A small, secluded island off the coast of Massachusetts, Nantucket is a beloved vacation place for many families. The island’s small size ensures that all its attractions are comfortably located within a few miles of your Nantucket vacation rental, making it a convenient choice even for families with little children. Beautiful sunsets, warm ocean, and gorgeous nature ensure that every member of your family will have the time of their life enjoying fishing, kayaking, and sightseeing in Nantucket.

1. Go on a Cruise

Nantucket Critter Cruise is a perfect opportunity for kids and adults to feel like real fishermen out in the ocean. Try casting lines, setting up lobster traps, and observing live lobsters and crabs in the touch tank located right on the boat. The cruise is just an hour long, and it takes place in the harbor, so you don’t need to worry about storms and cold weather.

2. Shop at Sustainable Nantucket‘s Farmers and Artisans Market

Every Saturday, Sustainable Nantucket‘s Farmers and Artisans Market provides the entire family an opportunity to have fun and spend a relaxing morning watching street performers, participating in entertaining crafts projects, listening to live music, and buying fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables for a delicious home-cooked dinner at your vacation rental. Don’t forget to check out intricate souvenirs from local shops to take back home.

3. Combine a Harbor Tour With Ice Cream

Take the legendary Harbor Tour Ice Cream Cruise operated by Shearwater Excursions. An experienced boat captain and tour guide take you on an exciting journey of Nantucket’s finest sights: the Brant Point Lighthouse, old whaling era settlements, and Children’s Beach. If your little ones aren’t that interested in history, they’re sure to love the sights, the famous homemade ice cream from Juice Bar, and an exciting opportunity to steer the boat.

4. Spend a Morning Dancing

Start your day off right when you take a trip to the Children‘s Beach Bandstand for Marjory Trott’s Dance(S)ing class. Classes are available for different age groups, so be sure to check the schedule and book your tickets in advance. Afterward, enjoy some take-out food from a nearby restaurant while your kids run around on the playground before settling on the beach for the day.

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5. Make a Contribution to Science

Take a Marine Ecology Field Trip organized by the Maria Mitchell Association. On the trip, you and your children will help scientists catch fish, figure out the species, measure the length and weight of every fish, and finally let it back out in the water. This hands-on activity is perfect for every budding scientist.

6. Go Fishing

A holiday on an island that doesn’t have fishing on the list would be quite a disappointment, so bring a couple of fishing poles, and let your children feel the excitement of catching their first fish. Finish the day off with a family cook-off at your vacation rental to see if the best fisherman is also the best cook.

7. Watch the Sunset

Sunsets are spectacular no matter where you watch them, but when you watch the sun hide behind the horizon at Madaket, you’ll all remember this moment for years. The westernmost place on the island of Nantucket, Madaket gives you an opportunity to follow the sunset with a delicious Baja California seafood meal at local restaurant Millie’s.

8. Visit the Local Library

Nantucket’s Atheneum is a unique historic library that organizes fun and free events for adults and children of all ages, including summer concerts in the garden, crafts for kids, and story time. While your children are busy playing and reading, take a stroll through the magnificent library building that was built in 1847, and feel the touch of history on every bookshelf.

9. Kayak to Coatue for a picnic

When you get tired of tourists and crowds, make sandwiches at your vacation rental, pack a picnic basket with some yummy treats for kids and adults, rent a couple of kayaks, and paddle to Coatue for a day of secluded relaxation. Plenty of kayak, canoe, and boat rentals await you nearby, and experienced staff can help you find the best equipment for your needs even if you’re a rookie on the water.

10. Watch a Movie

Sightseeing and new experiences can be strenuous for your little ones, so give them a break one evening when you visit the Dreamland Film and Performing Arts Center to watch a cartoon. The Center features state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring that your experience exceeds expectations. If a movie sounds too casual for a vacation, opt for a Theatre Workshop play to get your children loving the performing arts from an early age.

11. Take a Bike Ride through Sconset

Leave your car in the garage of your vacation rental, and hop on a bike to explore. Dozens of well-equipped bike routes make it easy to get around the island even with small children. If your kids are a bit older, ride to the picturesque village of Siasconset, locally known as ‘Sconset, to enjoy the views of rose-filled gardens and cute houses. The village is a perfect place to take family pictures, too.

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