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Top 7 Maine Family Friendly Activities: Things to Do with Kids When Vacationing in Maine

A family hiking through Acadia National Park, kids pointing at wildlife, while parents take photos of the scenic coastal views and rocky shorelines
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Top 7 Maine Family Friendly Activities: Top Picks for an Unforgettable Maine Vacation

Planning a family vacation to Maine can be an exciting adventure with so many activities and attractions that promise fun for all ages. From its stunning coastline to its charming small towns, Maine offers a unique blend of educational and recreational activities perfect for children. The key to a memorable family trip to Maine is finding kid-friendly experiences that balance fun and learning. Here, I list my recommendations for the top 7 Maine family friendly activities that are likely to appeal to kids when vacationing in Maine.

Crowds walking through Funtown, Splashtown Amusement Park in Saco, Maine

As a parent, I understand the importance of keeping kids engaged and entertained during vacations. Maine provides ample opportunities to explore nature, history, and culture in ways that will captivate young minds. Discovering the top things to do with kids in Maine ensures that your vacation is filled with laughter, joy, and lasting memories.

 

1) Funtown Splashtown USA

 

rollercoaster in Funtown

Funtown Splashtown USA is a must-see destination for families visiting Maine. I recently took my kids to this amusement and water park, and we had an incredible time. The park offers a mix of exhilarating rides and refreshing water attractions, perfect for a full day of fun.

One of the latest additions to the park is the Whispering Pines Haunted Hotel Dark Ride. This ride was a highlight for us, offering a spooky yet family-friendly experience. With 14 uniquely themed rooms and an interactive component, it kept everyone engaged and excited.

There are over 50 rides and water slides to choose from, making it easy to fill an entire day with entertainment. From thrilling roller coasters to relaxing pools, there’s something for everyone. My kids particularly enjoyed the variety of water slides, which helped us cool off on a hot summer day.

We also appreciated the park’s atmosphere, which felt safe and welcoming. It’s clear that Funtown Splashtown USA aims to provide memorable moments for families. With friendly staff and clean facilities, it was a joy to visit.

Rating: 4.5 (2080 reviews)
Location: 774 Portland Rd, Saco, ME 04072
Contact: (207) 284-5139
Website: Visit Website

 

2) Odyssey Whale Watching Tour, Portland Maine

 

Whale breaching in Casco Bay near Portland, Maine

I recently embarked on a thrilling whale-watching adventure with Odyssey Whale Watch in Portland. The tour is perfect for families, offering both fun and educational experiences.

From the moment we set sail, the fresh ocean breeze and the beautiful views of Casco Bay were invigorating. The captain and crew navigated the waters expertly, leading us to known whale feeding grounds.

I was amazed at the variety of marine life we encountered. Not just whales, but also dolphins, porpoises, and even sun fish. The naturalist on board provided insightful commentary, making the experience educational and engaging for everyone.

The boat was equipped with a snack bar, restrooms, and seating areas, which made the trip comfortable. I recommend bringing an extra layer of clothing since it can get chilly offshore. Don’t forget to pack a lunch, as only light snacks are available on board.

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Rating: 4.2 (327 reviews)
Location: 170 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
Contact: (207) 775-0727
Website: Visit Website

 

3) Wonder Mountain Fun Park

 

Top 7 Maine family friendly activities: Go Karts Pitstop at Wonder Mountain Fun Park in Wells, Maine

During my recent trip to Maine, I visited Wonder Mountain Fun Park. This place is perfect for families with kids because it has so many fun activities.

First, we tried the Go-Kart Snake Pit. These go-karts are high-tech and you can pick between single and double seats, making it great for racing with a partner. It’s the only go-kart track in the area, and we had a blast zooming around.

Next, we played mini-golf on two 18-hole courses. The courses climb up a mountain with cool challenges like waterfalls and caves. AAA ranks it among the top 10 best mini-golf courses in New England, and I can see why. Each hole was unique and entertaining.

We also navigated the Treasure Trap Human Maze. This giant maze was tough and fun to figure out. It’s New England’s largest man-made maze, and we spent a good amount of time finding our way out.

Finally, we checked out Franky’s Game Room. With more than 45 video and redemption games, there was no shortage of entertainment. The kids loved winning tickets and choosing prizes. This game room has been a local favorite for 20+ years and has something for everyone.

Rating: 4.3 (793 reviews)
Location: 270 Post Rd, Moody, ME 04054
Contact: (207) 646-9655
Website: Visit Website

 

4) Causeway Marina Boat Rentals, Naples, Maine

 

Boat rentals on Sebago Lake

When I arrived at Causeway Marina, I was greeted with a picturesque view of Brandy Pond, which is part of the Sebago Lake region. Renting a pontoon boat here is a fantastic experience. The boats are spacious and perfect for a relaxing family outing on the water. The staff was helpful and ensured we had everything needed for a safe trip.

The marina also has a convenient 130-foot fuel dock, which is the longest in the area. It made refueling quick and easy. There were plenty of options for boat slips, so we didn’t have to worry about finding a spot to dock.

Besides boat rentals, the marina offers various services, including boat repair and storage. This makes it a one-stop-shop for all boating needs. There’s also a well-stocked Ships Store for essentials like sunscreen and boating accessories.

If you get hungry, there’s an on-site pizza restaurant with great views overlooking the water. The marina’s location is convenient, with nearby restaurants, mini-golf, and arcades within walking distance. It’s a great place to spend a day with the kids.

Rating: 4.2 (86 reviews)
Location: 780 Roosevelt Trail 29 Casco, 780 Roosevelt Trail Rd, Naples, ME 04055
Contact: (207) 693-6832
Website: Visit Website

 

5) Aquaboggan Water Park

 

Aquaboggan Water Park slide

Aquaboggan Water Park in Saco, Maine, is a delightful place to visit with kids. The park offers a variety of activities that will keep everyone entertained. From exhilarating water slides to the gentle rocking of the wave pools, there’s something for everyone.

I found the high-speed water slides to be a real thrill. The kids loved the splash and excitement, and it was a great way to cool off on a hot day. Additionally, there are bumpin’ boats and mini-golf for those who prefer to stay dry.

The park also provides areas for relaxation. With plenty of seating and shaded spots, adults can take a break while the kids continue to play. The location is convenient, near Old Orchard Beach, making it easy to spend the whole day enjoying the attractions.

Rating: 4.3 (802 reviews)
Location: 980 Portland Rd, Saco, ME 04072
Contact: (207) 282-3112
Website: Visit Website

 

6) Lucky Catch Lobster Boat Cruise, Portland Maine

 

Lucky Catch Lobster Boat Tours out of Portland, Maine

I had an amazing time on the Lucky Catch Lobster Boat Cruise in Portland, Maine. The 80-90 minute tour took me through the beautiful waters of Casco Bay. We sailed past picturesque lighthouses, historic civil war forts, and the intriguing “Seal Rocks.”

During the cruise, I got the chance to haul up lobster traps, which was very exciting. The crew was knowledgeable and friendly, explaining the daily routines of a Maine lobsterman and teaching us about lobster habits. I learned a lot about conservation efforts and got to see different types of lobsters.

Besides lobsters, the live tank on board was full of various marine creatures like rock crabs, snails, starfish, and hermit crabs. It was fascinating to watch them up close. At the end of the day, these little creatures were released back into the sea.

I also enjoyed that any lobsters we caught could be bought at wholesale prices. For those who don’t have a cooking pot, the Portland Lobster Company restaurant nearby prepares them for you. The cruise also offers private charters for birthdays, corporate events, and other occasions, making it a versatile and enjoyable activity.

Rating: 4.9 (446 reviews)
Location: 170 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
Contact: (207) 761-0941
Website: Visit Website

 

7) Fort Knox State Historic Site, Prospect Maine

 

Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect, Maine

Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect is a must-visit for families on vacation in Maine. I visited recently and found the experience both educational and fun for kids and adults alike. As soon as we arrived, the historical significance of the place was immediately evident.

Children will love exploring the well-preserved mid-1800s coastal defense fortifications. We joined a free interpretive tour led by volunteer guides who shared fascinating stories about American history. The tour runs from May through October, and it was a great way to engage kids in learning while having fun.

Another highlight was the Penobscot Narrows Observatory. Riding Maine’s fastest elevator up 420 feet to the top provided breathtaking 360-degree views of the Penobscot Bay area. The kids couldn’t get enough of the views, and I found it incredibly relaxing to take in the sights from above.

Pets are welcome on the grounds, which made it a perfect spot for a family with a furry friend. We enjoyed walking around and soaking in the beautiful landscapes. The Fort grounds, open until sunset, offered the perfect setting for a leisurely early evening stroll.

Rating: 4.8 (2700 reviews)
Location: 740 Ft Knox Rd, Prospect, ME
Contact: (207) 469-6553
Website: Visit Website

 

Why Maine is the Perfect Family Destination

 

Top 7 Maine family friendly activities: A family hiking through Acadia National Park, kids pointing at wildlife, while parents take photos of the scenic coastal views and rocky shorelines

Maine offers an abundance of breathtaking scenery and numerous family-friendly amenities that ensure a memorable vacation for everyone.

 

Scenic Landscapes

Maine’s natural beauty is truly captivating. The state boasts stunning coastline views, lush forests, and tranquil lakes.

Acadia National Park, with its rocky shores and diverse wildlife, is a must-see. I especially enjoy hiking the park’s well-maintained trails, which are suitable for kids of all ages.

The Penobscot Bay sailing tour is another favorite. The crystal-clear waters and picturesque islands create a magical experience at sea.

During your visit, make sure to explore the charming lighthouses scattered along the coast, such as the iconic Portland Head Light.

 

Family-Friendly Amenities

Maine is well-equipped to cater to families. The state’s resorts and hotels offer a wide range of activities and services for children.

Spruce Point Inn Resort and Spa in Boothbay Harbor is a top choice. It provides various family-oriented amenities like kid-friendly pools, playgrounds, and organized activities.

York’s Short Sands Beach is perfect for a day of fun. The beach has lifeguards on duty, and the gentle waves are ideal for young swimmers.

Finally, many of Maine’s attractions, like museums and parks, offer educational programs tailored for kids, making learning fun.

Top 7 Maine family friendly activities: Children playing in the sandy beach, building sandcastles and flying kites.

 

Planning Your Trip

When planning a family vacation to Maine, timing and preparation are crucial. Knowing the best time to visit and some handy travel tips can make your trip smoother and more enjoyable.

Best Time to Visit

Maine is a beautiful destination year-round, but each season offers something unique. Summer (June to August) is the most popular time for families. The weather is warm, perfect for beach outings and outdoor adventures. This period also features festivals and family-friendly events.

Fall (September to November) is ideal if you enjoy stunning foliage. The cooler temperatures are great for hiking and exploring nature without the summer crowds.

Winter (December to February) attracts those interested in skiing and snow activities. Many resorts offer family packages that include lessons for kids.

Spring (March to May) is less crowded and more economical, though some attractions may have limited hours.

 

Travel Tips

  • Book Accommodation Early: Maine is a popular destination, especially during peak seasons. Reserve your accommodation months in advance to get the best choices.
  • Pack Layers: Maine weather can be unpredictable. Even in summer, evenings can be cool. Bring layers to adjust to temperature changes.
  • Plan Activities Ahead: Many popular activities like Penobscot Bay sailing tours require reservations. Plan and book activities to avoid disappointment.
  • Consider Off-Peak Travel: Traveling in spring or fall can save money and offer a more relaxed experience. Many attractions offer discounts during these times.
  • Safety First: If hiking or engaging in water sports, prioritize safety. Familiarize yourself with the local regulations and always carry essential safety gear.

A family of four enjoys a scenic boat ride on a tranquil lake, surrounded by lush greenery and a clear blue sky in Maine

 

Embrace Adventure: Why Maine Is Your Next Family Destination

Maine offers an incredible array of family-friendly activities that cater to all ages and interests. From the thrilling rides at Funtown Splashtown USA to the educational whale watching tours in Portland, there’s no shortage of ways to create lasting memories with your children.

Whether you’re exploring the historic Fort Knox, cooling off at Aquaboggan Water Park, or embarking on a lobster boat adventure, Maine’s diverse attractions promise fun, learning, and excitement for the whole family. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and welcoming atmosphere, Maine truly stands out as an ideal destination for your next family vacation.

Start planning your trip today and discover why the Pine Tree State is a paradise for family travelers seeking unforgettable experiences.

A family-friendly scene of kids enjoying a lobster boat tour, exploring Acadia National Park, and playing on the sandy beaches of Maine

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Planning a Maine Family Vacation

Exploring Maine with kids offers a mix of outdoor adventures, educational activities, and fun water parks. From budget-friendly outings to summer and winter attractions, here are some frequently asked questions answered to help plan your family vacation in Maine.

What are the best destinations for a family vacation in Maine?

Some top destinations include Funtown Splashtown USA, perfect for thrilling rides and water fun. The Odyssey Whale Watching Tour in Portland offers an unforgettable marine experience. Wonder Mountain Fun Park in Wells provides mini-golf, go-karts, and a maze for endless entertainment.

What are some free activities for children in Maine?

There are several free activities such as hiking at Baxter State Park, which offers miles of trails and stunning views. Exploring the beaches in York and Old Orchard Beach,  and visiting local parks are also great options that don’t require a fee.

What can families do together in Maine during the summer?

In the summer, families can enjoy renting a boat from Causeway Marina in Naples. Another great activity is visiting Aquaboggan Water Park for a day of slides and pools.

Are there winter attractions suitable for kids in Maine?

Yes, Maine offers great winter activities for kids. Skiing and snowboarding at resorts like Sugarloaf and Sunday River are popular options. You can also go ice skating or visit indoor attractions like the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

Which day trips are recommended for families traveling with kids in Maine?

For day trips, I recommend exploring Acadia National Park for scenic drives and hikes. Camden is another beautiful spot, where you can take a Penobscot Bay sailing tour and enjoy the coastal scenery. Portland offers fun city activities, including museums and parks.

What should parents consider when creating a family itinerary in Maine?

Parents should consider the interests and ages of their children to ensure a balanced mix of activities. Checking the weather and planning for indoor and outdoor options can help. It’s also wise to consider travel times between attractions to avoid long stretches of boredom.

 

 

Picture of Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark has an extensive background in the Maine Hospitality Industry, having owned the Ledges By The Bay, a boutique oceanfront hotel property, in Rockport Maine, for 40 years. He sold the property in 2016 but remains well-versed in the Maine Tourism industry and has written a number of Maine travel-related articles for various blogs and publications over the years.

Mark founded the TakeMe2 Travel Guides platform, an online travel guide initiative, designed to promote tourism in Maine, New England and in other key states – by providing in depth, unbiased information to potential tourists and travel consumers. TakeMe2 currently features the TM2Maine.com website.

Mark is also currently a stakeholder in VONT, a digital marketing agency in Westbrook, Maine, where he leads VONT's search engine optimization (SEO) practice.

Mark is versed in a number of digital information technologies including web design and development, digital video, electronic design and digital imaging technologies as well as internet marketing tactics such as blogs, web properties, and other smart media such as AI chatbots for content, image and video enhancement. One of his primary tasks at VONT is to find the successful application of these new information platforms in marketing and then teach VONT's marketers how to use them to create marketing campaigns more efficiently, creatively and cost effectively.

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