Spring is when our Facebook feeds get filled with photos of early crocus blooms and a time when we’re collectively filled with a profound sense of hope. It’s also when we shed our winter malaise and get outside to hike, run, bike, romp and paddle. Restaurant patios start to emerge, seasonal ice cream shops open their doors, party invites start rolling in, Pier Fries in Old Orchard Beach start to sizzle in earnest and the world is just a better place; especially in Maine. Here’s a bunch of things to do and places to go that will help put a spring in your step as this new season comes knocking on our door.
Rappelling goes on all day May 16, One City Center, Portland. Raise $1000 in pledges. rappelforripple.net
Once again, intrepid locals have the chance to rappel down the side of One City Center, a 13-story office building in downtown Portland. The event is a fundraising effort for Rippleffect, a local nonprofit dedicated to youth and community development through experiential education and outdoor adventure. And this will be quite the adventure for you.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 15, Eastern Promenade, Portland. Free. www.tahntay.com
The afternoon begins with a community picnic (bring a blanket and something to share) along with face painting, crown making, music and magic. Join the parade at 1 p.m. (carry a puppet or bring your own props).
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 16, Bug Light Park, South Portland. Free. www.facebook.com
Kite flyers know: Bug Light Park is one of the best kite-flying locations in New England. Bring your kite if you’ve got one or purchase one at the South Portland Historical Society’s museum gift shop. Kite-flying experts will be on hand for tips and workshops, and there will also be food and drinks on sale, as well as a barbecue at the museum. And Bug Light will be open for tours.
May 16, Multiple venues through Belfast. $20/$25 in advance, $25/$30 at the door. wearelaunchpad.org/allroads
The All Roads Music Festival is a one-day festival featuring indie rock, folks, pop and bluegrass musicians. Catch live music at multiple venues in town, like Colonial Theatre, the Belfast Free Library, the American Legion Hall, Waterfall Arts and others.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 28, 29 and 30 (Memorial Day Weekend), Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay. www.mainegardens.org
Admission is free to the stunning grounds of Maine Botanical Gardens during this weekend. Just present your Maine license or ID and then peruse the gardens all day.
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on both days. Pineland Farms, New Gloucester. $26 to $78. pinelandtrails.com
Two-day extravaganza of trail races, beer drinking, barbeque, potluck salads and desserts, old timey music, and fun family events.Festival includes seven races with distances from 5k to 50 miles.
Multiple venues, Kennebunkport | kennebunkportfestival.com
The best food, wine and art that Maine has to offer are all on display. Many of the events take place in designer homes with a chef and a sommelier for the perfect pairing. $35-$200 depending on the event.
Departing between 7:20 a.m. and 9:20 a.m., depending on the route, L.L. Bean Casco Conference Center, Freeport. $50 adults by June 1 then $60, $25 youth by June 1, then $35. 11 and under free. mainewomensride.com
This one’s for the women who ride – even the ones who are new to the sport. Route range in distance (10 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles and 62 miles), so there’s a scenic Freeport route for all experience levels. Stops and snacks along the way, and music, yoga, and munchies at the start and finish line.
7 p.m. June 9, start at Southern Maine Community College, South Portland.
Racers must raise at least $100. twilight5k.com
This race raises money for Maine Cancer Foundation. There will be prizes, food, live music and a gorgeous view.
June 12, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Old Port, Portland. Free admission. www.portlandmaine.com
A precursor to summer, the festival will have Maine-made arts and crafts and food from local restaurants. The parade will march down Exchange Street.
All day June 11, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s headquarters, 294 Crosby Brook Road,Unity. Free. www.mofga.org
If you’re thinking of trying to raise goats for the first time or just want to learn how to make a fence, this is the place to be. The Homestead Day is a hands-on skill sharing event. There will be workshops on how to use a sewing machine, harness a draft horse, and grow native herbs.
Litchfield Fairgrounds. $10-$80. blisteredfingers.com
You’ll hear banjos, fiddles, and high, lonesome harmonies from national and local bands. You can bring a tent or your VW van to camp for the four days of bluegrass.
1 p.m. June 18, Bangor Waterfront, 330 Harlow St., $35 in advance/$40 day of. visitbangormaine.com/tapintosummer
Sip , chug and nosh away the afternoon with beer from 20 Maine breweries and several local food vendors. While you’re there, rock out to live music, visit the assorted vendors selling their wares and have a grande olde time of it.
As always, find a full listing of events in the calendar.
What did we miss? Leave a comment below.