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6 Maine Outdoor Activities to Try This Winter

6 Maine Outdoor Activities to Try This Winter

Experience the Maine outdoors- Winter Style

Your guide to winter fun in Greater Portland, Maine

Winter is here, and though that may make you want to stay inside, it means more time to get outside here in Maine! As long as you have the proper attire to keep warm, there’s no shortage of things to do.

Keep reading to learn all about 6 Maine outdoor activities to try this winter!

Ice Fishing

Want to give catching your dinner a try? Look no further than spending the day ice fishing! Ice fishing will likely come naturally to you if you already love to fish. If not, you can always hire a Maine guide to take you on a guided fishing excursion. The basics of ice fishing include dressing warmly and being ready to spend some quality time on a frozen lake with friends or your family.

Don’t be surprised if you catch white fish, lake trout, or smelt on your outing. Make sure wherever you’re ice fishing has an ice shack so you can sit back and relax while you wait for the fish to take a nibble on your bait. Ice fishing is a classic Maine winter activity, especially if you’ve never had the opportunity to try it until now!

Outdoor Dining

Did you think that outdoor dining was only for warm, balmy summer nights? Think again! One of the benefits of social distancing is increased outdoor dining options.

You’ll find restaurants offering outdoor dining all around southern Maine well into the winter. Some feature creative heating options like fire pits, igloos, a-frame buildings, heated patios, rentable chalets, greenhouses, and personalized pods.

Firepit at Flavors of Freeport. Photo Courtesy of Visit Freeport

Dining outdoors while being bundled up is the epitome of accepting Maine winter for what it is. It’s a fun way to escape and have a little fun while supporting some of the many local restaurants that southern Maine features. You’ll be toasty warm ordering hot chocolate or another seasonally appropriate beverage while taking in the beauty that is Maine in the winter months.

Ice Skating

No winter in Maine is complete without going ice skating! Whether you’re renting your ice skates or skating on a frozen pond, there are nearly infinite options to channel your inner figure skater.

One of the most popular rinks is the Rink at Thompson’s Point, which is an excellent option if you don’t own skates. There’s also a yurt where you can buy a cup of hot cocoa and various other establishments on the Point that you can check out. Another fantastic spot for ice skating is Orland Blake Skating Pond in Yarmouth. The rink stays open until 11 pm, making it ideal for late-night skating. It also features a warming hut, so you’ll stay warm!

L. L. Bean Northern Lights, Photo Credits: Serena Folding
Photo Credit: Serena Folding Photography

If you want a skating place that is open to the elements and still resurfaced by a Zamboni, check out the rink at Falmouth Family Ice. Although the pond is man-made, it’s open from December through February, from 10 am until 9 pm. If you’re a Falmouth resident, it’s free; otherwise, it’s $5 per person to skate. Don’t worry if you don’t have skates because you can also rent a pair here for $2.

For those looking for a hockey rink, the Scarborough Ice Rink features two rinks, including an upper rink for hockey. The lower rink is for skating, and both are open from dawn to 8 pm on Sunday through Thursday and dawn until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. These are free rinks open to the public.

No matter where you want to ice skate, there are plenty of options to choose from in southern Maine!

Skiing

If you’re in a place that’s covered in snow, then you have to go skiing as well! Maine is perfect for both beginners and expert skiers, and snowboarders as well.

Check out one of the resorts for the best skiing experience. You’ll find plenty of powder that ranges in complexity. You can also get away from the resorts and try skiing in other parts of the state. There’s no shortage of fantastic places to ski, and the best part is that while you’re skiing here, you can take in some of the incredible sights. There’s nowhere else like Maine in the winter.

The great thing about skiing in Maine is that even if you’re staying somewhere like Portland or Cape Elizabeth, you can drive where you want to go. Southern Maine is a centrally located part of the state, meaning you’re never that far from where you want to be.

Carnaval ME

Carnaval ME’s event was so popular that it’s back and better than ever in 2022! Taking place in Portland on the Eastern Promenade, Carnaval ME will be on February 17-26th to benefit Winter Kids.

Carnaval ME Food Trucks, Photo provided by: Shamrock Signature

This fun outdoor winter event will feature live music on the Carnaval ME outdoor snow stage, a heated igloo, family-friendly activities, Bites & Brews, and a whole lot more! This two-week event will sell out and is a great way to beat the winter doldrums while enjoying the best of winter in Maine.

Winterfest

Back in a new hybrid format this year, Winterfest will be a week-long, starting February 27th and running until March 6th. It will culminate with an outdoor event set up in Westbrook‘s Riverbank Park, with other events taking place around downtown.

This will be another fantastic opportunity to get outside and be part of the community this winter while supporting the many great local businesses on Westbrook’s Main Street and beyond.

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you should shut yourself inside. Instead, embrace it! Before you know it, spring will be here!

Need more ideas of how to keep busy this season? Contact Visit Portland to make the most of winter!