No matter the season there are always free or super inexpensive things to do around the state of Maine. Here are some things that you can check out whether you live in Maine or are visiting vacationland this summer. [This will be updated as I discover more activities]
Watch a Movie Under the Stars
There’s something special about packing a cooler, grabbing some lawn chairs and a big blanket and watching a movie outside. I know people do this is their backyards now but it’s fun to be in a group setting laughing at the ridiculousness of the Minions in Despicable Me. There are multiple places to view a movie al fresco in Maine this summer.
Located in in South Portland with the backdrop of Casco Bay and Bug Lighhouse. This is right down the street for me so I can ride my bike, which is a plus! What’s better than watching a movie near a lighthouse with food trucks and friends? They typically do multiple dates but I’m only seeing one for July 20. Check out their Facebook Page for more info.
Nathanial Davis Park in Brunswick offers free family fun every third Thursday during the summer. They have food, demonstrations (like the perfect Karate Kid crane) and sometimes live music as an opening to the movie. Check their Facebook Page for updates!
You’re killing me Smalls! The upcoming movie in August is The Sandlot. Bring the kids, a picnic, some comfy chairs, a favorite blanket, and enjoy the show! And maybe your kids will finally get all your FOR-e-VER jokes.
It’s no surprise that LL Bean would host free movie events. This Maine landmark is going to come up again on this list. Every Friday from July through Sept 3 they provide free family fun. If you want a little more adventure and a little less Elsa, they have you covered. On Sundays they screen adventure documentaries from July through the end of August. Get there early to claim your spot, space fills up quickly.
Get Fit Outdoors
For runners who appreciate the sociability of a run group, there are a few options in Portland. Check out Old Port Pub Run‘s group runs on Thursday nights, which start and end at Liquid Riot Bottling Co. The Runaways lead group runs a few times a week. Best thing about groups? You get some exercise in, see the city or a cool trail, and have the chance to be social. Monday Night Dirt happens every Monday night all year long. It’s free and open to all levels. Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine (TRoMM) also meets for regular runs on Wednesday mornings and sporadic groups runs, which are posted in The Facebook Group.
Get Out on the Water
If you have a paddle board or a kayak and are looking for people to paddle with Portland Paddle has you covered. Weekly early morning SUP paddles started June 6 and will continue all summer, from 7-8:30 a.m. every Tuesday (sea kayak)and Thursday (SUP). Portland Paddle staff will lead the group, but you are responsible for you so experience is required. If you are experienced but don’t have your own equipment you can rent for a discounted rate of $15. Sounds like a great way to spend the morning.
LL Bean hosts a bunch of free fitness activities year round. This summer you can join an early morning yoga session, a HIIT class or give rock climbing a try. There are also some free makers nights and outdoor demos. They offer so many great things at their flagship store and beyond! Click here for events happening throughout the state.
Hit the Trails
There are so may trails to explore in Maine and many are free. All you need is a good pair of shoes, some sunscreen, a water bottle and you’re good to go! Maine Trail Finder is a great tool to find a trail near you, or not near you so you can have an adventure! I really like to search for waterfall trails, exploring the Cascade Falls trail or Rines Forest are a fun way to spend the day.
See A Fort or Two
It’s no secret that Forts and Lighthouses are two of my favorite things. Pack up a lunch and spend the day exploring Fort Williams or Fort Knox. You can sneak a little history in, take a walk on a trail or explore the cliff walks, and there are big open spaces to play Frisbee or Bocce Ball. It’s a great way to spend a day.
Get Some Culture
The Portland Museum of Art, located in the downtown Portland area known as the Arts District, is free on Fridays! Check out the latest exhibit info here. This museum holds over 18,000 artworks from the 18th century to the present, featuring artists such as Winslow Homer, Louise Nevelson, and Andrew Wyeth. The museum also has the biggest European collection in Maine, with works from René Magritte, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Auguste Rodin. Another great art museum worth checking out is The Farnsworth Art Museum located in Rockland. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by great American artists such as Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Eakins, Eastman Johnson, Fitz Henry Lane, and Maurice Prendergast. They also have a separate building dedicated to the Wyeth family who lived and painted in the area. It looks like members have free admission but a non member adult is $15, which isn’t too pricey. If it’s a super hot day this is a nice way to beat the heat.
Summer Concert Series
Check out a free, family friendly concert at Mill Creek Park in South Portland. They always have a mix of musicians, from Marimba to Disco. Coming up on July 21 is Studio Two, a Beatles cover band that does their super early stuff and they do it well. So pack up some chairs, blankets, or picnics so that you can enjoy this free community concert. Dancing shoes are always a plus too 😉 Check here for more events.
Thompson’s Point hosts Sunsets Live on Thursdays 4pm-9pm. This year they will include a stage with live bands, local vendors, food trucks and lawn games. Craft brews and wine are also available. There’s no fee to enter but obviously food and drinks will cost you a little. You can’t beat the view and the vibe though.
I will keep adding to this post as I stumble across new fun and free activities. So be sure to check back! If you know of anything going on let me know and I’ll add it to the list!
And as always be safe out there! Make sure to follow all Covid-19 guidelines that may be in place and keep yourself healthy 🙂