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Gardens Aglow

Although only in its sixth year, Gardens Aglow has already become a cherished tradition among New Englanders. Until the end of December, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has transformed its world-renowned garden into an extravagant light show. Over 500,000 LED lights have been strung to provide a dazzling and festive experience that not even COVID can cancel. 

About Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens(CMBG)

Opened in 2007, the “People’s Garden,” as it has been fondly nicknamed, invites visitors of all ages and abilities to create and to explore meaningful connections to plants and nature at their own pace. CMBG’s journey began in 1991 when a small group of MidCoast residents dreamed of building a world-class public garden on 148 acres of rocky coastal forest that would one day be both an economic engine and cultural anchor for the region. After 16 years of planning, the Gardens opened officially in the summer of 2007. Since then, the Gardens has become one of Maine’s top attractions and one of the most distinguished botanical destinations in the country. Its exquisite gardens, dramatic and compelling natural landscape—including nearly a mile of tidal saltwater frontage—make it ever-changing, endlessly captivating, and thoroughly unique. 

The Gardens presents limitless potential to inspire learning about natural history, habitats, botany, horticulture, and ecological connections. As the largest botanical garden in New England, the Gardens comprises 295 acres, 17 of which are gardens featuring native plants of Maine and other plants suited to northern coastal conditions. Over 200,000 guests from throughout the United States and 63 foreign countries visited Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in 2018.

COVID Changes

In the past, Gardens Aglow was enjoyed on foot, and families, friends, and couples could explore the light show at their own pace. However, in efforts to keep guests socially distanced and safe this year, Gardens Aglow will now be a self-driven tour. Enjoy the same spectacular light show from the comfort, warmth, and safety of your own vehicle. An added bonus to this new change is that you won’t have to reschedule due to inclement weather. After all, a little rain just adds more sparkle to the show.

Again, due to COVID, all prospective visitors must purchase a ticket in advance. Tickets are being sold per vehicle rather than per person this year at $40 per vehicle. Available time slots are listed on the CMBG’s website.


The physical shop is currently closed; however, all the goods that CMBG has to offer can still be found online with curbside pick-up available. As you can imagine, the shop is stocked with all sorts of seeds, plants, and gardening supplies. There are gardening kits for beginners and your introductory section of herbs, vegetables, and plants such as mint, pickling cucumbers, and snapdragons. For those with a greener thumb, they also sell a variety of unique plants and vegetables such as watermelon radish, spotted trout lettuce, and purple peacock broccoli.

Their shop ranges beyond just plants and seeds, though. Locally made ornaments and jewelry can be purchased for fun stocking stuffers, and there’s also a kid’s section or the young horticulturist in your life. Help support CMBG and local business owners by checking out their apparel section for locally made hats, scarves, bags, and much more.

-Written By Stacy Oswald