Your opportunities for fun and relaxation have opened up, literally.

For some three months, Mainers have had to rely on virtual music performances, online art gallery tours and curbside beer delivery if they wanted a little art, culture and relaxation. But, this month, centers of live entertainment and leisure have begun to reopen, including some music venues, museums, a theater and brewery tasting rooms. And more are planning to reopen in July.

Comedian Paula Poundstone will appear at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit. Photo by Michael Schwartz

Going back to these places will be different, as they follow state and federal guidelines, including limiting gatherings to 50 people, requiring masks, spacing tables and asking people who aren’t together to stay six feet apart, and selling tickets in advance.

So before heading out, it’s a good idea to check the place’s website for any rules or restrictions you should know about. Also, the state could delay opening or shut down certain types of venues at any time, based on new information or changes in infection rates, so make sure to stay up-to-date with that news. But for now, here are a few of the places for fun and frolic that are open again, or plan to be soon.

HEAR THE BAND, HAVE A BREW

Hearing live music outdoors is one of the great pleasures of summer in Maine. One place you can do that soon is on the waterfront deck of the Porthole Restaurant and Pub on Custom House Wharf in Portland. It opened in early June – with spaced out tables on the deck – and has a full schedule of local musicians lined up, beginning Wednesday, July 1, with singer songwriter Andi Fawcett. There are acts scheduled just about every night or weekend afternoon, including Quiet Riot Act on July 2, Slygo Road on July 3 and Brazen Cane on July 4. Bars and brewery tasting rooms were allowed to reopen outdoor areas in June as well. So you might want to check the website or Facebook of your favorite place to see if it’s open yet.

MUSIC IN STYLE

See a show at the historic and grand Opera House at Boothbay Harbor. The place usually holds up to 390 people, and is scheduling shows now for 50 people sitting at tables eight to 12 feet apart. The venue’s reopening show on July 3, with local faves The Boneheads, is already sold out. Upcoming shows include acoustic guitarist Seth Warner and his band on July 10, pianist Kevin Kiley “and friends” on July 25 and country act Murky Water Band on July 30.

Portland Museum of Art reopened in June. Photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

THAT’S FUNNY

If you’re tired of going to YouTube for your laughs, now you can get out and see a live comedy show. Jonathan’s in Ogunquit is hosting several comedy shows in July, including Boston comic Steve Sweeney on July 3, Maine’s own Bob Marley on July 9,  10 and 12 and nationally-known comedian and author Paula Poundstone on July 16 and 17. The venue also hosts music, including the Neil Young retrospective “Rust Never Sleeps” on July 11 and singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards of “Sunshine” fame on July 26. The venue’s 3,000-square-foot listening room usually has a maximum capacity of 240, but for now will host about 50 guests at spaced-out tables.

WHERE ART THOU?

Art museums are reopening up and down the coast. The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland is opening Thursday with timed ticketing. Seven people will be allowed to enter the museum every 15 minutes, with no more than 35 visitors in the museum at one time.  The Farnsworth’s first day open will be for members and Rockland residents, while the general public can come on Friday. The Portland Museum of Art opened June 17, also using a timed-ticketing system and is offering free admission through July 6. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art, which includes a sculpture garden, is scheduled to open Wednesday, July 1.

Michael Tobin will re-open the Footlights Theater in Falmouth in July. Photo by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

MORE MUSEUMS

If you’re looking for museums focusing on topics besides art, some of those have already opened.  One is the Maine State Museum in Augusta, which focuses on the state’s history and culture. The museum is hosting a year-long exhibition related to Maine’s Bicentennial: “Regional Struggle, National Story: Maine’s Path to Statehood.”  Another is the Maine Martime Museum in Bath. It’s perfect for social distancing, as it has lots of exhibits outdoors or in separate buildings and sits on a 20-acre campus on the Kennebec River.

BREAK A LEG

Live theater is coming back, at The Footlights Theatre in Falmouth. The comedy “Cupid’s Arrow” will open July 7 to crowds of 25 people, with the two performers standing six feet apart. The show was written by the theater’s executive artistic director, Michael J. Tobin, and will run through Sept. 3. There is no intermission, to avoid mingling crowds and help keep social distancing in place.


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