What to do with a preschooler in Brunswick, Maine
June 11, 2012 7:36 AM   Subscribe

What should my preschooler and I do in and around Brunswick, Maine?

My just about 3 year old and I are going to be in Brunswick, Maine for the the next week.
We're looking for things to do within a reasonable distance. About 2 hours driving is the max, but we'd go farther for something really cool.

We went to Popham Beach, which was fun. Any other beaches we should try?
I see there is an aquarium not too far away, is it worth visiting?

Good playgrounds in Brunswick or adjoining towns?
Festivals? Museums? Factory Tours?

Also, if you've got a secret custard stand/ice cream place/lobster shack/etc, it'd be appreciated.
posted by madajb to Travel & Transportation around Brunswick, ME (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Red's in wiscasset. Really good lobster rolls and crab cakes. We stop there whenever we are driving between portland and bar harbor. showing about twenty miles from brunswick. Outdoor seating only, fyi.
posted by supercapitalist at 7:48 AM on June 11, 2012

Portland has an inexpensive Children's Museum for a rainy day.

And Sebago Lake is one of my absolute favorite destinations when I'm in my home state.
posted by zizzle at 8:05 AM on June 11, 2012

Growing up I loved the Boothbay Railway Village, which is about 40 minutes away from Brunswick. Portland has a great children's museum. Mainely Custard (cash only) can be found on Rt. 1 in Freeport, which is just next to Brunswick. Day's Crabmeat and Lobster in Yarmouth (just south of Freeport) is also on Rt. 1 and has relatively reasonably priced and delicious fried seafood and lobster.
posted by TheCavorter at 8:09 AM on June 11, 2012

Gelato Fiasco on Maine St.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:35 AM on June 11, 2012

Seconding the Boothbay Railway Village, and while you're in the neighborhood The Maine State Aquarium would be fun for a 3 year old. I'd avoid Red's (unless you like standing in line) and go to Coon's Grill on Rt. 27 for your lobster roll needs.
posted by Floydd at 8:53 AM on June 11, 2012

The Gurnet Trading Post is very close to town on Rt. 24 and is your classic cute roadside seafood place that will cook you up some very fresh seafood. Good lobster rolls, good everything. You could also go further down and eat at Cooks or visit Land's End which is a point and gift shop at the end of Bailey Island. Also on Bailey Island is the very picturesque Mackerel Cove and a natural feature called the Giants' Steps.

Also right in town is the Seadog which is a damn nice place to drink a pint, eat a pub burger, and watch the river go by.
posted by ftm at 9:11 AM on June 11, 2012

Maine Eastern Railroad. Brunswick just happens to be one of it's terminals. And for future reference, this November Brunswick will also get Amtrak service to Boston.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:28 AM on June 11, 2012

Wolfe's Neck Farm in Freeport- a lovely, non-profit salt water farm with cows, chickens, goats, sheep. Free, open dawn - dusk, and you can wander the barn and the trails. About 15 minutes from Brunswick.

Hike Bradbury Mountain in Pownal. About a 10 minute climb for an adult, with a nice rock face with a view at the top. And there is a playground too. It's about 1/2 an hour drive (through Freeport).

Pineland Farm in New Gloucester - more formal barn visits than Wolfe's Neck, plus a farm store and lots of trails (look at the website for programs). If you have a YMCA membership, the Y there has a little candlepin bowling alley that is great for little kids on rainy days.

Visit the fish (inside the store) and the giant boot (outside) at LL Bean in Freeport.

Children's museum in Portland is perfect for that age.

Most of the best playgrounds are at the local elementary schools. If you go to LL Bean, the elementary school is behind it. School is still in session this week here.

Winslow Park in Freeport has a small ocean beach (mudflats at low tide so go at high) plus a great playground with a pirate ship. It's a favorite for young families (we were there yesterday!).

I agree with other posters that you can get good lobster rolls anywhere, and standing in line at Red's isn't worth it with a 3 year old.

The aquarium in Boothbay is very small (one room). The Coastal Botannical Gardens in Boothbay are beautiful and have a children's section based on Maine stories.
posted by Sukey Says at 11:05 AM on June 11, 2012

Seconding the Boothbay Railway Village

Looks like great fun, unfortunately only open on weekends (as is the train to the coast)

We did go out to the aquarium today. Wasn't crowded, so got a lot of touching tank time with a very friendly staffer.

There was no line at Red's when we went by, so we swung in. Unfortunately, I'm discovering that credit card technology has apparently not made it all the way up to Maine, so we were short cash for a lobster roll. ($18!).
Nice people though, so we had a cone.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, keep them coming.
posted by madajb at 2:06 PM on June 11, 2012

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