour of the peninsula!
No. For safety reasons, no facilities will be available during the event. Public restrooms are highlighted on the Community Lighting Contest map of the area.
Our physical Gardenshop is not open during the event this year, but you can shop online at shop.mainegardens.org. Our online shop has great gifts for loved ones from artisans, local makers, and environmentally-conscious merchants, and every purchase–even online–is powerful: every sale directly supports our mission to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through education, horticulture, and research.
Because height restrictions limit participating vehicles to passenger cars, SUVs, and vans only, we do not offer group tickets or rates this year.
No. With our plan for limited numbers in staggered arrival times, we’ve worked with the town of Boothbay to ensure we avoid backups onto the road.
Yes. The Gardens close for the season on October 17, and Gardens Aglow is a special ticketed event. Members receive special pricing for the event: tickets are $30 per car for members.
No, Gardens Aglow is a special event outside of the Garden’s regular operating hours. Guest passes may not be used for any special events outside of regular hours.
We want you to bring your family and friends to this event! Current members may purchase up to 2 vehicle tickets per night at the member price.
No. Memberships are nontransferable and are valid only for the person whose name appears on the card.
Yes, you will still receive a 10% member discount in our online Gardenshop during the event.
While you visit us for Gardens Aglow, Check out Boothbay Lights!
The Boothbay region is loaded with other fun programs and activities for visitors during November and December. Shop, dine or spend the night! For a complete list of other events as well as participating restaurants, inns, and shops, visit www.boothbaylights.com and plan your holiday getaway today. Please note that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is always best to talk directly with any participating businesses or organizations to ensure information is the most up-to-date.