Fun Activities for Kids in Bar Harbor

Activities for Kids in Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor, Maine, is a fantastic destination for family-friendly adventures. With its stunning natural beauty, engaging educational experiences, delicious local cuisine, and exciting water sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the picturesque landscapes, discovering the rich history of the area, or indulging in mouthwatering delicacies, Bar Harbor is sure to be an unforgettable destination for families with kids. Dive into the list of activities for kids in Bar Harbor.

Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails

Bar Harbor offers an array of kid-friendly hiking trails that allow families to immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty. One such trail is the Great Meadow Loop Trail in Acadia National Park, where kids can admire the vibrant wildflowers, observe birds, and even spot deer along the way. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for all ages, making it a perfect adventure for families.

As families traverse the Great Meadow Loop Trail, they are surrounded by a diverse range of flora and fauna. Children can learn about the different plant species that call Acadia National Park home, from delicate ferns to towering pine trees. The trail also provides opportunities for educational exploration, with interpretive signs along the way that offer insights into the park’s ecosystem and history.

Beach Activities for the Whole Family

When it comes to beach activities, Bar Harbor has plenty to offer. Sand Beach, located within Acadia National Park, provides a wonderful opportunity for families to relax, build sandcastles, and enjoy picnics by the pristine shoreline. Kids can splash in the gentle waves, while parents can soak up the sun and marvel at the magnificent ocean views.

Exploring the tide pools along the shoreline at Sand Beach can reveal a hidden world of marine life to curious children. From colorful sea stars to scuttling hermit crabs, the intertidal zone offers a chance for young explorers to discover the wonders of the ocean up close. Families can spend hours combing the beach for shells and sea glass, creating lasting memories of their seaside adventures.

Wildlife Spotting Opportunities

Bar Harbor is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, and exploring its unique ecosystems can be a thrilling experience for kids. Families can embark on a whale-watching tour from Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co., where they can witness majestic humpback whales and playful dolphins in their natural habitat. Additionally, the nearby Seawall Campground offers a chance to observe various bird species, including ospreys and bald eagles.

For families interested in a more hands-on wildlife experience, the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History in Bar Harbor provides interactive exhibits that showcase the diverse wildlife found in the region. Children can learn about local marine ecosystems, bird migrations, and even get up close to taxidermy specimens of native animals. The museum offers a fun and educational way for families to deepen their understanding of the natural world around them.

Visiting the Local Museums

Bar Harbor boasts several museums that provide educational fun for the whole family. The Abbe Museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history and culture of Maine’s Native American tribes. Kids can participate in interactive exhibits, learn about traditional crafts, and gain a deeper understanding of Native American heritage. Did you know that the Abbe Museum also offers educational workshops where children can try their hand at making traditional Native American crafts? From beadwork to basket weaving, these workshops provide a hands-on experience that allows kids to connect with the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The Mount Desert Oceanarium is another must-visit destination, offering hands-on experiences and displays that teach children about marine life and ecosystems. But did you know that they also have a touch tank where kids can interact with live marine creatures? Imagine the excitement on your child’s face as they gently touch a sea star or feel the slimy texture of a sea cucumber. These up-close encounters with marine life create lasting memories and inspire a love for the ocean.

Participating in Interactive Workshops

For families seeking hands-on learning experiences, Bar Harbor has a variety of interactive workshops to offer. The Mount Desert Biological Laboratory hosts educational programs where kids can learn about marine science through experiments and guided explorations. Whether they’re dissecting a squid or observing microscopic organisms, these workshops provide a unique opportunity for children to engage with science in an interactive and fun way. But did you know that the laboratory also offers workshops on sustainable fishing practices? Kids can learn about the importance of protecting marine ecosystems and gain a deeper understanding of the delicate balance between humans and the ocean.

Another workshop offered in Bar Harbor is the Art in Nature program, where children can explore their creativity while learning about the natural world. Led by local artists, these workshops encourage kids to use natural materials like leaves, rocks, and shells to create beautiful works of art. Not only do they get to express themselves artistically, but they also develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of nature.

Discovering the History of Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor has a rich history that can be explored through various historical sites and landmarks. Families can visit the Bar Harbor Historical Society’s Sieur de Monts Spring, where they can learn about the history of the area and its indigenous people. But did you know that the spring is also home to a variety of native plant species? Take a leisurely stroll along the nature trails surrounding the spring and discover the beauty of the local flora while immersing yourself in the history of the land.

Additionally, a trip to the Bar Harbor Whale Museum offers a chance to discover the fascinating history of the local whaling industry and its impact on the region. But did you know that the museum also organizes whale watching tours? Step aboard a boat and venture out into the open waters, where you can witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that not only educates but also fosters a sense of wonder and appreciation for the marine world.

Family-Friendly Restaurants in Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is known for its diverse culinary scene, with plenty of family-friendly options to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. The Side Street Cafe is a popular spot that offers a wide range of dishes, including burgers, seafood, and vegetarian options. Families can also enjoy a delightful meal at Geddy’s, a lively restaurant known for its inviting atmosphere and delicious comfort food.

Additionally, families looking for a unique dining experience can visit The Thirsty Whale Tavern, a charming restaurant offering a selection of fresh seafood dishes and local craft beers. The cozy ambiance and friendly staff make it a great choice for families looking to enjoy a relaxing meal together.

Find the list of family-friendly restaurants in Bar Harbor here.

Trying Local Delicacies

No visit to Bar Harbor is complete without sampling the local delicacies. Families can indulge in fresh Maine lobster, served in various ways at restaurants such as Thurston’s Lobster Pound and Stewman’s Lobster Pound. For dessert, they can savor delicious blueberry treats, such as blueberry pie or blueberry pancakes, which are specialties of the region.

Moreover, visitors can explore the bustling Bar Harbor Farmers’ Market to discover a wide array of locally sourced products, including artisanal cheeses, organic fruits, and homemade jams. This vibrant market provides a fantastic opportunity for families to taste and purchase authentic Maine flavors to enjoy during their stay.

Picnic Spots in the Area

Bar Harbor offers numerous picturesque locations perfect for a family picnic. Families can pack a basket full of local treats and head to Jordan Pond, where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains while feasting on a delicious spread. Another great spot is the Asticou Azalea Garden, with its serene atmosphere and beautiful gardens providing an ideal setting for a relaxing family picnic.

For a more adventurous picnic experience, families can venture to Acadia National Park and find a secluded spot along one of the many hiking trails. Surrounded by nature, they can enjoy a peaceful meal while immersing themselves in the beauty of the park’s diverse landscapes, from lush forests to rocky coastlines.

Kayaking and Canoeing for Kids

Bar Harbor’s pristine waters provide an excellent opportunity for families to engage in exciting water sports. Coastal Kayaking Tours offers guided kayaking adventures suitable for kids, allowing them to paddle through calm waters, explore hidden coves, and observe marine wildlife up close. Canoeing is another popular activity, and families can rent canoes from local outfitters to enjoy a serene and leisurely ride on the picturesque lakes and ponds.

Family Boat Tours

To truly appreciate the beauty of Bar Harbor’s coastline, families can embark on a boat tour. The Downeast Windjammer Cruise Line offers family-friendly sailing excursions, where kids can help hoist the sails and learn about the history of traditional sailing ships. These tours provide an unforgettable experience, allowing families to enjoy stunning ocean views and perhaps even catch a glimpse of seals or porpoises along the way.

Fishing Opportunities for Young Anglers

For families with young anglers, Bar Harbor offers ample fishing opportunities. Kids can try their hand at freshwater fishing at one of the region’s many lakes and streams, such as Echo Lake or Long Pond. Alternatively, families can join a fishing charter and venture into the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where kids can reel in their own catch under the guidance of experienced captains.


Bar Harbor is a truly remarkable destination for families seeking fun and adventure. With its natural beauty, engaging educational experiences, mouthwatering cuisine, and thrilling water sports, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy with kids. Whether you’re exploring the hiking trails, learning about the region’s history, or indulging in local delicacies, Bar Harbor promises an unforgettable family vacation filled with joy, excitement, and cherished memories.

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