Programs & Workshops

The Seal Cove Auto Museum works to offer a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages and to find new ways to allow our guests to interact with our collection. Here you can read about the efforts the museum is making towards providing our community with a variety of up close and hands-on learning experiences. Check back to see the museums upcoming workshops as they are announced.







Field Trip in the Woodie

In late spring, summer and early fall, the museum can arrange for schools and summer camps to take a ride in the 1941 Pontiac Woodie with advance notice.

When the museum schedules school tours with a smaller class size, we love to offer rides in our 1941 Pontiac Woodie! Where this vehicle is outside our brass era mission and is our youngest, it’s equipped with most the most safety features, thus it is our go-to car when giving rides to the public. To incorporate a ride with “Woody” into your visit, contact us directly to discuss making accommodations for your group!

Pictured here is the third-grade class from Pemetic Elementary School visiting Seal Cove Auto Museum in early May, 2023 for a tour of the new exhibits. Their teacher, Susan Raven, visits the museum annually with her class and this year she had a particularly small group. On this day our Curator, Bill Barter, took all six of Raven’s students for a scenic midday drive along the Algerine Coast.

Our 1941 Pontiac Woodie was donated to the museum in January of 2020 by a family in Northeast Harbor, who had bought this vehicle new and had been its primary owners. In 1945 the car was transferred to the family’s cottage in Northeast Harbor, ME, where it served as the family “summer car”. The vehicle was well loved, as the glove box was filled with birthday cards addressed to “Woody” at the time of its donation.




Monday Motors

On Mondays through October 30th Seal Cove Auto Museum committed to demonstrating a select vehicle from the museum’s collection on a rotating basis. These programs have realized tremendous success, attracting dozens of people to each demonstration, twice daily each Monday.  

During each talk, Seal Cove curatorial staff discuss the unique aspects of each featured car including provenance and mechanics. Weather permitting, these programs include a driving demonstration of the vehicle and occasionally a ride for a lucky visitor or two!

Monday Motors is a program that is included with the cost of Museum admission and is free to museum members. The programs have attracted a broad cross section of interest, delighting our youngest visitors and captivating visitors of all ages and walks of life.

“Monday Motors is a way that we can further share our operating collection with the public, providing a dynamic interactive experience in addition to the wonderful stories we share through our museum interpretations and featured exhibits,” said Interim Director Bill Barter.



Due to the popularity of these programs the museum plans to produce an advance schedule alongside our 2024 event schedule for those wishing to see a collection favorite in operation and learn its unique story.










Backpack at the
Southwest Harbor Public Library

The Southwest Harbor Public Library Children’s Department is excited to release three engaging Discovery Backpacks in partnership with local museums. The Seal Cove Auto Museum, The Wendell Gilley and the Abbe Museum have provided themed Discovery Packs which are available to check out and include books, interactive activities, and passes to the museums!

The Seal Cove Auto Museum’s backpack includes children’s books, educational materials about the museum’s collection, a notebook, coloring/ drawing materials, and a coinciding activity prompting participants to design their own automobile.

Pulling inspiration from the children’s book If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, and a binder featuring a curated selection of automobiles at the Seal Cove Auto Museum, participants are asked to consider what it would be like to build a vehicle entirely of their own. This project should get participants thinking about how someone personalizes a vehicle, and the stories that can be told by looking at these details.











Balloon Car STEM Workshop

If you’re looking for a hands-on project to familiarize your children or students with energy theory and Newton’s laws of motion, this is the workshop for your family! 

The Balloon Car STEM Workshop was designed to foster a love and appreciation for science, math, engineering, and motorized vehicles. Participants built their own self-propelling car out of simple household items such as paper towel rolls, balloons, and straws. By designing an aerodynamic vehicle that is powered from air escaping an attached balloon, participants will witness how energy converts into motion!

Through prompts and hands-on activities, each of Newtons Laws are experimented with and will act as an excellent visual aid for learning students. 

Photographed here is a participant from the public program that was hosted at the Southwest Harbor Public Library by Seal Cove’s Program Coordinator, Jane Parlee, on February 10, 2023. 

If you’d like to complete this project at home or in your classroom, instructions can be found to do so on in our Educator Resources




Electric Motor Battery Workshop

This workshop was designed to educate students on electric motor technology. Students participating in this workshop were usually surprised to learn that electric cars had actually started being produced in the late 1800s! Following a discussion and up-close look at the museum’s own collection of electric cars, students were posed a question, “how do electric motors work?”

Through a short demonstration and workshop, students will create a small homopolar motor which displays how electricity flows through a conductor and when placed in a magnetic field, results in the “motor” making a full rotation.

Photographed here is a participant from a workshop run by Seal Cove’s Program Coordinator, Jane Parlee, conducted at Camp Beech Cliff with their winter campers!

If you are looking to recreate this workshop in your classroom or at home, directions can be found in our Educator Resource tab to assist you.





En Plein Air with ArtWaves
Fall Edition
Tuesday Oct 24

Artists spread out across Seal Cove Auto Museum’s campus to paint some of the collection’s cars amongst the fall foliage. The museum’s property is composed of sprawling hills and old apple trees from the homestead that had previously resided here. With views of Acadia National Park, including Seal Cove Pond and Bernard Mountain, the grounds made for an excellent backdrop to paint the cars.

The curatorial team at Seal Cove Auto Museum hand selected vehicles from its collection to display on its property, to fit the aesthetic of a late autumn scene for those who wished to time-travel to the brass age for their painting experience. 

Thank you to ArtWaves for collaborating on this program with us! We hope to provide more programs together in the future.





Seal Cove’s 1928 Model A Huckster and the Old Stone Barn
Saturday, September 30th, 2023

Seal Cove’s 1928 Ford Model A Huckster returned to its old home at the Stone Barn on Saturday, September 30th, to attend Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Fall Celebration in the heart of Mount Desert Island’s agriculture.

Museum staff have been told that our Model A lived at the Stone Barn for 40 years, serving as Harry Owen’s farm truck. Harry told us that he used to use this truck to sell his farm’s produce at the local campgrounds.

Harry Owen made a special appearance at the event yesterday and was reunited with his old truck. Mr. Owen spryly climbed into the driver’s seat and reminisced with the vehicle, with a crowd applauding.

Thank you so much to Maine Coast Heritage Trust for including us in this amazing event and for providing us with great food, music, hiking trails and for maintaining this beautifully preserved property!
Check our Facebook page to see more photos from this program.






Seal Cove Auto Museum, Richard C. Paine. Jr., Automobile Charitable Trust Collection, some autos pictured in the museum.

Car Themed Storytime
Saturday, September 9th
10:30am – 11:00am


Families and their young children filled the Seal Cove Auto Museum on September 9th, 2023 to Join Southwest Harbor Public Library‘s Ms. Chrissy for a fun-filled interactive Storytime with books focused on automobiles! With fun for the whole family, this program included rhymes, songs, puppets, movement, dancing, and more. This program ran alongside the museum’s Cars & Coffee event, welcoming specialty vehicles of all kinds which families explored with their little auto enthusiasts.


MDI Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby
March 30th, 2020

In March of 2020, Seal Cove Auto Museum hosted the annual Pinewood Derby for the MDI Cub Scouts (Pack 98). Over thirty cub scouts competed in this exhilarating race on a sprawling 60-foot track. The Scouts were given a prompt back in December to find a car in the museum to replicate theirs after, and the most historical racing car would take home a prize! We were happy to host this annual tradition here at the museum. You can read more about the big race day here on our blog.