I know it’s hard to believe when the temperature seems to be stuck in the 80s, but in a few short weeks, the kids will be heading back to school, temperatures will start to dip, and the celebrated Maine summer will be giving way to fall.

Make the most of what’s left of summer by partaking of the state’s many outdoor activities. Here are some to get you started. The best part? Most are free.

• GROOVE UNDER THE SUN: There are still a couple weeks’ worth of free outdoor concerts littered throughout the state. On Thursday alone, you can catch the alt-country band The Mallett Brothers performing with the rock/reggae band cuLLu at the Alive at 5 Music Series on Monument Square (5 p.m.), the R&B band Jimmy & The Soul Cats at Fort Allen Park (7 p.m.) and camp songs for children by Jon Call at Deering Oaks (12:30 p.m.). Hurry, though, because most of these free concert series wrap up at the end of August.

• SWIM WHERE IT’S WARM: If you’re tired of freezing your buns off in the Atlantic, take a short drive to Range Pond State Park in Poland, near Lewiston-Auburn. You get a sandy beach, picnic areas, two playgrounds and a beautiful tree-lined view on top of getting to take a dip in the clear freshwater pond. Park admission is only $4.50 if you’re a Maine resident and $6.50 if you’re a non-resident. Children ages 5 to 11 get in for $1, and it’s free for seniors ages 65 and older and children under age 5.

• PICK ‘TIL YOUR FINGERS TURN BLUE: Blueberries come in right behind lobster and maple syrup when it comes to being a Maine food staple. You can visit a U-pick place (visit pickyourown.org/MES2Z.htm to find one near you), or just drive around — there’s an abundance of high-bush blueberries this year, and you can sometimes spot them right off the road.

• GET YOUR BARD ON: Fenix Theatre Company wraps up its annual Shakespeare in the Park this week with performances of “Macbeth” at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Bowdoin College Quad in Brunswick and at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Deering Oaks in Portland. As always, admission is free.

• GAZE AT THE STARS: Movie stars, that is. The Greater Portland area has three drive-in theaters — Pride’s Corner in Westbrook, Saco Drive-In and Bridgton Twin Drive-In — that show double-features of new releases throughout the summer. Or you can watch a free outdoor screening at Camden’s Harbor Park. This week, the park is showing the 2001 action-musical “A Knight’s Tale” at sunset on Tuesday.

Of course, you could also just lie on the grass at night and do some real star-gazing. Maine summers are good for that, too.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: RHarmonPPH


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