The variety in Maine, from rivers and mountains to ocean cliffs, make it a treasure trove of activities for families with kids, both outdoors and indoors, in every season. Among these wide variety of activities are children’s museums, hiking trails, camping, whale watching cruises, and even moose safaris. Children and adults alike can explore the “Great Outdoors” in the Acadia National Park or Baxter State Park, take a ride aboard the Bar Harbor Ferry, or learn about the daily routine of a Lobsterman with Lucky Catch Cruises among numerous other family-friendly activities in the state of Maine. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine
© Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine
The Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine in the city of Portland is designed to provide children with a chance to “lead the way.” The many interactive exhibit areas are grounded in the latest research on learning and the science of play, with each exhibit providing opportunities to learn through taking safe risks, navigating immersive environments, hands-on exploration, and dramatic role playing. Exhibit spaces at the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine include Coco’s Diner, Our Town, Playscape, the Be Well Center, the Farmers Market, Toddler Park, Car Repair Shop, Discovery Woods, Lobster Boat, the Fire Truck, and many more.
250 Thompson's Point Road, Portland, ME 04102, Phone: 207-828-1234
© Abbe Museum
The Abbe Museum has grown brom being a trailside small museum inside of the Acadia National Park to a contemporary museum located in the middle of downtown Bar Harbor, Maine. The facility became the first, as well as the only, Smithsonian Affiliate within the state. Visitors will find stimulating and dynamic exhibits in the downtown Abbe Museum, along with interspersed activities and area for quiet reflection. The museum highlights the cultures and history of Maine’s native people, the Wabanaki, and is open daily from May through October and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from November through April.
26 Mt Desert St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3519
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3.Acadia National Park
The Acadia National Park contains some of the Eastern Seaboard’s most diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes and is open year-round to visitors. Located along the coast, most of the the park spreads across Mount Desert Island, with portions on the Isle au Haut and the Schoodic Peninsula. Acadia National Park can be considered a perfect outdoor playground, with opportunities for skiing in winter, summer hikes, fishing in the spring, and fall foliage. Many visitors start their exploration either at the park’s Hull Cove Visitor Center the park headquarters. There is also an entrance at Rockefeller Hall at the Welcome Center.
20 McFarland Hill Dr, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3338
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4.Bar Harbor Ferry
The Bar Harbor Ferry departs from both the Bar Harbor Inn Pier in Bar Harbor, Maine and the Schoodic Marine Center in Winter Harbor, Maine. From either departing location, passengers aboard the ferry can enjoy a nice ferry ride to either one of the destinations, at which they will find a wide array of restaurants, shops, and activities. The boat ride from Bar Harbor takes passengers to the Schoodic Peninsula/Winter Harbor, which is the quieter part of Acadia National Park. Guests to the park can bring along their bikes, as well as bring them onto the “free” Island Explorer shuttle.
7 Newport Dr, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-4585
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5.Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
© Earl Robbins/stock.adobe.com
The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company provides a chance for visitors and locals alike of Bar Harbor, Maine to view some of the largest animals found anywhere on Earth. The whale watching tour company has been taking guests to see whales up close within the Gulf of Maine for over 25 years and offers a Puffin and Whale Watch cruise and a Whale Watch cruise. The Puff and Whale Watch is the slightly longer trip of the two, lasting between 3.5 and 5 hours. The Whale Watch trip only includes whale watching and lasts between 3 and 5 hours.
1 West St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-2386
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6.Baxter State Park
© Judith Zimmerman Danita Delimont/stock.adobe.com
The Baxter State Park encompasses cascades, backcountry ponds, unique glacial formations, rare alpine flowers, and more, providing a parkscape that’s hard to match. Local residents of the state of Maine consider the park to be the grandest state park in the country’s New England region, an expanse of wilderness measuring approximately 210,000 acres, featuring forty-six ridges and peaks interspersed with 215 miles of trails for hiking just waiting for visitors to explore. This outdoor playground of inland Maine offers opportunities for picnicking by waterfalls, gazing down on fall colors from above the park’s tree line, and being immersed within a technicolor woodland.
64 Balsam Dr, Millinocket, ME 04462, Phone: 207-723-5140
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7.Boothbay Railway Village
© Boothbay Railway Village
The Boothbay Railway Village in Boothbay, Maine is an educational non-profit organization and museum. This unique destination is the only place in New England where people of all ages can ride an authentic steam locomotive while surrounded by historic buildings of Maine preserved within a recreated village of vintage and aged buildings from throughout the state. Guests can also experience model trains like never before or view the collection of sixty antique automobiles. Many of the buildings house artifact displays related to the railroad history of Maine and daily life for Mainers during the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries.
586 Wiscasset Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537, Phone: 207-633-4727
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8.Cole Land Transportation Museum
© Cole Land Transportation Museum
The Cole Land Transportation Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of a cross section of the land transportation equipment of Maine, providing current and future generations a look into the past. The transportation-focused museum in Bangor, Maine features around two hundred antique vehicles used in the state of land transportation, include the most complete snow removal equipment collection in the United States. Other vehicles on display at the Cole Land Transportation Museum include fire engines, sleds, sleighs, wagons, farm equipment, cars, trains, carriages, and a unique collection of military vehicles and memorabilia.
405 Perry Rd, Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-990-3600
9.Down East Nature Tours and Acadia BIrding Festival
Down East Nature Tours provides personalized nature and bird tours for small groups, families, and individuals around Down East Maine and on Mount Desert Island. The tours are focused on learning and fun while observing many of the most elusive birds, plants, and several other animals within their natural habitats. There is a special emphasis on Seabirds, Shorebirds, Warblers, Bald Eagles, and native birds. Along with birding and nature tours, Down East Nature Tours also offers cross-country skiing, hiking, and biking tours throughout the entire year. The Acadia Birding Festival is also a popular birding activity in the area.
39 Cottage St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-8128
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10.Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is considered by many to be the coastal region of Maine’s crown jewel, providing visitors with an amazing 360-degree view of Penobscot Bay and River, as well as views of the western mountains in the distance and the countryside of Maine. The one-of-a-kind campus of the Penobscot Narrows Observatory draws transportation and engineering enthusiasts, travel writers, and tourists, and features the world’s tallest public bridge observatory, the historic Fort Knox, a covered pavilion, plenty of backdrops for photos, and a variety of interpretive panels throughout explaining the area’s natural wildlife, the region’s history, and much more.
740 Ft Knox Rd, Prospect, ME 04981, Phone: 207-469-6553
© Hudson Museum
The Hudson Museum consists of three different galleries: the Maine Indian Gallery, the World Cultures Gallery, and the temporary exhibit gallery. One notable feature of the museum is its collection of around 550 tomb figures that come from Western Mexico’s Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima cultures. These diverse clay figures dating back thousands of years include depictions of abstract shapes, animals, women, men, and much more, varying in form and size. This collection is the largest institutional collection in the country of such kind of funerary art. The Hudson Museum also contains Native American jewelry, textiles, ceramics, tools, clothing, weapons, and baskets.
5746 Collins Center for the Arts, Orono, ME 04469, Phone: 207-581-1904
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12.Lucky Catch Cruises
© Lucky Catch Cruises
Lucky Catch Cruises offers visitors and locals alike in the city of Portland, Maine with an opportunity to go on a Maine lobstering tour. The company provides a memorable and fun excursion for families, both kids and adults alike, through the Casco Bay waters white the crew guides them through the daily routine of a Lobsterman in Maine. Passengers can choose to participate in hauling up the lobster traps or simply relax as the boat cruises by the “Seal Rocks,” historic forts from the Civil War, and picturesque lighthouses. Tours with Lucky Catch Cruises lasts between 80 and 90 minutes.
170 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101, Phone: 207-761-0941
13.Maine Acadian Heritage
© Maine Acadian Heritage Council
The Maine Acadian Heritage Council is supported by the National Park Service and is an association of museums, historical societies, towns, and cultural clubs working together to preserve and support the St. John Valley’s Maine Acadian culture. This Maine Acadian culture is found everywhere within the valley of the St. John River, located in Aroostook County of Northern Maine. A wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities associated with Maine Acadian Heritage offer plenty for families to do during the summer months, and winter brings opportunities for cross-country skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.
145 26th Ave, Madawaska, ME 04756, Phone: 207-728-6826
14.Maine Discovery Museum
© Maine Discovery Museum
The Maine Discovery Museum is situated within the center of Bangor’s downtown area, providing unique educational experiences for families and children in the state of Maine. Kids and their families can check out the many interactive and hands-on exhibits, spending a day of learning through play. These interactive exhibits at the Maine Discovery Museum explore the world of art, music, children’s literature, science, anatomy, geography, and nature. Exhibit areas include Amazing Animals, Dino Dig, Sounds Abound, Booktown, Nature Trails, Body Journey, and Artscape. There is also the Nano exhibit that focuses on nanoscale science and the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibit.
74 Main St, Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-262-7200
15.Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co
© Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum is committed to preserving and operating Maine’s two-foot gauge railway equipment for the public’s enjoyment and education. The small museum contains exhibits about the state’s railway history, a gift shop, activities for children, and historic rail cars. Visitors can choose to only explore the museum or also buy a ticket for the train, which includes a waterfront scenic train ride and a self-guided museum tour. Train rides travel approximately 1.5 miles one-way, or three miles round-trip, by the shores of the Eastern Promenade of Casco Bay for about 35 minutes.
49 Thames St, Portland, ME 04101, Phone: 207-828-0814
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16.Maine State Aquarium
© Maine State Aquarium
The Maine State Aquarium is located along the shores of West Boothbay Harbor and is owned and operated by the state’s Department of Marine Resources. Tanks recessed within the granite-like cliffs of the main gallery provide a look at the aquarium’s collection of invertebrates and regional fish. The 20-foot touch tank is the main attraction of the Maine State Aquarium, along with the skates and sharks circling their tank waiting for adventurous guests to pat them. The aquarium is also home to lobsters of all colors and shapes, as well as colorful sun stars and sea anemones.
194 McKown Point Rd, West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575, Phone: 207-633-9559
17.Maynard F Jordan Planetarium and Observatory
© Maynard F Jordan Planetarium and Observatory
The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory is equipped with a number of both portable and mounted telescopes, but its main attraction is the large PlaneWave CDK 20 optical reflecting telescope. The telescope boasts a 20-inch scope and provides the University of Maine with a research-grade modern telescope for observational astronomy. The close proximity of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory with the Emera Astronomy Center offers a more integrated experience in astronomy for visitors. This observatory is also the state of Maine’s only public observatory, open to the public on most Friday and Saturday nights and for shows.
167 Rangeley Rd, Orono, ME 04469, Phone: 207-581-1341
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18.Moose and Photo Safari
© Moose and Photo Safari
Northeast Whitewater offers Moose and Photography safaris, providing guests with an opportunity to view some of the state’s elusive moose. The popular moose watching tours travel to the Maine moose natural habitats, as well as their secret hiding places, led by registered guides. Whether people choose a the Wildlife Photography Tour, one of the Maine Moose Tours, or even their own private Maine Moose Safari, each tour includes interesting facts about the wildlife of Maine, the area’s great outdoors, and of course, Maine moose. Moose Tours leave either in the morning or the evening and lasts for half a day.
155 Greenville Rd, Shirley Mills, ME 04485, Phone: 207-695-0151
19.Northern Maine Museum of Science
The Northern Maine Museum of Science originally began with just two large natural history collections and included herbarium materials, local forestry specimens, and fresh-water and marine sea shells. Located in Folsom Hall of the University of Maine, the museum today features exhibits on biology, forestry, agriculture, physics, and chemistry, and also oversees a nature trail on the university campus in Presque Isle. The Northern Maine Museum of Science’s mission is supporting science education throughout northern Maine through educational programs and exhibits, as well as field experience on the nature trails, researching scientific collections, and school programs.
181 Main St, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Phone: 207-768-9482
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20.Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum
© Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum
The Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum, now known as the Maine Forestry Museum, is a non-profit organization founded in 1979, but the museum building itself wasn’t built until 1994. Situated in the middle of Rangeley, where logging took place going back all the way to the 1800’s, the museum is surrounded by beautiful surroundings consisting of rivers, streams, lakes, and waterfalls, as well as wildlife. There is a vast artifact collection from the Northeast showcased at the Maine Forestry Museum, including hundreds of logging operation artifacts. Traditional art hand-crafted by Maine lumbermen is also on display at this unique museum.
221 Stratton Rd, Rangeley, ME 04970, Phone: 207-864-3939
21.Seashore Trolley Museum
© Seashore Trolley Museum
The Seashore Trolley Museum boasts the title of the oldest and largest museum dedicated to public transportation, as well as the world’s largest electric railway museum. The museum’s collection features vehicles nearly every major city in America that had utilized streetcar systems, along with vehicles from other major cities throughout the world. The goal of the Seashore Trolley Museum is to provide the general public with samples of how past generations moved about for leisure, school, and work, along with showing the craftsmanship put towards constructing the workhorse vehicles. Visitors can even take a ride on the Interpretive Railway.
195 Log Cabin Rd, Kennebunkport, ME 04046, Phone: 207-967-2800
22.The Coastal Children’s Museum
© The Coastal Children’s Museum
The Coastal Children’s Museum is home to more than twenty interactive, hands-on exhibits, including tongue drums, an indoor slide, magnet boards, and much more. The Under the Sea Habitats allow kids to see a variety of tropical and freshwater fish, along with getting up close and personal with marine life at the Gulf of Maine Touch Tank. The Pet Vet Clinic lets children explore their nurturing instincts in a make-believe vet clinic where they can pretend to take care of animals. Imagine That & Build It! provides a chance to build amazing creations out of ordinary materials, or kids can explore The General Store.
75 Mechanic St, Rockland, ME 04841, Phone: 207-596-0300
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23.The Maine Wildlife Park
© The Maine Wildlife Park
The Maine Wildlife Park is a destination where kids can delight in viewing more moose and other animals during a single day than they could spot out in the wild. More than thirty species of native Maine wildlife call the Maine Wildlife Park home. These are animals that can’t return to their natural habitats. Some are human dependent, while other were orphaned or injured. Visitors will find several activities in the park’s visitor center, such as visiting reptiles, weighing moose antlers, or feeling the pelts of bears, moose, and other animals. The Game Trail includes thirteen hidden animals for visitors to find.
284 State St, Augusta, ME 04333, Phone: 207-287-8000
© Viles Arboretum
The Viles Arboretum is open to the public every day of the week, from dawn until dusk. The 224-acre grounds include six miles of nature trails for guests to explore, all signed and marked. The trail leading to Viles Pond is a great introductory trail for visitors, leading them past a rock garden, and through the arboretum’s hosta garden before arriving at a pond alive with frogs, dragonflies, and birds. The Viles Arboretum is also home to the state’s largest permanent outdoor art display. Dogs are permitted on the grounds, however, they must be leashed and picked up after.
153 Hospital St, Augusta, ME 04330, Phone: 207-626-7989
25 Fun Things to Do in Maine with Kids of All Ages
- Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine, Photo: Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine
- Abbe Museum, Photo: Abbe Museum
- Acadia National Park, Photo: avmedved/stock.adobe.com
- Bar Harbor Ferry, Photo: dbvirago/stock.adobe.com
- Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, Photo: Earl Robbins/stock.adobe.com
- Baxter State Park, Photo: Judith Zimmerman Danita Delimont/stock.adobe.com
- Boothbay Railway Village, Photo: Boothbay Railway Village
- Cole Land Transportation Museum, Photo: Cole Land Transportation Museum
- Down East Nature Tours and Acadia BIrding Festival, Photo: Bart/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory, Photo: demerzel21/stock.adobe.com
- Hudson Museum, Photo: Hudson Museum
- Lucky Catch Cruises, Photo: Lucky Catch Cruises
- Maine Acadian Heritage, Photo: Maine Acadian Heritage Council
- Maine Discovery Museum, Photo: Maine Discovery Museum
- Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co, Photo: Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co
- Maine State Aquarium, Photo: Maine State Aquarium
- Maynard F Jordan Planetarium and Observatory, Photo: Maynard F Jordan Planetarium and Observatory
- Moose and Photo Safari, Photo: Moose and Photo Safari
- Northern Maine Museum of Science, Photo: venerala/stock.adobe.com
- Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum, Photo: Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum
- Seashore Trolley Museum, Photo: Seashore Trolley Museum
- The Coastal Children’s Museum, Photo: The Coastal Children’s Museum
- The Maine Wildlife Park, Photo: The Maine Wildlife Park
- Viles Arboretum, Photo: Viles Arboretum
- Cover Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: Maine State Museum
The Maine State Museum is an unparalleled experience. Fun for guests from young to old, especially those wanting to learn more about the history of Maine, it is a must visit for anyone in the area. Located in beautiful and historic Augusta, Maine, the state museum is actually one of the oldest state funded museums in the nation. Said to have been originally founded in 1836, its current building was opened in 1971.
It has gone through many different phases and has been close to closing a few times but always makes miraculous comebacks. The people of Maine love the museum and keep it alive at all costs. Museum Director, longtime supporter Bernard Fish, has been keeping the museum up to date for years. It is also run by a museum commission of 15 volunteers who regularly re-evaluate museum policies and help keep them up to date as well, making changes as needed.
The museum features many long lasting favorite exhibits that any visitor should be sure to check out during their stop.
1. Nature - The museum features multiple exhibits discusses the natural world that exists outside their doors. With a walk through the local ecosystem (with a special emphasis on the seasons), guests will learn about wildlife, birds and plants. There is also a section specific to the rocks and minerals found in Maine, like amethyst, tourmaline and rose quartz, exhibited in both their natural and faceted states. Guests should also make sure not to miss the Curiosities exhibit, showing original scientific specimens as far back as the early 1800’s.
2. Economy- One of the highlights of this section of the museum is the Lion, a steam locomotive from 1846 that helped spur the local economy. The Lion was used for transportation of all types of material - granite, fish, etc. - and is a large part of local history. Tools used, different types of equipment and other agricultural artifacts are also on display for guests who want to see history.
3. History - Another series of exhibits, one of them award winning, focusing on the local history of Maine and the impact it had in history as a whole. Discussing things like Maine’s role in multiple conflicts (War of 1812, the Revolutionary War, etc.) and how it has influenced Maine’s identify, as well as an exhibit on the history of woodworking (with a three-story watermill), this section shows just how important Maine has been in the history books of not only the East Coast but also the United States as a whole. Visit the blacksmith, view the sewing room, and learn about the art and industry of wool carding.
4. Pre-history - Going back over 12,000 years, this exhibit walks guests through the entire known history of the state of Maine. Starting with the Native Americans (displaying one of the oldest standing human built structure - a meat cache built from stone - in the continent of North America) and moving into the tools and weapons used to propel them forward as a society, this exhibit is an all-encompassing experience that should not be missed.
The staff at the museum, full of professional educators, both welcomes and encourages field trips. The award-winning programs are offered at no charge for schools and last around 30 minutes in length (long enough to be educational but short enough for even the youngest attention spans). The tours are offered to a maximum 15 students at a time, although larger classes can be broken up. They strive to encompass all educational learning standards and guidelines necessary according to the state of Maine. It is recommended for schools to provide at least one chaperone for every 10 students. Teachers are allowed to tour the museum free of charge prior to the field trip as well to get an idea of the curriculum and lay out (call and ask for the preview pass). They should also provide students with name tags prior to entering the museum. A field trip to the state museum will be a fun and educational opportunity that can be paralleled anywhere else in the area.
Featuring a large selection of books, toys, and other gifts, guests should make sure to visit the museum store before leaving! Open during regular store hours, the museum store is a great way to remember a visit with a unique selection of museum related items. They also make great presents!
Maine State Museum, 230 State Street, Augusta, ME, 04333-0083, Phone: 207-287-2301
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More Ideas: Maine Discovery Museum
The Maine Discovery Museum, an interactive children’s museum, is located in beautiful downtown Bangor and is the biggest children’s museum north of the city of Boston. Their mission is to educate families, support creativity, nurture wonder, and challenge learning in unique and different ways.
The Maine Discovery Museum opened its doors to the public in 2001 after nearly a decade of research and preparation. It has been championed by the governor, as it has been a huge downtown draw for both in-town as well as out of town visitors. The museum is currently run by a voted in board of directors and passionate staff and volunteers who seek to make the discovery museum as magical as possible for the thousands of children who enter in through the front doors, no matter their current socioeconomic situation. The goal is to help children learn on their level, not only about Maine but about the world as a whole.
The interactive exhibits were designed specifically to allow children to get hands on with the learning materials, which allows for immersive and expansive unique learning opportunities. The exhibits focus on nature, science, children’s literature, art, music, anatomy, and geography.
- Amazing Animals : The museum features some real life animal friends for children to meet and even touch! The animals at MDM are often the favorite exhibit that children get to see while visiting and the most talked about afterward!
- Dino Dig: Children can dig in with their own hands, searching for dinosaur fossils that they can then identify (with staff help). They will also learn about all different varieties of dinosaurs, from the very small to the very large.
- Artscape: This art based exhibit lets children show off their inner artist through a series of different artistic mediums and options to build, draw, and create their own masterpiece.
- Nano: Introducing children and their families to nanoscience (very small scale science) through interactive experiences, the Nano exhibit aims to teach about this very exciting (and tiny) branch of the sciences.
- Body Journey: Step inside this enormous replica of certain parts of the human body to learn about how the inside works and why each part is equally important.
- Nature Trails: Learn about the outside from the safety of the inside of the discovery museum. This exhibit introduces children to the unique ecosystem and wildlife that can be found in Maine with nature trails.
- Mission Discovery: Children will learn all about space, acceleration and gravity through the unique and hands-on exhibits located at Mission Discovery.
- Sounds Abound: Visit the Karaoke Studio and learn all about how sound is made, which allows children to even make their own tunes!
- Booktown: Act out scenes from many favorite children’s books, like the classic Goodnight Moon! Booktown is perfect for any avid child readers, as it brings literature to life.
- Tradewinds: Even though the museum is in Maine, Tradewinds allows children to make connections all over the globe!
The museum charges a small admission fee to the general public, while members of the museum are admitted free. They are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, and Sundays from noon to 5pm. They are closed on Mondays and major holidays.
The discovery museum hosts almost daily special events, meant to cater to children and arranged around different holidays and current events. From story time to crafting events (for instance, children can make truffula flowers like they have in Dr. Seuss books), children are welcome to come and get even more interactive with the staff at the the museum. The website for the discovery museum operates a frequently updated calendar with information on all of the events held there. Guests can simply click on a month and see the events offered and, by clicking directly on the link to the event they are interested in, will be taken to an additional page with further information including cost, times, and contact information. Many events are offered free of charge after the cost of admission into the discovery museum and the majority of the crafts can be taken home after the event for display!
Dining and Shopping
Although there are no food or drink options available at the discovery museum, guests are more than welcome to bring their own bagged lunches and eat them in the museum’s “snack room.” This room is located on the museum’s second floor. There is also a gift shop where visitors can pick up souvenirs from their visit, as well as toys, games, and apparel. Help support the museum and further their goals of bringing this type of learning experience to everyone!
Maine Discovery Museum, 74 Main Street, Bangor, ME, 04401, Phone: 207-262-7200
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More Ideas: University of Maine Museum of Art
Visiting the University of Maine Museum of Art, officially part of the university campus in Bangor, is a great (and free) way to see many historical works of art as well as learning about more contemporary and local artists. Stop by and plan to spend a few hours.
The art collection at the University was established in 1946, although it didn’t officially become a museum until the early 1980s. It was relocated to the downtown area in 2002 and the building was designed by the architectural firm Ann Beha. The museum itself is “officially” owned by every tax paying citizen in Maine. The mission statement of the museum is to be a cultural resource for both the university and the state, to promote understanding of visual art (as well as engagement with that same art), and to offer diverse and contemporary exhibitions on both a temporary and a permanent basis.
The museum of art features a rotating collection of exhibits. Many of the exhibits are temporary, traveling through from other museum collections. Collections stay on display for anywhere from 1 - 6 months in length and information about recent, current, and future exhibitions can be found on the museum’s website.
The core collection of the museum, which is permanent, showcases almost 4,000 unique works of art. The collection focuses mostly on original prints as well as photography. The majority of the art at the museum was created after the year 1900, and the largest art time period represented is considered contemporary art (art that was created from 1945 to the present time). Below are a few artists to make sure to see while visiting the museum of art:
- Georg Baselitz
- Max Beckmann
- Georges Braque
- Francesco Clemente
- Richard Diebenkorn
- Jim Dine
- Eric Fischl
- Helen Frankenthaler
- William Gropper
- David Hockney
- Edward Hopper
- Yvonne Jacquette
- Kathe Kollwitz
- Roy Lichtenstein
- Robert Motherwell
- Pablo Picasso
- Diego Rivera
- Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
- Robert Rauschenberg
- Frank Stella
- Andy Warhol
The museum of art also seeks to focus strongly on artists that have specific ties to Maine. Below are a few artists featured.
- Berenice Abbott
- Richard Estes
- Winslow Homer
- Alex Katz
- John Marin
- Emily Muir
- Neil Welliver
- Andrew Wyeth
While visiting, the museum has also compiled a list of works of art with historical significance. Make sure to see them all while visiting.
- Eight Bells, a paper etching by Winslow Homer in 1887.
- Marchand du Vin, a gelatin silver print by Eugene Atget in 1910
- Boston, Acorn Street, In War Time, a watercolor painting on board on paper by Frederick Hassan in 1918
- The Elm, an oil painting on canvas by George Inness in 1864
The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. Admission is offered free of charge to the general public due to the support of Deighan (Wealth Advisors).
They also offer art classes on a fairly regular basis, which are promoted on the museum’s webpage. These classes focus on creating art with various mediums like pencil and sketchbook and are open to visitors of all ages free of charge (provided the visitor brings their own sketchbook). They are led by museum staff, who is also available for instruction and tips during the class. It is a great way to further involve visitors in the act of creating art instead just viewing it.
The museum of art is happy to welcome students of all grade levels to the museum. Guided tours of the premises is offered free of charge to groups that include at least five students. Teachers who are interested in scheduling a tour of the art museum should contact the education coordinator by either email or by phone. Student field trips are welcome, but are capped at 35 students total. One adult chaperone is required for every seven students for elementary school tours. Each field trip and guided tour will include a gallery visit and a talk by museum staff, followed up with a hands on art based activity. Activities will be age appropriate and may include a worksheet or even a scavenger hunt. All field trips can be built around the specific curriculum that the classroom is working on, so teachers are advised to speak with one of the education coordinators to plan specifics.
Dining and Shopping
The museum does not operate any formal dining areas on the campus, but field trips are welcome to use their multipurpose room for sack lunches while visiting. Contact the staff ahead of time to reserve the space. Additional costs may apply. No gift shop is located at the museum at this time, although they are always seeking to expand.
University of Maine Museum of Art, 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, ME, 04401, Phone: 207-581-3300
Things to Do in Maine, Things to Do in Bangor
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