A driving tour of magical light
Gardens Aglow will light up the Boothbay peninsula for the sixth year in a row, with one important change: this year it will be a driving tour. The annual family tradition of experiencing the lights of Gardens Aglow has been transformed to accommodate the 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 page.)
Community 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 are viewable on our map. This year, winners of the contest will be chosen by popular vote in a text-to-vote platform.
While our Gardenshop is not open to browse in person, 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.
Tickets are $40 per car for nonmembers. Members get a special rate of $30 (see Member FAQs below).
No; tickets must be purchased in advance, and you will be unable to buy tickets onsite. Non-ticketholders will be turned away.
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. This is not only convenient for you and our staff, but far safer for all of us.
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.
You can call us at 207-633-8000 to purchase a gift voucher valid for one complimentary vehicle admission. The voucher will be emailed to you. After gifting your voucher, your recipient must call us to reserve his or her ticket for the event.
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.
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.
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 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 and Christmas Eve. Otherwise, we’re open Thursday-Sunday, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve (November 25 and December 23), and daily, Christmas Day through January 2.
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 pertaining to COVID-19, 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 pertaining to COVID-19, no facilities will be available. Public restrooms are highlighted on the Community Lighting Contest map of the area.
Our physical Gardenshop is not open 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 cannot offer group tickets or rates this year.
Yes. The Gardens close for the season on October 12, 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.
Our Generous 2020 Sponsors
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.