Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, Maine





We recently went on an epic summer road trip through the northeastern United States. Our favorite part of the trip? New England. Easily. We’re completely in love.

While I’ve visited parts of New England before, this trip really gave our family the chance to explore lots of new cities and towns for the firs time. One of those was the city of Bangor, Maine.

I knew one thing about Bangor before visiting: that it was the hometown of author Stephen King. Aside from checking out Stephen King’s amazing house (which is totally worth the stop, by the way), we weren’t really sure what to do around Bangor with two young children.

Enter: Maine Discovery Museum.

A complete sanity-saver for Dave and I—and a wonderful play place for our girls, right in the heart of downtown Bangor.

 

maine discovery museum bangor maine

Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, Maine

The Basics

maine discovery museum downtown bangor with kids

 

Maine Discovery Museum is located in downtown Bangor at 74 Main Street, Bangor Maine 04401.

Hours of operations and cost of admission can be found their website here.

We were able to find street parking out front pretty easily (limited to 90 minutes M-F; unlimited on weekends and holidays). There’s also a nearby garage that offers two free hours (details on that can be found here).

 

Truly Kid-Friendly

maine discovery museum bangor maine

 

I’m so happy to say that this museum is 100% kid-friendly.

Yes, I know it’s a children’s museum, and that should be a given, but, believe it or not, it’s not in some cases. We’ve visited other children’s museums (I won’t name names) where there have been so many rules and guidelines and restricted areas for different ages that the whole thing quickly became overwhelming and stressful for everyone.

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That’s not the case with Maine Discovery Museum. Everything is designed with the kids in mind. Everything is meant to be played with. Everything is open for exploring. (Please see my daughter sitting on that dinosaur table and happily playing for reference.)

 

 

Maine is at the Heart of Everything

maine lighthouse in maine discovery museum

 

One thing that makes Maine Discovery Museum so unique and special to me is that everything is truly linked to Maine.

This could be seen throughout the museum in more obvious ways, like a faux lighthouse in one of the rooms (that my one year old could NOT stay away from), but information about Maine is also woven more subtly into the other areas of the museum, as well.

 

maine discovery museum

 

At first, I thought it was amazing that there were little passport stations set up around the museum for kids to collect stamps from different countries as they worked their way through the museum.

Upon closer look, I noticed that the little sign not only tells a little bit about a different country (Japan, in the picture here), but it also links that country to the state of Maine.

While learning about what a Japanese-style home would look like, the kids (and parents!) can also learn that paper companies in Maine export paper and wood pulp to Japan.

 

maine discovery museum

 

This way, when the kids actually go into the Japanese-style home, they can take a look at some of the paper products and really make the connection.

How cool is that?? The attention to detail and effort to tie everything back to Maine really blew me away during our visit.

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Hands on Goodness

maine discovery museum

 

After learning about exports from Maine to other countries, the kiddos can also try their hand at loading boxes onto a cargo ship!

maine discovery museum

 

Or simply sitting on the dock, if that’s more their speed. 😉

maine discovery museum

 

Our girls also loved cooking in the Italian-style kitchen (complete with lobster on the menu, of course).

globe maine discovery museum

 

There’s a massive map of the world on the floor, which serves as a great visual for identifying all of the countries that the kiddos area learning about.

 

brazil maine discovery museum

 

A more hands-on section devoted to learning about Brazil.

truck maine disvoery museum

 

A truck for kids to climb in and imagine driving.

 

 

A Bookworm’s Delight

maine discovery museum

 

We are BIG book fans in our house, so Booktown was one of our favorite sections of the Maine Discovery Museum.

puppet show maine discovery museum

In this section, kids can put on their own puppet show, play on a pretend lighthouse, and explore settings from beloved childhood classics.

There’s also a section devoted to children’s authors from the state of Maine, as well as tons of other great books for the kids to sit and enjoy.

charlotte's web maine children's museum

 

We were geeking out a little over both the Charlotte’s Web room

goodnight moon main children's museum

 

And the Goodnight Moon room!!

I never knew it was a dream of mine to become a character in Goodnight Moon until I saw that rocking chair and knew that it just had to be sat in. 🙂

 

STEAM-ness

dino dig maine discovery museum

 

Give us that Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math stuff any day of the week!

Our girls absolutely loved the Dino Dig area which, like everything else, was super hands-on so they could play with everything.

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dino dig maine discovery museum

They enjoyed learning about fossils, playing with dinosaurs, and…

 

Digging, of course! What would a Dino Dig be without digging??

 

Other STEAM-related spaces included an art studio (with a recording studio right next door)…

 

A section dedicated to nano science (for all of the future engineer kids out there)…

 

 

And lots of cool animals for the little ones to check out up close.

 

For the Active Ones

 

When your kids are ready to just burn off some energy (like mine ALWAYS seem to be), they can climb and play at Body Journey

 

 

While learning about the human body!

 

In the Nature Trails section, they can climb on a big indoor climbing structure to get a bird’s eye view…

 

…or hang out in a beaver lodge

 

…or splash around (while learning about hydropower) in the water section!

 

Conclusion

 

We truly enjoyed our visit to Maine Discovery Museum and would recommend it to anyone traveling with kids and looking for something that they’ll enjoy in downtown Bangor. The staff was lovely and the space was fun. If we find ourselves in town, we will most certainly be visiting again!

Maine Discovery Museum is located in downtown Bangor at 74 Main Street, Bangor Maine 04401.

Hours of operations and cost of admission can be found their website here.

 

 

 

Disclosure: Our family was kindly provided with complimentary tickets to explore Maine Discovery Museum in exchange for writing this honest recap of our experience. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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July 29, 2017
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8 Comments

  • Reply Jasmine

    We are on the other side of the country from you, but we love our local children’s museum too! Although my boys would love exploring the body exhibits!

    July 31, 2017 at 9:11 pm
  • Reply Tami

    I’d love to have something like this in our area. My youngest would enjoy it and most likely spend all day there.

    July 31, 2017 at 10:10 pm
  • Reply Hermine-Jane

    Wow! That looks like such an interactive museum. I must hunt and find a museum to take my little ones to in Los Angeles. What a great experience. Thanks for sharing.

    July 31, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    • Reply Kaity

      There’s a pretty good one in Pasadena that we used to go to when we lived out there—Southern California Children’s Museum. 🙂

      July 31, 2017 at 10:26 pm
  • Reply Erin

    This museum looks incredible! My kids would love this place!! Thank you for sharing!

    July 31, 2017 at 11:56 pm
  • Reply Lan

    So much to see in this museum for the kids. My daughter would love it.
    http://www.marieavenue.com

    August 1, 2017 at 11:53 pm
  • Reply Renee S

    Wow! If we ever visit Maine, we are making this one of our stops! How awesome is this!!

    August 2, 2017 at 12:52 am
  • Reply This Mum At Home

    Oh i wish we had simular here ! Im in Australia but we dont have a lot of this kind of thing where I live … but we do have Sovereign HIll !!!!

    August 3, 2017 at 10:06 am
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