Portland, ME is New England’s party hub & is a great getaway spot for people of all ages. Whether it’s your wedding, family reunion, weekend getaway or company holiday party, there’s no shortage of places that you can choose to host your perfect event.
However, some of the city’s venues are lesser known to your average tourist strolling Commercial Street. They are tucked away on side alleys, off the main peninsula, hidden behind closed doors or garages in older downtown buildings. Here are a few of the lesser known event venues that can pack a party & leave your guests seeing a different side of the city. Keep reading and learn the hidden event venues in Portland, Maine that you need to experience!
The Portland Masonic
This gem is tucked away on Congress Street right in front of your nose, yet out of sight. If you find yourself on near Portland City Hall, it’s right next door and you probably don’t know it. The Masonic is accessible through a side entrance that opens up into a beautiful event space. The Portland Masonic is one of the oldest buildings in Portland and can host weddings, as well as parties of up to 220 people. Its style is a vintage blast from Portland’s past. The main hall is covered by old hat boxes that fill the walls. That’s right, boxes for hats (kinda like the cubbies kindergarteners use). It’s unique, cool, and classic Portland! The Portland Masonic makes for a wonderful spot for those who want a downtown event but don’t have the deep pockets of multi-millionaires.
Anyone who’s ever watched the Food Network can surely envision what a production for a food show might look like. And O’Maine Studios is exactly this, but more. This place has multiple spaces designed to host production services, content development, and community events. O’Maine sits downtown on Danforth Street and looks amazing just from the outside. A passerby might mistake it for a car garage and that’s because it sort of is. But inside the doors, O’Maine makes for an impressive event venue that will leave your guests with a unique, one of a kind experience. It also might possibly inspire you to grab a chef’s knife & hit the kitchen ASAP.
Port City Music Hall
Port City is just a concert venue, right? Wrong! It’s available for rent and can host a multitude of different events. Located smack dab in the heart of Congress Street, it’s not as hidden as some of the other spots on this list, but most people aren’t aware that it’s not just built for touring rock stars. If you’ve got a larger party, it’s sure to impress. The Port City space allows you to be creative and out of the box with the floor plan and has a large half-circle bar that will get your party going. Want to put Grandma in VIP seating? You could do that too! Hosting a party in an old music venue like Port City Music Hall is just plain cool.
Every child around the age of ten has had a least one birthday at a bowling alley. It usually includes a few liters of cheap soda and sub-par pizza slices. You get jammed in the corner of an old alley near the locker rooms and public toilets. However, Bayside Bowl is nothing like that.
Bayside Bowl is a stunningly beautiful bowling alley that would impress anyone with able vision. It not only has two separate bowling alleys but space includes a private function room, a large second-floor mezzanine balcony, a restaurant/music area & an outdoor roof deck including a full bar and taco truck. It’s quite a thing to behold. What makes this venue more hidden: it’s location on the East Bayside of the city. Bayside Bowl is off the beaten path, and a short walk away from the Old Port that’s closer to Marginal Way. Bayside hosts many events year-round and always provides good times. It helps that the draft beer & food is also well above what you’d get at your average bowling joint.
Think we missed the best hidden event venues in Portland, Maine? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!