Small pond in the middle of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Erin Deleon/Shutterstock.com

With one eye trained on the summer, there’s still plenty of spring left to enjoy. Many pandemic-related safety protocols are still in place, but there are several activities and events to partake in. From garden strolls to baseball games, let’s throw our arms around this shoulder season as we ease our way into what will hopefully be a much happier – and busier – summer than last year.

FLOWER POWER

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opens for the season on May 1. It’s always a wondrous experience to walk their many acres and discover the glorious array of ornamental gardens and sculptures. There are even waterfalls to marvel at and a lovely soundtrack of bird songs that you’ll hear as you explore. If you’re in the mood for a breathtaking slice of Maine’s natural beauty, book your slot and make your way to the midcoast.

Arrival times from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily starting May 1. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay; $22, $18 seniors and veterans, $10 for ages 3-10, 3 and under free, $55 for family of two adults and two kids, free for active military and members. mainegardens.org

Carved coral piece by Jo Sandman. Photo by Perry Smith, Courtesy of Ogunquit Museum of American Art

ARTFUL OUTING

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art opens for the year on May 1 with a trio of shows that will be on display through July 16. Make a plan to visit and you’ll see “Remember the Ladies: Women Painters in Ogunquit, 1900-1950,” “The Surface and Below” by Khalil G. Gibran and “One Hand Clapping” by Jo Sandman. Sandman’s work explores intricate connections between the physical world and the abstract one, and she works with several materials including traditional artist tools, found objects and industrial hard and soft goods. Not only will you be wowed by what you see inside, the grounds of the museum are also a sight to behold.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. May 1 to Oct. 31. Ogunquit Museum of American Art, 534 Shore Road, Ogunquit. ogunquitmuseum.org

The statue of Slugger stands outside Hadlock Field. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

SWING BATTER, BATTER!

By the time the first pitch is thrown at Hadlock Field on May 4, it will be 610 days since our beloved Portland Sea Dogs played a game. They’ll be kicking off the season at home with a total of six games against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. If you head to the game on May 5, the first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Bobby Dalbec bobblehead. You’ll still be able to buy your peanuts, Cracker Jack and other Hadlock Field food and drinks, but this season, it will be via mobile food ordering. Seats will be sold in socially-distant pods for two to six fans. But there are a few things that haven’t changed: the love of the game, the excitement of a close play at home plate and the thrill of a ball that’s sent sailing way over the fence. Go Dogs! We’ve missed you!

Season runs May 4 through Sept. 19, with the final home game on Sept. 12. Hadlock Field, 271 Park Ave., Portland., $17 to $19. portlandseadogs.com

Lauren Robinson, of Litchfield, turns her team named Smith and Wesson in the 1000 – 1400 pound show steer scoot competition in the Charles Henry Robinson Memorial Pulling Ring on Friday Aug. 3, 2018 at the Monmouth Fairgrounds. Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer

FAIR GAME

Monmouth Fair is the first fair of the season, and it’s spread over four days starting June 16. With a mission of agricultural education, you can expect to see plenty of livestock at a fair that dates all the way back to 1907. Presented by the Cochnewagan Cultural Association, the Monmouth Fair is delightfully billed as “a little fair with a lotta pull.” Along with the animals, the Saturday night Red Neck truck pull is still scheduled to happen, and you’ll also find plenty of fair food vendors and nightly entertainment. Carnival rides are still pending, as are capacity logistics, but the fair is still happening, and it’s best to keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for updates.

June 16-19. Monmouth Fairgrounds, 75 Academy Road, Monmouth. monmouthfair.com

Blistered Fingers helps open their bluegrass festival. Jim Evans/Staff Photographer

BLUEGRASS BLISS

Blistered Fingers Family Bluegrass Music Festival is happening for 54th time this spring and again at the end of summer. The spring dates are June 17-20 and the performers include The Gibson Brothers, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Zink & Company, The Baker Family, Rock Hearts, Katahdin Valley Boys, Beartracks, Redwood Hill, Robinson’s Bluegrass Gospel and the host act, Blistered Fingers. You can purchase daily admission tickets or multi-day ones, along with on-site camping spots, some with electric hookups. This is a feel-good festival if ever there was one, especially if you love bluegrass music.

June 17 -20 (and Aug. 26-29). Litchfield Fairgrounds, 30 Plains Road, Litchfield, $25 to $90. blisteredfingers.com

The schooners, right to left, Eastwind, Spirit of Massachusetts and Harvey Gamage, sail around Boothbay Harbor during Windjammer Days. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

WE’RE JAMMIN’

Boothbay Harbor Windjammer Days is technically in early summer but we’re sneaking it in because, despite having a different look this year, it’s still a sail-isfying stretch of days. The parade isn’t happening this year, so instead local businesses, nonprofits and homeowners are putting out decorations for a drive-by tour. So while you won’t find the annual tug-of-war game that stretches across the town’s footbridge or the usual food vendors, Windjammer Days will still have its main draw, and that is, of course, the 16 or more sailing vessels in the harbor, most of which date back a century. Keep an eye on the event site for updates and may you have fair winds and following seas.

June 27 to July 3. Throughout Boothbday Harbor. boothbayharborwindjammerdays.org

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