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Posts Tagged ‘portland maine’

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When there is not much snow on the ground during winter weekends, our family finds ourselves hunting for accessible adventures. We found a road trip to a new-to-us weekend farmers’ market is always a highlight. There’s a thrill to discovering local farms and artisans. All of us enjoy chatting with vendors, sampling new foods, and of course, shopping for all nature of good things. For MP and DP, a visit to a local market is also a welcome respite from our weekly grocery store visits.

From Berwick to Orono, here are some weekend markets that are worth the trip:

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MP recently met with Courtney Cronin, a Portland-based mother of two who is the founder of Maine Forest Playgroup, a parent-powered program that encourages families to enjoy the outdoors together. Designed for children ages one to five, the group meets on Friday mornings at nature preserves, parks, and beaches in and around Portland.

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Courtney started the group in December 2015. As a mother to an infant and an active toddler, she wanted a playgroup that would engage them both. A lifelong love of the outdoors, coupled with years of community outreach experience, gave her the tools she needed to start. Courtney organized the initial playgroup meetings on her own, offering an outdoor activity and a fun, new location for families to meet each week. Before long, word about Maine Forest Playgroup spread and parents began volunteering to facilitate group outings. Courtney says at least a dozen kids and parents show up on Friday mornings, no matter what the weather. (more…)

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We were excited to learn about the opening of the new Portland Science Center last fall, and since then, it’s been on our bucket list of places to visit. The center was designed to create an atmosphere of entertainment and learning, which is something we can totally get behind!

The latest exhibit, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, caught our attention immediately. MP has long been fascinated by the story of Titanic and she was eager to share it with the kids and her nephew, C, who was visiting from California.

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For CP#1’s 10th birthday, our family decided to venture into Portland for the afternoon and treat ourselves to homemade sodas at Vena’s Fizz House. The cozy corner soda bar, which is located on Fore Street, is open to all ages. And while Vena’s specializes in mocktails and cocktails (served only from 7-11 p.m.), the menu has craft sodas and lemonades for the younger set.

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When we arrived, a group of tourists and friends were enjoying drinks, and a young couple at a high hat table sat beside us. MP and the kids scanned the menu and decided on a Blackberry Coconut Fruit Fizz, a Raspberry Lime Rickey made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, and a chocolate cream soda naturally sweetened with honey. (more…)

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When a family considers adopting a pet, it’s a big decision. That’s what MP told the kids when they asked for a dog. She mentioned the responsibilities involved: walking, feeding and cleaning up after the dog. MP also couldn’t help but consider our busy family schedule: how long can we leave the dog alone in the house? Can he ride in the car? And who will take care of him when we go on vacation?

That being said, seven years had gone by since our greyhound died, and MP was beginning to feel ready for a pet again. She weighed the positives. The kids, at 8 and 9, are old enough to help. A dog would get us all outside and exercising even more. And MP would enjoy having a buddy around on the days she works from home.

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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:

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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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During these long winter days, keeping our kids active and engaged can be a challenge. That’s why we were thrilled when we heard that Get Air, an indoor trampoline park for kids and adults, was opening in Portland. The park is situated inside a 25,000 square foot warehouse on industrial Riverside Street. Based on advice from friends who told us there were lines out the door on weekends, we chose to visit on a Wednesday afternoon. To save time, MP also filled out an online waiver for the family (the signed waiver is good for one year, so you only need to fill it out on the first visit).

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