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12 Things to do in Bar Harbor, ME with Kids

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There are so many Things to do in Bar Harbor, ME with Kids. If you’re looking for family-friendly activities that are packed full of fun, a visit to this town can be the perfect family vacation. From the moment that you arrive, you’re going to be going nonstop with everything kid-friendly in Bar Harbor, Maine with kids that there is to do.

The great part about visiting this town in Maine is that there are so many fun things to do for all ages. Don’t forget to check out all the other kid-friendly things to do in the United States as well to plan more travels!

Make a trip and plan out your next stop in this wonderful town!

kid friendly activities in bar harbor maine

Add this to your State Unit Studies so that you can learn about the history before you go!

Bar Harbor, Maine Activities for Kids:

Nestled in the heart of Maine lies a charming town that has captured my heart – Bar Harbor. 

Its appeal is irresistible, blending the perfect mix of water-based activities, delectable cuisine, excellent shopping options, and an array of destinations that are comfortably accessible by foot.

One key factor that draws us to a vacation spot is the ease of access to its attractions. Everything is within reach in Bar Harbor, eliminating the need for long commutes or tiresome journeys. 

This accessibility is complemented by many activities designed to keep every family member engaged and entertained.

Food is a universal language, and Bar Harbor speaks it fluently. The town boasts an array of eateries that serve everything from local favorites to international cuisines. 

Whether you’re a fan of seafood fresh from the harbor or you prefer a decadent dessert from a local bakery, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Shopping is another highlight of this picturesque town. From quaint boutiques offering unique trinkets to well-stocked stores with all the essentials, you’ll find everything you need and more.

The true test of a good vacation spot, however, is its ability to keep us entertained for the duration of our stay. With Bar Harbor, this is never a concern. 

As long as there are enough activities to fill 3-4 days and a selection of good food to fuel our adventures, I am content. And Bar Harbor, without a doubt, checks all the boxes to make it one of the best places to visit with your family.

So, if you’re looking for a great place that offers an abundance of activities for kids, serves delicious food, provides great shopping experiences, and is easily navigable on foot, look no further than Bar Harbor, Maine. It’s a town that promises to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience for the whole family.

Keep reading to learn our 12 most favorite, kid-friendly things to do

kid friendly activities in bar harbor maine

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1. George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History

The George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History in Bar Harbor, Maine, is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and curious minds alike. One of the best ways to delve into the rich natural history of Maine, the museum offers an enriching journey through time and evolution.

A visit here is much more than a typical museum tour; it’s an opportunity to get up close with live animals and understand their habitats and behaviors. Whether you’re homeschooling or just looking for an engaging activity on a rainy day, the Dorr Museum is a fantastic choice.

One of the highlights of the museum is the chance to spot a bald eagle. These majestic birds, symbolic of freedom and strength, are prominently featured in the museum’s exhibits. 

Watching a bald eagle, with its sharp eyes and powerful wings, is an experience that captivates both children and adults.

The museum’s interactive exhibits are another major draw. What sets this museum apart is that most of these exhibits and activities are curated by local college students. 

This innovative approach brings fresh perspectives and unique insights into the displays, making your visit both educational and entertaining.

From understanding a butterfly’s life cycle to exploring Maine’s diverse marine life, these interactive exhibits provide hands-on learning experiences. They not only impart knowledge but also foster a deep appreciation for nature and its myriad wonders.

The George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History is more than a museum; it’s a hub of exploration and discovery, where every visit unravels new layers of understanding about the natural world. 

Whether you’re watching a bald eagle, participating in interactive exhibits, or simply soaking in the wealth of information, your visit to the Dorr Museum promises to be memorable.

2. Agamont Park

Agamont Park, nestled in the heart of Bar Harbor, Maine, is an idyllic spot for those seeking the tranquility of the great outdoors. 

The park’s prime location near the ocean offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and serene ambiance, making it a perfect retreat for vacationers.

One of the main attractions at Agamont Park is the ocean path that meanders along the shoreline. Walking along this path, you’re treated to breathtaking views of the vast ocean stretched out before you. 

The rhythmic sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the salty breeze brushing against your face, and the occasional sight of a boat sailing in the distance – it’s a sensory delight that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

During warmer weather, the park transforms into a vibrant canvas of colorful blooms. From roses and tulips to daisies and sunflowers, the variety of flowers that adorn the park add a touch of charm and cheerfulness to the surroundings. 

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a photography lover, these beautiful blooms are sure to captivate your heart.

Adding to the allure of Agamont Park is the public pier. A stroll along the pier offers panoramic views of the bay and the town’s picturesque skyline. 

But the real treat lies beneath the water surface. As you gaze into the clear waters, you may catch a glimpse of various sea creatures frolicking in their natural habitat. 

From playful seals to schools of fish darting around, it’s a fascinating world that unfolds before your eyes.

Agamont Park is more than just a park; it’s a gateway to experiencing the enchanting beauty of the great outdoors. 

Whether you’re walking along the ocean path, admiring the lovely blooms, or observing the sea creatures from the pier, every moment spent here is a testament to the simple joys of being in nature.

3. Abbe Museum

The Abbe Museum, located in the heart of the Bar Harbor area, is a must-visit destination for families seeking an enriching cultural experience. 

It’s not just a museum, but a gateway into the history of the world, specifically focusing on Maine’s Native American heritage.

Registered on the National Register of Historic Places, the Abbe Museum houses thousands of artifacts and exhibits that narrate the captivating stories of the indigenous people of Maine. 

Each artifact, carefully preserved and displayed, offers a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry woven by these communities over centuries.

One of the best parts of visiting the Abbe Museum is its array of educational programs. These programs are designed to engage visitors of all ages, providing a deeper understanding of the exhibits. 

Through interactive storytelling, hands-on activities, and expert-led discussions, these educational programs bring history to life, making learning an exciting journey rather than a mere accumulation of facts.

While the museum’s collection is undeniably impressive, the architecture of the building itself is equally noteworthy.

Its unique design beautifully blends traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics, creating a visually stunning structure that complements the historical significance of the museum. 

The attention to detail, from the intricate carvings to the well-planned layout, adds to the overall experience of visiting the Abbe Museum.

A visit to the Abbe Museum in the Bar Harbor area is an immersive dive into history. 

From its extensive collection of artifacts and engaging educational programs to its distinctive architecture, every aspect of the museum contributes to a memorable and enlightening experience.

4. Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre

If your family loves water, you’re not going to want to miss out on the Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre

It’s a one-of-a-kind aquatic adventure that promises a thrilling and immersive experience for water lovers. This unique attraction combines entertainment and education in an exciting two-hour underwater spectacle.

One of the favorite things for visitors at Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre is the chance to observe the vibrant marine life up close. 

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a novice, the crystal-clear waters offer a mesmerizing view of the diverse sea creatures that inhabit the area.

Among the various marine species, hermit crabs are a particular delight. With their quirky behaviors and distinct shells, these fascinating creatures add a touch of whimsy to the underwater exploration. 

Getting an opportunity to touch and interact with these hermit crabs is truly a highlight of the dive.

But the real magic of Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre lies in its interactive nature. Unlike traditional aquariums or zoos, you get to be one with the fish here. 

Under the guidance of experienced divers, you can touch, hold, and even feed some of the friendly sea creatures. 

It’s an experience that brings you closer to nature and sparks a deeper appreciation for marine biodiversity.

Another standout feature of Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre is the engaging and humorous commentary provided by Diver Ed himself. 

His infectious enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge make the dive educational and incredibly fun.

Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre is more than just an underwater activity; it’s an adventure that takes you into the heart of the ocean and lets you experience the wonders of marine life like never before. 

Whether you’re marveling at the hermit crabs, laughing at Diver Ed’s jokes, or simply soaking in the beauty of the underwater world, every moment at Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre is sure to be unforgettable.

5. Maine State Kayak Tours

Imagine paddling through calm waters, with the cool sea breeze on your face and the rhythmic sound of waves in your ears. 

As you navigate your way along the rugged coastline, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the pristine landscape. The undisturbed coastline, where rugged cliffs meet the serene ocean, offers an unrivaled backdrop for your adventure.

Departing from the picturesque town of Bar Harbor, these kayak tours allow you to explore the hidden gems of Mount Desert Island. 

Whether it’s the sight of seals playfully frolicking in the water, or the stunning view of the sun setting over the horizon, each moment is filled with wonder and excitement.

Boasting a flawless safety record, the experienced and professional guides ensure that every participant, regardless of their kayaking experience, feels comfortable and safe throughout the journey. 

This dedication to safety, the breathtaking scenery, and thrilling adventure make these tours a fantastic choice for families.

But the adventure doesn’t stop at kayaking. National Park Sea Kayak Tours also offers a variety of other outdoor activities, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Mount Desert Island. From leisurely hikes through lush forests to bird watching excursions, there’s something for everyone here.

Its not just about exploring the waters; it’s about creating lasting memories amidst the spectacular beauty of Mount Desert Island. 

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time visitor, this experience is sure to leave you spellbound.

6. Jesup Memorial Library

The Jesup Memorial Library is not your average library. It’s a place where history, architecture, and community come together to create an enriching experience for visitors and locals alike.

The library’s building itself is a testament to timeless architectural charm. Designed by renowned New York architects Delano and Aldrich and built by local craftsman Chester Hodgkins in 1909, the library stands as a handsome brick structure that adds a touch of elegance to the downtown village. 

The interior of the library is equally impressive, with a striking staircase curve that’s a favorite among visitors.

But the Jesup Memorial Library offers more than just architectural beauty. It serves as a vibrant center for educational exchange and creative community collaboration. 

As the public library for the town of Bar Harbor, it plays a crucial role in nourishing minds and enhancing lives.

Stepping into the Jesup Memorial Library, you’ll find a diverse collection of books, periodicals, and digital resources catering to various interests. Whether you’re looking for the latest bestseller or a rare historical manuscript, the library’s extensive collection is sure to have something for you.

One of the highlights of the library is its great children’s room, which local patrons generously support. Here, young readers can discover the joy of reading in a welcoming and engaging environment.

If you’re visiting the library for practical reasons, rest assured that it has all the amenities you need. 

From free Wi-Fi to comfortable reading spaces, the library provides a tranquil setting where you can relax, work, or lose yourself in a good book.

Whether you’re an avid bibliophile or just looking for a quiet place to unwind, the Jesup Memorial Library is a must on your visit to Mount Desert Island.

7. Acadia National Park

If you’re yearning for an outdoor adventure, look no further than Acadia National Park. 

Nestled on the rugged coast of Maine, this picturesque natural retreat is home to an extensive network of hiking trails that span a staggering 158 miles. It’s no wonder that exploring these trails ranks among the best things to do while visiting Mount Desert Island.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking a challenging trek or a leisure walker looking for a gentle stroll, the park offers a trail to suit every fitness level. 

The trails weave through majestic forests, serene ponds, and rocky cliffs, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Don’t forget to pack a picnic; with the park’s abundant beauty, you’ll want to spend the entire day immersed in its splendor.

Acadia National Park transforms into a vibrant oasis teeming with life during the summer months. Wildflowers bloom in a burst of colors, birds fill the air with their melodious songs, and wildlife sightings become a common spectacle. 

The park’s lush greenery provides a refreshing escape from the heat, making it the perfect destination for a summer excursion.

But the magic of Acadia National Park extends beyond daylight hours. As the sun begins to set, the park unveils a different kind of beauty. 

The sky explodes into a kaleidoscope of colors, casting a soft glow over the landscape. Watching the sunset from one of the park’s vantage points is an experience like no other.

Acadia National Park is not just about hiking; it’s about immersing yourself in nature and experiencing the tranquility that comes with it. 

So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through one of America’s most beloved national parks.

8. Atlantic Climbing School

Ready to do something new and exciting on your family vacation? Atlantic Climbing School is a great way to climb to new heights. 

This premier climbing school is renowned for its emphasis on safety and inclusivity, making it an ideal choice for families with members of all ages. 

Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a complete novice, the school’s highly trained instructors ensure everyone can participate and have a fun, safe climbing experience.

The Atlantic Climbing School adopts a hands-on approach to teaching. Participants are active learners who are not merely observers but are encouraged to tackle their fears and challenge themselves. 

This approach ensures that everyone walks away with not just climbing skills, but also a newfound sense of confidence and accomplishment.

One of the best things about the Atlantic Climbing School is its focus on real-world climbing. 

Participants are taught techniques for climbing in the wild, such as navigating different terrains and using climbing equipment correctly. These practical skills are invaluable for anyone interested in outdoor adventures.

But the Atlantic Climbing School isn’t just about climbing; it’s about experiencing the outdoors in a whole new way. 

As you ascend, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. 

The sense of peace and tranquility that comes from being high above the ground, coupled with the thrill of the climb, makes this a truly unforgettable experience.

A visit to the Atlantic Climbing School is more than just an adventure; it’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and create lasting memories. 

9. Wild Gardens of Acadia

Tucked away in the heart of Maine’s Acadia National Park, the Wild Gardens of Acadia, may seem unassuming at first glance. But don’t let its modest entrance deter you. 

As you step out of your vehicle and venture into the garden, you’ll discover a lush sanctuary that brims with the beauty and diversity of nature.

The Wild Gardens of Acadia is a meticulously curated space that showcases over 400 native plant species, each labeled for easy identification. 

Spread across an area of two acres, the garden is divided into various habitats, including a bog, a meadow, a coniferous forest, and a deciduous woodland. This layout allows visitors to experience the full spectrum of Acadia’s diverse flora in one compact location.

Visiting the Wild Gardens of Acadia during the year’s warm months is a visual treat. As spring turns into summer, the garden bursts into a riot of colors, with wildflowers blooming in all their glory. 

The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of blossoms, and the gentle hum of bees and fluttering of butterflies add to the garden’s enchanting atmosphere.

But the Wild Gardens of Acadia is not just about flora; it’s also a haven for fauna. Bird watchers will delight in the variety of bird species that frequent the garden, while nature enthusiasts will appreciate the occasional sighting of creatures like squirrels and chipmunks.

A visit to the Wild Gardens of Acadia is akin to embarking on a tranquil journey through the region’s natural history. The garden’s serene paths invite you to slow down, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. 

Whether you’re a botany enthusiast or someone seeking a peaceful retreat, the Wild Gardens of Acadia promises a delightful experience you won’t forget.

10. Lulu Lobster Boat Ride

When in Maine, indulging in some succulent lobster is a must. But have you ever wondered about the journey these delicious crustaceans take before they end up on your plate? If so, then a trip aboard the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride offers an intriguing insight into Maine’s renowned lobster industry.

This unique boat ride takes you on an unforgettable journey through the crystal-clear waters of Bar Harbor, offering an up-close look at how lobsters are caught. 

The knowledgeable crew will guide you through the process, from baiting and setting the traps to hauling them in. It’s a fascinating experience that provides a deeper appreciation for the hard work that goes into sourcing these delectable seafood delicacies.

But lobsters aren’t the only marine life you’ll encounter during your Lulu Lobster Boat Ride. 

As the boat cruises along the harbor, keep your eyes peeled for seals basking on the rocks or playfully swimming alongside the boat. 

With a little luck, you might even spot eagles soaring overhead or porpoises surfacing in the distance. Each trip is a new adventure with a myriad of possible wildlife sightings!

The Lulu Lobster Boat Ride is an all-weather experience, so be sure to dress appropriately. A light jacket can help ward off the chill of the ocean breeze, while a raincoat can keep you dry if showers appear. 

Don’t forget to bring your camera – you’ll want to capture the stunning coastal scenery and the exciting moments of your trip.

Whether you’re a seafood lover keen to learn more about the lobster industry, a nature enthusiast looking to spot some local wildlife, or simply someone seeking a fun and informative outing, the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride is a must-do activity when visiting Maine. 

11. Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co

There’s something exhilarating about seeing a whale breach the ocean’s surface for the first time, and the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company provides you with the perfect opportunity to witness this awe-inspiring sight. 

Their seasoned crew and well-equipped vessels make them the go-to choice for an unforgettable whale watching experience in Maine.

The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company is not just about whale sightings; it’s an immersive marine wildlife tour. 

As you venture into the Gulf of Maine, the expert crew narrates your journey, sharing fascinating insights about the local marine ecosystem. 

This educational aspect adds depth to your adventure, making it both enjoyable and enlightening.

During the tour, you’ll have the chance to spot several species of large baleen whales, such as the humpback and finback. 

The company boasts a high success rate in spotting marine life, with a 90% to 95% accuracy, so you stand a good chance of ticking whale watching off your bucket list.

But the experience isn’t limited to whales. You might also catch sight of seals, puffins, and a variety of seabirds. 

Occasionally, you may even spot porpoises and dolphins playfully darting through the waves. 

Every trip is unique, offering new sights and experiences, making it a must-do activity for wildlife enthusiasts.

While whale watching is undoubtedly the highlight, the journey itself is equally captivating. As the boat cruises along the coast, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. 

Be sure to bring your camera to capture these picturesque scenes!

12. Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain, standing tall at 1,530 feet, holds the title of the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and is the first place to witness sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. 

It’s one of the many jewels in the crown of Acadia National Park located on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

The mountain is named after the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, whom the French king granted the land in the late 1600s. 

Its granite summit towers over a landscape of rugged coastlines, lush forests, and serene ponds, offering panoramic views that are truly awe-inspiring.

Visitors can reach the summit via the Cadillac Mountain Road, a winding 3.5-mile route that offers scenic rewards. 

Alternatively, for the more adventurous, there are several hiking trails of varying difficulties leading up to the peak. The South Ridge Trail and the North Ridge Trail are among the most popular, each providing unique perspectives of the surrounding landscapes.

On reaching the summit, you’re rewarded with breathtaking vistas. To the east, you see the Porcupine Islands scattered across the Frenchman Bay, while to the west, Eagle Lake and the distant mainland unfold before your eyes. 

Here, it’s easy to spend hours soaking up the scenery, watching as the light and weather changes transform the view into an ever-changing painting.

Apart from the stunning views, Cadillac Mountain also provides ample opportunities for nature exploration. 

The mountain’s plant life is diverse and beautiful, with wild blueberries, various lichen species, and a host of other plants making their home here. Wildlife like peregrine falcons, deer, and foxes can often be spotted in the area.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply someone seeking tranquility, Cadillac Mountain offers a memorable experience. 

Its spectacular views, rich biodiversity, and the thrill of standing at the top make it a must-visit in Acadia National Park.

kid friendly activities in bar harbor maine

What are popular family activities to do on vacations?

Vacations with the family can be incredibly fun – and a great chance to bond! It’s important to plan out activities the whole family will enjoy, so everyone feels like they’re having a good time.

From hitting the beach and building sand castles to packing up the car for a road trip – or flying somewhere far away – there really is an endless list of things for families to do on their vacations.

Taking a cooking class together to learn how to make traditional dishes is becoming increasingly popular, as is going on hikes or mountain biking.

A classic family activity that never goes out of style is mini-golfing; it’s a way to have competition while still being able to laugh together.

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to finding ways to have fun on vacation as a family!

What is the best way to plan a family trip?

Planning a family trip can be both fun and challenging. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, the initial step should always be to look into everybody’s interests and expectations.

This will create an ideal balance between activities that all members of the family can partake in. Research should also be conducted about the destination prior to booking flights or tickets for attractions. This way, everyone will get what they want from the trip.

Keeping costs within budget is also important, so finding cost-effective ways to travel and accommodations is helpful when sticking to a tight budget.

Finally, double-checking reservations, packing essentials, purchasing relevant items needed during the trip, as well as staying organized and flexible throughout the process can create an enjoyable experience for all family members while planning a perfect getaway.

How many activities should a family do in a day while on a trip?

When it comes to having a fun and enjoyable family trip, deciding how many activities to do in a day can be tricky. It is important to plan enough activities that will keep each family member engaged and excited but not so many that everyone feels overwhelmed.

If time allows, three or four activities per day should keep the family busy and entertained during the vacation.

It is also important to mix up physical activities with more relaxed pursuits like visiting museums or exploring nearby attractions.

By carefully balancing activity types throughout the trip there will certainly be no shortage of amazing experiences for the entire family!

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Sunday 27th of March 2022

Please stop promoting Maine. We have too many tourists already ruining our state.

Kelli Miller

Thursday 31st of March 2022

I live on the Gulf Coast, I am very familiar with the money tourists bring to a state. :-)