Things To Do in Freeport With Kids – Hiking, Dessert and Shopping

You Can Almost Hear Them Pushing Each Other

I know I just struck fear into the hearts of husbands everywhere. I said Freeport. All Mainers know that Freeport means shopping. Drag the kids around kicking and screaming while mom buys flannel and pine needle stuffed pillows. I get it. But wait there’s more! This is only a 2 hour 1 hour and 45 minute trip from Bangor and their’s lots to do here besides shop. In fact, you could cleverly aggravate your wife by planning a full day in Freeport without shopping. While I would never pull a stunt like that, I would laugh along if you did.

Anyway let’s start with an activity? (Weird this pear shaped fat boy usually starts with food) Yeah, the problem is the food’s too close to the shopping, and once you’ve entered the shopping corridor you’ve lost. Just hit Dunkins on the drive down in Newport from Bangor. Or if your Kids’s are hyperactive stop at the Newport McDonald’s right off the highway and let them burn some calories in the play place. Great, I still opened with food, well I tried.

Keynote: You’re going to be climbing a mountain. But it’s only 2 tenths of a mile.

Bradbury Mountain State Park

528 Hallowell Rd
Pownal, ME 04069
(207) 688-4712

This is quite possibly the most family friendly state park I’ve ever been to in Maine. It has it all, a giant playground, tons of picnic tables, lots of open areas, a bunch of grills, bathrooms… err outhouses, and water fountains. Best of all it has a few family friendly hiking paths, including one that can take you to a summit of a mountain in 20 minutes. We did it walking with a 2 year old and my wife carrying a baby.

There’s always one

Take the summit trail up as it’s only two tenths of a mile and offers some challenge. Enough that a two year old will need you to hold their hand. We took the loop trail down which is far more gradual, but also more like two miles. When you wrap up the hike, offer the playground and a picnic as a reward.

Lunch

If you didn’t pack a picnic then head into town, there’s two kid friendly places that we like to go.

Bucks Naked BBQ

568 US-1
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-0600

There are playhouses and toys inside so the kids can go crazy, asked to be seated near them so you don’t have to hover over them while they play.

The food here is good, all homemade barbecue. The shrimp appetizer was great with the spicy mango chili sauce. In fact I saw someone recommend getting a side of that sauce for some baked wings. I regret not doing that.  The main dinners were great, I don’t think you can wrong here, everything is pretty good.

Gritty McDuffs

187 Lower Main St
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-4321

Yes it’s a Brewery, but so what, it has a swing set and a fenced in play yard outside. Go here if you want a pub food fix, and good burgers.

Notice the Fenced in Area With Deck and Playground. I.E. Kid & Dad Entertainment

Shopping

Ok ok, the kids got to play at multiple places, mom and dad got a hike with instagramable photos sure to rack up likes from all the minivan moms. It’s time to give in. Fear not, I still have dessert tips to keep your husband and kids motivated.

Parking can be difficult in Freeport, most people like to park at L.L. Bean and make there way around the rest of the town. Sure that’s fine. But local people know there is also indoor parking in the new garage, it’s free and in the summer it’s a lot cooler. So head here:

1 Freeport Village Station
Freeport, ME 04032

Cleverly hidden underneath the more recent outlets that were built, the parking garages entrance can be found under the Old Navy sign. Once you’ve unfurled the stroller there’s a few things I like to do that aren’t actually shopping. First off I usually head straight to LL Beans main entrance and take the kids to the fish tank, this can buy my wife some time at the nearby GAP. There is a sweet bubble that your kids can climb up into so it’s like they are in the tank, it’s pretty cool.

My Bubble Kids

Once your children tired of this, have them take a photo NEAR the big boot, children are not allowed ON it. Everyone follows that important piece of advice and strictly adhered to rule.

Noooo stop, don’t climb the boo…say cheese!

By now your wife has abandoned you with the children and you need to entertain them. She deserves some time to shop, she’s the one responsible for making your life so awesome. Take the kids to a couple more places so her blood pressure drops a few points. One great stop is a toy shop with some unique toys, although it’s location is a little odd.

Island Treasure Toys

20 Bow St
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-7007

You can expect a lot of what kids love here, it’s not a big hunk of plastic shop. There are actual toys, thought provoking puzzlers, crafts and even some active play items. You might have a tough time finding this place, because it’s on a second floor. When you see the sign from the street, walk in and up the stairs. It’s a little out of the way, but totally worth it. I found helpful staff that played a few brain teasers with my kids, and some toys floating around to play with.

Yeah, he’s mid air

Dessert

Frosty’s Donut’s
45 Main St
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-9811

Make your own donut At Frosty’s Donuts. Confession time; I haven’t had a donut here. I read about it on Yelp. However, I did go there to have the kids make a donut once, and they were out of donuts. I’m not kidding, that’s like Starbucks running out of Pikes Place, or McDonalds out of Cheeseburgers. So this wasn’t as fun as it was disappointing. But hey, your kids will probably get a real kick out of a make your own donut. If they have any. It’s just a quick walk across a parking lot from LL Bean so there’s not much distance to travel. The kids don’t exactly get to “make” the donut, they really just pick out the donut toppings. Still this is a fun little experience to have with your kids, probably.

Ben & Jerry’s
6 Nathan Nye Street
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-3407

Lastly, the one highlight for dessert many people like when they arrive at Freeport is the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop. On a scale of Great Value Ice Cream Cups with the mini popsicle stick to Morton’s Moo, it’s a Gifford’s for sure.

Hiking, Eating and Shopping, Freeport isn’t something to fear after all. It’s at least something to consider next time you’re Bored in Bangor.