Museums are excellent sources of educational entertainment for your children. Whether you’ve lived in Maine your entire life, or you’re here just to visit, museums give you and your family  the chance to engulf yourself in the rich history of the region, explore the state’s unique characteristics, or to learn new pieces of fascinating information.

We’ve compiled a list of museums in Maine to give you a one-stop shop for finding the perfect museum for your family to visit. Don’t see a museum you think should be on our list? Email us at newenglanddads@gmail.com to add it.

Children’s Museums | Art Museums | Historical Museums | Military Museums | Transportation and Maritime Museums | Specialized Museums

Children’s Museums in Maine

Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine (Portland)
Located in the Arts District of downtown Portland, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities for children and families! Directions

Maine Discovery Museum (Bangor)
Maine Discovery Museum provides unique educational opportunities for children and families in Maine. Check out our hands-on, interactive exhibits and spend the day learning through play with your family! What will you discover at the Maine Discovery Museum. Directions

Children’s Discovery Museum (Augusta)
The mission of the Children’s Discovery Museum is to provide an array of exhibits and activities that promote developmental skills including social, cognitive, problem solving and peer interaction. Our environment creates an interactive community in which hands on learning is provided through play. Directions

Coastal Children’s Museum (Rockland)
Our mission is to provide children and families the opportunity to explore, discover and learn through play about the natural world, the arts and sciences and the diversity of Maine’s mid-coast. Directions

Back to the Top

Art Museums in Maine

Portland Museum of Art (Portland)
With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art, is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine – highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. Directions

Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville)
The Colby College Museum of Art has an outstanding collection of American art from the early 18th century through the present day. The collection showcases important works by Mary Cassatt, John Singleton Copley, Marsden Hartley, Alex Katz, Maya Lin, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Serra, Kiki Smith, James McNeill Whistler, and more. Directions

Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland)
Celebrating Maine’s role in American art, the Farnsworth Art Museum offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. With 20,000 square feet of gallery space and more than 15,000 works in the collection, there is always something new on view at the Farnsworth. Directions

Ogunquit Museum of American Art (Ogunquit)
The diverse collection includes works by Peggy Bacon, Will Barnet, Charles Burchfield, Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jack Levine, Arnold Newman, Charles Woodbury, and William and Marguerite Zorach. Directions

Tides Institute and Museum of Art (Eastport)
Operating from a cross border perspective, the Tides Institute & Museum of Art serves as a cultural catalyst and cultural anchor for the eastern coast of Maine. It does so by weaving together a range of interests with a range of programs.  Directions

Bates College Museum of Art (Lewiston)
Through its exhibitions, collections, stewardship, and interpretative programs, the Bates College Museum of Art presents a world of ideas, enhancing the vitality of the intellectual and cultural life of Bates College and the communities beyond campus. Directions

Sanford Springvale Art Gallery (Sandford)
For many years, we’ve been uniting Sanford area artists who wish to promote and pursue their art. We hold exhibits, sponsor juried shows, offer workshops, art lectures, and take art field trips. Directions

Centre Street Art Gallery (Bath)
An Artist Owned and Operated Gallery. Centre St. Arts Gallery was founded in 2012 to celebrate the wealth of artistic talent in the Bath, Maine area, by providing a variety of exhibition and learning opportunities in an historic and vibrant downtown setting, year-round. Directions

Bowdoin College Museum of Art (Brunswick)
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art is one of the finest college art museums in the nation. With a collection that began with a bequest from the College’s founder in 1811, it is also one of the oldest collegiate art museums in the United States.  Directions

Monhegan Museum (Monhegan)
The Monhegan Museum of Art & History focuses on art works of Monhegan Island. Housed at the historic Monhegan Light Station and at the house and studio built by Rockwell Kent and later occupied by James Fitzgerald, the collection has 1300 works done by artists who have been coming to the island for over 150 years. Directions

Wendell Gilley Museum (Southwest Harbor)
The Wendell Gilley Museum is a community center that celebrates the life and work of Wendell Gilley, a pioneer in the field of decorative bird carving. It teaches the art of bird carving and presents art exhibitions and educational programs with a special focus on people, nature, and art. Directions

University of Maine Art Museum (Bangor)
The University of Maine Museum of Art, focuses on exhibiting and collecting modern and contemporary art. The permanent collection includes works by Jim Dine, Eric Fischl, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Judy Pfaff, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Susan Rothenberg, Diego Rivera, Frank Stella, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol. Directions

Back to the Top

Historical Museums in Maine

Maine State Museum (Augusta)
The Maine State Museum is one of the nation’s oldest state funded museums. Learn more about the fascinating history of Maine through several long-standing, temporary, and rotating exhibits. Directions

Alfred Shaker Museum (Alfred)
The Alfred Shaker Museum is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1-4 PM from May till November. The Friends of the Museum mount exhibits, hold events and craft workshops, run a museum shop, build the museum’s collection of Shaker artifacts and resources as well as its library, and create school programs. Directions

Belfast Historical Society and Museum (Belfast)
The Belfast Historical Society and Museum is dedicated to the collection, conservation, preservation and interpretation of artifacts relevant to Belfast history. Visitors to the Museum will enjoy vintage photographs, maps, postcard collections and interpretive displays. An extensive archives and library are available for research. Directions

Biddeford Mills Museum (Biddeford)
To properly tell the story of this Mill’s past is a formidable task. It takes people: many different kinds of thinkers, as well as many different kinds of doers. Both doers and thinkers join in on the creation of a living, breathing active museum. Directions

Boothbay Railway Village (Boothbay)
The Boothbay Railway Village is a non-profit educational organization. Nowhere else in New England can you ride the rails behind an authentic steam locomotive surrounded by historic Maine buildings preserved in a recreated village, and view a collection of 60 antique autos.  Directions

Curran Homestead Village (Orrington)
The Curran Homestead is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the rural Maine family farm through educational programs and demonstrations for the public. The Curran Homestead is a place where Maine’s turn of the 20th century farming history comes to life for both children and adults alike. Directions

Davistown Museum (Liberty)
The primary mission of the museum is the recovery, display, and interpretation of hand tools used in Maine and New England’s maritime culture. It serves as an important clearinghouse for information on the history of hand tools and their roles in the early industries of Maine and New England. Directions

Friendship Museum (Friendship)
The Friendship Museum, established in 1964, is a museum of local history preserving the artifacts and documents of a traditional seafaring community. The small brick schoolhouse that houses the museum is itself a museum artifact. Measuring only 20 by 25 feet, it is a typical one-room schoolhouse of the mid- 19th century. Directions

Castle Tucker (Wiscasset)
A time capsule of Victorian taste Wiscasset, Maine Dramatically sited on a hill overlooking the Sheepscot River, Castle Tucker tells the story of a prominent shipping family’s life on the coast of Maine over a period of 150 years. Directions

The Nickels-Sortwell House (Wiscasset)
A National Historic Landmark and one of the region’s finest examples of high Federal-style architecture. Built by successful ship owner Captain William Nickels, the house epitomizes the brief period when shipbuilding and the maritime trade brought wealth and sophisticated tastes to this coastal Maine village. Directions

Hudson Museum at UMaine (Orono)
The Hudson Museum offers guided tours and gallery programs for elementary and secondary school groups, as well as programs for University students and learners of all ages. Additionally, we offer programs that support state mandated educational initiatives. Directions

L C Bates Museum (Hinckley)
The L.C. Bates Museum is an early 20th Century Museum full of unique cabinets of curiosities and Maine wildlife dioramas.  Discover the Wonders of Nature. Explore exhibits of art, Maine Native American Baskets, Minerals, and Maine History and Archaeology.  Experience Maine’s natural beauty first hand on our forest walking trails. Directions

Museum L-A (Lewiston)
Museum L-A connects generations and cultures, fosters a spirit of discovery and human ingenuity, and helps people experience the rich history of work, arts and community. Directions

Nordica Homestead Museum (Farmington)
Situated on 108 acres of forest and field, the Nordica Homestead Museum is a simple white cape with a large barn. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Directions

Rufus Porter Museum (Bridgeton)
The Rufus Porter Museum shares the history of a remarkable 19th century New Englander, Rufus Porter. Widely known in the folk art community for his murals and miniature portraits, however Porter was more than just a painter. He was a thinker, inventor, writer, publisher, and more. Directions

Tate House Museum (Portland)
Visit the elegant home of Maine’s last Mast Agent and see how New England forests fueled colonial industry, strengthened the British Royal Navy, and sparked rebellion. Directions

Wilson Museum (Castine)
Building on the legacy of its founding family, the Wilson Museum uses its diverse collections and resources to provide learning experiences to stimulate exploration of the history and cultures of the Penobscot Bay region and world.  Directions

Back to the Top

Military Museums in Maine

Old Fort Western (Augusta)
Old Fort Western, built in 1754 and a National Historic Landmark, is Maine’s and New England’s oldest surviving wooden fort – a reminder of the great contest of cultures that dominated New England life 250 years ago. Directions

Maine Military Historical Society and Armed Forces Museum (Augusta)
The Maine Military Historical Society is presently Maine’s ONLY museum dedicated solely to Maine’s military history. The museum is a place to tell the story of all Mainers who have served their state and their nation, in its defense. Directions

Fifth Maine Regiment Museum (Peaks Island)
The Fifth Maine Regiment Memorial Hall was built in 1888 as the “Headquarters” of the Fifth Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry 1861-1864. Under the stewardship of the Fifth Maine Regiment Community Association, the Hall is maintained as a Civil War and local history museum and a cultural center for our island community. Directions

Fort McKinley Museum (Great Diamond Island)
Open from July-September, the museum offers exhibits on the history of Fort McKinley as well as hosts several events throughout the summer. The museum offers historical presentations, tours, hosts visiting authors, and offers movie screenings. Directions

Kittery Historical and Naval Museum (Kittery)
Cited as “A fun, short stop on the way to the Kittery malls,” the Kittery Museum — with its ample parking and easy access — is the perfect place to begin your stay. Directions

Back to the Top

Transportation and Maritime Museums in Maine

Cole Land Transportation Museum (Bangor)
Our purpose at the Cole Land Transportation Museum is to collect, preserve, and display (before they disappear forever) a cross section of Maine’s land transportation equipment from which this and future generations will gain knowledge of the past. Directions

Maine Maritime Museum (Bath)
The museum is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of Maine’s maritime heritage and culture through gallery exhibits, the historic Percy & Small Shipyard, educational programs, a research library, and narrated excursions along area waterways. Directions

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum (Portland)
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad is dedicated to the preservation and operation of Maine’s two foot gauge railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public. Directions

Owls Head Transportation Museum (Owls Head)
The Owls Head Transportation Museum is a nonprofit educational organization. Its mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and operate pre-1940 aircraft, ground vehicles, engines and related technologies significant to the evolution of transportation for the purpose of education. Directions

Penobscot Marine Museum (Searsport)
Eight buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places grace the three acres of our Seacoast Village. Complete with a classic New England Town Hall, the First Congregational Church, private residences, and a commercial building, the Village buildings range in date circa 1810 to 1845. Directions

Seal Cove Auto Museum (Seal Cove)
Our collection features some of the earliest automobiles and motorcycles, as well as clothing and accessories, from 1895 through the early 1920s. Antique auto enthusiasts, history buffs, as well as anyone who simply loves stories or wants to experience something entirely different, will delight in this unique collection. Directions

Swan’s Island Lobster and Marine Museum (Swan’s Island)
The Lobster and Marine Museum tells the story of commercial fishing in Maine, through the history of fishing on Swan’s Island. Directions

The Fisherman’s Museum (Bristol)
The esthetic beauty, tidal action, currents and extreme weather are available for viewing in a park setting that provides in addition to the Museum, restrooms, a picnic area, an Artists Gallery and a new Visitors Center. Directions

WW&F Railway Museum (Alna)
The WW&F Railway Museum was founded in 1989 to restore and rebuild the original railroad.  Since then we’ve restored 2.6 miles of railroad, rebuilt an original WW&F steam locomotive, and restored several  railroad cars. Directions

Back to the Top

Specialized Museums in Maine

International Cryptozoology Museum (Portland)
We have a wide range of exhibitions from rare, one-of-a-kind scientific, zoological specimens to popular cultural homages to the relevant anthropological and psychological acknowledgements of the sightings and folk traditions to be found within hominology and cryptozoology. Directions

Maine Country Music Hall of Fame Museum (Mechanic Falls)
There is a public museum in Mechanic Falls, Me which displays memobrilia of Maine Country Music artists who are members of the Hall of Fame. Inductions are made each year for new members. Directions

The Telephone Museum (Ellsworth)
Real, working telephones and the switchboards and switching systems that powered the network are featured at this hands-on, interactive museum. You will see, hear and enjoy the electro-mechanical marvels that led the way to computers, cell phones, smart phones and other wonders of telecommunications. Directions

Maine Mineral and Gem Museum (Bethel)
The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is being built to showcase our geological history, display renowned mineral and rock collections, provide educational opportunities for the novice and expert alike, conduct historical and geological research and to create a Maine travel destination for residents and visitors. Directions

Ski Museum of Maine (Kingfield)
The Ski Museum’s mission is to “celebrate and preserve the history and heritage of Maine skiing.” Directions

The Butterfly and Insect Museum (Lisbon Falls)

Get up close and Personal with some of the World’s most Exotic Insect and Invertebrates. One-hour presentations with some of the world’s largest, most beautiful, most bizarre and unusual specimens: both alive and preserved. Directions

Umbrella Cover Museum (Peaks Island)
The Umbrella Cover Museum is dedicated to the appreciation of the mundane in everyday life. It is about finding wonder and beauty in the simplest of things, and about knowing that there is always a story behind the cover. Directions

Back to the Top

Did we miss something? Email us at newenglanddads@gmail.com to add it.

Back to Things to Do