Are you looking for fun family vacation ideas on where to travel as a family? Consider visiting Portland, Maine with the kids! There are so many fun places and activities for everyone in the family to enjoy. You literally might have to head back many times just to get it all done! All these activities are kid friendly in Portland, ME.
Make certain to check out our State Unit Studies as well so that you can find out all the other great places in the US to visit with your kids, too.
Portland, Maine is a great place to visit with kids whether you are going for a week or just a day trip. There are plenty of fun things to do, like going to the beach or hiking up one of the many trails. And, of course, no visit to Portland would be complete without trying a lobster roll.
The city is also home to the Winslow Homer Studio, which is a great place to learn about the famous New England artist. Whether you are looking for a fun-filled weeklong vacation or just a quick day trip, Portland is sure to please. Below are some of the best things to do in Portland with kids.
There are literally so many great places to visit in the US with kids, but Portland, Maine has to be one of the best. From the list of fun attractions below, I think you’ll have to agree. These are our favorite kid-friendly activities with kids in Portland, Maine.
Portland, Maine Activities for Kids:
There really are a lot of cool things to see in Portland, Maine. When we first visited, my boys had a mile-long list about all they wanted to do. And if we could have done it all, we would have.
But just like everything in life, there is a time and place for it all. We had to narrow it down a bit for our choices, but I’m so glad we were able to do the ones that we could!
This list below has some of our favorite things for little kids and older kids mixed in with a few that are just too good to pass up. When in Portland, be a tourist!
There are so many wonderful ways that you can explore this area! Plan a fun day that the whole family can enjoy! With so many kid-friendly attractions, it’s no wonder that families come back here time and time again to experience all the fun activities! Even if you’re just about to visit for a short time, you’re going to have so much fun!
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1. Portland Observatory
The Portland Observatory is a historic landmark located on Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine. The observatory was built in 1807 and served as a maritime signal tower, providing warnings of approaching ships to the people of Portland.
Today, the Portland Observatory is open to the public and offers stunning views of the cityscape from its vantage point atop Munjoy Hill. Visitors can also learn about the history of the observatory and Portland’s maritime past at the on-site museum.
The Portland Observatory is a must-see for anyone visiting the city, and is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Portland near Congress Street and the Old Port.
2. International Cryptozoology Museum
Talk about a fun history! The International Cryptozoology Museum is a favorite stop for many visitors to the state of Maine.
Founded in 2003, the museum is dedicated to the study of cryptids, or animals that are believed to exist but have not been proven by science.
The museum’s collection includes items such as hair samples, footprints, and photos of supposed sightings.
Visitors can also view replicas of famous cryptids, such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti.
The International Cryptozoology Museum is a great experience for anyone interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs such as t-shirts, hats, and toys.
3. Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, located in Thompson’s Point, is a great spot for young children and their families. The museum offers a variety of interactive exhibits, as well as story times and other educational programs.
The theatre hosts regular performances of children’s plays, with many shows featuring live music and puppetry.
In addition to its educational offerings, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is also a great place to simply have fun. The museum has a play area where children can let off some steam, and the theatre often hosts special events such as meet-and-greets with costumed characters.
Whether you’re looking to learn or just have a good time, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is sure to please.This museum is geared towards kids aged 2-10 and has interactive exhibits on a variety of topics, from transportation to sea life.
4. Portland Museum of Art
The Portland Museum of Art is a great place to take the family. While the second floor is filled with artwork from around the world, the first floor has a variety of kids’ activities.
From coloring stations to storytime, there’s something for everyone. And best of all, admission is free for all. This makes it a great place to spend an afternoon, whether you’re interested in the art or not.
Plus, there are always special exhibitions going on, so you’re sure to find something new each time you visit.
If you have an artist in the family, this would be the perfect place to add to your list.
Plus, The Portland Art Museum offers free admission every Friday from 4-8 p.m.
5. Portland Head Light
Situated on the picturesque coastline of Southern Maine, Portland Head Light is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state.
The lighthouse was built in 1791 and is still in operation today, making it the oldest operating lighthouse in the United States.
The light itself is a beautiful sight, and the grounds offer a perfect spot for a picnic or a short walk. However, the real charm lies in the East Coast’s surrounding downtown area.
This historic district is home to ice cream shops, art galleries, best bookstores, and some of the most popular restaurants in the state.
Commercial Street is also lined with quaint shops selling everything from handmade jewelry to local crafts. Portland Head Light is truly a must-see for anyone visiting Maine.
6. Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company
Taking a train ride at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad is a travel destination in Portland, ME. Take a ride on the Eastern Promenade Railway.
This scenic railway runs along the Eastern Promenade, offering beautiful views of the ocean. It’s a great way to see the city on a rainy day or without having to walk too much.
7. Portland Parks
Portland, Maine is home to a number of beautiful parks that are perfect for a day of hiking, picnicking, or simply spending a lot of time enjoying the outdoors.
Back Cove Trail is a 3.6-mile loop trail located in Portland, Maine. The trail is situated along the Back Cove, a tidal inlet of the Fore River. Back Cove Trail offers stunning views of downtown Portland and the surrounding area. The trail is popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Peppermint Park is a small park located in Portland’s historic Bayside neighborhood. The park features a playground, splash pad, picnic tables, and a basketball court. Peppermint Park is a great spot for a picnic, with plenty of green space and a playground for kids.
For those looking for more adventurous outdoor activities, Crescent Beach State Park offers hiking trails, beach access, camping opportunities, and spectacular views of Casco Bay.
And don’t forget about Maine Wildlife Park, where you can see native animals up close and learn about the state’s ecology. This park also offer nature trails and picnicking areas.
Check out Fort Williams Park. This park has a fort playground, swings, and a large sandpit. It’s also right next to the Ocean Gateway garage, making it easy to get to if you’re taking public transit or walking from Downtown Portland.
Visit Deering Oaks Park! This park has a lot of history and is a great place to learn about the nature of Maine.
So whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an all-day adventure, Portland’s parks have something to offer everyone! Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled as you may even see some bald eagles!
8. Liberty Ship Memorial
Liberty Ship Memorial lets the kids get up close and personal with some big ships. They can also walk around and read up on local history as well.
Not far from this is also the Bug Light Lighthouse which is worth the trip.
9. Portland Sea Dogs
Catch a Portland Sea Dogs Minor League Baseball game if you are in town for the season.
The Portland Sea Dogs are a minor league baseball team that plays in the Eastern League. The team is affiliated with the Boston Red Sox and is based in Portland, Maine.
The Sea Dogs’ season runs from April to September, and they play their home games at Hadlock Field. If you are in town during the season and are looking for something to do, catching a Sea Dogs game is a great option.
The games are affordable and family-friendly, and you can often find tickets available on game day. The atmosphere at Hadlock Field is electric, and it’s a great way to experience America’s pastime.
So whether you’re a baseball fan or not, a visit to Hadlock Field is sure to be an enjoyable experience.
10. Casco Bay Ferry Lines
Casco Bay Ferry Lines is a ferry service that operates in the Casco Bay area of Maine. The company offers a variety of services, including lucky catch cruises, boat tours, and city of portland harbor shuttle service.
Lucky Catch cruises are a popular option for tourists and locals alike. The company offers a variety of different tours, including peaks island and a lobster boat to experience the excitement of catching your own lobster, and the city of portland shuttle. The company’s website provides a detailed description of each tour.
Peaks island is the most popular tour, and it offers a variety of different activities, including a visit to the Peaks Island Lighthouse and a tour of the island’s history.
Casco Bay Ferry Lines is a great way to see the sights of Maine and experience the state’s unique culture.
11. Fort Gorges
Let the kids take a look at Fort Gorges. It’s an old military fort that is not a tourist attraction and it’s pretty cool to peek around in.
Built in the middle of the 1800s, there is a lot of cool history here.
12. Bug Light Park
Pack up some food and have a family picnic at Bug Light Park in South Portland. This park is open and has a lot of great space for people to roam and hang out.
Sitting and viewing the harbor from the park is fun and totally worth the short drive.
The above are just our favorites, but they were hard to choose. There are so many things to do in Portland that you could easily spend a couple weeks and still not see everything! A few honorable mentions are:
13. Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is a classic Portland destination. Located in Southern Maine, the beachfront pier is home to a seven-mile stretch of sandy beaches, as well as a historic wooden roller coaster and an array of other amusements.
Local artists often sell their wares on the boardwalk, and in the summer months, the town comes alive with festivals and fairs.
Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun or enjoy a thrilling ride, Old Orchard Beach has something for everyone.
14. Victoria Mansion
The Victoria Mansion is a historic house located in Portland, Maine.Built in 1860, it is one of the oldest and most significant Victorian-era residences in the United States.
The mansion was designed by architect Henry Austin for businessman Ruggles Sylvester Morse, and it is considered one of the finest examples of Italianate architecture in the country. The house is now a museum, and it is open to the public for tours.
The mansion’s interior is decorated with lavish furnishings and works of art, and it provides visitors with a glimpse into the luxury and opulence of Victorian America.
The Victoria Mansion is an important part of Portland’s history, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in American architecture or decorative arts.
The Portland area is a great city to visit with kids. With its easily navigable layout and abundance of kid-friendly activities, you’re sure to have a great time.