Maine Vacations for Kids

Maine Vacations for Kids
The great natural splendor of Maine makes it a good choice as a family-friendly vacation destination. Imagine taking your children up the slopes of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to pick blueberries or teasing them with stories of blueberry-sniffing brown bears. Maine has some excellent outdoor adventure opportunities, numerous educational attractions and a small selection of theme parks for children and their parents.

Downeast Maine

The tourist center of the state is "Downeast Maine," usually defined as the stretch of coast and hinterland that runs from the Penobscot River to the border of Canada. It includes Acadia National Park, and the neighboring Bar Harbor resort community. The park's 30,000 acres include the striking scenery Maine is well-known for--a dramatic coastline, forested mountains and highland lakes. It also includes entertaining natural curiosities, such as Thunder Hole, where at high tide wave water seeps through a hole in a shoreline rock and can spout up to 40 feet in the air. Whale-watching trips are possible from Bar Harbor. For kids, there are interesting, educational trips to the inland region of central Maine. Little boys, in particular, may enjoy the Regeley Lakes Region Logging Museum, which combines old growth forest with a living museum of logging and forestry. Finally, there is the Nordlands Living History Center, which depicts 18th and 19th Century rural life in Maine.

Regeley Lakes Region Logging Museum
Box 154
Rangeley, ME 04970
http://mason.gmu.edu/~myocom/yocomroad/maine/logging_museum/

Nordlands Living History Center
290 Norldands Road
Livermore, ME 04253
Tel: (207) 897-4366
http://www.norlands.org/

Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Tel: (207) 288-3338
http://www.nps.gov/acad/

Aroostook County

Aroostook County is Maine's most rural region, occupying a large slice of its northern territory. Its lakes are great for fishing, while the rural country roads are ideal for cross-country biking. Aroostook is a place to get away from it all; it's also home to the Maine Solar System Model, which is a scale model of the solar system. One mile of the 40-mile model represents the distance between the Earth and the sun. Stations scattered along U.S. Route 1 represent the planets.

Maine Solar System Model
http://www.umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms/solar/

Upstate Highlands

Baxter State Park is at the heart of highland Maine. The more than 300 square miles of parkland are home to 4,292-foot Mt. Katahdin, which is at the northern end of the famed Appalachian Trail. Also in the vicinity is Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in the northeastern United States. Baxter also is home to many big mammals, including brown bears, moose and white-tailed deer. The upper reaches of Maine's best whitewater rafting rivers also are here, making it the jumping-off point for rafting and kayaking trips.

Baxter State Park
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, Maine 04462
Tel: (207) 723-5140
http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/

Theme Parks

Maine has three theme parks. Funtown Splashtown U.S. is a waterslide park. Basic admission was $22 for adults and $18 for children in 2009. Palace Playland is a family amusement park that boasts of being New England's only beachfront park. Each ride costs two or four tickets. All-day passes are also available. In 2009, the all-day passes were $28.95 for adults and $21.95 for children. Blackbeard's Family Fun Park has a batting cage and go-karts.


Funtown Splashtown USA
US Route 1, 774 Portland Road
Saco, Maine 04072
207-284-5139
http://www.funtownusa.com/

Palace Playland Associates, LLC
1 Old Orchard Street
P.O. Box 355
Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064
Tel: (207) 934-2001
http://www.palaceplayland.com/

Blackbeard's Family Fun Park
339 Odlin Road
Bangor, Maine
Tel: (207) 943-0233
http://www.blackbeardsusa.com

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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