You’re on a family vacation, congratulations! The great thing is there are plenty of fun things to do with kids on your vacation.

Check out kid friendly hikes.

Hope’s book Ten Days In Acadia is a hiking guide for kids, written by a local with tons of hiking experience. You can buy it online or pick up a copy in a local bookstore for your kids as a great starting off point. If you want an adult book to orient you, A Walk In The Park by Tom St. Germain has detailed descriptions, distances, etc. of all the trails, which should point you toward the more kid appropriate ones. You can also buy this online or in a local bookstore.

Explore Anemone Cave at low tide.

My rumor sources tell me this was taken off maps because of the degradation to wildlife happening but it seems to be bouncing back. (That said, be careful not to kill any anemone and other wild life or step on plants.) You park at Schooner Head and hike down to the cave but if your kids can’t handle a ten minute walk or climbing over boulders that may be a little slick, stick to Sand Beach, which is pretty fun too. At low tide, your kids can check out tide pools and walk into a real life cave. Download a tide app on your phone; it’ll be useful in more occasions than this one!

Take a Diver Ed tour.

Diver Ed and Captain Evil (his wife Edna) are the two funnest people you could spend an afternoon with. The boat tour takes you on the water and Ed dives for sea creatures which you can handle in an on board touch tank. It’s fun and educational, especially if you’ve always wanted to kiss a sea cucumber.

Go swimming, in nature or elsewhere.

Seal Harbor beach is a great place to go swimming (not as many waves as Sand Beach and lots of parking without much walking) but if you like warmer or non salty swims, check out Echo Lake (which has both beach and boat landing areas to get in the water), Long Pond (not too much of a beach here but there is a giant rock you can swim out to), or Lake Wood (small beach and shallow swimming area). Most of these places don’t have ‘services’ so bring your own snacks and be prepared for a port-a-potty. (Echo Lake beach area has changing rooms, a place to rinse off your feet, and some of the services you are used to at other beaches.)

If you want some services, check out a hotel pool (you can pay to get in at Atlantic Oceanside for the day, in season availability may vary) or check out Wild Acadia Fun Park for water slides, a zip line, ropes course, and some fried dough. (Yes, you can have a national park vacation AND still have a day like this!)

Go see Timber Tina.

The Lumberjack Show in Trenton is a fun evening activity for all ages. The show is very interactive and well paced and if you’re looking for something to do after dinner that isn’t getting ice cream (not that you can’t do both!), this is kid friendly. If the weather is the pits, check out Reel Pizza and The Criterion for kid friendly movie showings.

All and all, a family vacation on Mount Desert Island is a ton of fun… and even living here, there is PLENTY to do for kids and adults alike.

For more kid friendly ideas, see Cherie Galyean’s blog Scraped Up Kid. You can also check out the Bar Harbor Chamber’s list here and Our Acadia’s list here

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