Old Orchard Beach vacation rentals are ideal for families with children, thanks to their proximity to some of the area’s popular family-friendly sites. There’s no better place to eat pounds of buttery lobster before a game of adventure golf or walk along the pier before heading down to the beach. With so many different activities and sites, Old Orchard Beach has something for the whole family. Here are the top 12 things to do in Old Orchard Beach with kids.

1. Spend the Day at the Beach

Pack a picnic lunch, bottles of sunscreen, and towels before heading to Old Orchard Beach — oh, you may want to pack the kids, too! Old Orchard Beach spans 7 miles along Maine’s southern coastline, and it’s considered the state’s best beach. If you’re there during the Fourth of July weekend, celebrate by entering the annual sandcastle building contest.

2. Watch Fireworks from the Pier

A spectacular fireworks display takes place over the pier every Thursday night. After you’ve eaten dinner in your convenient Old Ocean Beach vacation rental, tell the kids to grab their jackets and head to the pier. Don’t forget to bring chairs for everyone or a blanket that your family can spread out on while watching the fireworks show.

3. Visit Palace Playland

Palace Playland is the only beachfront amusement park in New England. Let your older children enjoy some of the more thrilling rides, such as the Tilt-a-Whirl, Electra Wheel, or the Wave Swinger, and then enjoy a ride on the Ferris Wheel with the whole family. Tire your littlest vacationers out on the carousel, convoy ride, and the Dizzy Dragon before heading back to your vacation home for a nice afternoon nap.

4. Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding

When you’re ready to brave the high seas, rent kayaks for your family from Dun and Sun Rentals. Kayaking is a sport for the whole family, but your littlest adventure seeker may need to sit on an adult’s lap. If kayaking isn’t really your thing, rent paddle boards from Little Miss Paddleboards. After a few quick lessons, your older children should be able to paddle the board while standing, and younger children can rest on their knees to paddle.

5. Play Putt-Putt at Pirate’s Island

Don your best eye patch, bandana, and leather vest for a thrilling game of putt-putt at Pirate’s Island. It has two separate 18-hole putt-putt courses — one is geared toward your little mateys, and the other is for more experienced pirates. Pirates’ Island is one of two pirate-themed mini golf courses in the area. You can also find pirate-themed putt-putt holes at Pirate’s Cove.

6. Find an Egret

You can find an egret by hiking around or canoeing through the Scarborough Marsh. This is the largest saltwater marsh in Maine, and it’s home to plenty of egrets and other animals.

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7. Browse Shops Along the Historic Pier

The Old Orchard Beach historic pier juts out into the ocean approximately 500 feet, and it’s filled with restaurants and shops to explore. Grab a bit to eat with your family, and then, let each of your children choose a souvenir from one of the shops.

8. Go Zip Lining

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, head to Monkey Trunks in Saco. The zip lining trail takes over approximately two hours to complete, and it takes you through the wooded area surrounding Cascade Falls. Children are allowed to zip line here, but they must meet certain criteria. Anyone who plans to zip line must weigh under 250 pounds and be able to reach at least 5’9″ when standing with their hands on their head.

9. Go Tide Pooling for Crabs

Fort Williams Park consists of a beautiful lighthouse — which is actually the oldest lighthouse in Maine. Attached to the lighthouse is a small museum and gift shop to explore, but your little ones are sure to have the most fun catching crabs along the banks of the pond.

10. Visit the York Wild Kingdom

The York Wild Kingdom is a zoo and amusement park that’s located less than an hour’s drive south of Old Orchard Beach in York. It has a kid’s zone filled with puzzles and coloring pages to keep your little ones occupied. It also features tons of animals to view in their natural habitat and an amusement park created just for children. It features over 22 rides with a maximum height requirement of 48 inches — no big kids or adults allowed! There are also several rides for older children with minimum height requirements ranging from 36 to 56 inches.

11. Visit Memorial Park

Spend the entire day away from your Old Orchard Beach vacation rental by taking your family to Memorial Park. Pack a picnic lunch and snacks to eat under one of the park’s shelters, play basketball or tennis, let the kids play at the playground, or take a short hike to see Memorial Park’s model lighthouse.

12. Enjoy an Ice Cream Cone from Bayley’s Ice Cream

Located approximately 7 miles north of Old Orchard Beach, Bayley’s Ice Cream offers a wide variety of homemade ice cream and plenty of shaded seating areas. Blueberry and orange pineapple hard-serve ice creams are a few of the local favorites, but if you prefer a sundae or shake, you’ll find a large selection.

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