By dragonfly on Nov 12, 2007
We have been back many times. We started a Christmas tradition of going up so the kids could ride the Maine Narrow Gauge RailRoad Company and Museum train, which would have holiday lights set up along it's route. The kids loved it, despite it being darn cold. It was a great time to get some holiday shopping done. Haven't done that in a while though. :-(
The old port area by the waterfront has a wonderful selection of shops and restaurants, and makes for nice casual walking and browsing. Another of our favorite attractions is The Children's Museum of Maine. This is one of the best places for kids, with play exhibits for every age and interest. My kids always love it, and this trip was no exception. I was there with them for 3.5 hours, and they still weren't bored. There is a play fire engine, pirate ship, space shuttle, LL Bean camping area, grocery store, veterinary, car repair area, toddler area, dress up theatre... If you have kids and you are with them in the Portland area, you have to take them there. It's a bargain at $7 per person.
We stopped by the L.L. Bean Outlet Store in Portland to get my oldest a new winter jacket. Not quite the selection of the 7x24 L.L. Bean store just up the rud a piece in Freeport, ME, but we managed to get him something. I always find Portland one of the more relaxing cities I visit, and it's on the ocean. Bonus.
Another nearby attraction that the kids enjoy is the Desert of Maine. This is an interesting glacial geological phenomenon, and the kids really enjoy going there, but it is closed at this time of year. They have a campground, so we usually make a camping trip out of it, with the requisit tent and s'mores. Reminds me, I'd better pencil in a weekend for that trip next summer, as it may be hectic.
You know, this post didn't start out as an advertisement for Portland, ME, but is sure looks like it turned into one. I'm not one to try gratuitously promoting businesses, etc. but I do like for folks to have easy access to more details about stuff I find interesting or important. The L.L. Bean link is borderline, but the 7x24 store does make for neat late night holiday shopping trips. When I dated a girl from Wellesley college, they had a yearly bus trip late at night for just that reason. Honest. \^_\^.