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Posts Tagged ‘cute potato’

On a bright, January Sunday, we visited Ten Apple Farm in Gray for an hour-long goat hike in the woods. Owners Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz and their young daughters—Charlotte, Bea and Sadie—care for a herd of Alpine dairy goats that live in a big red barn attached to the family’s 1901 clapboard farmhouse.

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Photo courtesy Ten Apple Farm

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ski

Last year, MP shared some of the adventures she hoped to try with the family during the winter season, and it was one of the blog’s most popular posts. We had so much fun exploring cross-country skiing and ice fishing, MP decided to come up with an updated list of activities for our family to try during the chilly months ahead:

Dog Sledding
The kids learned a little about sled dogs during L.L.Bean’s Winter Carnival, but they have always hoped for the opportunity to experience dog sledding first hand. Heywood Kennels in Augusta accepts Winter Kids passports, which offers families a generous discount on dog sledding adventures. Families get to meet the dogs, enjoy a sled ride and drink hot cocoa by the fire.

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While visiting Rockport earlier this month, we discovered the stunning Beech Hill Preserve. The 295-acre preserve offers family-friendly trails alongside protected fields of organic blueberries and wildflowers. Beech Hill is one of those magical, Maine places where visiting feels like a privilege. We arrived at the Beech Hill Road trailhead and decided to take the short 3/4-mile hike to a stunning hilltop that overlooks Penobscot Bay.

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Earlier this month, our team enjoyed a memorable Open House weekend at Camp Bishopswood in Hope. Camp director Mike Douglass invites potential campers and their families to stay and play, so they can get familiar with the grounds, their peers, and what camp is like. So smart!

Bishopswood, which is located on the western shore of Megunticook Lake, is everything you would expect from a Maine camp. A long, dirt road shaded by pines brings you to the entrance. Near the lake, there is a swimming area, dock, and a colorful array of canoes and kayaks. Mike greeted us in the parking lot with a hearty welcome. He directed us to drop off our things in our cabin and then join the rest of the families staying for the weekend in the Great Hall. 

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CP#1 broke her right foot over Easter, so our school vacation plans are limited to places we can easily get around. We’re considering a trip into Boston to visit the Franklin Park Zoo. MP, who is in need of warmth and flowers, is especially intrigued by the indoor tropical rainforest. And the zoo also provides wheelchairs to guests on a first come, first served basis, which will be a great help to our injured girl.

If Boston doesn’t make it into our plans, we may try going local to the Maine Wildlife Park. MP and DP haven’t been there with the kids since they were toddlers, so it will be fun to see the park again.

The Bowdoin College campus is always a great place to visit.

The Bowdoin College campus is always a great place to visit.

We recently visited the Bowdoin Art Museum and all of us enjoyed the Past Futures exhibit, which highlights science fiction and space travel. The museum is the perfect size for kids ages 7-up, and the bold paintings and space age graphics definitely appealed to our duo. While we were there, MP learned the museum hosts Family Saturdays with interactive activities for kids. This Saturday, April 18, it’s Family Saturday and there’s a free dance concert in the evening, too. If your kids are too small to brave the museum, the campus is a perfect place to explore or ride bikes.

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Our family was looking forward to visiting friends in Providence for our first children’s film festival over February break, but the weather didn’t cooperate. While Maine escaped a blizzard, Rhode Island was hit with a big snowstorm and we cancelled the trip. MP was so disappointed. She figured the kids would have to wait until next year for the experience.

Then MP received a note from Portland-based mom, Lauri Boxer-Macomber, detailing the city’s upcoming children’s film festival. The event, now in its 4th year, benefits the East End Community School, a K-5 public school in Portland. According to Lauri, one the festival’s main goals is to create lasting connections within the community through films.

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The entirely volunteer-run festival, which begins Wednesday, March 25th and runs through Sunday, March 29th, features everything from animated short films for little ones to documentaries for teens. Each film focuses on a different part of the world in an effort to create a global awareness for young audiences. The films will be shown at several venues around Portland, including Space Gallery, The Portland Museum of Art, and The Portland Public Library, to name a few.

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CP#1 and #2 are growing up fast. We decided this year they would be ready to try cross-country skiing. Plus if there were ever a winter to embrace the outdoors, this one is it. DP grew up skiing at Carter’s in Oxford, but we decided to try some place closer to home for our first outing. On a bright, 20º Saturday afternoon, we bundled up and traveled to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. The ski center features expansive trails, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced.

We rented skis, boots and poles at the farm, and the friendly staff made us feel right at home. “You’ll have a blast!” said the young woman behind the counter once we were fully outfitted.

DP, who is the designated map expert at our house, decided on a nearly 3 mile trail to get us started. Once we all put on our skis, we traversed up our first hill. CP#2 lead the pack, followed by his Dad, CP#1 and MP, who admittedly is the slowest skier in our crew. The slippery hill was a tough way to start, but once we got past it, the remainder of the trail was fairly flat.

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