It was bound to happen eventually: You’re here on vacation, or just trying to enjoy some of Maine’s all-too-brief summer, and instead of beautiful blue skies and beach days you’re faced with pouring rain and no sun in sight.
The kids are bored, trapped indoors, and you simply don’t know where to turn. Fear not! While the weather outside may be frightful, there are plenty of kid-friendly indoor options that are simply delightful:
1) Take a drive. Pile everyone into the car and take in some of the sights. The area is still beautiful in the rain, and some attractions are easily seen from the window of a car. Drive down Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport and you’ll see Walker’s Point, the summer home of the Bush family. Or check out the gorgeous sea captains’ homes on Summer Street, where you’ll also find the Wedding Cake House, the most photographed house in Maine.
2) Do some shopping. Grab an umbrella and head out to explore some of the wonderful shops the region has to offer. Kennebunk’s Main Street has several shops, such as perennial favorites Marlows and Kennebunk Toy Co., to tempt you, or head down to Dock Square for retro toys at Daytrip Junior. Kids are sure to love Poofberry’s in Lower Village, Kennebunk, where they’ll find games and puzzles to brighten even the gloomiest day.
3) Take a tour. Take a guided trolley tour around the area or a tour in a very cool seven-passenger golf cart. You’ll learn something new AND see the sights – all while staying dry!
5) Grab something sweet! We’ve got plenty of yummy treats in the area. Grab some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s at 5 Union Street in Kennebunkport. Rococo Artisan Ice Cream offers cool flavors like goat cheese or chocolate sea salt and can be found at 6 Spring Street.
6) History museums may not sound like much fun to kids, but Kennebunk’s Brick Store Museum has some pretty cool exhibits that offer a glimpse into the region’s past, including its shipbuilding history. The museum also offers a for-kids/by-kids audio tour that’s accessible via cell phone. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday and offers a $20 family admission.
7) Get artsy! River Tree Center for the Arts offers dozens of classes and events each week.
8) Sometimes, the best way to while away a rainy day is with a good book or two. Toy stores Poofberry’s and Kennebunk Toy Co. carry books, as do many shops in our towns. In keeping with the Maine theme, younger children will enjoy Robert McCloskey’s “Blueberries for Sal” and its companion book, “One Morning in Maine.” “Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is also wonderful, as are “The Circus Ship” by Chris Van Dusen and anything illustrated by local artist Wade Zahares. Older kids will enjoy “Lost on a Mountain in Maine,” a classic by Donn Fendler.
9) Plan a culinary adventure. While nothing beats eating outdoors in Maine in the summer, there’s no reason you can’t experience the region’s fabulous food on dreary days. For kid-friendly fare, ask for a seat near the window overlooking the river and enjoy a meal at Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk’s Lower Village, where the kids’ menu features such items as corn dogs, washed down with Parrot Punch. Interested in checking out the local seafood? Grab a lobster roll and cup of delish chowder at Alisson’s in Dock Square. Try Duffy’s in Kennebunk for chicken nuggets, pizza, mac and cheese and more, with puzzles and kids’ activities right on the menu to keeps kids happy.
10) The Kennebunk Free Library and Louis T. Graves Public Library are wonderful rain or shine, but they are particularly cozy places to be when it’s miserable outside. You will find everything from summer storytime to storytime yoga to drop-in gaming afternoons, crafts and movies.