Vacation season is almost upon us. Family vacations are such a great way to grow together, to share experiences, to have fun and adventures, and enjoy each other’s company. So as you sort through your vacation plans, you want to know about family-friendly activities in Camden and Rockport. That way everyone will have something they enjoy, you’ll all have activities to look forward to, and you can look forward to the memories you’ll create together.
Camden and Rockport, Maine, located in the heart of mid-coast Maine, are excellent places for families to explore together. Many of the best things to do in Camden and Rockport for families can be found near the coast, with more options inland.
Best Things to Do in Camden and Rockport for Families
Camden Harbor Park
Camden Harbor Park and Amphitheater is located right off of Highway 1 on the Camden Harbor. Each year, Camden Harbor Park hosts countless picnics, festivals, concerts, and so much more. The Camden Harbor Park is on the National Historic Registry based on its unique designs dating back to the 1930s. And of course, you can enjoy a beautiful, panoramic view of the Camden Harbor.
Here’s some aerial footage of Camden Harbor including the park.
Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is home to hiking trails and picnic areas and is the perfect place for families to spend the day. Choose a hiking trail that fits your skill level and your desired time on the trail. You can even hike or drive to the top of Mount Battie, and experience first hand the thrill and the sheer beauty of where the mountains meet the sea in midcoast Maine.
Mount Battie is the crown on the brow of the Camden Hills State Park. While one can choose to drive to the top of Mount Battie, it is also possible to hike to the summit. The trail is rated moderate because of its rise in elevation and is a 1.5-mile loop. While on the trail, you will experience amazing views of wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife. Once you have reached the peak, you’ll enjoy excellent views of Penobscot Bay, the many area islands, and on a clear day, be able to catch the Cadillac Mountains at Acadia National Park.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is an excellent day trip from the Camden area. This National Park is home of the Cadillac Mountains and the highest rocky headlands on the East Coast. 7 of the peaks are over 1000 feet. Your family can enjoy any of the 158 miles worth of trails or 45 miles worth of carriage roads. If you and your family travel regularly to National Parks, or if this is your first time, be sure to check out the National Parks Passport. Designed specifically for children, this passport helps your children to get more out of each National Park visit.
Project Puffin Visitor Center
The Project Puffin Visitor Center celebrates the success of Project Puffin – the success of bringing back puffins and many other native seabirds back to the Maine coast. Visitors can check in on all of the amazing and rare birds via a video system in many different kinds of habitats. Visitors will find many fun, educational, and interactive exhibits.
Penobscot Bay is an inlet which leads from the Maine coast to the Penobscot River. Besides offering beautiful, panoramic views of the waterfront and midcoast Maine life, you can enjoy watching fisheries operate. Rockland, Rockport, and Stonington are all located on Penobscot Bay. And there are many islands located within the bay waters, including the Island of North Haven.
North Haven Island
North Haven Island is one of only 14 unbridged islands in Maine. The island is accessible year-round by ferry for inhabitants and tourists alike. North Haven boasts a close-knit population of around 300 people. The family fun begins on the ferry ride and includes beaches, restaurants, theater, and art shows.
Merryspring Nature Center
Merryspring Nature Center is a 66-acre park open to visitors from sunrise to sunset each and every day. Merryspring boasts many trails, including an interpretive trail, a vernal pool, arboretum, and an American chestnut planting. This is also a great place for birding – especially during the spring migration.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the biggest botanical gardens in New England – and one of the few botanical gardens in New England located on the coast. This makes it perfect for taking in the beautiful gardens, walking the paths, breathing in the fresh sea air, and for capturing great photos. Your kids will love getting up close and personal with the variety of flora and fauna and you’ll love the picture-perfect memories that you capture while they’re at it.
Camden Snow Bowl
Camden Snow Bowl is a community-owned ski resort and outdoor recreation area. It is the only ski resort that can boast ocean views. Hop on the ski lifts to get to the top of the slopes, where you can choose from a variety of skill level trails to go down. New to skiing? Be sure to sign up for a class and learn! Each February, Camden Snow Bowl hosts the US National Toboggan Championship. And when there’s no snow, the Camden Snow Bowl offers hiking, camps, tennis courts, and more.
Watch the toboggan shoot during the national championship:
Camden Harbor Cruises
Camden Harbor Cruises offers on-the-water experiences for different kinds of seafaring explorers. Morning cruises are perfect for children. Children will love exploring the boat with the ship’s crew, and even check lobster traps in a totally kid-friendly environment. During eco-tours, guests travel to a remote seal habitat and enjoy splendid wildlife like eagles, porpoises, seals, and various fish. Spend a little time on the water with your family and it’s sure to be a memory everyone will treasure.
Laite Memorial Beach
Laite Memorial Beach is located in Camden and is the picture-perfect beach for swimming – if you don’t mind the chilly Atlantic waters – kayaking or paddleboarding, or simply for strolling while you search for shells and beach glass. There is something for everyone at Laite Memorial Beach. You can enjoy watching the tide rolling in and out.
Walker Park is a small, saltwater area which is the home of picnic areas, fire pits, and a playground. When the tide goes out, this is the perfect place to look for seashells and other sea treasures. Because this smaller, saltwater area is less frequented by visitors, it is a great place for families who prefer things a little more on the quieter side.
Shirttail Beach is an off-the-beaten-path freshwater swimming area. This swimming area is especially excellent for small children and families because the water is shallow for a long way with a very soft and sandy bottom. In addition to swimming, this is the perfect place to launch kayaks or canoes because of the depth of the launch and because of the deep, slow water of the river above the Seabright Dam.
Barrett’s Cove Megunticook Lake
Barrett’s Cove Megunticook Lake is a true hidden treasure of Camden. Barrett’s is popular with locals and much less known in the tourist crowd. This is a freshwater area and is perfect for a swim. You’ll also be able to take in the beautiful views on the west side of the Camden Hills State Park. To make this even more family-friendly, there are grassy picnic areas, a playground, and a rock wall.
Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe
Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe offers the perfect blend of modern and classic candies. Lollipops, jelly beans, and gumballs. “Penny” candies, novelties, and licorice. Plus house-made fudge and chocolates. It’s like spending some time in an old-fashioned candy store, and what kid – or kid-at-heart – wouldn’t love that?
Glen Cove Beach
Glen Cove Beach can be found at the Glen Cove Rest Area, located right off of Highway 1, which traverses the state of Maine along the coast. With saltwater swimming access, you can also explore mudflats during the low tide. There are also picnic areas and barbecues. This is a perfect stop-off while you’re exploring the Maine coastline.
Aldemere Farms is home to the famous “Oreo” cows – belted Galloway cows that look to some people, like Oreo cookies. Not only can you visit the cows, but you can explore the farm, learn more about cows and the area, and pick up some delicious, home-grown beef.
Maine Lobster Festival
Maine Lobster Festival is the home to fabulous lobster dinners, carnival rides, and more. This 5-day festival is perfect for families. It celebrates the heritage and history of Maine and lobster fishermen.
Camden Windjammer Festival
Camden Windjammer Festival is a ready-made. family-friendly event. There’s a team-based treasure hunt, mini boats, and you can even watch a schooner fleet in the water. You can close out summer on this Labor Day weekend festival with food, live entertainment, and lots of fun.
Festival of Lights
Rockland Festival of Lights is how Rocklanders welcome the Christmas season. Santa arrives via US Coast Guard vessels. Horse-drawn carriage rides, and a festival of trees auction, this festival rings in the holiday season in style.
Christmas by the Sea
Christmas by the Sea is a 3-day wintertime festival full of shopping carols, a live nativity, and more. The parade is a must-see as well.
Maine Lighthouse Museum
The Maine Lighthouse Museum is full of maritime and Coast Guard history told through various stories and collections, including life-saving devices.
Farnsworth Art Museum
Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates American artists, focusing especially on artists from Maine. Rockland is already growing in popularity as an artist destination and the Farnsworth Art Museum adds to the art culture. It has both museum-curated collections and visiting exhibits.
Coastal Children’s Museum
The Coastal Children’s Museum features 21 hands-on exhibits, perfect for sparking kids’ imaginations, helping them grow in motor development and most importantly, to have a lot of fun! A recent guest had this to say: “We had a blast here. My son loved playing and there were so many different activities for him to do. His favorite was the velcro ball wall.”
Owl’s Head Transportation Museum
Owl’s Head Transportation Museum is the best place to explore modes of transportation from the pre-1940s. You’ll find airplanes, ground vehicles, engines, as well as related technology. Your gear heads, history lovers, or lovers of outside of the box museums will love the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum.
The Henry Knox Museum transports visitors from present day and drops them back in the revolutionary era. Visitors will catch a glimpse of the goings-on surrounding the action-packed and history-making time surrounding the revolution.
Family-Friendly Hotel in Camden & Rockport, Maine
A family-friendly vacation awaits you on midcoast Maine. From festivals, museums, and even a specialty candy shop, there’s something for everyone in your family to enjoy when you visit. So you’ll definitely want a family-friendly hotel in Camden, Maine. The Country Inn of Camden/Rockport is an excellent, family-friendly hotel.
With 36 rooms in the main house, which are open year-round, and 11 seasonal cottages, as well as pet-friendly rooms, you’ll find the perfect fit for your family’s needs.
Our sister property, Glen Cove Motel, also includes family-friendly and pet-friendly accommodations just down the road in Rockport, Maine.
A country-style breakfast buffet greets our guests each morning. And there are snacks served each afternoon. With a heated indoor pool. hot tub, workout area, spa services, and other great amenities, everyone in the family will find something to love.