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Portland & Casco Bay beaches, museums, and islands keep families riveted on vacation

There are plenty of ways to keep families and kids entertained on a visit to the Casco Bay region of Maine, including the cities of Portland and Freeport. Children on vacation will love the Children’s Museum of Maine, with four floors of interactive exhibits and special programs every day. Parents and kids can cooperate with a unique mixture art, exercise, and outdoor beauty by hiking the Cliff Walk in nearby Scarborough to the site of artist Winslow Homer’s former studio. Take a picnic. Ferry rides to some of Casco Bay’s island, like Diamond Island Chebeague, are fun and these places a great for walking and picnicking. Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, a bit south of south Portand, will keep kids happy and splashing all day. Then tuck in at an assortment of welcoming hotels

Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine

142 Free Street Portland, ME, 04101 Phone: 207-828-1234

Interactive exhibits at this Museum and theater span four floors, and special programming is offered daily. Features and exhibits include Toddle Park, Tide Pool Touch Tank, a rock climbing wall, the Space Shuttle, and the Music Garden, all great options for family activities on your next vacation or trip to Maine. Programs change frequently. Fun for all ages, but best for children younger than 12. Cost: $6; under age 1, free. Open: Labor Day-Memorial Day, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Memorial Day-Labor Day, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon–5 p.m.; Closed major holidays

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum

58 Fore St. Portland, ME, 04101 Phone: 207- 828-0814

The whole family will enjoy a trip along Portland, Maine’s waterfront in a historic narrow gauge railway coach, a perfect place to go during your next vacation when you are searching for fun family activities. Magnificent views of Portland's working waterfront aboard antique rail cars pulled by steam and diesel locomotives. Discover the unique two-foot gauge trains that linked rural Maine to the rest of the world. The museum is open daily from May 1 to October 31, and seasonally for special events such as the Christmastime Polar Express trains.