Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine is an interactive and interpretive museum for children that aims to inspire discovery, development and learning through exploration and play. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Portland, the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine is home to a wide variety of hands-on and interactive exhibits, displays and demos for children of all ages to enjoy.

The museum and theater were established as separate entities, namely the Children's Theatre of Maine and the Children's Museum of Maine, before amalgamating in 2008 to become The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine. Established in 1976 by the Junior League of Portland, the museum has been serving as an indispensable resource for families and educators ever since, working towards the cultural and educational of the broader community of Portland.

The Children's Theatre of Maine was established in 1923 by the Junior League of Portlandand is the oldest operating children's theatre in the country. Today, the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine presents a popular four-show season of performances and plays by children and for children. The Theater presents a plethora of opportunities for young audiences to enjoy the magic of theater and performance and for budding young actors to develop their skills. The Theater offers a range of classes, workshops and theater camps for children of all ages throughout the year. Photo: Photo: Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

»Exhibits and Programs

Exhibits and Programs


The Children's Museum of Maine has four main areas of focus, namely Science Education, Early Childhood Education, Multicultural Education, and Arts Education with a diverse variety of exhibits, displays, and ongoing programs in each of the areas. Some of the main exhibits in the museum include:

Be Well Center

The latestexhibition to join the museum, the Be Well Center gives children the chance to play doctor and examine a family of teddy bears, logging their heart rates, checking blood pressure and other vital statistics and learning how to live a healthy lifestyle. The exhibit includes interactive displays such as driving an 'ambearlance,' and caring for patients with real and play medical tools. ,

Backyard

This fantastic outdoor show is based on the characters from beloved Maine author, Chris Van DusenDown to the Sea: An Outdoor Adventure and features an interactive experience for children of all ages with Mr. Magee's boat, a shipwreck to clamber on, and water-spouting whales to splash about with.

Lights, Camera, Color: Exploring the Camera Obscura

This nationally recognized exhibit draws visitors from around the world to see the unique periscopic camera obscura, play with model cameraeobscurae, dance with shadows and make colors against the fascinating light wall.

The Playscape

This indoor playground features an array of structures such as towers, ramps, and slide that encourage children of all ages to crawl, climb, slide and explore. Children can also build their own structures with Imagination Playgroundâ„¢ blocks and learn all about planning, design, and teamwork.

Discovery Woods

Discovery Woods is an adventure-based exhibit with an array of packed with outdoor activities such as a climbing wall and the meandering Cascade Stream. Kids can explore the woods and learn basic survival tips, with a backpack and provisions.

Other popular exhibits include 'Fire Truck', a 25-foot fire truck which kids can 'drive' and play fireman for the day; 'C'ar Repair Shop' for the mechanically minded, complete with wrenches, screwdrivers and a gas pump; 'Lobster Boat' in which children can learn all about fishing in the deep oceans; and Tree to Timber, which highlights the process of sustainable forestry with interactive video games and a working sawmill. The Tidepool Touch Tank is a favorite with myriad marine inhabitants from sea stars and anemones to sea cucumbers and hermit crabs.

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»Ongoing Programs

Ongoing Programs


The Children's Museum & Theatre also offers a range of ongoing programs that focus on a variety of educational spheres from science and technology to visual arts, health and performing arts. These programs are designed for children of all ages and are presented by trained and knowledgeable educators. Programs include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Visual Arts, Theater, and Early Childhood.

The Children's Museum & Theatre also hosts special events and presentations throughout the year, a variety of educational camps for children of all ages, and a play time designed specifically for children with special needs. The Museum and Theater can also be hired for special occasions and parties, with a range of affordable packages to choose from.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Portland, Maine

142 Free Street, Portland, Maine 04101, website, Phone: 207-828-1234 Photo:

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Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine in Portland