Full Day of Family Fun in Greater Portland, Maine

Full Day of Family Fun in Greater Portland, Maine

24 Hour Family-Friendly Vacation Itinerary

things to do in this spring and summer in greater Portland with kids

Get everyone together for a family trip to Vacationland. Our vibrant region offers something for every age—from curious toddlers to energetic teens. Dive into interactive museums, scenic parks, and historic landmarks, all designed to create core memories. Test out this 24 hour itinerary for a full day of family fun across Greater Portland.

Kids Playing on Spring Point Lighthouse Pathway, Photo Credit: Chris Lawrence

Photo Credits (clockwise from top): Chris Lawrence, Rocky Bottom Tours, CFW Photography, Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine

Early Start + Breakfast in Portland

Higgins Beach Inn Breakfast, Photo Credit: Serena Folding
Higgins Beach Inn Breakfast, Photo Credit: Serena Folding

Arrive in the region easily by car, bus, train, or plane. Portland is centrally-located just 2 hours from Boston and 4 from New York. Our Portland International Jetport serves-up direct flights to most major cities. Starting in 2024, The jetport added four nonstop destinations from Portland last year, including year-round service to Charleston, SC and Tampa, FL, and seasonal summer service to Norfolk, VA and Pittsburgh, PA. 

Once you’ve settled into your accommodations, start your day with the fam over a hearty breakfast at one of Greater Portland’s local diners or breakfast hot spots. Early morning dining with kid-friendly faves and inclusive menu items are around every corner. 

Find a cozy spot on the water at Porthole, home to Portland’s largest waterfront deck, and find a welcoming atmosphere for all ages, setting the stage for a day filled with fun and exploration.

Porthole Restaurant & Pub

Casual waterfront dining and the freshest local seafood and house made breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Try Becky’s Diner on the waterfront for diner classics and locals favorites. Dine alongside the fishers and lobsterers for a delicious and casual meal. 

Becky's Diner

The old-fashioned counter culture is lively, the coffee is strong, and the service is friendly and prompt.

Or how about a stop for a maine potato donut at the renowned Holy Donut. Multiple locations and vibrant atmospheres serving-up iced coffee and savory donuts – like bacon cheddar – for the adults and have a treasure trove of sweat treats for your kiddos to enjoy. Find limited-edition flavors celebrating the best each season has to offer.

The Holy Donut- Commercial St

Use real Maine Potato in all our donuts. We believe donuts can be wholesome and made with healthy ingredients.

Stopover at Eighty 8 donut cafe for hot and fresh mini donuts. The whole family will love taste-testing festive hand-dipped and specialty bites like the Bamm Bamm (fruity pebble topped) or Cookies N Cream. 

The Eighty8 Donut Café

A sweet truck and eatery serving hot and fresh gourmet bite-sized donuts, happily serving outta Portland since 2013.

Most cafes and donut shops also serve-up local-roasted coffee for those in your party who are looking to get their caffeine fix. 

Morning Activities for Young Kids + Teens

Located in the burgeoning Thompson’s Point neighborhood, Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is perfect for young imaginations, packed with interactive exhibits designed to educate and entertain. You’ll find an indoor and outdoor playground for any little ones looking to get some energy out. 

Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

Variety of interactive exhibits & activities for children and families inspiring discovery and imagination.

Check-out marine ecosystems, an observation beehive, a makerspace workshop, and infinite more impressive exhibits scattered across floors of fun. There’s also year-round programming at their very own Maddy’s Theatre.

In the Middle of Downtown Portland you can tuck inside to your own personal plant haven. At Terrarium you can explore the wonders of nature and science with your family. Uncover rare plants. Interact with hands-on terrarium-building, offering fun and learning for older kids and teens interested in building their own ecosystem and watching it thrive.


Urban garden center and hub for DIY terrarium creations, also serving house made soups, local craft beer, wine, coffee and tea.

Another activity for young adults, teens, and tweens coming to the Pine Tree State is X-Golf in Portland. They will be love checking-out the only virtual golf simulator in Portland, Maine. Immersive, interactive screens allow you to learn and improve on your technique. All ages and all ability levels are welcome with guided lessons by PGA pros offering to take your experience up a notch. And for those who may not want to take any swings, there’s a board games, darts, and more to keep your family busy.

X-Golf Portland

Maine’s Premier sports lounge and virtual golf experience. Come play on the world’s most advanced and accurate golf simulator!

Lunch + Afternoon Adventure

When lunchtime rolls around in Greater Portland, Maine, it’s the perfect opportunity to immerse your family in the region’s vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. With a plethora of family-friendly dining options, you’ll find a little something for everyone, from cozy cafes to bustling waterfront eateries.

Or stroll through the charming cobblestone streets on the hunt for a mid-day treat. Discover quaint shops selling gelato, whoopie pies, and local chocolates. Restaurants boast colorful outdoor seating, where families can gather to enjoy delicious meals amidst the lively ambiance.

Located in the Old Port by Bell Buoy Park, Flatbread Pizza provides the ultimate family-friendly environment. This spot offers delicious pizzas with organic and locally sourced ingredients. Your kids – and yourself – will want to try our their iconic Maine root beer floats while you’re there.

Flatbread Company

Enjoy natural pizza baked in a primitive wood fired oven with local organic produce & ingredients made in house.

Outdoor Exploration With The Whole Family

Spring Point and Portland Head Light, Photo Credits: Serena Folding
Spring Point and Portland Head Light, Photo Credits: Serena Folding

In Portland, Maine, families have an abundance of kid-friendly outdoor activities to enjoy. Embark on a thrilling whale watch excursion, where kids can marvel at the sight of majestic whales, seals, porpoises breaching the surface of Casco Bay. Take a guided tour of our landmark lighthouses. Explore iconic lighthouses like Portland Head Light, one of the most photographed in the country. This landmark offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and a glimpse into maritime history – as well as a large amount of greenspace in Fort Williams Park for younger kids to run and play. Older kids can fly a kite or explore the grounds.

For a unique experience, hop aboard the Narrow Gauge Railroad downtown, winding its way through the scenic Eastern Promenade. The train provides a memorable 40 minute adventure for the whole family. During the holidays the train transforms into an annual Polar Express celebration.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company + Museum

Scenic train ride along beautiful Casco Bay. Activities, historic railroad cars & exhibits.

Experience the authentic slice of life of a Maine lobsterman with a hands-on tour that immerses you in the tradition of lobstering. Take the whole crew along to find out firsthand the techniques and tools used to catch these coveted crustaceans. All while gaining insight into the vital role lobstering plays in Maine’s coastal communities. This interactive experience offers a unique opportunity to connect with the sea and appreciate the time-honored practices of Maine’s maritime heritage.

Lucky Catch Cruises

A lobstering excursion for all ages while enjoying close-up views of historic lighthouses, civil war forts, and seals.

Rocky Bottom Tours

A day in the life of a lobsterman from pulling traps and setting traps to examining sea life and selling the catch.

Whether spotting whales, exploring lighthouses, or riding the rails, Portland’s outdoor adventures promise excitement and wonder for children of all ages.

kid-friendly dinners options in maine

Grittys Brewpub Burger, Photo Credit: Capshore Photography
Grittys Brewpub Burger, Photo Credit: Capshore Photography

When it comes to dinner in Greater Portland, Maine, families are spoiled for choice with a plethora of kid-friendly options at casual restaurants scattered throughout the city. From cozy bistros to bustling eateries, there’s something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Bayside Bowl is where family-friendly dining meets entertainment. This multifaceted venue boasts a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city skyline and a taco truck serving up burritos, quesadillas, shrimp tacos, and more. While parents enjoy artisanal cocktails and 3 for $12 tacos, older kids can catch a movie or show on the rooftop. Younger kids will love getting in a round of bowling before the night is out as well.

Bayside Bowl

20 lanes of 10-pin bowling. Excellent food, local brews & craft cocktails. Live music. Memorable spot for your event.

For those seeking a unique dining experience with a side of excitement, look no further than Junction Bowl. This dynamic venue in Gorham (just 20 minutes from Portland) combines virtual gaming, bowling, and delicious cuisine under one roof, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. If you have teens, you may even be able to sneak away to the Sidecar Whiskey bar next door.

Junction Bowl

Junction Bowl is an entertainment hub in Gorham ,Maine with 12 ten-pin bowling and arcade.

Sidecar Pub

Sidecar Pub is a hidden gem tucked away on the 4th floor of Station Square in Gorham Village.

Family-Friendly Evening Fun

Embrace your creative side at Muse Paintbar, where the whole family can participate in guided paint nights. From personalized pet portraits to kid-friendly themes, these sessions offer a chance for artistic expression and bonding in a relaxed setting.

Muse Paintbar

You’ve found the premier paint and sip experience! Follow along with an instructor to turn your blank canvas into a work of art at Muse Paintbar.

From thrilling monster truck rallies to interactive dino exhibits and the excitement of a live taping of The Price Is Right, there’s something to captivate every member of the family at Cross Insurance Arena. With its lively atmosphere and engaging performances, the arena promises an unforgettable evening of fun and excitement for families exploring Portland’s vibrant entertainment scene.

Cross Insurance Arena

The Cross Insurance Arena hosts world-class entertainers and is the home to the ECHL’s Maine Mariners.

Extend Your trip + Start Planning

There is way too much ground to cover to stay for a single night, so make sure to carve out time to explore more of what Maine has to offer. That could mean exploring our area beaches, lighthouses, and charming area towns. Take a trip up to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (under an hour from Portland) to see the Giant Trolls. The gardens offer beautifully landscaped areas and interactive exhibits for the whole family.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Magnificent gardens including the 2-acre children’s Garden, a world-class Sensory Garden, trails, and more.

Old Orchard Beach (20 minutes from Portland) features sandy shores, a lively pier, and an amusement park. Stay at the oceanfront Alouette Resort for a front row seat to the excitement.

Alouette Beach Resort

We have it all, from affordable economy rooms to the best luxury accommodations on Old Orchard Beach.

Whether you’re exploring the coastline or enjoying a beach day, Greater Portland offers countless opportunities for families to create cherished memories. Plan your visit today and discover why this vibrant region is perfect for your next family getaway. Plan your trip today.