Does summer last longer during a pandemic?

It seems that way, considering all the summertime activities and entertainment available in November and beyond this year. For the second year in a row, Maine restaurants and breweries are continuing to offer outdoor dining into the colder months. The area’s army of food trucks is still on culinary duty. Several drive-in theaters are keeping their screens lit up until at least Thanksgiving. Even a couple outdoor farmers markets are still operating into November, before switching to indoor winter quarters in December.

This November is a good time to get out and stay out. Even if the weather is not as warm as in July, you can pretend it’s still summer by sipping a beer, munching a burger or catching a movie all in the great outdoors. Here is a sample of some of the summery doings still happening now.

FALL FRESCO

Like last year, many of southern Maine’s restaurants and bars are planning to offer outdoor seating into the winter months. In Portland, these include a range of venue styles and cuisine, including Bayside Bowl in Portland with its rooftop deck, The Honey Paw and Eventide on Middle Street, and Chaval on Pine Street, with its heated greenhouses. Both the upper and lower decks at Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room on Portland’s waterfront will be open for seating, with heaters, at least through the end of December. Via Vecchia, which added an outdoor deck after the city closed Dana Street to traffic, is planning to offer outdoor seating probably until late December. Outside of Portland, Foreside Tavern in Falmouth has an expansive patio, some of it covered, that will be open all year. Foreside Tavern and Via Vecchia both have heaters.

Many local brewery tasting rooms will continue to offer cold brews in the cold air. Rising Tide on Fox Street in Portland has special fire-pit tables – with a heating element below and fire on top – and will be open for outdoor seating all winter. The brewery will have a tent set up through Thanksgiving. York Beach Beer Co. in York is planning to seat people outdoors into the winter, with fire pits available and food trucks on the weekends. Blaze Brewing in Biddeford plans to keep its patio open into November for food and drink, with fire pits, but may close it on days when the weather is less than ideal. To search for breweries in your area, go to the Maine Brewers’ Guild website at mainebrewersguild.org.

Vy Banh Mi is one of the Portland food trucks still operating into November this year. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’

It shouldn’t be hard to find one of your favorite food trucks around southern Maine, even as the weather gets colder. The best way to keep track of your favorite food truck is to check for weekly schedules on their Facebook or Instagram pages.

The Mutha Trucka, known for really 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. Owners of the Vy Banh Mi truck, known for Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, are planning 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 happening with them any given week, check out the Maine Food Trucks Instagram page. It has current schedules for many trucks and lists fairs and breweries where food trucks will be, plus it provides information about new food trucks.

Pride’s Corner Drive-In in Westbrook is open into November this year. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

CARLOADS OF FUN

That classic summer entertainment – the drive-in movie – is alive and well in Maine this month. There are at least three Maine drive-ins planning to stay open into November this year and at least one will still be showing films in December.

The Prides Corner Drive-in on Route 302 in Westbrook is tentatively planning to be open through November, weather permitting. There’s a triple feature showing Friday through Sunday, featuring “Tom & Jerry: The Movie,” the recently released version of “Dune,” and “I Am Legend.” There’s another triple bill Nov. 12-14 with the 1939 classic film “The Wizard of Oz,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and “King Kong vs Godzilla.” The nice thing about showing outdoor movies in November is it gets dark a lot earlier, so you have time to see three movies and still be home at a reasonable hour. For more information, go to the Prides Corner Drive-In Facebook page.

The Bridgton Twin Drive-In will close for the season after this weekend, with holiday-themed showings of “Elf” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on Friday and Saturday. The Narrow Gauge Cinema’s Drive-In in Farmington has plans to be open into December and this Friday will begin showing the new Marvel Studios action flick “Eternals” and continue to show it for two weekends after that. For more information, go to the Bridgton Twin Drive-In and Narrow Gauge Cinema pages on Facebook.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

Drive-ins aren’t the only place to see an outdoor movie. The Moonlight Cinema outdoor movie series at Thompson’s Point – a recreation and retail complex on the Fore River in Portland – takes place in the outdoor beer garden, and there’s a full bar and other refreshments available. Tickets are $8 for the movie, but for $20 more, you and your group get your own fire pit, though you need to bring folding camp chairs. The series will feature two films Thanksgiving week: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on Nov. 23 and “Home Alone” on Nov. 24. For more information, go to the Thompson’s Point Facebook page. 

The Moonlight Cinema series at Thompson’s Point continues into November with “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on Nov. 23 and “Home Alone” on Nov. 24.

IN THE MARKET FOR …

Many Maine farmers markets stay open all year, but by now most have moved to an indoor winter market home. But if you want to continue to shop for your farm-fresh produce in the fresh air this month, there are at least a couple places where you can do it.

The Portland Farmer’s Market at Deering Oaks park will be outside through Nov. 24. The market runs each 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, through Nov. 23. It runs Tuesdays and Fridays on The Mall in the center of downtown Brunswick. That market also lists vendors on its website.

To search for farmers markets near you, including indoor winter ones, go the website of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets at mainefarmersmarkets.org.


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