Cape Cod has much to offer anyone planning to take their family there for a fun vacation. It takes less than two hours to drive from one end to the other, so no matter where your vacation rental in Cape Cod is located, you have plenty to do nearby. During the day, head out to Breakwater Beach for swimming or take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. In the evening, see a movie at Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre or have dinner in downtown Provincetown. Cape Cod is perfect for kids of all ages. Here are 11 things to do with the kids when visiting Cape Cod.
1. Go Whale Watching off the Coast
Whale watching is a popular Cape Cod attraction, and with three large fleets, you have one close to your vacation rental. The whale watching ships typically head to Stellwagen Bank, where most of the whales live. While out on the water you may even get a chance to see seals, so tell the kids to be on the lookout. Choose from Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch in Provincetown, Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours in Plymouth or Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises in Barnstable for your whale watching adventure.
2. Slip and Slide at the Cape Cod Inflatable Park
For a unique adventure, spend the day at Cape Cod Inflatable Park in West Yarmouth. This park offers tons of activities from a Toddler Zone for younger kids to a bungee run for older ones. The highlight is the various inflatable rides throughout the park, including a misty bounce, bouncy castle, obstacle course, and slides. A mini-golf course, snack bar, and arcade are also on the premises.
3. Ride the Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard
Get out onto the water with a 90-minute ferry ride from Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard. On the cruise, enjoy beautiful views of the Cape and surrounding islands while you relax in the sun. Once you reach Oak Bluffs, walk through the quaint neighborhood of colorful gingerbread houses before stopping at an outdoor cafe for a break. Kids love seeing Flying Horses, the oldest carousel in the country. Try and grab the brass ring to win a free ride, or check out the vintage games in the arcade.
4. Catch a Movie at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre
Step back in time with a night out at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre. This theater offers first-run double features every night during the summer, and kids get a kick out of watching them outside. The snack bar offers everyone’s favorites, including burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream. Arrive early to play a round of mini-golf or wander the stalls of more than 200 vendors at the nearby flea market.
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5. Learn About Butterflies at Butterflies of Cape Cod
Younger and older kids alike love stopping by Butterflies of Cape Cod for a chance to see butterflies alight on their arms. This butterfly house in Bourne showcases the species native to New England, such as the Red Admiral and Swallowtail. While here, you can learn about the life cycle of the butterfly at the Butterfly Learning Center and view caterpillars in their cocoons.
6. Swim at Breakwater Beach
Cape Cod is known for miles of gorgeous beaches, and there are several that are perfect for all ages. Breakwater Beach in Brewster has warm, gentle waters and tidal pools perfect for collecting shells. Bring a picnic and spend the day swimming and lounging in the sun, while the kids splash along the shore. Other excellent options for families include Red River Beach, Mayo Beach and Cockle Cove Beach.
7. Become a Pirate with Sea Gypsy Pirate Adventures
Younger children have fun traveling the high seas as a pirate with Sea Gypsy Pirate Adventures in Hyannis. On the ship, each child becomes a member of the Sea Gypsy Crew and learns how to be part of a working pirate ship. Searching for treasure, firing a water cannon, and other thrilling activities are on hand for an adventure to remember.
8. Window Shop in Downtown Provincetown
For a fun afternoon of shopping and dining, head to downtown Provincetown. There are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants to visit along Commercial Street, offering a variety of items for any interest. Stop by Marine Specialties to explore the unique items lining the shelves, then have lunch at Twisted Pizza. Commercial Street has street performers and musicians throughout the day, so pick up salt water taffy at Cabots Candy of Cape Cod and enjoy it on the lawn as you people watch.
9. See Marine Life at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium
Get up close to a variety of marine animals with a stop at Woods Hole Science Aquarium. The aquarium has a touch tank filled with sea stars, crabs, lobsters and other wildlife that children love getting to know. While there, be sure to check if there are any resident seals currently living in the seal tank. Older children love learning about ocean science vessels at the nearby Ocean Science Exhibit Center at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
10. Dig for Clams in Barnstable
Catch your own meal to bring back to your vacation rental by learning to dig for clams along the Cape Cod coast. The Barnstable Association for Recreational Shellfishing offers free clamming lessons and provide maps of local clam hotspots each day. Grab your basket and rake and head down to dig in the sand for littlenecks, steamers, cherrystones, and quahogs.
11. Hike the Trails at Nickerson State Park
For a day filled with outdoor activities, travel to Nickerson State Park in Brewster. This park earns its reputation for being one of the best on the Cape, with lots of hiking trails, bike paths, and swimming holes. Nickerson also has camping sites, so you and the family can spend the night and enjoy a cookout under the stars.
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