Plenty of towns have holiday celebrations or special events, but two, better known as summer destinations, have become holiday hot spots.
Kennebunkport, Maine, sparkles during its annual holiday celebration, Christmas Prelude. The jam-packed schedule includes craft fairs, caroling, house tours, art shows, receptions, chowder suppers, tree lighting, live nativity, pancake breakfast, hand-painted card workshops, trolley rides, road race, strolling musicians, walking tours, cider and cocoa, a hat parade, lobster bake, breakfast with Santa (who arrives by lobster boat), children's activities, bell ringers, other live entertainment, and on and on. Although it stretches from Dec. 4-13, events are concentrated on weekends, with Dec. 5-6 the heaviest schedule. Many inns offer packages, but you can go just for the day.
Special events are individually priced. 207-967-0857; www.christmasprelude.com.