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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays in Kennebunkport Maine’

Christmas Prelude Has Arrived in Kennebunkport!

December 1st, 2012 by Judi Hauer

This morning visitors to Kennebunkport woke up to a light snowfall (the best kind – no shoveling required!) and prepared for day two of Christmas Prelude.  During the day, Dock Square was bustling with folks getting a jump on their Christmas shopping, sipping cocoa, and enjoying old-fashioned trolley rides.  But around 5 o’clock, our sleepy little village exploded with holiday cheer as we waited with great anticipation for the lighting of the Christmas tree!  While waiting for that exciting moment, we were

Christmas Prelude Kennebunkport

The Christmas Prelude tree is lit – complete with its iconic lobster tree topper!

serenaded by a variety of vocal and acoustic groups.  And later, out in Cape Porpoise, everyone enjoyed a second lighting of the iconic lobster trap tree!

Today’s schedule of events is packed with fun activities and great shopping opportunities, but here are some of our favorites.

  • Craft Fairs Galore!  Through the afternoon, enjoy great shopping opportunities at the Lower Village Fire Station, Atlantic Hall in Cape Porpoise, the American Legion (across from the Police Station), and the Lower Village Senior Center.  Or you could check out the offerings at the Village Baptist Church, the Community House (next to South Congregational Church), and, of course, the mother of all craft fairs at the Consolidated School, just around the corner from our Maine bed and breakfast.
  • Tour the town!  When you’re in HGTV’s second best Christmas town in the nation, you’ve got to experience it all, so hop aboard an old-fashioned trolley for a warm and cozy tour of Kennebunkport – perfect for photos of the decked out splendor.  Or consider wandering over to the Nott House, home of the Kennebunkport Historical Society for a tour of the White Columns property, or enjoy a guided village walking tour leaving from the same location!
  • Don’t miss the Annual Hat Parade through Dock Square this afternoon – it’s a must-see!
  • A favorite feature of Christmas Prelude Weekend One is the caroling and processional from the Lower Village tree lighting to the Franciscan Monastery by candlelight.  Complete with chestnuts roasting on an open fire (and Jack Frost nipping at your nose… it is December in Maine!), this is an awe-inspiring event sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Now, this doesn’t list doesn’t come close to touching all of the incredible activities happening all over Kennebunkport this weekend, so be sure to check out the complete list of events here.  Happy Christmas Prelude!

Celebrating Thanksgiving at a Maine Bed and Breakfast

November 26th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

The idea of celebrating Thanksgiving at a Maine bed and breakfastmight seem like an unconventional idea to some, but for many it’s a favorite tradition.  In fact, ten years ago my family had our very first introduction to Kennebunkport when we came to celebrate Thanksgiving.  With relatives scattered far and wide, making the traditional Turkey Day feast seemed a little excessive for our family of three, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone and pair a food-filled getaway with a college tour and ended up settling on a Maine bed and breakfast right here in Kennebunkport!  What a fortuitous choice!  But even before deciding to take up

Thanksgiving at a maine bed and breakfast

A gorgeous Thanksgiving Day in Kennebunkport!

residence in town, we made it an annual tradition.  And considering that no one in my family can ever agree on what we should cook, going out to eat is the ideal solution!  That way everyone can select what they want and none of us has to slave over a stove for hours – but heartfelt thanks go to those in area restaurants who take on that task for all of us!

Even now that we call Maine our home, going out for Thanksgiving dinner is a fantastic treat, and something that our visitors cherish as well.  Whether they’re visiting children in New England colleges, finding a fun location for spread-apart family members to come together, or just looking for a relaxing reprieve, folks really embrace the idea of not spending the day in the kitchen.  And this year there really was no clear “winner,” as they shared the love between all the restaurants in town, including On the Marsh Bistro, the White Barn, Grissini, Pier 77, and One Dock, among others.

But even after indulging in the afternoon or early evening, more than 25 people joined us in the dining room to enjoy some light refreshments just to take the edge off.  The festivities morphed into relaxed hands of cards and a few board games, but slowly “food coma” set in and set everyone packing for bed – myself included!  All in all, Thanksgiving was an incredible day filled with food, fun, and family – made even more fun since they weren’t my own!


Gearing Up For Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude

November 21st, 2012 by Judi Hauer

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right upon us, but we’re in full swing gearing up for Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude. In fact, as I was driving through Dock Square just moments ago, and found people setting up the Christmas tree! The garlands are up, adorning the sides of the bridge and all of the lamp and electrical posts lining the streets.  So while we haven’t quite broken out our festive decorations (but it’s coming,

The Christmas Prelude tree is going up in Kennebunkport's Dock Square!

Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude

that’s for sure!), the town is really filling us with holiday cheer!

So after our bellies are filled tomorrow and we share our thanks for the blessings in our lives, we’ll start the preparation in earnest, because we certainly want to keep up Kennebunkport’s reputation as having one of the best Christmas celebrations in the nation.  And Christmas Prelude is certainly worth it’s title, with festive decor tastefully gracing the homes and bed and breakfasts of the Historic District and a plethora of merriment-filled activities.  At the Maine Stay Inn, we are particularly looking forward to the second weekend of Christmas Prelude, which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years.  Don’t get me wrong, the first weekend is incredible, and with the throngs of people milling about, the town just comes alive with Christmas spirit.  But the second weekend encompasses our favorite events, with classic events like tree lighting and caroling, but also incredible events like fireworks, doggie parades, and an inn-to-inn open house.  But last year, the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport debuted our new fave – a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn, complete with caroling and holiday goodies.  So while all of us are looking forward to Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport, we can’t wait for a delicious feast tomorrow and spending time with those important in our lives.  We hope that you all have an opportunity to do the same and look forward to sharing this joyous holiday season with you!

Celebrating Veterans Day in Kennebunkport Maine

November 13th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

flag at St. Ann's in Kennebunkport Maine

The flag flies high at St. Ann’s!

As many folks enjoyed a day off from work or school yesterday, we (myself included) can sometimes forget the reason we are given an extra day to relax and explore beautiful places like Kennebunkport Maine.  So this year we decided to take an extra moment of pause to honor all of those who have served to protect and honor the United States of America.  Unlike Memorial Day, which honors fallen veterans, most communities don’t celebrate with a parade or armed salute in a local cemetery, so this year we decided to take a walk out to the Bush family compound along Parson’s Way.  So I headed out from the Maine Stay Inn along Ocean Avenue, where incredible vistas greeted me (no surprise there!).  But as I rounded the corner by St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, I saw a towering flagpole flying in the essentially cloudless sky.  Okay, I’ll get a little sappy here – just its presence reminded me of how fortunate I am to have been raised in a nation like this one, where countless people have protected me and my freedoms over the past few centuries.  So I snapped a pic and meandered on my way.

Kennebunkport Maine couldn’t have asked for a better day!  I mean it’s November and the

bush monument in kennebunkport maine

A piece of the “monument” by Walker’s Point

temps soared into the sixties, with hardly a cloud in the sky.  Just about two miles from my start at our Kennebunkport Maine Bed and Breakfast, I reached a scenic precipice overlooking the Bush Compound, where a monument (I guess that’s the word!) in honor of George H.W. Bush’s military service recognizes this and all veterans.  Check out this cool anchor!  But I had to head back home to make sure that I didn’t miss out on the Historic Inns’ of Kennebunkport’s Veterans Day Scavenger Hunt, which concluded with an evening reception at the Pasco Center (a year-round historic art gallery) – more on that later!  Needless to say, Veterans Day was a great one in Kennebunkport Maine, and wherever you celebrated, we hope you had a great one too!


Spending July 4th at a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

July 3rd, 2012 by Judi Hauer

The Fourth of July is a big deal, and our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast is no exception.  From the moment you wake up, you are sure to recognize just how excited our staff is for the holiday, as they’ll be decked out in red, white, and blue from head to toe.  And tomorrow’s festive breakfast follows suit!  Before heading off to watch the parade, they’ll enjoy cherry-almond tartlets filled with bing cherry compote, a creamy mascarpone filling, and topped with fresh blueberries and toasted almonds.  Now, we wouldn’t dream of serving just a sweet delight, so you can rest assured that you’ll be well fueled for your July 4th celebrations, but spilling the

July 4th fireworks in Kennebunkport

Don’t miss the fireworks from the Colony beach jetty!

beans on the menu just wouldn’t be any fun!

But after a enjoying the parade, the whole day awaits before our famous firework show around sunset.  With incredible weather forecasted, the options are endless, so hit the beach, indulge in some retail therapy, or just relax around the Maine Stay Inn!  In the evening, though, you should be sure not to miss the fireworks.  Once it’s fully dark in Kennebunkport, the guns go off, and that usually translates to around 9.  But the advantage to sending the off from Gooch’s Beach is that you’ll be able to watch the fireworks displays in Ogunquit and York as well – it’s like a three-fer!  One question visitors often ask is where the best spot is for viewing the show, and there are three positively excellent spots.  The first requires some foresight, and that means making dinner reservations at Stripers restaurant.  A window table in their dining room is a great spot to catch the view, but those coveted 8 or 8:30 slots are hard to come by, especially the day before.  That said, planning in advance for the show is well worth it!  Just a bit further from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast sits Colony beach, where a jetty juts out into the ocean, providing an excellent  viewing platform.   And best of all, it’s walking distance from the Maine Stay.  If you’d rather drive, be prepared for some traffic when you park along side the Kennebunk Beachs, but it’s a great option for the mobility impaired or families.  No matter what, though, July 4th is a big deal at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast and we can’t wait to share that with you!

Spending Father’s Day at a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

June 16th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

I don’t know about you, but there are only a few things that my dad cares about on Father’s Day – good food, good beer, and good golf – and fortunately all three are things you can find in and around our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  And while I feel like I harp on it a lot while blogging, there is such great food in Kennebunkport!  Whether you’re looking for an elegant steak dinner or

Father's Day in Kennebunkport

A beautiful Father's Day weekend in Kennebunkport!

just a great burger, you’re certain to find a fantastic meal for every taste and every budget very nearby.  When it comes to beer, however, there are two places in particular that bear mentioning.  Federal Jack’s pumps house-made beers up from the Kennebunkport Brewing Company, located directly beneath them (along with other brands in bottles, cans, and kegs), and serves as the largest craft brewery in Maine.  But if imports are more his thing, Ryan’s Corner House is a great spot to check out for an assortment of brews served at an awesome bar with quite a variety of great Irish blends.  Plus, since both are walking distance to the Maine Stay Inn, he can imbibe without worrying about finding a DD!

Unfortunately, this year my dad didn’t get a chance to hit any balls, because, instead, he helped me clean and move to my new house!  But we still got in some quality father-daughter time, right?  Since Father’s Day isn’t quite here yet, I am holding out hope that he might be able to sneak in a round at one of the great area courses.  Both Webhannet Golf Course and the Cape Arundel Golf Course offer 18 holes and incredible views and even take reservations for non-members (though not more than a week in advance)! But if the kiddos are tagging along for this Father’s Day getaway, you might consider the par-3 course, called Hillcreast, or even one of the cute mini-golf courses in Wells like Wonder Mountain.  But no matter what Dad likes, he is sure to enjoy an escape to a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast!

Celebrating Mother’s Day in Kennebunkport Maine

May 12th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Mother's Day Breakfast in Kennebunkport Maine

Judi's favorite sticky cinnamon buns are on the menu just for Mother's Day!

In Kennebunkport Maine, as with anywhere else in the nation, tomorrow is a big day – it’s Mother’s Day!  And for that reason, we have the pleasure of getting to know some amazing moms at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  Some are being treated to a weekend away from the little tykes with a real breakfast in bed (not just a five-year-old’s version of pancakes), while others are being honored for doing such a good job raising their children years ago.  A few more are sporting large baby bumps and taking advantage of the opportunity to combine their babymoon with soon-to-be Mother’s Day Weekend.  But the most heartwarming of all are the guests being sent for a relaxing getaway in Kennebunkport Maine by their children as a special “thank you” to Mom for all of her hard work and dedication.  So while it might be a teeny bit to late to surprise that special mom in your life by spending Mother’s Day Weekend away, it certainly isn’t too late to show her just how much you care by planning a future getaway.  Seriously, though, what better way is there to show her how much you care than to give her the opportunity to rest, recharge and be pampered?!  Plus, with the wide assortment of excellent Kennebunkport restaurants, she won’t have to lift a finger for her entire stay.  From everyone at the Maine Stay, we wish all moms out there a happy Mother’s Day and hope to see you in Kennebunkport Maine!

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo in Kennebunkport

May 5th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

The fifth of May was certainly a fun and exciting day in Kennebunkport, but not too many people actually decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Nevertheless, it was definitely a festive day in town!  Unfortunately, at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, we got the date confused in menu planning, which meant that the carefully chosen huevos rancheros ended up on plates yesterday and not

cinco de mayo 2012 in Kennebunkport

Even the rooster outside Pedro's celebrated Cinco de Mayo in Kennebunkport!

today.  Don’t worry, we explained to a group of wonderful guests that “quattro” de Mayo should be just as good!  Nevertheless, the morning started with the 14th Annual May Day celebration, held in downtown Kennebunk.  Complete with fun activities, great artisan displays, and a parade, it was loads of fun, but proved to be no match for beautiful sunny weather and our great beaches.  Yes, we even had to break out the beach chairs for a few guests.  They did pass on the towels, though – the water’s still just a bit too cold for that!  And while quite a few decided to drink in the outdoors, others went the cultural route, enjoying an exhibit by Maine Women in the Arts and a musical performance by Zemya!, hosted by River Tree Arts.

By dinner time, however, the reality that Cinco de Mayo was coming to a close seemed to sink in, and quite a few visitors left our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast for dinner at Pedro’s, our local Mexican restaurant.  And, boy, was it ever hopping!  Serving killer margaritas with house-made syrups and zesty tacos (along with other entrees), it’s always a favorite, but this Mexican holiday definitely inspired some more traffic.  Plus, their outdoor fire pit definitely calls on a chilly night.  But whether they enjoyed a relaxing Maycation or a margarita-fueled fiesta, everyone enjoyed a great Cinco de Mayo in Kennebunkport!

Easter Dinner in Kennebunkport

April 8th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

While the streets of Kennebunkport were pretty quiet today, the dining room of many local restaurants were buzzing with activity.  Many visitors expressed their concern about finding the right spot their family’s Easter dinner, but also for just a burger or some

easter hyacinth

A hyacinth blooms just in time for Easter!

clam chowdah, so we did our best to quell their fears – Kennebunkport restaurants are open for business!  Yes, even on Easter Sunday!  Around the breakfast table this morning, guests and staff shared their plans for today, so I decided to share those plans with you.  And while some were indeed gearing up to hit the road and whip up their own Easter feast, others were letting someone else do the cooking, whether another family member or a restaurant chef.

Some of the “big winners” were the Cape Arundel Inn, Pier 77, and One Dock at the Kennebunkport Inn, but much to everyone’s surprise, Federal Jack’s Brew Pub also popped up on quite a few itineraries.  As usual, a fair number opted to indulge in an exquisite meal while drinking in an unspoiled view of the crashing surf at the Cape Arundel.  Perched atop a rocky slope, their airy dining room makes sure that every table has a view of the sea.  Others chose to go for a more peaceful view from the dining room at Pier 77, where the sheltered waters of Cape Porpoise Harbor reflect the sky (although cloudy today) and the picturesque lobster boats gently bobbing on the surface.  And quite a few more, myself included, decided to forgo the views in lieu of testing out the waters at the newly redesigned One Dock.  After the magnificent meal in the fresh, nautical dining room, a short stroll through Dock Square and up Ocean Avenue was all that I needed!  Its laid-back atmosphere was much needed after a busy morning to make sure all the staff of our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast could get home for dinner with their families, and the delightful (and indulgent) meal was just what the doctor ordered.

The surprise of the day, however, was that quite a few visitors decided that an elegant Easter dinner was not in their cards, and headed to Federal Jack’s for a burger and fries or fish n’ chips!  But that just goes to show you that Kennebunkport has something for everyone – even on Easter!

Celebrating Easter at a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

April 6th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Easter is a joyous time of year, whether for religious reasons or for the rebirth and reawakening of nature during the springtime, but one of the most exciting parts is getting to share the day with people spending their first holiday away from home at a

Kennebunkport's iconic South Church is just around the corner!

Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  I think of it as especially exciting, because my first experience in Kennebunkport was also for a holiday (although mine was Thanksgiving), so it seems natural that they too might fall in love with this community and its spectacular location in coastal Southern Maine.  Maybe they’ll become our neighbors!  But as excited as I get for Easter weekend, visitors are just as nervous about finding place to worship.  Don’t worry, though, we’ve got it covered!

No matter your denomination, you’re sure to find the right place for you to worship on Easter Sunday.  Several congregations sit just around the corner from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  Village Baptist Church lies about half a dozen houses away on Maine Street, and if you walk a few doors further, you’ll hit United Church of Christ’s South Church (rather ironically located on North Street).  Continuing on a little further, you’ll find the First Congregational Church.  Presbyterian visitors might find a home at St. Andrew’s on Route 1 in Kennebunk.  Nearby, you’ll find St. Martha’s, a Catholic congregation.  And offering a spiritual contrast, it’s nearest neighbor is the Unitarian Universalist congregation.  Sometimes, though, guests of our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast choose to worship slightly differently than they typically would, with a visit to the Franciscan Monastery.  Though traditional Catholic mass is given, the atmosphere is notably different than many churches, as the facility is run by Lithuanian monks.  However, the grounds are spectacular and especially on a religious holiday when many desire a connection to the blossoming natural world, the 7o riverside acres often call.  But this list is hardly exhaustive, so if I’ve left something out (and you can be sure I have!), anyone at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast is happy to help you find the perfect spot for you to celebrate Easter in the area.