Summer in Maine with Kids
We spent two weeks in Maine during August, and loved the variety of activities to do here. We were never far from the coast, met plenty of friendly people, and always near a restaurant with a lobster roll! Our AirBNB was crazy cute, and we would love to stay here again. It’s a little cottage attached to the owners main residence, which I particularly enjoyed, since Chris flew out to Seattle for a few days while the girls & I stayed back. The backyard is completely fenced, which gave us peace of mind letting the girls run in & out of the house. It’s also near I-295 which made it super convenient for our adventure days. And she had the house all prepped for us with homemade organic blueberry muffins, coloring books & crayons, and even lobster lollipops!
We stayed busy during our time here so if you’re coming to Maine, be sure to include these family activities in your agenda:
Bar Harbor. This adorable waterfront town is generally at the top of everyone’s to do list, and we quickly found out why. There are plenty of boat tours for sightseeing & animal watching, kayak & paddle board rentals available, and loads of shopping. Visit the sand bar during low tide so that you can stand in between Bar Harbor and Bar Island. We had reservations to sail on the Margaret Todd, but they had to cancel due to weather. It’s still something we want to come back and do!
Acadia National Park. Just down the road from Bar Harbor is Acadia National Park, which includes Cadillac Mountain, the tallest coastal mountain in the eastern US. Everywhere you turn is just another magnificent view so it’s hard to go wrong here. We drove around, stopping at different viewpoints along the way, and ended up having dinner at Jordan’s Pond sitting outside on the lawn. Just the simple fact that we could comfortably sit outside in August at 5pm was enough to make us happy!
There are numerous hikes and bike trails to take, so if you’re staying more than a few hours, be sure to visit their site for more ideas.
Fort Williams Park. Hands down, our favorite park & lighthouse that we visited in Maine! This picturesque park is owned and maintained by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, which means that the park is free, but there are donation boxes to assist with operations. Situated right along the rugged coastline is a gorgeous lighthouse with a cute gift shop next door. There is a shoreline you can walk along and play in the bay. It is a carry in, carry out park so plan accordingly with all of your belongings.
We also made it just in time for a food truck lobster roll from Bite Into Maine and it was delicious! There’s nothing like eating a lobster roll in Maine while staring at a lighthouse and the coast!
Boothbay Harbor. Located in Central Coastal Maine, this tourist destination has plenty to offer. We took a harbor cruise during our first afternoon here, and learned a lot about the harbor & ships in it.
We also took a puffin cruise tour here and had so much fun! Adele loved the boat ride, and Olivia loved watching the puffins! The guides said that we were lucky to come on such a busy day since we saw puffin’s nonstop for about 20-25 minutes. They aren’t usually that easy to spot. We also spotted a few harbor porpoises as an added bonus.
The town also has plenty of cute inns and a lot of souvenir shops. We indulged in some local ice cream, and made a stop by the toy store!
Maine Wildlife Park. This park hosts injured & ill animals and nurses them back to health until they can be released back into the wild to live on their own. There are generally 30 different species of animals here including, moose, black bear, foxes, and deer. You can also visit a fish hatchery on the property and feed them, just bring some quarters.
Kids under 3 are free. Be sure to pack your own lunch/snacks. On Thursdays in the summer there is a story time for kids and the option to do a craft relating to the nature book read.
Portland Children’s Museum. Right in the heart of Portland is the Children’s Museum and Theatre, where we easily spent 4 hours playing, and then playing some more. There is literally nothing kids can’t do here! It is set up in stations including things like an ambulance, doctor’s office, tractor with a cow to milk, grocery store, fishing boat, fire truck, car repair, spaceship, treehouse, and so much more! There is even a toddler & separate infant area for smaller kids to play safely within their age group. About every half hour, there is a presentation throughout the different stations. We went to the constellation presentation inside the spaceship since Adele showed an interest in that. The girls remained very engaged the entire time and we look forward to visiting children’s museums in other cities as well!
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. We are big fans of botanical gardens since our girls love to smell flowers everywhere we go. These gardens are well kept, easy to navigate, and even have complimentary golf cart rides to take you to a different area that you’d like to go. There is also a Children’s Garden here, including a playhouse fully stocked with a play kitchen & play food! Be sure to take the time to visit the waterfall where there are tons of frogs and a few turtles.
The fairy houses along the coast are so cute and fun to use your imagination! They also have kayak rentals for older kids & adults. Sit outside at the cafe where you can overlook the gardens during lunch. We easily spent 4 hours here.
Eastern Promenade. This beautiful waterfront park is a great way to spend the day outdoors, right in the heart of Portland. With train rides, biking & walking trails, and a large playground, there’s plenty to do here. Kayak rentals are available, with a minimum age of 7. We packed a lunch and played here for most of the afternoon!
Kennebunkport. This is definitely now a top destination that Chris & I would like to return to someday. It seems like all of the best of Maine is wrapped up into this gorgeous town. The harbor and village is a fun place to walk around and souvenir shop, but also some of our favorite Maine beaches are here: Gooch Beach & Mother’s Beach. They have stunning New England homes lining the coast, all with a huge shore and a beachfront playground. The marina hosts many sightseeing & animal watching tours, along with paddle boarding and kayaking.
We ate lunch at David’s on the water, alongside Jeb Bush and Barbara Bush! They have their family estate at Walker’s Point overlooking the sea, and it is gorgeous!
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It seems like there’s so much to do in Maine in any season – what are some of your favorites?