Your kids are going to love spending their summer in the MidCoast. We are so lucky to be where natural beauty and creative culture collides. Because of the lovely light, how picturesque the lobster boats are bobbing on the water, how tranquil and idyllic are the piney islands in the middle distance, this part of Maine has long attracted painters, sculptors, and other visual artists. At every scenic spot in the summertime you will see an artist with an easel and her paints, trying to capture the way the world looks right then and there. It’s a place that demands you stop and look, and add your own particular perspective to the view. All of Maine is a classroom where the curious spirit can roam, learn, and grow.
If your child has a proclivity for painting, we’ve got a camp for that. If your kid is an explorer of tide pools and maritime phenomenon, we’ve got a program for that. If you want your son or daughter to become a sailer during Maine summers, we can direct you to the best place to learn about ships and navigation. The summer here is magic for the young (and young at heart). Here children can have experiences that don’t exist anymore in other places. They can run wild and be free, they can have adventures, and get bored in the best possible way; they can take advantage of thoughtfully-designed programs and joyful experts who want to share their knowledge and their craft.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite activities for young visitors. We think you’ll find there is something for every kind of kid.
CMCA: ArtLab for all Ages
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art has recently relocated to Rockland and is an incredible boon for this working waterfront town. Not only is the space exquisite, with radical works of art to view, but there is an amazing teaching program for those who wish to participate and create in the bright Art Lab.
Check out the CMCA website for their complete summer schedule.
Farnsworth Art Museum: Magical Landscapes and Ocean Sculpture
If CMCA is the cool younger cousin recently returned from back packing East Asia, the Farnsworth is the dowager aunt with a sharp tongue and a well-curated great room. It is the epicenter of Rockland’s Main Street, with opportunities to learn, dance, and play happening all year round. Learn about classic Maine artists and prepare to be astonished by the old and the new. Is your child the next Wyeth or Hopper?
Learn more about Art Camp at the Farnsworth here.
Herring Gut Learning Center: Summer Camp
Does your child come alive at the ocean? Is her learning language tactile and experiential? Do you want to instill a sense of the importance of our fragile ecosystems? There are many reasons for choosing Herring Gut, but the best one might be the warm and enthusiastic staff who welcome every salty soul into the fold.
Follow this link for the dates and details.
Riley School: Discover Summer
The Riley School campus is a field of green that meets the sea. The students are empowered to each find his own path. It is a place of joy and discovery, and self-discovery. This private school offers a summer camp where elementary aged children can explore musical theater, field science, woodworking, film making, and studio art, among other subjects.
All the information about sessions and registration on their website.
The Apprenticeshop: Summer Youth Sailing
There might not be a prettier sight than sailboats streaming across the Penobscot Bay. Learning to sail instills competence, patience, and confidence. Give your child the gift of the sea and she will always be looking for new horizons. The Apprenticeshop is just plain cool. Located in Rockland, this organization teaches traditional boatbuilding, as well as sailing and other seaworthy subjects. This is a quintessential Maine experience that may be the beginning of everything for your curious, adventurous child.
Class descriptions, financial aid, and registration info are here.
If you’re a family planning to visit Midcoast Maine this summer, there are so many ways to keep the kids entertained and enriched, so you can close your eyes and breathe deeply for a while.