Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine Logo

Basic Information

Address: 142 Free Street, Portland, Maine 04101
Phone Number: 207-828-1234
Fax Number: 207-828-5726
Director: Suzanne Olson, Executive Director

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Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

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Additional Information

Days and Hours: Group visits are generally available Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Description:

The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine serves as an indispensable resource for educators. In addition to inspiring discovery and imagination through exploration and play, we offer a variety of educator-led school programs. Group visits allow your students to learn through play while exploring the Museum & Theatre. Adding a program can enhance your group's experience, teaching your students about science, culture, arts and theatre with hands-on, artifact-rich learning experiences. Our educators are eager to make your job easier - please let us know how we can best serve your needs and the needs of your students!

Grade Levels:
Pre-K
K-5
Disabled Access:

The Children's Museum & Theatre is fully accessible to all visitors. There is a ramp to the front entrance and elevator access to all floors.

Program Type:

Three types of group visits are available:

  • Self-guided visit - a two-hour visit, during which your group can explore freely
  • Guided visit - a two-hour visit that includes both a guided educational program and time for exploration
  • Theatre performances for groups - see below for details

Guided program options include:

Camera Obscura Ideal for grades K to Adult
Color Matters Ideal for grades K to 5
Dinosaur Fossil Detectives Ideal for grades K to 5
 Maine Animal Adaptations Ideal for grades K to 5
Meet the Turtles! Ideal for grades Pre-K to 5
Ocean Exploration Ideal for grades Pre-K to 3
Recycle Challenge Ideal for grades K to 5
Rock Cycle Ideal for grades K to 5
Simple Machines Ideal for grades 1 to 5
StarLab: The Science of Constellations Ideal for grades K to 5
The Story of Istar the Whale Ideal for grades Pre-K to 2
We Are Maine: Explore India Ideal for grades K to 5
Whale Science Ideal for grades 1 to 5
Worm Bin Workshop Ideal for grades Pre-K to 5
The Kids on the Block © Puppet Shows Ideal for grades K to 5
Take the Stage Ideal for grades Pre-K to 5

Complete program descriptions are available on our website:
kitetails.org/educators-and-groups/onsite-programs/
Theatre Performances for Groups

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for group ticket rates.
Groups up to 65 total adults and children may book a theatre performance.

Rates
Advance payment is required for theatre productions.
$7 per person for a 45 minute performance
$13 per person for a 45 minute performance plus play time: visit includes time to explore the Museum & Theatre on your own.
$400 to book a private show (1 month advance payment required; additional play time not included; audience max of 65)

This season's theatre productions can be found on the Our Season page.

Admission/Tickets: $6/child for self-guided visits; $7/child for guided visits; $7/person for a theatre performance.
Registration: Advance reservations required. Contact shana@kitetails.org or call 207-828-1234 x232.
Food: Students can bring bag lunches to eat during the visit; time and place will be scheduled while coordinating your visit.
Length of Visit: Two hours
Student/Staff Ratio: Two adults per ten students are admitted free.
Max. Group Number: Depends upon staff and space availability, and guided program desired (if any). The Theatre accomodates up to 65 people. Self-guided group visits can accomodate 100+ students.
Group Requirements: Minimum of 10 students for to qualify for the group rate.
Exhibits: Our hands-on exhibits span four floors, giving children opportunities to think creatively, role play, solve problems and learn about art, science, world culture and much more. Signature exhibits include: • What About Whales? Learn about life as an ocean mammal in this original science exhibit featuring a life-size inflatable humpback whale and an undersea whale-watching room. • Child Inventor Service Enter the lab of Sandy, a young inventor, and use circuitry, robotics, wind power and other technologies to help her solve problems for her Our Town neighbors. • Have a Ball! Experiment with physics by racing balls around the room using a series of ramps and tubes. • Our Town Children try on different identities as they travel around this tiny town, becoming farmers, firefighters, lobstermen/lobsterwomen and more. • We Are Maine This interactive exhibit takes a uniquely Maine approach to multicultural education, featuring video stories of Maine families with roots around the world. • Discovery Woods and Ranger Station Bringing the great outdoors inside, this area offers young explorers a campsite, a rushing stream, a climbing wall as well as live turtles and tidepool creatures. • Camera Obscura The only one of its kind in New England, this hidden gem draws photography and art enthusiasts of all ages; can be toured on its own at a reduced admission rate. More information: http://www.kitetails.org/exhibits-and-programs/list-of-exhibits/
Gift Shop/Factory Outlet: A gift kiosk is available featuring toys, apparel and books by Maine authors.
Amenities: Lost and Found All items found are returned to the desk in the lobby. These items are kept for at least one week; please call (207) 828-1234 if you believe you have left something at the Museum. For health reasons, we do not hold onto food, sippy cups or pacifiers. Emergency or First Aid If you have any safety concerns or incidents, please ask a guide or any staff member for help immediately! Accessibility The Children's Museum & Theatre is fully accessible to all visitors. Clean and Safe Props We work hard to keep our museum clean and safe! We are conscious of potential choking hazards and avoid them in our exhibits. All of our plastic food is washed and sanitized nightly. Other props, such as dress-up clothes and stuffed animals, are laundered on a rotating schedule. You can help us keep our museum germ safe by letting us know if a prop has been in a child's mouth or by simply placing a dirty toy in the drop bin in our toddler park.
Reservations Needed: Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance. Book early for best availability.
Directions:

Driving from I-295 N or I-295 S:

  • Take exit 6-A (Forest Ave. South).
  • Bear right at the lights onto Rt. 77 South and proceed through the park.
  • Continue up the hill (Rt. 77/State Street).
  • At the top of the hill take a left onto Congress Street.
  • Proceed 2/10 mile, cross High Street and immediately bear right onto Free Street.
  • The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine is on the right, immediately after the Portland Museum of Art.
Nearby Attractions: We are adjacent to the Portland Museum of Art and a short walk from Maine Historical Society, Merrill Auditorium, the Victoria Mansion and many other downtown Portland attractions.
Mission Statement:

The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine exists to inspire discovery and imagination through exploration and play.

The Museum & Theatre serves as an indispensable resource for families and educators, helping to create a broad community devoted to our children's development and learning.

Facility History: Children's Museum of Maine History

Children's Museum of Maine was founded by the Junior League of Portland in 1976, opening in just a few rooms in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. In 1980 the Museum moved to a Victorian home on Stevens Avenue in Portland. After more than a decade of successful exhibits and programs, the Museum once again needed a new space to accommodate a growing role in the community. In 1991 a capital campaign was launched, and two years later the Museum opened to the public in a grand new home, the former Chamber of Commerce building on Free Street in downtown Portland. The 15,000 square foot building has since been home to dozens of large-scale interactive exhibits, both permanent and rotating. In 2001, the Museum established three areas of long range focus: science education, early childhood education, and multicultural education. In 2002, the Museum was ranked the #14 children's museum in the country by Child Magazine. A 2004 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences supported the research and implementation of We Are Maine, an exhibit honoring and exploring the diverse cultures of Maine families; the exhibit and related programming further the Museum's commitment to multicultural education.

More information: http://www.kitetails.org/about-us/our-history/museum-history/

Children's Theatre of Maine History

Founded by the Junior League as the Children's Theatre of Portland in 1923, this company is among the longest-running continuously performing children's theatres in the country. The theatre expanded its reach steadily throughout the 1920s and 30s, establishing a tradition of presenting theatre for and by children. In the 1940s their innovative traveling trailer theatre made performances accessible to thousands of Greater Portland children, and the design inspired theatres around the world. In the 1950s the theatre garnered the support of Bette Davis, who held an opening of her film The Virgin Queen as a fundraiser. In the next several decades, the Children's Theatre occupied spaces throughout the city and experimented with new formats and programs, including a young playwrights contest and a Shakespeare program for teens.

The Children's Theatre of Maine staged Odd at Sea, their first production on the Children's Museum campus, in the summer of 2007. Notable alumni include Emmy Award winner Andrea Martin and rising Disney star G. Hannelius.

More information: http://www.kitetails.org/about-us/our-history/theatre-history/

Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine History

Following the Children's Theatre of Maine's first production at the Museum in 2007, the two organizations continued to work collaboratively, finding their missions compatible and their demographics complementary. After more than a year of research and planning, the two merged in November of 2008 to form the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine. Since the merger, the Museum added the performing arts as an area of educational focus. In addition to staging five productions annually, the Museum & Theatre incorporates the performing arts into educational programming to broaden the scope of arts education for children.

More information: http://www.kitetails.org/about-us/our-history/

-->Children's Museum of Maine History

Children's Museum of Maine was founded by the Junior League of Portland in 1976, opening in just a few rooms in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. In 1980 the Museum moved to a Victorian home on Stevens Avenue in Portland. After more than a decade of successful exhibits and programs, the Museum once again needed a new space to accommodate a growing role in the community. In 1991 a capital campaign was launched, and two years later the Museum opened to the public in a grand new home, the former Chamber of Commerce building on Free Street in downtown Portland. The 15,000 square foot building has since been home to dozens of large-scale interactive exhibits, both permanent and rotating. In 2001, the Museum established three areas of long range focus: science education, early childhood education, and multicultural education. In 2002, the Museum was ranked the #14 children's museum in the country by Child Magazine. A 2004 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences supported the research and implementation of We Are Maine, an exhibit honoring and exploring the diverse cultures of Maine families; the exhibit and related programming further the Museum's commitment to multicultural education.

More information: http://www.kitetails.org/about-us/our-history/museum-history/

Children's Theatre of Maine History

Founded by the Junior League as the Children's Theatre of Portland in 1923, this company is among the longest-running continuously performing children's theatres in the country. The theatre expanded its reach steadily throughout the 1920s and 30s, establishing a tradition of presenting theatre for and by children. In the 1940s their innovative traveling trailer theatre made performances accessible to thousands of Greater Portland children, and the design inspired theatres around the world. In the 1950s the theatre garnered the support of Bette Davis, who held an opening of her film The Virgin Queen as a fundraiser. In the next several decades, the Children's Theatre occupied spaces throughout the city and experimented with new formats and programs, including a young playwrights contest and a Shakespeare program for teens.

The Children's Theatre of Maine staged Odd at Sea, their first production on the Children's Museum campus, in the summer of 2007. Notable alumni include Emmy Award winner Andrea Martin and rising Disney star G. Hannelius.

More information: http://www.kitetails.org/about-us/our-history/theatre-history/

Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine History

Following the Children's Theatre of Maine's first production at the Museum in 2007, the two organizations continued to work collaboratively, finding their missions compatible and their demographics complementary. After more than a year of research and planning, the two merged in November of 2008 to form the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine. Since the merger, the Museum added the performing arts as an area of educational focus. In addition to staging five productions annually, the Museum & Theatre incorporates the performing arts into educational programming to broaden the scope of arts education for children.

More information: http://www.kitetails.org/about-us/our-history/

-->
Social Networking:

Visit us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/kitetails

Additional Information:

We pride ourselves on being able to accomodate the unique needs of many different groups. Contact Shana Jaques to start planning your visit: shana@kitetails.org or 207-828-1234 x232.