Kennebunkport is probably one of the top tourist destinations in Maine for its rocky coastline and quaint charm. While there are a lot of shops that offer delicate trinkets and souvenirs that are unsuitable for little hands, it doesn’t meant that you can’t have a good time with your toddler while visiting. Here are the top three things we like to do in Kennebunkport.
1. Go to the Colony Beach
The Colony Beach is public and you don’t need a parking pass unlike the beaches in Kennebunk. The beach has a rocky jetty that families can walk down and can often find fisherman at the end. Many children like to stand near the edge and throw rocks off of it to see them hit the water below.
On the beach itself, there are large rocks sporadically nestled in the sand with tide pools for exploring. You can usually find crabs and snails hiding under the seaweed and occasionally a starfish or sand dollar. If playing in tide pools isn’t your child’s thing, there’s plenty of open area for kids to play in the sand and water. On the far side of the rocks is another sandy area but it’s not ideal for building sand castles and running around as it has a lot of small pebbles. It’s a fantastic spot for collecting sea glass and shells to bring home.
2. Visit Dock Square
Dock Square is the heart of Kennebunkport where all of the shops live. There are a couple of toy stores, ice cream shops, a candy store and even a store that makes personalized children’s books and CDs. The bridge between Dock Square in Kennebunkport and Lower Village in Kennebunk is a place people frequently eat lunch when they get take out (lobster roll, anyone?) so they can look over the river and watch the boats. There’s nothing like the smell of the salty air breeze on a sunny afternoon in Maine.
Some local favorite places for lunch and dessert are Alisson’s Restaurant and Aunt Marie’s Ice Cream. Allison’s is the most family-friendly and has a wide ranging menu—not to mention, killer clam chowder. Aunt Marie’s has homemade ice cream and fresh squeezed lemonade that you get to watch them make. It’s a small take-out window with no indoor area, but you can sit on the patio and benches just outside or walk across the street and sit on the lawn outside of Ben and Jerry’s to enjoy your treats.
3. Story time at Louis T. Graves Memorial Library
Graves Library is another local favorite spot. They offer activities for kids year-round, but it’s in your best interest to check out Story Time on Friday mornings. The building is an old bank that was turned into a house that was turned into a library—so it has a lot of charm. You can walk into the large wall safe to read newspapers and see old fireplaces in what used to be the living areas.
Upstairs is where you will find the children’s section. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming and love talking to the kids. They’re always so helpful and happy to help suggest a book based on what your children is interested in. Aside from books, there are other things out for children to do—like use a coloring book or puzzle.
Kennebunkport Is An All-In-One Family Vacation
Being on the coast affords visitors plenty of options to enjoy a vacation with small children. There will be no shortage of memories after seeing your kids exploring the beach, trying new food, or finding new characters to love—and Kennebunkport is the perfect place to do it all.
Bailey Grattelo works full time as a web producer in the publishing industry, and her interests include photography, sewing, crocheting, and all other crafts. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in English and a minor in psychology from Thomas College. Bailey lives in southern Maine with her two daughters, husband, dog and cat, and she blogs at Dirty Mouths and Dirty Faces.
Join the discussion 3 Comments
I grew up in Kennebunkport and I have to say I’m so disappointed in this article. I doubt many parents would want to bring their toddler onto a jetty made of rocks with gaps, where they could trip and get hurt or fall into the water. How about walking at Goose Rocks Beach instead? Dock Square? What toddler wants to walk amongst throngs of shopping tourists and do a little shopping? How about the Seashore Trolley Museum instead? Story hour at the Graves is nice but you can go to story time at any library near your home…not a unique vacation destination. How about visiting the playground at Mothers Beach instead or walking the nature trail at the monastery?
Thanks for your feedback Kris! These are the favorites of the author specifically, and we think they are great! My toddler thoroughly enjoyed all of these places on our visit to Kennebunkport last week. I love your suggestions as well! Kennebunkport has lots to offer families. I’ll have to see if our local writer would like to cover those in her next piece.
Hi Kris, thanks for your comment and I’m sorry that you were disappointed in it. My family and I love to do these things together so that’s what I wrote about. I also wanted to stick solely to Kennebunkport, so I didn’t include things like the Trolley Museum, Mother’s Beach, or the Monastery as those are not part of the town. An article about other things to do in the area that are less touristy is a great idea, though!