15 fun things to do with kids on a family vacation in Maine

Family vacations in Maine have year-round options for kid-friendly activities all over the state. You can explore the diverse countryside with the kids in Acadia National Park, visit some of Maine’s picturesque coastal islands, and go on a moose safari adventure around Moosehead Lake. There are tons of things to do with kids in Maine specifically during the winter as well, like snowshoeing in the Kennebec Valley and hitting the slopes for skiing and snowboarding around some of the mountainous Maine family resorts. Kid activities in Maine also include unique museums and cultural sites and lots of opportunities for learning through play.

Visiting Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor with kids

1. Acadia National Park kids activities

Drive or take a guided tour of Park Loop Road, a 27-mile loop that passes a ton of Acadia’s popular points, including scenic rocky coasts, forest expanses, and glassy lakes. Make an early morning drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain for an amazing sunrise or do an evening picnic on the summit and watch the incredible sunset. You can hike the kid-friendly Wonderland Trail on Mount Desert Island, a half-mile path through the forest that ends in magical tidal pools during low tide. Check low-tide times at the visitors center so you can observe tide pool sea creatures.

2. Sightseeing around Jordan Pond House

Enjoying afternoon popovers and tea on the lawn of historic Jordan Pond House is a tradition for travelers visiting Acadia. The restaurant opens seasonally from April to October and overlooks incredible views of Jordan Pond and the mountains beyond. From there, you can hike around Jordan Pond to see the Bubbles, a unique, bubble-shaped pair of mountains. You can also take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the area, including some of the famous gravel carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller. Be sure to seek out some of the beautifully handcrafted stone bridges along these roads on your tour.

3. Stroll the shore path in Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor has a ton of family hotels, attractions, and dining near Arcadia Park. Bar Harbor’s Shore Path is a kid-friendly scenic stroll along the waterfront where you can see yachts and fishing boats, wildlife, and historic homes. At low tide, you can even cross the Bar Island Trail for a quick peek at the tide pools surrounding Bar Island, just be sure to cross back before the tide returns. You can also check cultural locations like the Museum of Natural History, La Rochelle Mansion and Museum, and the Woodlawn Museum, Gardens, and Park.

Maine family vacation MidCoast & Islands

4. Explore tide pools at Reid State Park

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Maine’s MidCoast area, you can visit Reid State Park in Georgetown. Multiple sandy beaches are perfect for strolling, and even when it’s too cold to swim, there are low-tide sandbars and tidal pools to explore. In the summer months, lagoon swimming at Reid State Park is great for kids. There are family-friendly hiking trails, plus picnic and grill areas, fishing spots, and native coastal wildlife. Reid State Park does have some facilities but no vendors, so you’ll want to pack your own snacks and water.

5. Learn about island life on Vinalhaven

Maine family vacations can include visiting diverse coastal islands like Vinalhaven, home to a small, year-round island community and thriving lobster fishery. A short ferry ride from Rockland will put you in Vinalhaven’s quaint port town, Carver’s Harbor. You can bring or rent bikes to get around the island, though plenty of sightseeing is within walking distance of the harbor. You’ll find summer swimming holes in quarry ponds, scenic walking trails, wildlife and lobster boat tours, and a historical museum. Check out local dining spots like The Surfside, Greet’s Eats, and Dot & Millie’s.

Kid activities in Maine Highlands

6. Ride the Steamboat Katahdin on Moosehead Lake

One of Maine’s fun kid activities is riding the vintage Steamboat Katahdin on Moosehead Lake, a historic 1914 steamboat. Sightseeing tours of different lengths and types are offered for all ages, and most steamboat tours include admission into the historic Moosehead Marine Museum. You can also drive the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway, which begins at the southern entrance of Baxter State Park and winds through inland Maine’s natural beauty and Mount Katahdin. Along the byway, you’ll pass popular destinations like Grindstone Falls, Shin Falls, Debsconeag Ice Caves, Patten Lumbermen’s Museum, and Ash Hill.

7. Go on a guided moose safari

If you’re on vacation in Maine with kids, you probably have moose on your list of things you’d like to see, and some of the best spots in the state for moose-watching are around Baxter State Park and Moosehead Lake. Maine is home to one of the largest populations of moose in the country, and they are magnificent to see in the wild. Going on a guided tour, or moose safari, with a professional wilderness guide is the best way for families and kids to see and learn about wildlife safely and comfortably.

Maine family vacation to The Kennebec Valley

8. Hike or snowshoe to Moxie Falls

Hiking or snowshoeing to Moxie Falls is a great family activity. It’s one of the highest waterfalls in New England and has a drop of over 90 feet. The trail to the falls is a 2-mile round-trip at an easy-to-moderate level, doable for most kids, and features several viewing platforms to appreciate the falls from different angles. You can also drive the Old Canada Road scenic byway along Route 201, where you'll pass through dense forests and foliage where moose and other wildlife are plentiful. Stop in Bingham to hike to Houston Brook Falls or visit Jackman to see the Attean Overlook and Moose River.

9. Learn about Maine’s history in Augusta

The state capital of Augusta offers a variety of fun and engaging activities for a family vacation in Maine. You can explore the general store and the Old Fort Western Living History Museum, a preserved 18th-century historic site, and visit the Maine State Museum for regional and natural history exhibits. Kids can experiment and play among the colorful interactive exhibits at Children’s Discovery Museum. At Viles Arboretum, you’ll find sculptures, scenic paths, and botanical gardens, including Space Trees grown from seeds that traveled on a space shuttle.

Things to do with kids in Maine’s Greater Portland & Casco Bay area

10. Play at Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine

Explore the waterfront on Casco Bay with tons of local shops, attractions, and amazing seafood restaurants. Visit the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine for interactive playspaces and imagination-fueled fun or the Portland Museum of Art for unique artwork collections. Check out a vintage lighthouse at Fort Williams Park, the Portland Headlight, or hop on the ferry and explore the tunnels and old-world charm on Peak’s Island. For something different, visit Len Libby Candies and see a life-size moose made entirely of chocolate, and get some sweet treats while you’re there.

11. See moose, bears, and cougars at Maine Wildlife Park

Maine Wildlife Park is not a zoo but rather a permanent home for over 30 species of wildlife that can’t be returned to their natural habitats and can’t survive in the wild. You’ll explore shady paths around the habitats and see animals like moose and black bears, eagles and owls, foxes, peacocks, and deer. You can check out the visitor’s center for interactive educational exhibits and visit a fish hatchery to learn about how brook trout are raised. Bring quarters to the park, as there are opportunities to buy animal-safe snacks to feed certain animals.

Maine family vacation in Aroostook County

12. Hike Haystack Mountain

Haystack Mountain is part of an ancient, long-dormant volcano in Maine, and it’s an awesome hike. Haystack Mountain Trail in Castle Hill is 0.5-miles long and rated moderate due to some steeper incline at the top, but it's still doable for most kids. At the summit, you’ll find panoramic views of Katahdin Mountain and rolling farmlands that transition into Canada. On your drive through the area, check out the Maine Solar System Model, a unique scale model of our solar system that extends from our sun in Presque Isle all the way to Pluto in Topsfield.

13. Kid’s winter sports

There is no shortage of wintertime things to do with kids in Maine, from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and tubing. You’ll find several of the largest Maine family resorts and vacation rentals in the mountains around Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback. There are lots of great midsize resorts popular with families on vacation in Maine, including Bigrock Mountain, Black Mountain of Maine, and Camden Snow Bowl. You'll find plenty to do in those areas for nonskiers too, plus diverse local dining options, shopping, and sightseeing.

Maine family resorts

14. Point Sebago Resort

Point Sebago Resort in Casco is a good option for a family vacation in Maine, featuring over 700 acres on the shores of Sebago Lake. You’ll find a variety of resort accommodations to suit families of all sizes, plus direct access to the lake for swimming and watersports. You can lounge in the sun or play in the sand, enjoy recreation rentals, and take part in an activities program. Point Sebago Resort also includes live entertainment, on-site dining, a sports center, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

15. Samoset Resort

Samoset Resort is a luxury family resort in Rockport, Maine, sprawling across 230 oceanfront acres. Kids will love playing sports and games in the resort’s Ultimate Backyard, including a playground. A massive zero-entry pool is perfect for families, and you'll find a poolside lounge and hot tub and an indoor pool that’s open year-round. Samoset Resort also has a spa, golf and disc-golf courses, and plenty of on-site dining options.