We had the best day this week in Portland! I love exploring new places, but it's super cool to go to a local place near your home and explore things you've never done before. Portland has SO much to explore. We had a great day!
We started at the Deering Oaks Playground (off Forest Ave exit, take right toward Deering Avenue, down by King Middle School, and it's your first right into the park). FREE parking! Tons of grass and trees, shade, places to walk or push a stroller, ducks in the pond, etc. It was so beautiful, a great place to take pictures.
We played at the awesome playground for a while, to get all hot before heading to the water area. There is parking right in front of the playground. Really neat things at this playground. If you are like me and hop around the towns near your home to various fun playgrounds, this is a MUST visit :) My kids loved it! Oh and there is a port-a-potty right by the swings near the playground too.
We then walked across the park (directly across from the playground you'll see the water and a bridge, that's where the splash area is). They call it the Deering Oaks Ravine, it was so neat! You can't see it from the road really so I was confused... but once we found the bridge, it was right behind it.
This place was super fun! It's all free and easy to get to, and part sunny and part shady- perfect for kids and moms! There is no seating really besides rocks, so people brought chairs or towels to sit on along the side as they watched kids playing in the water. The water is very shallow, only up to my kids' shins really, so it's good for babies, too. The flooring was just improved this spring I heard, so it's not super slippery. There are some picnic tables so it's a great spot for a picnic lunch, too.
A port-a-potty was right nearby also.
I'd never have found this place! My friend found it earlier this summer so I've been wanting to try it out. I'm so glad we did - great for various ages, too. It was awesome. We stayed several hours.
I would encourage you to have your kids wear their bathing suits to the playground, then head to this water spot after they're all hot and sweaty from playing, because there aren't places to change, just the port-a-potties.
After some fun in Deering Oaks, we went up the street about 10 minutes to the Portland Head Light and Fort Williams. I love going there! This was our first time really exploring it with the kids though, and they had a BLAST.
There are tons of old forts to climb around. There are some swings, a huge open grass area where many fly kites, and then a small beach that many were swimming at. There are tons of picnic tables, too, for a good spot to have lunch. Bathrooms, and then the lighthouse area to explore. It's a great spot.
And of course a PERFECT place to take pictures in the sunshine :) loving this.
You can get right up close to the lighthouse and touch it, standing right underneath it. It's awesome. It's all free, except if you want to go inside the lighthouse for a museum tour, that was a few dollars a person. I wish I'd brought some quarters for these binocular machines, as my kids wanted to try those.
Between the playground and the lighthouse we stopped off at Red's Dairy for some soft serve deliciousness - and cheap, too! It's right on the way toward the lighthouse. It's great getting the sugar, then letting them run around the forts to burn some energy!
We had a great time! I love exploring new areas with the kids. They think we're on pirate adventures they say :) SMCC college also has tons of cool forts right on the water to explore, and a great view of the lighthouse, if you're ever in that area it's a great place to check out also.