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WE WERE THERE IN MID-MAY, when the tourist season had not gotten into full swing yet. so there was only one tavern open on the pier. But the pier looked like it would be pretty lively later on.
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Updated May 23, 2008
Before you get here, check out what may be happening during your visit. During the summer there are free concerts in the park, plus fireworks every Thursday night.
September brings antique cars, bike fest, music festivals and more.
Written Sep 7, 2007
Address: Old Orchard Beach
Aquaboggan is Maine's biggest waterpark and it's located just a 10 minute ride away from the beach, in Saco. There's a nice variety of waterslides, along with a large wave pool and an aquasaucer, which turned out to be everybody's favorite water attraction! If you buy an all-access Super Pass, you'll also be able to play miniputt, go for a ride in the bumper boats, or race in the Go karts. On Mondays and Fridays, you'll save about $10 on your pass.
The only thing we found rather surprising is that the park closes when it rains - who cares about the rain when you want to get wet?!
Written Aug 18, 2007
Address: 980 Portland Road (Route 1)
Funtown/Splashtown is both an amusement park and a waterpark. It is possible to visit both separately, or you can buy a combo pass to do both on the same day. Funtown is Maine's biggest amusement park and it offers a wide variety of kiddie rides, family rides and thrill rides. My favorite was the Thunder Falls Log Flume, but Kevin and Alex preferred the more thrilling Excalibur wooden coaster and the 220-feet drop at Dragon's Descent. It's a very pretty park, with thematic rides and decor, and although we were there on a beautiful day, we never had to wait long to get on the rides.
Splashtown also offers slides for kids of all ages, ranging from the rather tame but fun Pirate's Paradise to two huge family raft slides. There is, however, no wave pool, just a small swimming pool. It is not as big as the nearby Aquaboggan Waterpark, but since it only costs $9 to upgrade from a Funtown pass to a combo pass, it's still worth it.
During summer, the parks open at 10:00 am - Funtown closes at 9:00 pm and Splashtown closes at 6:00 pm. There is no free admission, so the cheapest thing to do if you only want to accompany your children is to buy a Splashtown pass, which will also get you into Funtown although you won't be able to get on the rides (a Funtown pass does not get you into Splashtown). You can also save a lot of money by going after 4:00 pm (check out the Website to see all the different rates). There's a pretty good selection of food offered at a reasonable price, but you can also bring your own food (no alcohol). If you want to do both Funtown and Splashtown, you can plan on spending the entire day there as Funtown is fairly big (and really fun!).
Written Aug 18, 2007
Address: 774 Portland Road (Route 1)
Pirate's Cove offers two 18-hole miniature golf courses in a great setting. The "Captain's Course" and "Blackbeard's Challenge" will take you across bridges, up a mountain and down through a cave with waterfalls. Don't be surprised if you happen to lose your ball down a stream: we saw dozens of balls floating in a lake near the end of the courses, so they won't be surprised if you ask for another one! We decided to do the full 36-hole adventure even if we weren't entirely sure that the kids wouldn't get bored towards the end, but as it turns out, we had so much fun playing that next thing we knew we'd finished both courses. Oh, and I won a free game for making a hole-in-one at the day's lucky hole!
Open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. 18-hole: $8 for adults, $7 for children. 36-hole: $12 for adults, $11 for children.
Written Aug 17, 2007
Address: 70 First Street
The great thing about Palace Playland is that it's located right next to the beach, so that you can go for a ride, cool off in the waves, and go back for more rides! Admission is free, so parents can accompany their children without having to buy a pass. The park isn't as big as the nearby Funtown, but the rides are different so kids will enjoy it even if they've been to Funtown before. Another great thing about the park is that it stays open late at night, so you can make that laidback beach atmosphere last even when the sun goes down!
During summer, the park opens at 10:00 am and the rides at 12 noon. Look for discount coupons in the official OOB Vacation Planner.
Written Aug 17, 2007
Address: 1 Old Orchard Street
The very first Old Orchard Beach Pier opened to the public in 1898 and from the start its purpose was to offer a variety of activities and entertainment to summer visitors. Throughout the years, it's been destroyed by storms and fires on different occasions, but thanks to its popularity it's always been rebuilt. Today's Pier dates back to 1980, and offers a selection of souvenir and novelty shops, along with bars and restaurants. We had lunch at Hooligan's and at the Pier Patio Pub - both offered good food at a good price, and it was pretty special to look down and see the ocean through the cracks in the wooden floor! There's always some entertainment in the evening, so check out the Website to see the calendar of activities.
Updated Aug 17, 2007
Old Orchard Beach offers no less than 7 miles of soft, warm sand, which turned this little town into a popular seaside resort as early as the 1850s! Most of the action on the beach is located around the pier, and even though it can look pretty crowded at times, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was plenty of room, even on the most sunny days. Water is a tad cold, which explains why most people prefer suntanning to seabathing, but I found those waves really hard to resist! Food is never a problem as there are many restaurants and take-out counters all around, but you can also bring your own cooler. Don't miss the fireworks every Thursday nights at 9:45 pm!
Access to the beach is free at all times (there are no lifeguards on duty).
Written Aug 15, 2007
Aside from the going to the beach, head to the boardwalk. There are fun rides like tilt-a-whirl the matterhorn, a ferris wheel, and more along with a pretty fun arcade. Even just sitting on a bench and watching all the people go by is amusing. Old Orchard is a place like no other.
Not into rides or games? Go to the pier, there are bars and restaurants, and you can even get your picture taken with all kinds of people and characters, like Napolean Dynamite. Lucky.
Written Jan 6, 2007
What better way to start a Summer day than to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. In Maine, this is super early during the summer. We got out of bed at 5:30 in time to catch the 6 a.m. sunrise, but it was spectacular. Afterwards take a nice walk on the beach.
Updated Aug 31, 2006