Family Activities

Visit the "Bar" of Bar Harbor
At low tide, kids can immediately see how Bar Harbor got its name—a large sand bar connects downtown Bar Harbor to Bar Island. Children love taking buckets and shovels onto the bar and exploring all the sealife uncovered at low tide. Across the sand bar to Bar Island, a nature trail rises to a summit, offering spectacular views of Mount Desert Island. If you go, don't forget to check the local tide schedule and leave plenty of time to get back before the tide rolls in —it comes fast!

Oceanarium and Lobster Hatchery
This hands-on nature experience lets kids play games as they tour the lobster museum. Propel wind-up boats in the boat tank, explore the water-cycle exhibit, tour the marsh, and visit lobster babies at the hatchery. Kids love to dress up like seals at the educational seal exhibit. Open mid-May to October, 9 am–5 pm (except Sundays). Special group rates available by reservation. 207-288-5005.

National Park Junior Ranger Program
Kids up to 18 can become Junior Rangers. First they complete activities in the Junior Ranger booklet. Then, after joining one or two ranger-led programs or walks and promising to take care of the park, they get their very own Junior Ranger patch. 207-288-3338.

Nature Center and Abbe Museum
The Sieur de Monts Nature Center of Acadia National Park features guidebooks and displays about park wildlife. Children get to record the animals they have seen in the center's logbook. Open daily from mid-June through September.
At the Abbe Museum, a short walk from the Nature Center, children learn about the Wabanaki Nations. Wabanaki people and their ancestors have lived in Pesamkuk, this place we now call Mount Desert Island and Frenchman Bay, for thousands of generations. A variety of hands-on learning and arts activities teaches them about the culture and traditions of the "People of the Dawnland." The Museum's collection includes pottery, bone and stone tools, porcupine jewelry, trade beads, a large birch bark canoe, and a wigwam. 207-288-3519.

Swimming
Children love playing in the salty ocean waves and the beautiful sand at Acadia's Sand Beach. Those preferring calmer, warmer waters may want to visit the freshwater beach at Echo Lake. Both swimming areas have lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Little ones can get their feet wet in the Glen Mary wading pool in downtown Bar Harbor.

Take a Nature Tour
Go by sea to watch seals, dolphins, porpoises, whales, and mysterious underwater creatures on a boat and underwater video tour. Or stay on land to spot bald eagles, ospreys, peregrine falcons, great blue herons, woodpeckers, warblers, and shorebirds on a beginning birdwatcher's tour.

Hiking and Biking
Hiking trails cover Acadia National Park. One, Gorham Mountain, is only 525 feet high, but it offers beautiful ocean views and wild blueberries (in July and August) along the trail. The carriage roads also offer 45 miles of groomed, auto-free roads for you to explore as a family—hiking or biking. Bar Harbor has a number of bike shops that rent everything from mountain bikes to touring models.

Park Street Playground
A favorite place for the young children of Bar Harbor, this playground has swingsets, sandboxes, teeter-totters, and slides. It's just down the street from Glen Mary Wading Pool in downtown Bar Harbor, next to the YMCA.

MDI YMCA
The YMCA keeps kids busy with a gym, track, indoor pool, fitness room, and rec room. Perfect fun for a rainy day. Open year-round, 7 days a week. 207-288-3511.

Miniature Golf
At Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf on Route 3, the legends of infamous pirates come to life. Enter the 18th century and see carousing buccaneers and an authentic, full-scale pirate ship. Putt your way through mountain caves, over footbridges, and under magical waterfalls. 207-288-2133.
THE NATURALIST'S NOTEBOOK
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THE NATURALIST'S NOTEBOOK

Named a Best of New England destination by Yankee magazine in May of 2013 and one of the 50 Things to Do in Maine This Summer by the Bangor Daily News, The Naturalist's Notebook combines nature, science, arts and the frontier of knowledge in fun, engaging installations and activities. The original Notebook exploratorium in Seal Harbor offers three floors of interaction, shopping and learning for all ages. Smaller Naturalist's Notebook Annex spaces have opened on Main St. in Northeast Harbor and (as of Aug. 1) on the town green Bar Harbor. Open 10-5 every day from late June to late October in Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day through late October in Bar Harbor.The Notebook is just a short drive from Bar Harbor or Northeast Harbor. It's a great rainy-day (or sunny day) place for families or anyone who's even slightly curious about the world and the universe.

OLI'S TROLLEY- ACADIA ISLAND TOURS
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OLI'S TROLLEY- ACADIA ISLAND TOURS

Our fully narrated tours of Bar Harbor and Acadia national Park are a fun, relaxing way to discover the unique treasures of our area. Enjoy our friendly guides’ knowledge and flair for storytelling while you journey past historic landmarks and fantastic scenery. For new visitors and returning guests alike, Oli’s Trolley offers an unforgettable way to explore Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Join us to see why guests say it’s the best tour they have ever taken! For tickets and information visit www.olistrolley.com, call 207 288 9899 or visit us in person at Olis Trolley Gift Shop, 1 West Street Bar Harbor Maine.

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COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC'S FAMILY NATURE CAMP

Ranked among the top-five family camps in the U.S. by Good Morning America and Family Fun Magazine, College of the Atlantic's week-long Family Nature Camp is the in one of the most beautiful vacation spots in America. Most suitable for children 5 years and older traveling with their parentsvacation you and your family will talk about for years to come. Under the guidance of experienced naturalists, you will delight in the wonder and adventure of the outdoors as you sight humpbacks and seals on your whale watch and nature cruises, hold sea creatures on the Starfish Enterprise, dip your hand in warm tide pools, hike the trails of Acadia National Park, be amazed by arthropods, put together the bones of a Minke Whale, and delight in the tales of the Bug Man." You will share all this and more with other families who will become your life-long friends

OCEANARIUM & LOBSTER HATCHERY
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OCEANARIUM & LOBSTER HATCHERY

Enjoy an up-close experience with marine life. At the oceanarium at 1351 Route 3 take a guided tour of a salt marsh and the Maine Lobster Museum. At the working lobster hatchery we take you on a fascinating tour to see mother lobsters & baby lobsters & the hatchery process. We also feature a hands on Discovery Pool with lots of local sea life to learn about, have fun and get wet! Group discounts and tours.

AMBROSIA COOKING SCHOOL
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AMBROSIA COOKING SCHOOL

Sharon Joyce is a trainer/educator/chef and studied in Advanced French Cooking and French Pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. In 1981 she opened and operated a catering business and cooking school in Chicago and the Virgin Islands. She has taught various cooking classes including French, American and Cruzan in such locations as Chicago, Bar Harbor, California, and Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. She was fascinated by Maine cooking and the abundance of local foods when she moved to Bar Harbor 25 years ago. The regional cooking of Maine brings together history and the availability of foods. Too much great Maine food to try and not enough time? The Regional Cooking of Maine . Le Cordon Bleu trained chef will explain history and foods of Maine. You will learn history, food facts, techniques and traditional recipes while tasting such favorites as lobster, blueberry muffins, etc. 2 ë_ hr Chowder and Popovers, please ! The meal that Mainers ask for and savor. Learn the Maine historical tradition of chowders and the technique to be successful at making a varieties of perfect popovers. After tasting the Corn chowder and popovers made during the class, you will want to duplicate these recipes at home. 2 1/2 hr. CALL OR EMAIL FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION AND INSURE A SPACE 207-288-4523 email at info@ambrosiacookingschool.com

WOODLAWN MUSEUM, GARDENS & PARK
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WOODLAWN MUSEUM, GARDENS & PARK

Woodlawn is a 180-acre historic estate located a quarter mile from downtown Ellsworth, Maine.  Once home to three generations of the Black family, it is now treasured for its historic house museum, its gardens, and its public park.  Visitors can explore a superb historic house, stroll through beautiful gardens, play croquet, hike on pristine trails, and much more.

DIVER ED'S DIVE-IN THEATER
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DIVER ED'S DIVE-IN THEATER

Come aboard The Starfish Enterprise and watch live underwater footage as Diver Ed searches the bottom of Frenchman Bay for fascinating critters. Then roll up your sleeves and get ready to touch starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and whatever else he can fit into his catchbag to bring up to the boat! Diver Ed makes this vacation adventure entertaining as well as educational! Trips run from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. 

HARBOR HOUSE COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER
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HARBOR HOUSE COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER

Harbor House is a community house. We pull together to serve young, old and in-between -- and we take pride in and draw sustenance from our solidarity and commitment to bringing the joys of Mount Desert Island life to everyone. Every Harbor House program and activity springs from our common ideas, ideals and individual contributions. Boys and girls, young and old, Harbor House welcomes all. With six key program areas and a roster of more than 60 health, fitness, educational, sports, community-based and youth-focused classes and activities, Harbor House serves every age group and every economic level -- and, has done so for forty-three years and counting.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
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ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

The First Eastern National Park

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PIRATE'S COVE ADVENTURE GOLF

Adventure Golf-There's really no adventure like Pirate's Cove! Come test your skills on 36 challenging holes and explore the wonderful hideout of Pirates! At Pirate's Cove you putt your way through mountain caves, over foot bridges and under waterfalls. Located just 4 miles from downtown Bar Harbor on Rt. 3. Senior and group rates available upon request. Open mid April-mid Oct. 9am-11pm.

ISLAND CRUISES
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ISLAND CRUISES

One of the most treasured experiences of coastal Maine. Island Cruises operates out of Bass Harbor on the Southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park.  We are a family owned business offering our exclusive Lunch Cruise to the island fishing village of Frenchboro, possibly the most iconic location on the entire coast of Maine.  We also offer an afternoon Nature Cruise, narrated by the owner and Captain, which the editors of Yankee Magazine said was the best island tour in all of New England. Genuine, personal and family friendly.

RED CLOAK HAUNTED HISTORY TOURS
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RED CLOAK HAUNTED HISTORY TOURS

An evening lantern lit tour of historic Bar Harbor. Come with us to find some of the mysteries behind the history! As Maine's largest walking tour company and in business over 11 years, we would love to share our expertise with you and your family. The Bar Harbor of yesteryear will come alive as we blend colorful history with real stories! Tickets are available online or by phone. We are open 7 nights a week, May - October, for your spooky pleasure! Daytime tours by request.

ARTWAVES MDI
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ARTWAVES MDI

 

At ArtWaves, we connect the community with art. A simple concept with boundless opportunity.  Art for everyone and in multiple forms.  Children, high schoolers, summer visitors, seasonal workers, year-round professionals. Working and emerging artists.  Drawing, painting, sculpting, printing, dancing.

We offer a wide array of classes and workshops for the beginner, intermediate, advanced and curious artists in our community.  

  • Drop-in for Figure Drawing

  • Spend an evening Sipping and Printing (21+)

  • Try your hand at Sculpting or painting – Plein Air, oil, watercolor, charcoal

  • Take a class or attend a workshop in monoprinting, fiber arts, stained glass

  • Bring your little ones to Art for Those Under Three

  • Send your older kids to get an art studio experience with artists working in a variety of media

  • Come for a swing or salsa lesson

Art is for everyone and that includes you!

Check us out at ArtWavesmdi.org 

Our campus is located in Town Hill.  We have four studios including a dance studio and beautiful grounds. Parking lot is available between the dentist office and ArtWaves.

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND YMCA
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MOUNT DESERT ISLAND YMCA

The Mission of the Mount Desert Island YMCA is to develop community, character, personal growth; and wellness in spirit, mind, and body for the greater MDI community. 

Our values of Respect, Responsibility, Caring, and Honesty are celebrated by staff and members, providing a positive foundation for all Y programs and a healthy connection with others.

The Mount Desert Island YMCA is a nonprofit, charitable organization that servces the greater MDI community. Donations and fees help support our promise--to strive to keep programs open for all.

We work to help strengthen the foundation of the Mount Desert Island communities. 

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DOWN EAST NATURE TOURS

Personalized bird watching and nature tours for individuals, couples, families and small groups. Bicycle, hiking and cross-country ski tours; 1/2 day & full day, camping and more. We help you discover the flora and fauna of Mt. Desert Island and Down East Maine with special emphasis on native birds. Bald Eagles, Osprey, Shore-birds, Warblers. A truly unique and enjoyable learning experience.

SCHOODIC FERRY
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SCHOODIC FERRY

Uncrowded. Unspoiled. Unexpected.
Let the Schoodic Ferry introduce you to the undiscovered Acadia.



Transporting passengers, their bicycles and their leashed pets between College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and the Schoodic Marine Center in Winter Harbor daily. Bicycles and leashed pets rides free. Hosting marine scientists aboard most trips.

BAR HARBOR GHOST TOURS
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BAR HARBOR GHOST TOURS

Look for the BLUE LANTERN

The only ghost tour to have Exclusive Nighttime Access to The 1932 Criterion Theatre

Hauntings, History, & Culture - We know what follows you in the forests of Acadia and scratches on your windows at night while you try to sleep.  Our historically dressed tour guides delight in bringing you ancient tales of Wabanaki Indian spirits and terrible curses as well as other frightful and historic hauntings about town. Join Bar Harbor's original ghost tour for a spirited evening and hear tales no one else will tell. Tours operate nightly, May 1st- October 30th. Reservations are required

Tickets can be purchased online at www.barharborghosttours.com or at the Abbe Museum Gift Shop (open daily 10-5 at 26 Mount Desert Street)  Check out the Snack & Scare Package and add a little bite to your fright!

YOGA IN YOUR PARK
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YOGA IN YOUR PARK

When Your Yoga practice is wild, you set yourself free. From June 1st - September 7th, come experience deep peace, vibrant joy, and radiant interconnectedness through twice daily outdoor yoga classes (8-9 am and 6-7 pm / 4-6 pm for Saturday Yoga Hikes). We offer new and full moon classes too! 9-10:15 pm on Cadillac and Wonderland. 
 
Our classes some of Acadia's most beautiful locations including but not limited to Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, Echo Lake and Jordan Pond. 
 
Kids classes, workshops and more! 
 
See you soon!
 
"There are moments in one’s life that appear at first to be a bit unplanned, spontaneous, where one is pulled to something quite out of the ordinary and out of one’s comfort zone. Yet days, sometimes months, even years later, one finds that moment to be a transformational point in one’s life. A few summers ago I had traveled across the country to visit some dear relatives who had been vacationing in Maine. At that point I had been newer in my yoga practice, was a bit shy and even a bit self-conscious, yet I was drawn to try a class that I had seen advertised about a sunset yoga class on top of Cadillac Mountain. That decision to take that class was a pivotal point in my life, 
watching the sunset as I practiced yoga atop a beautiful mountain in one of our nation’s magnificent national parks changed my life’s path forever."

Additional Resources

AURORA VAULTERS

397 Douglas Highway
Lamoine, ME 04605
207.266.3791

BAR HARBOR MUSIC FESTIVAL

59 Cottage St., Rodick Bldg.
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(212) 222-1026

BAR HARBOR TOWN BAND

Village Green Gazebo
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

CAMP BEECH CLIFF

264 Beech Hill Road
Mount Desert, ME 04660
(207) 244-0365

COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDENS

Barters Island Road
Boothbay, ME 04537
(207) 633-4333

CRITERION THEATRE

35 Cottage Street
Bar Harbor , ME 04609
207-288-0829

DOWNEAST SCENIC RAILROAD

8 Railroad Siding Road
Hancock, ME 04640
(866) 449-RAIL (7245)

GUITAR INTENSIVES AND SAMBA MEETS JAZZ WORKSHOPS

105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
781-626-2256

IMPROVACADIA

15 Cottage Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
288-2503

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND MARATHON

1369 State Highway 102
Suite #1
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(207) 288-9828

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND SKATEPARK ASSOCIATION


Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(207) 288-3541

REEL PIZZA CINERAMA

33 Kennebec Place
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(207) 288-3828

THE SELLAM CIRCUS SCHOOL - SUMMER DAY CAMP PROGRAMS

105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, ME
207.502.2589