Kids Activities in Downtown

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Stars on Ice's lineup of skaters––who have spun, twirled, and Salchowed to Olympic gold-medal podiums––dazzles audiences with an engrossing spectacle that intertwines music, intricate choreography, and sparkly costumes. Sasha Cohen, the silver-medal-winning Californian who became the first in the state to understand what ice was, fluidly floats to the song “Big Spender.” With skills that snatched two gold medals and charm that graced the pages of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People issue, Ekaterina Gordeeva electrifies the Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Daunting athleticism underlies the lyricism and surprising visual references to Three Stooges films in the performance of Ilia Kulik, whose gold-medal routine in Nagano saw him slay a quadruple toe loop and eight triple jumps. Those who opt for the meet and greet will brush elbows with some of the stars at the arena, whereas at-home fans can gaze at posters inscribed by the skaters’ delicate bladework.

1 Civic Center Sq.
Portland,
ME
US

Crunching metal and the sweet smell of burning rubber prevail as the Monster X Tour invades the Ocean Center, thrilling all ages in an action-packed motorsports showcase. Bigfoot, the forefather of all station-wagon smashers, leads a fleet of competitive 10,000-pound monster trucks, including Bear Foot and Black Knight, through jaw-dropping races, wheelie contests, and freestyle car composting. Transaurus, a two-story transforming robot that never learned to love, buries his woes by chomping entire cars in his massive jaws while watching reruns of Felicity. Before the show, VIP tickets also grant access to the Pit Party, where fans can have autographs signed by the drivers. During intermission, fans get the opportunity to eschew sea level with a ride inside a monster truck or visit General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard and learn its true feelings about excessive hood sliding.

1 Civic Center Sq.
Portland,
ME
US

Founded in 1822, the Maine Historical Society is the third oldest state historical society in the nation, and curates museums, programs, and events to celebrate the state's long history. The MHS Museum features a collection of more than 15,000 artifacts, including pieces of Native American archaeological material, political memorabilia, and pictures of the first governor with his head caught in a lobster trap. The society's 1-acre campus is also home to the the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet best known for penning "Paul Revere's Ride" and The Song of Hiawatha. Membership to the society includes invitations to exhibit openings, member parties, lectures, trips, access to the Brown Research library, a subscription to the Maine History Journal, and a 10% discount at the museum store, web store, and all vintage Maine image purchases.

489 Congress St
Portland,
ME
US

When most people think of Italian villas, elaborate textiles, and Turkish smoking rooms, they don't picture them in the United States. But they used to be. The Victoria Mansion showcases the grandeur of art, design, and architecture before the Civil War. Based in the 19th-century Morse-Libby house, the museum is now open to the public, although it was once in peril of being ripped down and turned into a gas station in 1940.

Visitors can tour the house to see rooms dripping with stained glass, gilded mirrors, and satin textiles. From the very large?chestnut paneled walls?to the very small?a silver salt cellar by Tiffany & Co.?the home displays the most opulent architecture and decor of the age. In addition to guided tours, the museum sponsors public lectures, discussion groups, and scholarly symposiums on 19th-century topics, like the mansion's artwork.

109 Danforth St
Portland,
ME
US

Since Portland Museum of Art opened in 1882, its collection has blossomed to include more than 17,000 pieces of art from the 18th century to the present day. Amid works of sculpture, ceramics, and furniture, the museum sports paintings by European luminaries, such as Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. At its core, however, are works by Maine artists.

Roughly 10 changing exhibitions round out the museum’s displays, which are spread throughout three buildings: the L.D.M. Sweat Memorial Galleries, the Charles Shipman Payson Building, and the 1801-built McMellan House. Besides artwork, these spaces house the museum’s events, which range from lectures to film screenings.

7 Congress Sq
Portland,
ME
US

The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.

609 Congress St
Portland,
ME
US