Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: November | December | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Program fees and registration details are listed in the program description. Programs for MHS members are free or discounted. Support MHS by becoming a member today. All programs take place at our facilities at 489 Congress Street in Portland, unless otherwise noted. Click here for Directions or Parking information.

Please review our Refund and Return Policies for tickets and event admissions.

If you have questions about any of the programs listed below, please contact us at (207) 774-1822.

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Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - Daily, May - October. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - Changing schedule, year-round. See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - June - Columbus Day. Tours offered Monday through Friday at 1:30pm, and on select special weekend dates. See details.

Library Tours - First Wednesday of the month at noon (with a few exceptions). See below for next scheduled tour.

November Programs

Saturday, November 24, 10:00 am

A Story with Santa

A Story with Santa

Do you have a holiday wish to share with Santa? Meet him and Mrs. Claus at Maine Historical Society! Join in the fun as Santa shares one of his – and our - favorite stories of the season, Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Following the story guests can have their photo taken with Santa and sample some gingerbread treats, Henry Longfellow’s favorite desert!

This event is free and open to the public

Monday, November 26, 7:00 pm

Gerald Dickens Performs "A Christmas Carol"

Gerald Dickens.

Gerald Dickens.

For the second year, Maine Historical Society is pleased to offer a special performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, performed by Dickens’ great-great-grandson, Gerald Dickens.

This one-man show is inspired by the 1860s performances by Charles Dickens. Offered in the historic First Parish Church, this is a rare opportunity to see this historic work of literature this holiday season. Gerald Dickens has worked as an actor, director, and producer for many years and has appeared at several arts and literary festivals in the United Kingdom.

Thanks to our sponsor: O'Donal's Nursery.

For tickets, click below or call 207-774-1822. For more information on the event visit

*Note: photography or audio/video recording during the performance is prohibited.

Performance venue: First Parish Church, 425 Congress St, Portland

Ticket price: $25 MHS members / $35 general admission / $15 for age 18 and under.

Register Here!

Thursday, November 29, 5:30 pm

Book talk: A Story of Maine in 112 Objects

Book talk: <i>A Story of Maine in 112 Objects</i>

With editor Bernard Fishman
The Maine State Museum is America’s oldest state museum, known to many as “Maine’s Smithsonian” because of the breadth and diversity of its holdings—nearly a million objects covering every aspect of the state’s cultural, biological, and geological history. The Maine State Museum recently published A Story of Maine in 112 Objects, the first book to use the museum’s collections to tell the whole story of Maine, from a 400 million-year-old plant that lived in what is now Baxter State Park to a Russian folk costume that belonged to Samantha Smith.

Join us to hear from Bernard Fishman, the museum’s director and the book’s editor, whose illustrated talk will tell us about the amazing Maine artifacts that constitute this visual biography of Maine and how they were chosen. Before and after the program, begin your holiday shopping in the museum store and pick up a copy for that perfect holiday present.

This event is free and open to the public

December Programs

Wednesday, December 5, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Tour Guide: Nicholas Noyes, Curator of Library Collections

This 45-minute tour of the Brown Library, fully renovated in 2009, takes participants throughout the library's reading rooms and behind-the-scenes into the archive, normally closed to the public. Nicholas Noyes covers the history of the building, architectural details, the basics of doing research in the library, and even shares a few treasures from the collection.

Free and open to the public. Limited to 10; sign up in advance by sending an email to or calling 774-1822 x207.

Thursday, December 6, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

MEMBERS ONLY: 2018 Member's Holiday Party

Skaters of all ages skating at Deering Oaks, Dec. 27 1924. <i>Maine Historical Society/ Maine Today Media.</i>

Skaters of all ages skating at Deering Oaks, Dec. 27 1924. Maine Historical Society/ Maine Today Media.

In appreciation of the support you give to us year round,
Maine Historical Society invites our members to our annual Members Holiday Party!

+Refreshments in the beautiful 2nd floor Brown Research Library,
+View our exhibits Maine Brews and Maine Eats:The Food Revolution Starts Here,
+Enjoy a special 20% discount and complementary gift wrapping in our Museum Store,
+The party will once again host the musical accompaniment of the Back Bay Four Barbershop Quartet, and
+The evening will end with delicious complimentary Create Your Own Eggnog Cocktails featuring Oakhurst Eggnog and mixers by Liquid Riot and New England Distilling.

This party is free and exclusive to MHS Members. Those interested in attending should RSVP by December 3 to Kate Raymond at (207)774-1822 ext.216 or

Not A Member of MHS? Don't worry, there's still time to become one! Click here to learn more.

Thank you to our party sponsors: Oakhurst Dairy, Liquid Riot Bottling Co., New England Distilling, and Forest Ave., Portland Hannaford.

Wednesday, December 12, 7:00 pm

Christmas Bells: A Holiday Handbell Concert

Christmas Bells: A Holiday Handbell Concert

In partnership with The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers

Join MHS and The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers for a program of seasonal music, including arrangements set to the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, Christmas Bells (I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day).

The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers play five octaves (61 bells) of English handbells and five octaves of choir chimes. The group consists of young musicians in grades 9 through 12. The Bell Ringers have performed throughout New England, Europe, and South America.

Performance venue: First Parish Church, 425 Congress Street, Portland, ME

For more information on The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers visit

Ticket Price: $10 for MHS, $15 general admission

Register today!

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Splendors of the Nile River & Ancient Jordan
September 28 - October 13, 2019. From $6,672 per person

Maine Historical Society is pleased to announce its 2019 trip—The Splendors of the Nile River and Ancient Jordan! We will begin in Egypt for 12 adventure-filled days and experience the Nile's most wondrous sites in style and luxury on an eight-day voyage onboard the all-suite Uniworld River Tosca—a manner once reserved for queens and pharaohs! From Egypt we are on to a 5 day visit to Jordan, a land rich in natural wonders and sites so ancient, that by comparison, the Crusader forts guarding the old trade routes are considered recent additions. Get Trip Details.


exhibit graphic

Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here
March 2, 2018 through February 9, 2019
MHS Gallery

Food is a universal building block of life—if we don't eat, we will die. But food has a power that goes far beyond biology. The food we eat shapes our lives and our memories. Sourcing food, preparing food, and eating food are all part of the heartbeat of Maine's culture and economy. Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here explores Maine's relationship with food and innovative food solutions to challenges through diverse stories from around the state. Read More


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Maine Brews
October 5, 2018 through January 26, 2019
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Maine is experiencing a beer renaissance. Formed in 1986, the Maine Brewers Guild today counts over 120 independent craft breweries who produce a wide range of beers in different styles marketed locally, regionally and internationally. But Maine’s beer scene did not always thrive. Prohibition in Maine lasted much longer than in the rest of the nation. Beer was still made in Maine in limited quantities, but not easily accessed. Today, Maine is making up for the long dry spell with a thriving beer industry. This exhibit explores the history of Maine’s beer and the booming industry in our state today.


Maine Memory Network homepage

Maine Memory Network - Over 300 Online Exhibitions

Offers online access to numerous Web–based exhibits and a constantly growing collection of nearly 45,000 historical documents, images, and objects contributed by as many as 270 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to


Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

Find out about regional conferences and other family history instruction and workshops.