Lively Little Campers: 4 Fantastic Family Activities Near Acadia National Park
Lively Little Campers: 4 Fantastic Family Activities Near Acadia National Park avatar

Jayco

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We were perfectly happy to do nothing besides hike, bike, and eat lobster when we traveled to Acadia National Park before having children. But when we returned with kids, we branched out and explored a variety of other activities offered in the Bar Harbor area. Good choice on our part. There are so many great affordable family friendly activities that really celebrate the local culture of Maine. All of the following recommendations were tons of fun for the kids and very educational for the adults. Win / Win!

1. Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show

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Let’s be honest…the boys had no idea what a lumberjack was before we went to this show. As we sat in the bleachers, they eyed the chainsaws and axes with more than a little suspicion. Then the show started and they were in awe from beginning to end. Timber Tina, a former contestant on Survivor, mixes interesting lumberjack history with good ole team competition.

The boys cheered loudly for the green team, and were pretty darn excited when they won. Timber Tina brings up all the kids and gives them a lesson in cross-cut sawing, then sends them home with a certificate signed by a real life lumberjack. Ask Max and Theo about this show and you will get quite an earful. You might also get a chopping demonstration performed with their souvenir axes.

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2. The Mount Desert Oceanarium

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This wonderful local gem, operated for four decades by Audrey and David Mills, is a fascinating hybrid of a museum, aquarium, and preserve. Your basic tour package includes three different interactive presentations: the touch tank, the lobster museum, and the lobster hatchery. You can also upgrade your ticket and take a guided tour through the salt marches on the premises. The touch tank presentation allowed the kids to handle sea stars, sea cucumbers, and horse shoe crabs.

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During the lobster museum demonstration, Max actually got to band the claws of a lobster and place it in a trap on the boat. Pretty exciting stuff for a five year old! The oceanarium immerses visitors in the lobster culture of coastal Maine with hands on activities presented by a friendly, knowledgeable staff. The playground outside the gift shop? That’s just a bonus.

3. Dive-In Theater With Diver Ed!

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There are many boat tour options near Acadia National Park, but if your traveling with kids, there is only one show in town! Join Diver Ed on the Starfish Enterprise for a two hour tour of Frenchman Bay that will surprise and delight the whole family. As the passengers sit comfortably on deck, Diver Ed will suit up in his scuba gear, then ask the kids to push him into the ocean so that he can search for lobsters, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and sea urchins. While Diver Ed collects these sea creatures you get to watch him and hear him on the ships’ big screen. But the best part is this—when he returns to the boat he brings all of his discoveries with him and places them in touch tanks for the kids to enjoy. While the sea creatures are colorful and amazing, the true star of the show is Diver Ed. His larger than life personality and kid-friendly humor will make this one of your all-time favorite family travel memories.

4. Park Ranger Programs

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When you purchase your pass to Acadia National Park you will also receive a schedule of Ranger Programs. We strongly recommend that you take a good look at this schedule and pick at least one to attend. Most of them are free, and many of them are appropriate for families with children. We chose to attend a program called Animal Tales that introduced the boys to some of Acadia’s “fuzzy, furry, and funny creatures through stories and activities.” The ranger who led this activity used puppets and silly songs to teach the kids about moose, loons, peregrine falcons, and other native species. She was also energetic and engaging. Her moose imitation was so realistic that it made Stephanie feel a bit better about not actually seeing one on our trip!

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, and the rest of Mount Desert Island form a premiere location for a family RV vacation. There are several excellent campgrounds, many delicious options for seafood, exciting and affordable family activities, and one of our country’s most beautiful National Parks. if your family is looking for its next great Jayco adventure, then Acadia may just be the perfect place. It was for us.

Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi blog about camping and traveling with their three young children at livelylittlecampers.com.

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Fifth Wheel Frame
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Jayco

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Here’s a quick shopping tip for fifth wheel buyers. To spot a potentially weak frame, look for a vertical plastic strip on the bedroom sidewalls. This seam typically means the bedroom walls aren’t built on a thick perimeter frame; this support seam is added to compensate for expansion joints. At Jayco, you’ll never find this seam on our fifth wheel walls because we build on a hardy 2” x 6” perimeter frame.

Here are some more Jayco fifth wheel frame differences:

  • Our walls are built on the frame’s full-width outriggers. These outriggers are spaced 4-6 feet apart (vs. 8 feet) for more support.
  • Our fifth wheel frames are made of I-Class structural-steel I-beams. These cambered frames feature a one-piece design that doesn’t twist during travel.

In addition to this frame, we build on three other impressive foundations. Click here to visit our Strong Foundation landing page to learn more.

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I-Beam Frame
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Jayco

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At Jayco, we’re proud to build several of our travel trailer products on I-Class cambered structural-steel I-beam frames. Made of structural steel, these cambered beams are one-piece. Think of a railroad track — formed to withstand weight. Competing travel trailers use a three-piece beam that can warp over time at the welded seams.

Our Jay Flight, Eagle and Octane travel trailers also feature:

  • Full-width outriggers, which are spaced 4-6 feet apart to better support the walls.

 

  • An integrated A-frame, which runs through the main frame to prevent the hitch from buckling. (Jay Flight seasonal trailer A-frames are not integrated because these units have a detachable hitch for long-term stays.)

 

In addition to this frame, we build on three other impressive foundations. Click here to visit our Strong Foundation landing page to learn more.

 

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