Get outside and stay with these extended outdoor activities
Does summer last longer during a pandemic?
That seems to be the case, considering all the summer activities and entertainment available in November and beyond this year. For the second year in a row, restaurants and brasseries in Maine continue to offer alfresco dining during the colder months. An army of food trucks from the region is still in culinary service. Many drive-ins keep their screens on at least until Thanksgiving. Even a few outdoor farmers’ markets still operate in November, before moving to indoor winter quarters in December.
This November is a good time to go out and stay outside. Even though the weather isn’t as hot as July, you can pretend it’s still summer while sipping a beer, munching on a burger, or watching an outdoor movie. Here is a sample of some of the summer activities that are still happening today.
Like last year, many restaurants and bars in southern Maine are planning to offer outdoor seating during the winter months. In Portland, these include a range of venue and cuisine styles, including the Bayside Bowl in Portland with its rooftop terrace, The Honey Paw and Eventide on Middle Street, and Chaval on Pine Street, with its heated greenhouses. The upper and lower decks of Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room on the Portland waterfront will be open for seating, with heaters, at least until the end of December. Via Vecchia, which added an outdoor terrace after the city closed Dana Street to traffic, plans to offer outdoor seating probably until the end of December. Outside of Portland, Foreside Tavern in Falmouth has an expansive patio, some of which is covered, which will be open year round. The Foreside Tavern and Via Vecchia both have heaters.
Many local brewery tasting rooms will continue to offer cold air cold beers. Rising Tide on Fox Street in Portland has special fire pit tables – with a heating element below and a fire on top – and will be open for outdoor seating all winter. The brewery will have set up a tent until Thanksgiving. York Beach Beer Co. in York plans to place people outside during the winter, with fire pits available and food trucks on weekends. Blaze Brewing in Biddeford plans to keep its patio open until November for food and drink, with fire pits, but may close it on days when the weather isn’t ideal. To find breweries in your area, visit the Maine Brewers’ Guild website at mainebrewersguild.org.
LIFE GOES ON’
It shouldn’t be hard to find one of your favorite food trucks in Southern Maine, even if the weather is getting colder. The best way to keep track of your favorite food truck is to check the weekly schedules on their Facebook or Instagram pages.
The Mutha Trucka, known for its very creative grilled sandwiches, will be operating in Portland until the end of December. Most weeks you can find the truck at Austin Street Brewery on Fox Street on Wednesdays, on the Western Promenade on Thursdays, and at Foundation Brewing on Industrial Way on Fridays and Saturdays. The owners of the Vy Banh Mi truck, known for its Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, plan to stay open until the end of November, parking on the eastern promenade and at local breweries and restaurants.
If you want to browse local food trucks and see what’s up with them in any given week, check out the Maine Food Trucks Instagram page. It contains the current schedules of many trucks and lists the fairs and breweries where the food trucks will be located, in addition to providing information on the new food trucks.
LOADS OF PLEASURE
That classic summer entertainment – the film behind the wheel – is alive and well in Maine this month. There are at least three drive-ins in Maine that plan to stay open in November of this year, and at least one will still screen films in December.
The Prides Corner Drive-in on Route 302 in Westbrook tentatively plans to be open until November, weather permitting. There is a triple feature airing Friday through Sunday, with “Tom & Jerry: The Movie”, the recently released version of “Dune” and “I Am Legend”. There is another triple bill from November 12 to 14 with the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”, “Jason and the Argonauts” and “King Kong vs. Godzilla”. The good thing about showing movies outdoors in November is that it gets dark much earlier, so you have time to see three movies and still be home at a reasonable time. For more information, visit the Prides Corner Drive-In Facebook page.
The Bridgton Twin Drive-In will close for the season after this weekend, with holiday-themed screenings of âElfâ and âNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationâ Friday and Saturday. The Narrow Gauge Cinema Drive-In in Farmington is scheduled to open in December and will begin showing the new Marvel Studios action film “Eternals” this Friday and will continue to show it for two weekends after that. For more information, visit the Bridgton Twin Drive-In and Narrow Gauge Cinema pages on Facebook.
BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE
Drive-ins aren’t the only place to see a movie outdoors. The outdoor Moonlight Cinema film series at Thompson’s Point – an entertainment and retail complex on the Fore River in Portland – takes place in the beer garden, and a full bar and other refreshments are available. Tickets cost $ 8 for the movie, but for an additional $ 20, you and your group get your own fire pit, although you do have to bring folding camp chairs. The series will feature two films during Thanksgiving week: âFerris Bueller’s Day Offâ on November 23 and âHome Aloneâ on November 24. For more information, visit the Thompson’s Point Facebook page.
ON THE MARKET FOR …
Many farmers’ markets in Maine remain open year round, but most have now moved to a covered winter market. But if you want to continue shopping for your farm-fresh produce in the fresh air this month, there are at least a few places you can.
The Portland Farmers Market at Deering Oaks Park will be outdoors until November 24. The market takes place every Saturday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and you can see some of the farmers involved by going to the market’s website. The Brunswick Farmers Market is also open this month, until November 23. It takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays at The Mall in downtown Brunswick. This marketplace also lists vendors on its website.
To find farmers ‘markets near you, including covered winter ones, visit the Federation of Maine Farmers’ Markets website at mainefarmersmarkets.org.
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