7 kid-friendly activities in Downeast Maine

Planning a Maine vacation with kids in tow? Here are seven kid-friendly activities sure to be a hit with young travelers.

Splish splash!


What child doesn’t like to play in a fountain with other kids and get thoroughly drenched. Have a towel and dry clothes handy to try out the city of Ellsworth’s splash pad at Knowlton Park on State Street. The “splash pad” is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If the splash pad has gone into “sleep” mode, step on one of the two round buttons in the pad’s concrete surround to turn on the water. Restrooms and changing rooms are available at the park.


Rainy day read-alouds


Most of Hancock County’s libraries offer children’s read-alouds in some form or another. Some are geared for babies, toddlers and other age groups. Some incorporate song and movement. Find scheduled times in the event calendars online for the Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Blue Hill Public Library, Buck Memorial Library (Bucksport), Ellsworth Public Library, Friend Memorial Library (Brooklin), Frenchman Bay Library (Sullivan), Hancock Point Library, Henry D. Moore Library (Steuben), Jesup Memorial Library (Bar Harbor), Southwest Harbor Public Library and Stonington Public Library.


Make tracks


Climb aboard the Downeast Scenic Railroad and go for a 10-mile ride. The Downeast Scenic Railroad makes two runs Saturdays and Sundays through Columbus Day weekend. The 10-mile trip takes about 90 minutes.

The cost is $15 per adult and $8 for children 3 to 12. Children under 2 ride for free. For more info, call (866) 449-7245, email [email protected]g and visit www.downeastscenicrail.org.


You’ll flip!

Did you bring your skateboard on your family’s vacation? Check out and show your tricks and moves at Bar Harbor’s new, spacious skateboard park at Park and Main streets.

Inaugurated last year, and the result of a longtime grassroots effort, the MDI Skatepark’s features a large “bowl” section and a small “street” section with a curb and metal rail that skaters use for tricks. Park users are asked to wear helmets. The concrete park is covered under the same town liability protection as the athletic fields. For more info, visit mdiskatepark.org.


Child play


Parents’ idea of a vacation doesn’t always match their children’s vision. Sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the best. Playgrounds fall into that category and they abound in coastal Maine. We recommend the varied and well maintained Town Hill Playground in Bar Harbor’s Town Hill village on Route 102 (Between Camden National Bank and the Town Hill Fire Station).  Plus, it’s across the street from Brrrr! Harbor, which specializes in shaved ice with more than 60 flavors.


Exploring Acadia


It’s the 10th summer now since Friends of Acadia launched its free Acadia Quest program in which Acadia National Park  visitors qualify for prizes by completing and recording at least six activities. This summer, Acadia Quest’s Great Hits edition challenges all ages to do the ten most popular activities over the last decade.

To learn more, call 1-(800)-625-0321 and visit http://friendsofacadia.org/events/acadia-quest/.


You Rang?

In an era in which landline telephones are rapidly vanishing, Ellsworth’s Telephone Museum is an eye-opener and fun destination for children who have grown up in the cell phone age. The museum has interactive displays in which visitors can try calling each other from antiquated telephones. They can plug into a switch board.

The museum, located at 166 Winkumpaugh Road in north Ellsworth, is a treasure and of interest to all ages.  For hours and other details, call 667-9491, email [email protected] and visit www.thetelephonemuseum.org.

7 kid-friendly activities in Downeast Maine