Greater Portland & Casco Bay offer vacation activites, indoors and outdoors
Night time campfires with marshmallows and chocolate are too few and far between. We want more s’mores! One solution has arrived in Portland: the Marshamallow Cart , a food truck operated by two guys who vowed to bring s’mores to the streets. The cart serves basic and enhanced (raspberry, cocoanut, toasted almond) s’mores, Belgian waffles, cereals and trail mix. Usually, the cart resides at Post Office Park in the Old Port neighborhood on weekdays and at the Hyatt Palace on Fore Street on weekends. But this is a mobile pleasure dispenser; you can find today’s location by clicking on a handy, updated map.
The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Hubbard Hall at Bowdoin College, 9500 College Station in Brunswick is built around historic objects donated by Donald B. MacMillan during his long career as an Arctic explorer. The museum offers insights and artifacts from the expedition of daring men into the forbidding terrain of the Arctic. Exhibits include Robert E. Peary and His Northern World, Through the Lens: Arctic Biodiversity, and art works of native Inuit people. Guests who come for tours can try on Inuit snow goggles, try a bow-drill, feel various furs, and hold a walrus tusk! Tours can be customized to focus on Arctic exploration, the environment, or Native peoples. Open daily except Mondays. Phone: 207-725-3416.
Some observers of American life declare that the existence of a lot of craft breweries is a sign of a city’s soulfulness and creativity. Or maybe it just means you can find a lot of places to whet your beer-tasting curiosity. In any case, the Maine Brew Bus based at 111 Commercial Street in Portland scheduled and private tours of breweries in Portland and southern Maine. The tours give you a behind-the-scenes look at Maine's craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more. Tours are led by knowledgeable guides and a non-drinking driver. All tours include a snack or meal and trivia games. Sign up for alluring experiences like: Casco Fiasco, Beast of the yEast, Southern Crawl, Suds and Spirits or Beerunch! 207-200-9111.
Down Portland has the cure for weary senses, starting with the feet. Not kidding. Soakology at 511 Congress Street is a mixture of spa, teahouse, and bubble to relaxation. The foot sanctuary spa, where an astonishingly comforting foot rub is the central feature, is a communal environment frequented by people alone or with friends. Herbs, florals, and essential oils come together for a rejuvenating foot soak. Before of after, visit the teahouse to tea and light fare like salads, crostini, cheeses, fruit, smoothies, and chocolate, Tea and food can be served to you in the foot sanctuary spa. Come in frazzled or just in need of a bit of pampering; leave on a cloud of good feelings from top to toe. Open daily. 207-879-7625
Location on the Maine Wharf at 68 Commercial Street in Portland, with 15,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Portland Science Center is a place of wonder and discovery in the natural world for kids and adults. In winter 2016-17, visitors can gets their pants scared off of them at the exhibit Dinosaurs Unearthed, with more than a dozen animatronic dinosaurs that roar and rumble. The exhibition features full-sized skeletons, fossils, an excavation site, and activities to unleash every visitor’s inner paleontologist. It's like shark week, but bigger. 207-812-3850
The important and equally delightful Portland Museum of Art at 7 Congress Square in Portland celebrates three centuries of art and architecture through paintings, sculpture, photography, glass and ceramics, furniture, and much more. The museum particularly celebrates Maine artists, include Winslow Homer, whose studio at nearby Prouts Neck is an adjunct to the museum and accessible via museum tours, except in winter. The museum offer the works of Frederic Edwin Church, Rockwell Kent, Louise Nevelson, John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, and Marguerite Zorach. European art is represented by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, René Magritte, Claude Monet, and more. The museum store is a shopper’s gold mine. Open year-round. Phone: 207-775-6148.
The Portland Flea-for-All at 585 Congress Street in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland is a marketplace offering vintage, antique and artisan goods ranging from classic jewelry to old records and much more in between. Whether or not you have a special item in mind, chances are you’ll find something at the Flea. The Flea has reaped lots of admiring chatter in collection and decorating circles for its broad scope and welcoming attitude. Got something to sell? Drop in! Open Fridays through Sundays. 207-370-7570.
Maine Escape Games in South Portland offers four rooms of interactive entertainment where you and your group must solve puzzles and games in the room in order to get out. Discover clues, build teamwork, and have fun as you spend one hour or less playing detective. This Maine location has three rooms with different themes: “The Maine” room, where the lighthouse keeper has gone missing and you must learn to run the light; “The Estate” room, where the mansion has been robbed and you must find a piece of valuable artwork and the thieves; and the “Escape Your Fears” room, with the highest difficulty level, where a madman has locked your team in his basement. Recommended for adults; kids under 18 must have a waiver. Phone: 207-274-6007
Many art museums have welcomed Pokémon Go to attract visitors, and now the Portland Museum of Art has created a web-based art collecting game inspired by Pokémon Go. Instead of capturing Wartortles, Kakunas, and Vileplumes, players can amass an art collection of Homers, Renoirs, and Wyeths with real rewards. PMA Go uses images of artworks and pairs them with locations throughout Portland, along with lighthearted tidbits of info about each work. As players amass their art collection by “catching” great works of art around town, they receive real world rewards from the museum, including free admission and free PMA films tickets. If you find all 18 works, a free copy of The Collection: Highlights From The Portland Museum of Art is yours.