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 of my top-of-mind, best recommendations is to book a tour on Captain Jack’s Lobster Boat. Be sure to call and schedule in advance, because Captain Steve Hale does get busy and he can only take out six people at a time. The rewards, however, are great. Not only were the kids mesmerized by checking the traps, but we adults learned more about lobstering than we’d ever known before. I feel I need to return soon for a review. If you are lucky and land a gorgeous day? Heaven. Captain Hale won’t disappoint you with stories and he will answer even the most ignorant questions.
For the sailing experience, the Isaac H. Evans Windjammer offers a variety of cruises (some only two or three hours) and advertises itself as one of the few kid-friendly Windjammer experiences available. They take children ages 6 and up, and younger ones on a case-by-case basis.
A simpler sanity-saving amenity 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. Sure, it’s 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.
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.
Of course there has to be ice cream. I swear, it’s 95% of the reason our kids love Maine. We are incredibly happy that The Home Kitchen Cafe runs a 7-day a week ice cream parlor just down the street from the main restaurant called Cone Home. They are open 12 pm – 9 pm at 19 N. Main St. (around the corner from Wasses) and serve wonderful Round Top ice cream and their own delicious sundaes. 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’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
- Rockland Cafe
- Park St. Grille
- Archer’s on the Pier
- Brass Compass
I recently put together a visual showing one great kid-friendly day. Check it out!
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.