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Posted: May 18, 2016

11 things to do on Memorial Day Weekend in southern Maine

Written by: Staff Reports

Memorial Day can be tough, what with the three-day weekend and all those unavoidable reminders that summer is a-comin’. Actually, Memorial Day weekend is fantastic. It also shouldn’t be wasted, so save your 48-hour naps for July. There’s a listing of Memorial Day parades below and here’s a host of other ideas:

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Amuse yourself

Press Herald file photo

Palace Playland

The Ski Ball machines have been dusted, the ferris wheel oiled, and the toys inside The Claw game have been packed so tight they’ll likely still be there in September. Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach is open for business this weekend. Drop some coins in the arcade or climb onto a ride at the amusement park. And remember, your side of Pier Fries and slice of Lisa’s Pizza are best eaten after riding the Riptide.  Rides include the classic -tilt-a-whirl, the dizzying Superstar, the ton-of-fun Fiesta Loca and the you-had-better-buckle-up Matterhorn! Ride tickets $1.30 (each ride requires between 2 and 4 tickets) or get a 20-ticket book for $25 or a 50-ticket book for $58.. FMI:

York’s Wild Kingdom | 1 Animal Park Road, York Beach

York’s Wild Kingdom in York will also start the season this weekend. The zoo and the amusement park are both open. Say hi to the two-toed sloth for us. Zoo and ride day passes $22.25 for adults, $ 17.25 children, $5.25 for kids 3 and under. $12 for unlimited all-day ride pass. For zoo only: $14.75 adults, $9 children, $1 kids under 3. Pony and camel rides are $5.
Memorial Day Weekend Hours:
Saturday: Zoo open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Amusement Park Noon to approx 9-9:30 p.m.
Sunday: Zoo open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Amusement Park Noon to approx 9-9:30 p.m.
Monday: Zoo open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Amusement Park Noon to 6 p.m.

Alewife Run Tour on The River Tripper
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Damariscotta River Cruises, 40 Main St., Damariscotta, $30, $15 for 12 and under.
Just sit right back and you’ll hear the tale of how the annual migration of alewives influences other creatures along the river. Damariscotta River Association naturalist Sarah Gladu will narrate the two-hour boat ride that benefits the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Project. And if you’re up that way, be sure to check out the many events of the 9th Annual Fish Ladder Restoration Festival including foodm live music, marine touch tank and much more. Head to for the complete schedule.

Sea Kayak Tour to Fort Gorges
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday. East End Beach, One Cutter St., Portland, $52, $42 for children 10-17. Reservations required.
Hit the high seas of Casco Bay as you take a three hour tour (a three hour tour) to Fort Gorges, a Civil War era granite fort surrounded by water that’s one of Casco Bay’s most interesting locales. The tour starts with a paddle into Portland harbor and then a crossing out to Hog Island for a beach landing that involves exploring granite halls, mysterious passageways and the towering ramparts that Fort Gorges is known for. Look over your shoulder for a sensational view of the Portland skyline from the top of the fort. Your guide will share the fort’s rich history and you’ll have time for your own exploration. Pack snacks or a lunch for a quick picnic fortside. Use of Portland Paddles sea kayaks are included.

Drive it in

Press Herald file photo. We put a filter on it.

Press Herald file photo. We put a filter on it.

Drive-in movie theaters!

The drive-ins are open! In fact, they opened over the last couple of weeks, which means all the kinks in the popcorn-making are sure to be ironed out. Hit Bridgton Drive-In or the Saco Drive-In or back-to-back flicks on the big outdoor screen. And munchies.

Get back to the white mountains

Wendy Almeida/staff photo

Wendy Almeida/staff photo

Evans Notch road is open

For hikers ready to strap on their boots and get back to the White Mountains National Forest – on the Maine side – the Forest Service is reporting that Evans Notch Road (Route 113 north of Fryeburg) is now open for the season. If you’re looking for an easy mountain climb, Blueberry Mountain is one of the first stops just after the open road gate. This is a doable hike for an average fitness level with some great views of the valley. If you’re up to the challenge to experience even more expansive views, Caribou Mountain is the place to go. Just be ready to work for that one. For mountain road updates, visit the Forest Service’s road status page:
Blueberry Mountain
Mileage: about 4.6 miles | Elevation Gain: about 1,100 feet | Trailhead Coords: 44.252, -70.9914 |
Caribou Mountain
Mileage: about 7 miles | Elevation Gain: about 2,000 feet | Trailhead Coords: 44.3359, -70.9753 |

Make like a Monkey

Press Herald file photo

Monkey C Monkey Do & Monkey trunks

Monkey C Monkey Do in Wiscasset opened their ropes course earlier this month, which means you’re already late to the climbing game. But we’re sure you’ll be a ropes course master in no time, showing those obstacles who’s boss. (If the heights get the best of you, there’s always Red’s Eats just up the road, where you can enjoy a lobster roll and the stability of solid ground.)
Monkey C Monkey Do is open Saturday and Sunday. Full course tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for students, and $25 for ages 4-12. Zipline/swing packages start at $15. FMI: or 207-882-6861

In Saco, hit Monkey Trunks (98 Waterfall Road, Saco) for your climbing needs. They have 48 challenges that include swinging beams, tightropes, rolling logs, hanging tires, cargo nets and more, plus three ziplines. They’re open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends and the cost is $39 for the full course and $29 for the kids course. FMI:

Promenade among plants [Free!]


Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The flora has been sprouting for weeks at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, as though it’s been waiting all winter long just for you to swing by. Sure, the gardens are open year-round, but admission is free this weekend for Maine residents.  FMI:

Picnic it

Press Herald file photo

Eat outside

We’ve been eating inside for months. We’re over it. Pack a lunch – or swing by Aurora Provisions on Pine Street in Portland’s West End, Rosemont Market on Congress Street in Portland’s East End, Scratch Baking Co. in South Portland’s Willard Square (or any local shop you like) and build a gourmet lunch to go. Both promenades make for great picnic scenery. Or head over to Willard Beach in South Portland and stake your picnic claim on a patch of cool sand. (Then you can hit Willard Scoops in Willard Square afterward.)

Follow the green Portland trail [Free!]

Press Herald file photo

Portland trails

There’s spring scenery even in the “big city” – although some of the greenery is still making its way out of hiding. Find your walking or bike-riding path on, which features all of the trails managed by Portland Trails. And meandering among the green doesn’t cost a thing. But hey, as a thank you to Portland Trails and Mother Nature (who’s hard work has made that wonderfully accessible scenery), feel free to pick up any trash you spot along the way. FMI:

Memorial Day Parades

BIDDEFORD AND SACO: An Opening Ceremony at Saco’s Eastman Park at 10 a.m. followed by a parade, proceeding down Main Street, Saco, to Veteran’s Memorial Bridge for a wreath ceremony and on to Main Street Biddeford, turning left onto Alfred Street and continuing to Biddeford Veterans Memorial Park at Alfred and Pool streets for closing ceremony.

CAPE ELIZABETH: Parade begins at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Fowler Road and Old Ocean House Road. Continues north on Route 77, takes a left onto Scott Dyer Road and ends at the War Veteran’s Memorial with a ceremony.

CUMBERLAND: Parade begins at 10 a.m. at the Mabel I. Wilson School and ends at the Veterans Memorial.

DAMARISCOTTA: Parade begins at 11 a.m. at The Lincoln County News parking lot on Route 215.

DURHAM: Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Davis Road and runs south on Royalsborough Road to the back entrance of the Durham Community School.

FALMOUTH: Parade begins at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Post, at 65 Depot Road, and proceeding to Foreside Road and south to Pine Grove Park for ceremonies, including performances by the Falmouth Middle and High School bands and choruses. Refreshments will be served on the lawn of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

FREEPORT: Parade beings at 9:30 a.m. at Freeport High School and ends at Bow Street Park. Ceremony at 10 a.m.. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at the high school.

GORHAM: Parade begins at 11 a.m. at the Village School and ends at Eastern Cemetery on Johnson Road.

KENNEBUNK: Parade begins at 2 p.m. at Town Hall, runs down Main Street and loops backs to Town Hall.

KENNEBUNKPORT: Parade begins at 9:30 at Masonic Hall on Temple Street and ends at Dock Square for ceremony.

LEWISTON: Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Kennedy Park and ends at Veteran’s Park.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH: Parade begins at 1 p.m. at The Ballpark. Ceremony follows at Veterans Memorial Park.

PORTLAND: Parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at Longfellow Square and proceeds down Congress Street to Monument Square where ceremonies will take place.

FRIENDS OF EVERGREEN: Memorial Day Procession begins at 2 p.m. along Stevens Ave. from Deering High School to Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. A brief ceremony follows the parade.

SANFORD: Parade begins at 10 a.m. at #1 Pond, up Gowen Park Drive and onto Main Street to Central Park.

SCARBOROUGH: Services at Local Cemeteries and Monuments, begin at Black Point Cemetery at 8 a.m. Monday and on to Dunstan Memorial, Dunstan Cemetery, Blue Point Cemetery and Memorial Park. A parade begins at 10 a.m. at Scarborough High School, proceeding along Route 1 to Maine Veterans’ Home, pausing at Maine veterans Monument for service. Additional ceremonies at the post home, including an open house with refreshments at noon and a performance by the Kora Temple Highlanders.

SOUTH PORTLAND: A parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Monday, starting at Southern Maine Community College at the end of Broadway to the Veterans Memorial Monument. A wreath-laying ceremony at the public boat landing will be at noon.

WELLS AND OGUNQUIT: Parade begins at 9 a.m. at the Wells High School on Sanford Road and continues to Ocean View Cemetery on Route 1 for a ceremony. The parade will disband and reform in Ogunquit and step-off at 11 a.m. on Bourne Lane with ceremonies to follow.

WESTBROOK: Parade begins at 10 a.m. at the end of Longellow Street and follows down Main St. to Riverbank Park. Ceremony follows.

WINDHAM: Parade begins at 9 a.m. at the high school. Luncheon and ceremony at Windham Veteran’s Center starts at Noon.

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