I love Maine. I can’t tell you exactly why, but it’s one of my favorite states (after my home state of Massachusetts of course). I head up to Maine every chance I get and Portland, Maine is one of my favorite destinations when I head up. I’ve gone to Portland both with the kids and without and if you are planning on bringing the kids with you, here are some family friendly things to do while you’re there.
Family Friendly Things to do in Portland, Maine
1. Visit the Portland Science Center
Educational museum on a wharf featuring exhibits on science, technology, history & culture. There was an exhibit on sharks when we were there and my boys LOVED it. The exhibits rotate, though, so there is always something new to see at the museum. Be sure to check their website for current hours and prices.
The Portland Science Center is located at 68 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101. There is street parking available and there are a few public lots in the area.
2. Climb the Portland Observatory
With breathtaking views and fascinating history at America’s last standing maritime signal tower, it’s definitely worth a stop in. Since 1807, the Portland Observatory has offered spectacular views of Portland’s busy harbor. The observatory is only open in the summer (May-October) and you can check the hours & admission prices on their website before you head over.
The Observatory is located at 138 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101.
3. International Cryptozoology Museum
Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals, and Portland has the world’s only cryptozoology museum. I’ve been there twice and it’s SO much fun to visit. Even if you are sitting there rolling your eyes about it and think something like this is not for you, it’s a seriously fun place to visit.
They have a wide range of exhibitions from rare, one-of-a-kind scientific, zoological specimens to popular cultural homages to the relevant anthropological and psychological acknowledgements of the sightings and folk traditions.
The International Cryptozoology Museum is located at 4 Thompson’s Point Road, Suite 106, Portland, ME 04102. Just look for the big Bigfoot statue.
4. Portland Museum of Art
The Portland Museum of Art, or PMA, is the largest and oldest public art institution in the U.S. state of Maine. If you and your family love art, the artwork inside the museum is absolutely amazing.
The Portland Art Museum is located at 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101.
5. Alligash Brewing Company
Ok, maybe this one isn’t necessarily someplace you want to bring your kids, but the tours are super interesting if you’ve always wondered how beer is made. They are open for beer pours and free tours seven days a week and Alligash is one of my favorite beers, so I love going here whenever I am in Portland.
Alligash is located at 50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME 04103.
6. Portland Head Light
You can’t go to Maine and not see a lighthouse! You just can’t. The Portland Head Light, informally known as the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, is one of my favorites. The Portland Head Light is absolutely majestic and I think this one just screams New England!
You will find the Portland Head Light at 12 Captain Strout Cir, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107.
7. Tour the Wadsworth-Longfellow House
This house was the childhood home of the famous American Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882 and has been open for tours for years. Virtually all of the household items and artifacts are original to the Wadsworth and Longfellow families and if you love history, stop in for a tour.
The Wadsworth-Longfellow House is located at 489 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101 (right up the street from the art museum).
The coastal city of Portland, Maine has emerged as one of the country’s finest dining scenes. There are hundreds of great restaurants, breweries and distilleries in Portland, so you will never go hungry while you are there. There are also a few foodie tours that you can take if you like.
On a trip without the kids, Christian and I did a Maine Foodie Tour, but weren’t impressed – but don’t let that deter you because they have lots of different tours, so make sure you read the descriptions because one of them might be perfect for you.
If you are planning a trip to Portland, Maine, hope you get a chance to visit some of these family friendly places.