Shaking hands with a starfish, choreographing a puppet show, and drafting a system of roads and bridges in a single day no longer requires a college degree or being a Nickelodeon executive's son. At Children’s Discovery Museum, hands-on, informative exhibits engage kids' bodies and minds, meting out a palpable understanding of the world under the guise of role playing and interactive fun.
Children can introduce themselves to their coastal counterparts in the Touch Tank for Kids, where crabs scuttle and sea cucumbers swim away from predatory pickle jars. A bona fide Maine campground, equipped by L.L.Bean with tents, backpacks, and live animals, makes a great stomping ground for active legs and imparts the importance of conservation. A functional theater provides a venue for young directors to stage puppet shows and musicals, and bank counters and restaurant kitchens spark imaginative scenarios as kids learn the basics of counting change, preparing healthy meals, and coercing ketchup out of glass jars.
Gerard Bianco, the chief jewelry designer at Porte 4, mines 40 years of experience to fashion precious metals and gems into pendants, rings, necklaces, and bracelets inspired by the nautical imagery of Maine's coastline. The 14 karat Maine anchor pendant ($229) can dangle deliciously from either a necklace or a bracelet, and the Grand banks sterling-silver yacht pin ($75), bearing the Yankee marina insignia on its back, authorizes wearers to take the wheel of any cruise ship with or without the captain's permission. A leopard-print travel jewelry box ($23) keeps rings, earrings, and necklaces neatly sequestered, and a compact mirror can be used to perform self-hypnosis in public places. Porte 4 cleans jewelry brought in by Groupon customers as a complimentary service, so tarnished silver, dull diamonds, and mozzarella-covered emeralds can return to pristine states.
As detailed in the Portland Press Herald, Arcana Acupuncture, a holistic healing center and boutique, soothes the soul with something as complex as alternative medicine and spiritual workshops or as simple as sparkly original jewelry. The spacious lobby's green accent wall, exposed brick, and babbling fountain establish a bohemian yet modern atmosphere that continues beyond the gold curtains to private, soundproof treatment rooms that allow guests to retreat from the everyday with acupuncture, massages, and life-coaching sessions. After a workshop in aura hygiene and a tarot-card reading that reveals an impending decrease in fortune, guests peruse the boutique. Owner Kate Hebold handpicks its items, which include zodiac pocket watches, light-up steampunk cog rings, local crafts, and books.