Mid-April has arrived and dare we say, it’s beginning to feel like spring is really here. Most of the snow has melted in our yard, chickadees are singing in the early morning hours, and we even spotted crocuses blooming in a friend’s garden. These signs of the season may not seem like much if you live in warmer climates, but for Maine families like us, there is so much hope attached to these small gifts from nature. To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite spaces to visit in April and May.
East Point Sanctuary, Biddeford Pool
On a warm spring day, we love to visit this Maine Audubon sanctuary by the sea. Street parking is limited, but if you get to the sanctuary early, kids can spend hours playing in the open fields, flying kites or scaling rocks.
Cascade Falls, Saco
If you want to take a short walk to see a waterfall, Cascade Falls is a great option. The 1/4-mile out and back trail begins at the parking lot and follows a shaded woodland path to the falls. This walk is especially good for little ones who love to explore.
Portland Science Center
When the weather isn’t cooperating, we almost always opt to see a new exhibit. We’ve visited the Portland Science Center for “The Titanic” and “Dinosaurs Unearthed” exhibits and learned so much while we were there. The Portland Science Center is now showing “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey,” which takes you deep inside the fascinating under water world of sharks. Kids can see real shark teeth and jaws, rare fossils and come face to face with a Great White.
Vena’s Fizz House, Portland
During the day, families can visit this retro soda bar for fun and fizzy drinks. Your family will enjoy choosing from inventive drink options, including real fruit fizzes, tangy raspberry lime rickeys, lemonades, and cream sodas naturally sweetened with honey.
Monkey C Monkey Do, Wiscasset
This 3-story ropes course is designed for older kids (10-up in our book) and is not for the faint of heart. That said, visiting feels like a grand adventure. Families learn how to fit their harnesses safely, how to work and communicate with a buddy on the course, and how to quickly deduce their comfort level for heights. Our kids especially loved the zip line, which starts at the ropes course, and takes you into the woods.
Fort Edgecomb, Edgecomb
Located just outside of the tiny village of Wiscasset, the grounds of this octagonal block house are simply breathtaking. Pack a lunch for the family and plan to spend a few hours. Kids will love exploring the 19th century fort and learning about its unique history.
Thomaston Town Trail, Thomaston
We walked this town trail on a rainy April day, and reveled in its lush green beauty. A mile-long boardwalk path takes you to a huge glacial boulder which is divided in two, aptly called Split Rock. Kids will want to stop here and play awhile before walking back.
Spring Road Trail, Auburn
This nearly 3-mile out and back trail is a lovely place to walk with family and pets, complete with towering trees and lake views. Go if you need a little quiet— the kids can run ahead.
Shepard’s Farm Preserve, Norway
What is coolest about this preserve are the six towering sculptures designed by Maine-born artist, Bernard Langlais. Kids can explore the fields and visit with an owl, a totem-like sculpture named Mrs. Noah, and a cat, just to name a few. During your visit, you’ll also want to venture on the woodland path — guests can explore the trails by foot or mountain bike.
Orono Bog Boardwalk
If you’re visiting Bangor area, this stunning wetland walk, which makes you feel as if you’ve entered a kind of African safari, is well worth a visit. Kids of all ages will enjoy the mile-long board walk loop that begins in green forest and opens up to what feels like vast dry plains.
Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor
We love this small museum that is devoted to learning about art, culture and the everyday lives of native American tribes in Maine. If you go, also visit its original location at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park. Best yet, your admission ticket is good for both locations.
We hope you enjoy these ideas for traveling around the state in the spring! And share your family’s travels any time. We love hearing from you!
PS: Another favorite springtime activity.