Recently Julie and her kids had the opportunity to travel to Portland, Maine with her husband on a work trip. Julie works from home and homeschools, so when her husband is traveling, it’s easy for them to pick up and tag along. On a Thursday, her husband suggested they join and by Sunday they were on their way.
The trip ended up being a disaster.
So, Julie has compiled a list of what not to do in Portland Maine with kids.
- Don’t travel with kids without doing proper planning. Before deciding to go, I did a quick Google search of what to do in Portland Maine with kids. I saw a few things that seemed promising but didn’t go any deeper. Once we got to Portland, I realized two of the museums I’d planned to visit with the kids weren’t opened on Monday and Tuesday, and one needed reservations booked ahead of time.
- Don’t get dinner at Duckfat if you’ve promised your kids burgers for dinner. On our first night in Portland, we had promised their kids burgers for dinner. When we got to Duck Fat, there were no burgers on the menu. After a day in the car, tears ensued. The poutine was a bomb, though (aka mom and dad loved it even if the kids were miserable.) Seriously though, the kids came around after the initial freak out and we had a lovely meal.
- Don’t expect to spend more than 45 minutes at the International Cryptozoology Museum. It was pretty cool, but too much stuff crowded together with little context provided for kids. They zipped right through it. Maybe a guided tour where they told stories about the cryptids would have been better for kids. Also, the only toy in the gift shop cost $50, so f@*k that place.
- Don’t assume Starbucks is open all day. On our final day, after checkout, I wanted to stop in a Starbucks and get a little work done. Unfortunately, Starbucks closed at noon and we had to leave and find a different location with free wifi. Have you ever heard of a Starbucks closing at noon?!? I haven’t
- Don’t attempt to visit the Children’s Museum of Maine without making reservations. Big news flash here. You can not just show up and purchase tickets. Learned this one the hard way. It’s also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. DO go check out the Portland Museum of Art. They were so welcoming and the kids (ages 8 and 9) actually enjoyed it.
- Don’t go in winter. IDK, this one might be a little extreme but if you plan to walk around, it’s not totally easy in the winter. One day, I planned to take her kids to eat lunch outside but it was just too cold. It was also too cold to walk instead of driving from place to place. I’m sure Portland is gorgeous when it is walkable and not well below freezing.
- Don’t let your kids swim in the hotel pool all day. Of course, when we couldn’t find anything else to do, we let the kids swim in the indoor pool all day. And, of course, everyone got sick afterward. Of course!