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Posts Tagged ‘New England’

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.

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CP#1 enjoys a quiet moment at East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool. 

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March 20 marked the first day of spring, and with this new season, comes good thoughts of May days, trees in bloom and gardens brimming with sweet new soil. And while we may have to wait a little longer for this collective greening in Maine, it’s nice to know these days are only weeks away.

In particular, MP finds herself thinking about a solo visit to Mount Desert last spring, where one of her must-sees included Asticou Azalea Garden. The Japanese-style garden was designed in 1957 by Charles K. Savage, a passionate conservationist and the former manager of the historic Asticou Inn. The garden, located just off Route 198 South in Northeast Harbor, is an oasis for a mom in search of spring blooms. And oh, did this stunning space deliver! MP discovered quiet pathways, stone steps leading to Asticou pond, and all manner of spring unfurling before her eyes.

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In March, when snow is still a part of the landscape, most New Englanders find themselves craving color and sunshine. To break from the gray and white hues of winter, we decided to take the kids on a road trip to to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The museum is home to the impressive private art collection of Isabella Stewart Gardener, a world traveler and dedicated patron of the arts, who lived in Boston during the late 1800’s until her death in 1924. In her will, Gardener gifted the museum to the public and what a spectacular gift it is.

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MP has been a fan of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) in Boothbay for as long as she can remember. With over 295 acres of woodland and shorefront property, the lush grounds are made for people who adore plants, flowers and the Maine outdoors. CMBG is also home to a spectacular Children’s Garden, complete with fairytale cottages, a treehouse with a rope bridge, and engaging pathways to explore. When CMBG began its holiday light show in 2015, MP put the event on her wish list of things to do. There is nothing like seeing 500,000 colorful lights to help put a family in the holiday spirit!electric (more…)

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Treworgy Family Orchard is located in Levant, just 10 miles outside of Bangor, where owner Gary Treworgy and his big creative family design an incredible corn maze on the grounds of their farm. Since 2001, visitors have enjoyed their impressive mazes — which have ranged from a variety of animals to a Celtic labyrinth and even a knight fighting a dragon! This year’s design is Paul Bunyan, Legendary Lumberjack, and our crew decided it was high time we visit the farm to experience the maze for ourselves.

 

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One of the benefits of the kids getting older is the ability to take longer hikes. With this thought in mind, MP decided the New England Outdoor Center (NEOC), an adventure resort located on Millinocket Lake, would be an ideal home base while we explored the Katahdin region.

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While researching different trails, MP was surprised to find a variety of hikes in Baxter State Park that are kid-friendly, each ranging 3-4 miles round trip. She had a few trails on her wish list, but friends from Millinocket suggested we check out the Debsconeag Ice Caves. Part of the Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness area, the caves are located located just south of Baxter and Mount Katahdin. The caves are made up of heavy boulders that were pushed together by glaciers during the last ice age, and brave hikers can explore inside. Our family couldn’t wait to experience these uncommon ice caves for ourselves.

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If you read this blog, you know that Ice Castles NH is on our winter wish list of places to go. The Lincoln, New Hampshire venue, which is made up 20,000,000 pounds of ice to explore, was originally created by a Utah-based father named Brent Christensen for his children. The castles that Brent built in his backyard eventually grew to a winter venue, featuring Ice Castles locations in New Hampshire, Vermont, Utah and Minnesota. The castles themselves are something to behold during the day, but it’s at night when they really come alive with lights and music. There’s something magical about exploring caves, frozen waterfalls, caverns and tunnels in the cool evening glow.

Ice Castles is just a two-hour drive from our home in Maine, but we decided to make it a stop during a longer road trip. After visiting friends in Massachusetts, we stayed at a hotel in Tilton with a swimming pool for the kids and drove to Ice Castles at dusk. MP heard that it was best to buy tickets ahead of time to beat the lines, and she was so glad she did (visiting on a weekday didn’t hurt either). The temperature was about 20º outside, so we also made sure to bring plenty of warm layers. 

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Our view from the parking area.

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The short line for pre-paid ticket holders.

The short line for pre-paid ticket holders.

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