Living in New England my entire life, whenever my husband would talk about the great state of Maine, he was always shocked that I’d never taken the two hour drive up to visit. Known for their incredible beaches, light houses, and apparently lobster, there’s a lot to love about the state that was once part of Massachusetts.
Fast forward to this summer and we decided to take the plunge and took a mini vacation up to Old Orchard Beach, Maine and it was amazing! We tackled a lot of awesome summer experiences as a family and look forward to hopefully visiting again soon!
So we decided that our trip would be an overnight one, and after realizing that peak tourist season was in full swing were able to find a family campground with an open campsite perfect for our needs. We stayed up at Paradise Park Resort Campground, a family oriented camping resort that had not only amazing bath houses, but a super friendly and helpful staff!
The campground had a playground two salt water swimming pools, multiple bath houses that were super clean and easy to reach for my pregnant having to pee every seven minutes self, and just gave off a super friendly family vibe that we loved!
Another awesome perk of the campground was that it was a five minute walk from the waterfront and downtown Old Orchard Beach, so we didn’t have to pay for parking in order to go and enjoy the beach experience! They even run a shuttle for those that don’t want to make the walk, but we chose to huff it instead of having to deal with lugging a car seat to the beach.
Being our first time camping outside of the comfort of our backyard I was super nervous to see how Ez would do, but luckily our site was secluded and had plenty of room to roam. We even had a little spring running through the back of the site that was an awesome source of entertainment for Little Man as he loved throwing rocks into the water.
Camping with a Toddler
As I mentioned above we have only back yard camped so I was nervous what it would be like camping at a campground with our toddler in tow. Let me tell you it was awesome! We packed light but made sure to bring some trucks and sand toys and our little explorer loved being outside the whole time!
Bedtime was a little tough since he was so excited and there was a lot of ambient noise happening, but once he was settled he slept straight through the night which is something that doesn’t usually happen at home.
Other than the obvious fear of him running off, running into the fire, or being stolen by some woodland creature, we really didn’t have to worry too much about him. Our umbrella stroller came in handy as the easiest way to get him to and from the bathroom, and he loved going for walks in the stroller around the campground and just seeing what the world had to offer.
He loved all the different wildlife we heard and saw, and was amazed at the ants he chased around the picnic table. It was an experience I would recommend to anyone with an outdoorsy toddler because the entire trip was just one big opportunity for open ended play and exploration.
The drawbacks of camping with a toddler was definitely getting him to eat, because he was so excited meal time was non-existent and snacks just ended up on the ground. For our next experience I will definitely try and structure mealtime a little bit better than handing him a pop tart and letting him run free.
Old Orchard Beach is on the southern coast of Maine and it’s your typical beachy tourist attraction. We hit up the boardwalk area Saturday afternoon for swimming and adventure and it was really fun to get to enjoy the water! We didn’t break out the sand toys because Little Man was so in love with the waves we had to drag him out when he started shivering.
We tackled the arcade and let Ez meander freely pressing buttons and taking in the lights and sounds. It’s a great way to let him kill some energy without being in the sun, and luckily we were able to take shelter during a brief ran storm that happened while we were there.
The Overall Adventure
Having a tiny family that can be packed and ready to roll in under an hour is something that makes mini vacations and spur of the moment trips so exciting. I’m so glad we got to spend some quality time together with Little Man before his brother arrives, but also that we did such a normal family thing. I remember fondly the camping trips and beach adventures my parents would take me on as a kid and hope that our kiddos can have the same fond summer memories to look back on.
It was amazing to get away and reconnect as a family for the weekend and I can’t wait to do it again! Maine has so much to offer that I’m hoping we can make summer visits an annual thing!