Kid-Friendly Rockland, Maine is perfect for families! We have already discovered some really fun and easy activities and eateries to help you feel less stressed by family travel.
One uniquely coastal experience you can easily arrange is a day sail. Read my tips on how to set this up for any length of time that suits your family! From larger ships with regular departures to very small vessels with a personal touch, you can find the best options for you.
The closest beach in Rockland is Sandy Beach. There are nicer beaches both north and south of Rockland, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to pack everyone up and make the trip. Sandy Beach is perfect for those times when you want to go on the spur of the moment or just for a little while. Sandy Beach is a small beach and it’s got a lot of rocks on it. However, you can drive your car right up and park it at the stairs. The kids can entertain themselves for hours in the tide pools and at the water’s edge. Meanwhile, you can send an adult down the path to Archer’s on the Pier and bring back yummy takeout to eat while you observe. There’s even a port-a-potty (because don’t pretend that’s never a worry!). We rely on Sandy Beach when everyone gets a little stir crazy. If you have time to drive a bit out of town, check out our list of other favorite midcoast beaches!
Naturally, walking The Breakwater is a good activity, too. The boys loved the walk, but do be aware that you have to come all the way back and there are no restrooms available! For small children, I’d suggest turning around mid-way. One caution – the Breakwater will not work with a stroller, so bring a carrier if you have a baby with you.
For those early mornings when you shouldn’t have to be up, yet, grab your coffee and walk the kids down to the playground near the post office on Limerock Street. It’s a nice playground with fun equipment, just about a ten minute walk from the house! (Pro Parent Tip: Rock City Coffee is a few blocks away).
For rainy days, you can take the really small ones (perhaps under 7) to the Coastal Children’s Museum, which is a very hands-on play space where you can let your kids loose.
For kids about 5 and up, as well as adults, we really highly recommend a trip to the Owls Head Transportation Museum. We were amazed by this beautiful collection of gorgeously restored airplanes, cars, trains, bikes, and even gypsy caravans! This collection is a true gem, so take advantage of it while you’re in the area.
Another favorite rainy day activity for us is to visit Oakland Park Bowling in Rockport. What you’ll find there is the very kid-friendly (read: small balls) sport of Candlepin bowling. There are arcade games for after your bowling and snacks available at the counter. We don’t miss it on any trip! Read more about it in this article about spring activities in Maine.
We also recently discovered a great two-step educational family adventure that involves learning all about and then seeing puffins! Read all about that recommendation in my Plenty About Puffins blog post from this summer.
If fishing is of interest to you, check out our article on arranging a family fishing trip! You can do this at a lake or on saltwater. You can even set up a boat trip just to view nature if fishing isn’t your thing. Just e-mail Don Kleiner at Maine Outdoors. All the info is in our article.
Of course there has to be ice cream. I swear, it’s 95% of the reason our kids love Maine. The Dorman’s Dairy Dream stand is legendary in Rockland, and can be a great stop on the way back into town after a day trip. If you can drive a few more minutes, we are huge fans of Harjula’s Dairy Bar. The offerings are more limited but the view is unmatched! For in-town ice cream, our go-to place for a great selection of Gifford’s is Snowdrop Confections on Main Street.
If you’ve had a late night with the adults, and you want an early, stress-free lunch where you can just order your kids a grilled cheese and stop hearing them complain about not liking seafood, luckily, we have the place for you. Trackside Station offers everything you need at this crucial moment, including a Bloody Mary.
We also highly recommend Hill’s Seafood Co. as a super-kid-friendly location with truly excellent food and friendly service.
Other great kid-friendly restaurants we frequent:
- Waterworks Restaurant
- Home Kitchen Cafe
- Rock Harbor Pub (and Brewery – for you)
- Rockland Cafe
- Park St. Grille
- Archer’s on the Pier
- Brass Compass
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have another great kid-friendly find in Rockland! We’ll add to this list as often as we can.