Fall in Maine is not only a stunningly beautiful experience, but it is also the perfect time to connect with family and friends by getting out into the community to check out activities, adventures, volunteer opportunities and events. From nature walks and 5Ks to art shows and theatre, there is so much to do both indoors and out. What better time than fall, when the holiday season is just getting warmed up, to find ways to reconnect with the people you love most?
With the spirit of connection in mind, we’ve rounded up a robust list of things to do for families that will hit all the right notes; kid-friendly, fun, affordable and local. The best part? There is always something awesome going on in Greater Bangor, which means you’ll never find yourself saying, “there’s nothing to do.”
1. Check out a local performance. Ten Bucks Theatre, Penobscot Theatre and others have new shows opening soon.
2. Help out some furry friends over at the Bangor Humane Society, where the shelter always needs loving hands to help with everything from dog walking to kennel cleaners and everything in between. Kids as young as 10 can sign up to volunteer.
3. Share a Meal, Share Your Heart at the Ronald McDonald House where guest chef volunteers can cook a hot meal for a family staying at the charity house.
4. Check out the Maine Discovery Museum for fun science activities.
5. Grab your warmest fleece and head outside with friends and family to enjoy more than 10 miles of beautiful trails for hiking, biking and more at the Bangor City Forest.
6. Be a tourist in your own town and take a selfie in front of the world-famous Paul Bunyan statue in downtown Bangor.
7. Take a lovely walk along the Penobscot River Walkway and see beautiful views of the Crown City.
8. Even though Halloween is still lingering in our short term memory, try taking a self-guided tour of the beautiful and world-famous Mount Hope Cemetery.
9. Too cold to be outside? Spend an afternoon marveling at a local museum. It’s too late to visit the Cole Land Transportation Museum this year (it’s closed for the winter), but do keep it in mind for next year.
10. Teens can enjoy Game Night at the Bangor Public Library (check the library calendar for the next date), and kids can enjoy Mother Goose Story Time every Wednesday morning at 10:15.
12. Sometimes you just need to have silly fun, so head over the Playland Adventures to bounce around on inflatables then enjoy some pizza with your family.
13. Looking for something fun to do with your dog? Bangor has an amazing Dog Park that is clean, friendly and welcoming.
14. The Bangor Public Library hosts a series of wonderful free art shows with a rotating schedule of artists.
15. Totally nerd out on the fascinating history of Bangor over at the Bangor Historical Society, where patrons can dig deep into Bangor’s colorful past.
16. Find some of the coolest and maybe the weirdest treasures over at The Rock and Art Shop’s Cabinets of Curiosity.
17. Take in some contemporary and modern art at the University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor where admission is free thanks to generous grants, and kids are encouraged to learn about art through fun games like a modern art scavenger hunt.
18. Test your family’s sleuthing skills by signing up for an adventure at the Bangor Escape Rooms.
19. How about a hike? There are many local options (see the Act Out section for ideas) or head to Acadia National Park.
20. Maine Audubon has nature walks, owl talks and more coming up. See its events calendar for details.
21. The Elks Lodge Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Fair will be held at the Bangor Elks Lodge on Nov. 30.
22. Join a fall bowling league and get the family out for some fun over at Family Fun Lanes.
23. Be spontaneous and take the family to Nicky’s Cruisin’ Diner for a retro dinner, and finish it off with banana splits.
24. Pop into The Briar Patch bookstore in downtown Bangor for amazing games and books for kids. On Nov. 30, treat your family to an author talk with the whimsical Matt Tavares, who will be hosting a book signing.
This story was originally published in Bangor Metro’s November 2019 issue. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.