Archive for the Beyond Bangor Category

It’s that time of year! In Maine, Pre-K students must be 4 by October 15, 2011, and K students must be 5 by that date to attend public elementary schools. A birth certificate, immunization record, and proof of residency are required for registration, and check with your school as they may have specific needs. Not all schools in the area offer Pre-K, and many Pre-K programs have limited space. Bangor is the only area school district to have neighborhood schools, all other towns have just one location for PreK/Kindergarten programs.

Bangor

The attendance directory has been updated for 2011, and you can find that and the current map (I didn’t see any changes from last year aside from additions based on new subdivisions) on our Schools page.

March 7: Abraham Lincoln & Vine Street 4-7pm

March 8: 14th, Downeast, and Fruit Street 4-7pm

Registration is for parents only; students will have an orientation later in the year. You can find more information at the school department’s site.

Brewer

February 9 & 10, 4-7pm, Capri Street School

Hampden/Newburgh

February 11, 9:30-2pm, McGraw Elementary School.

Orono

March 10, 1:30-6pm, by appointment only. Call 866-2151 or 866-4141 between the hours of: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm for more information.

Winterport

February 14, 2011 8am-7pm, Leroy H. Smith School Library.

The following towns have no public dates announced.

Glenburn School 947-8769

Hermon Elementary School 848-4000

Levant (Suzanne Smith Elementary School) 884-7444

Old Town Elementary School 827-1544

Veazie Community School 947-6573

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Because our summers in Maine are so short, and so glorious, I pretty much don’t want to leave the promise of a cold lake to do something else, but when fall comes, venturing further afield starts to make sense.

Last year, we took our then 3 year old to Boston for the day, and you couldn’t have planned a more perfect trip.

We started on Saturday, and headed to Portland where we visited the Children’s Museum of Maine. The cost? Free — we have a reciprocal membership for the Maine Discovery Museum that grants us free access to hundreds of museums and science centers. Even parking was free (and easy, because it was Saturday) after we got it validated at the museum. We visited with some friends and spent the night at the Best Western Merry Manor Inn — ask the for Welcome Home card, you get a cheaper rate, free breakfast at the attached Governor’s, and after 12 nights at one of the participating hotels (located in Waterville, Bangor, Auburn, and South Portland) you get one free. The South Portland location has a heated indoor/outdoor pool and a small splash pool perfect for toddlers (imagine a backyard wading pool cast in concrete and set into the floor) inside. It’s not the cheapest option, but the three year old thought that swimming under the stars was pretty neat, and it was handy to our morning destination — the train.

I love trains, and I knew when I had kids, I would want to take the Amtrak Downeaster to Boston, for many reasons. The Downeaster is the most family friendly train I’ve ever been on — there’s food, bathrooms, and more space than a bus or car would provide. There are train hosts whose job it is is to help people figure out where to go next, and you can even buy T fare on the Downeaster, get a simple map, or even just get some advice. It’s great, and lived up to my expectations. My tips are to send one adult down while the other wrangles kids so that you can get a set of four seats that face each other. We’ve tried the traditional configuration, but facing each other trumped having a seatback tray exponentially. I was the scout, and ahd to shrug and smile and say “my family is catching up to me” when people glanced at the “Parties of 3 or More” tag above the seats, but it was worth it to score the choice seat arrangement. Kids are free on Sundays, and we got a discount for buying early and for using our AAA membership. It’s about 2.5 hours each way, but it flew by, and the kid was enthralled.

When we got to North Station, which is housed in the TD Banknorth Garden, there was a Celtics game happening later that day, and players were arriving in the back gate. We allegedly saw some famous people (based on the handful of fans waiting there) but not being sports fans, we aren’t sure who. If you do have a sports fan on the trip, it might be an extra treat to have such an experience, though! We walked to the New England Aquarium via the new Greenway. Beautiful, and very safe feeling (it’s always an adjustment when you have to become a true CITY pedestrian, but the Greenway has easy street crossings) it’s a lovely walk in and of itself, and even has a carousel near Faneuil Hall. It was a gorgeous day, and a lot of other people had had the same idea to check out the Aquarium, too, and the line for tickets was staggering, but, I had purchased our tickets online a few days before, and the line for THOSE tickets? Nonexistent. Buy your tickets in advance. Because we knew we’d be doing a lot of walking, we had our umbrella stroller, but NEAQ has a free stroller check. We shoved our fleece coats and backpack into the basket, and left that behind while we explored the Aquarium, which fascinated our daughter. After lunch at their cafe,we walked back up the Greenway, past North Station, and over to the Boston Museum of Science. The girl slept in her stroller through the walk and for the first part of our museum visit, but woke up and was (mostly) thrilled to see dinosaurs, among other things. Admission to the MoS? Also free, thanks again to our Maine Discovery Museum reciprocal membership. (The Boston Children’s Museum is also part of that network, but we decided the Aquarium and Museum of Science was already a busy day. Next time!)

We explored the museum easily without checking the stroller (remember, she’d been asleep when we arrived) because it is much more spacious and roomy than the Aquarium. Once she woke, she walked around and we pushed our stuff in the stroller, just to save time, knowing we had a limited window there. We walked back to North Station, bought a smoothie in the train station and caught our 5pm train, and were back in Bangor by 9:30, exhausted and content.

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It’s the first day of summer! Today, the other Bangor pool opened (Dakin, on Pine street) following the opening of the Pancoe pool on Saturday. I have to confess, though, that while people here in Bangor were facing the muggy day at the awesome Pancoe pool, we were out of town, swimming in the lake of my childhood. There really isn’t much that’s better than a crisp, cool lake on a hot muggy day, and seeing your own kid doing all the things you once did growing up — jumping off the same docks, preferring the same entry points, digging the same trenches to the waterline — is pretty cool. We’ll certainly make it to Pancoe more than a few times this summer (we live just a few blocks away, so we don’t even need to deal with parking!) but I will always cherish the lake days.

Of course, my lake is a hundred miles away, which is two hours of “are we there yet?” and I Spy and kids’ music in the CD player, and that has it’s own…. merits, but I know that closer to town there are good options, too. We’ve been to Peaks-Kenny, in Dover, but generally we make the drive or go to the pool What are your favorite swimming holes in the Greater Bangor area?

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The weekend is almost here, and there’s lots to do around Bangor for families!

1)  Flannery Brothers concert

When: Saturday, June 19th 2pm

Where: Bangor Grange Hall, 1192 Ohio Street

What’s Happening: The Flannery Brothers will perform their award winning childrens’ music. Ages 2& under are free, 4-6 are $2, 6-12 are $3, and everyone else is $5.

2)  Go Swimming!

When: Saturday June 19

Where: Bangor’s City Pools (Dakin on Pine Street, and Pancoe at Hayford Park, 13th Street)

What’s Happening: Bangor’s pools open for the season this Saturday![Correction! Pancoe opens Saturday, Dakin opens Monday.] Rates have gone up for season passes, which can only be purchased at the rec center office, on Main St. Day fees remain the same — $1 for resident kids, $2 for resident adults, and double that for non-residents. The Pancoe pool is especially great for families with little ones, with the zero entry area, and for big ones, with the waterslides.

3)  Maine Day

When: Sunday, June 20

Where: Maine’s State Parks

What’s Happening: Free admission for Maine residents to all Maine State Parks! Within 50 miles of Bangor, we have Moose Point (Searsport,) Peaks-Kenny (Dover-Focxcroft), Lamoine (Lamoine), and Swan Lake (Swanville.)

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It’s Thursday, and it’s kind of rainy today but the forecast for the weekend looks great. Here are three things you might want to check out this weekend!

1) Old Town’s Family Fun Day

When: Saturday June 12, 10-1

Where: Herbert Sargent Community Center, 342 Bennoch Road, Old Town

What’s happening: The grand opening of the Born Learning Trail, a half-mile trail that displays interactive signs that encourage families to talk and get active, and a bike safety station. Lunch will be served from 11-1.

2) Meet Donn Fendler

When: 10 am

Where: Bangor Public Library, Story Room

What’s Happening: Meet Donn Fendler: “In 1939, a 12-year-old New York boy scout, Donn Fendler captured the hearts and imagination of the country, when, after nine days lost and alone in the Maine wilderness, he emerged from the north woods, foot-sore and half-starved, but alive. Many older Maine folks remember this young boy’s ordeal vividly, but successive generations have also learned of and been inspired by Mr. Fendler’s courage and determination.” — BPL

3)  Picnic at the Waterfront

When: Whenever!

Where: Bangor’s Waterfront

What’s Happening: Up to you. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, and a favorite way for us to  enjoy a nice day  is to get sandwiches from Angelo’s (or one could make your own) and roll out a blanket on the grass at Bangor’s waterfront. Kids can watch the boats go by, and the planes, and the trains (if you’re there at the right time, of course) and feed the gulls. The waterfront has changed so dramatically in the last decade, it’s good to celebrate what a great place we live in by taking advantage of all it has to offer. A waterfront picnic is a perfect (and really cheap) way to do that.

Have an upcoming weekend event you’d like to let Bangor families know about? Email me: bangorbaby AT gmail DOT com — I’d love to include it.

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The Robinson Ballet will be performing the children’s matinees The Little Tailor and Once Upon a Time at the Bangor Opera House and Ellsworth’s Grand Theater.

The Little Tailor
A story taken from the Grimm fairy tale. One fine morning, the Little Tailor is busily sewing when a young woman passes by selling cream. The luscious smell of the cream spreads to the walls, which are covered in flies. The flies surround The Tailor, who taking a cloth from his table strikes at the pesky flies. Much to his amazement, no fewer than seven lie dead. Thinking himself quite the clever fellow he embroiders himself a belt that reads  “7 WITH ONE BLOW”. Donning his belt he sets off to tell the world of his feat. After traveling for some time, he tires, and lies down to sleep. A group of peasants find The Tailor and read his belt. Thinking he must be some powerful person that go to tell The King. He greets the Tailor and asks him to rid their kingdom of three threats. If he is successful he may have the hand of his daughter, the princess, in marriage. The Tailor takes the challenge and the adventure begins!
Once Upon A Time
A ballet set to the first movement of Keith Emerson’s Piano Concerto #1. Our story takes us to an enchanted wood inhabited by dryads, nymphs, pixies and fairies. They are all gathering for a celebration. Three hikers chance upon the spot and a lively encounter ensues.

The Bangor Opera House:  Saturday, April 4 at 3PM. Tickets are 5.00 for children and adults. To purchase tickets contact Penobscot Theatre at (207) 942-3333 or online.

The Grand in Ellsworth: Saturday, April 11 at 3PM Tickets are 5.00 for children and adults. To purchase tickets contact The Grand at (207) 667-9500 or online.

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The annual Hampden Children’s Day celebration is this Saturday, August 16.  There is a parade, a Touch-a-Vehicle area, and juggling, among other things. It is open to all area children, not just those from Hampden. A full schedule can be found at the BDN.

Hampden Children’s Day

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BangorBaby was in cloth diapers for the first 9 months, until daycare started and dictated otherwise. So I was very excited to see that there’s a new diaper vendor in central Maine. EverydayDiapers.com sells modern pocket diapers, as well as the Ergo baby carrier, babylegs (a staple here!) and other hard-to-find (in big-box stores) products. They also have a physical location in Skowhegan at the Blueberry Cupboard, 49 Water Street.

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Our Time (Wiggles &  Giggles) is for children age 1.5 to 3 years old. Classes are held Tuesdays, 9:15 – 10:00 am, at The Woodlands Assisted Living Facility in Brewer. Tuition and materials are $150. Registration is required.

FMI: Kindermusik in Maine
Ann kmusik@verizon.net

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A local Kindermusik instructor is holding a Sign and Sing class for babies and toddlers, age 6months-3years.  Classes are held at The Woodlands Assisted Living Facility, in Brewer on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:15.  For tuition and materials, a half-session is $72, ; a full session is $138.  Registration is required.

FMI: Kindermusik in Maine
Ann, kmusik@verizon.net

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