The Maine Lobster Festival is not just the place to eat the most delicious lobster you’ve ever had in your life, but it’s also jam-packed with exciting activities for kids of all ages. Year after year, this five-day event draws families from around the world to experience Maine’s hometown culture and cuisine. And on the last day, the entire event is dedicated to making sure kids (from toddlers to teens) have the time of their lives.

Festival areas for kids

The Maine Lobster Festival has two special areas for kids. The first is the Children’s Tent, with a rest-and-play area for children and their parents, with baby changing stations. This is a great place to recharge, and parents of little ones will find a daily craft, face painting, a giant wooden playset, coloring pages, a sand table, a train table, and more. The older kids will get a kick out of the Marine Experience Tent with two touch tanks that allow kids to pick up and examine marine life such as starfish, lobster, and other mysteries of the deep.

Family Fun Day

The best day starts bright and early at 7 a.m. on the Sunday of the festival to register older children (entry $5) to run the One-Mile Kids Fun Run down Rockland’s iconic Main Street. Then, at 8 a.m., they sprint off while the whole town cheers from the sidewalks. The first 75 registrants get a free T-shirt.

Then, kicking off with a Children’s Parade at 10 a.m. (registration is at 9 a.m.) children dress up in the festival theme and parade all throughout the festival grounds with prizes awarded for costumes. At 11:30 a.m., the Cod Fish Carry is a hilarious race where kids run across the Main Stage to a skiff, where they must put on fisherman foul-weather gear, including a Sou’wester (yellow fisherman’s hat), a big rain jacket, and rubber boots as quickly as they can before speeding back to a net, containing a slippery, 12-pound cod, where they then pick it up, and carry it back to the skiff. The child who does it the quickest wins!

By this time, everyone’s hungry, right? The Lobster Eating Contest (great for older children and teens) kicks off at 11:30 a.m. This is a kids-only event. Sorry adults, you just get to watch. The first participant to finish eating a 1 1/4 lb. steamed lobster (including two claws, two knuckles, and the tail) wins.

At 12:30 p.m., parents of babies love the Little Lobster Derby, possibly the cutest event at the Maine Lobster Festival. Parents coach and cheer the wee ones from the sidelines as the little ones crawl toward the finish line. Creative methods to encourage the racers to stay on course is half of the fun.

And don’t forget, the Great International Crate Race will be held at 2 p.m. This is where kids tend to shine, as they are the lightest and most agile as they scamper across the lobster crates. It’s one of the funniest races The Maine Lobster Festival has. See our most recent blog on the Crate Races.

Stay tuned for the festival theme this year and other great tips before coming to the Maine Lobster Festival for your summer vacation.