There’s no denying that Cape Cod is the perfect family vacation destination! There are miles of ocean beaches to swim in and sunbathe on, numerous kettle ponds to jump into, and stretches of bayside flats to explore—but there is so much more! Here are some fun alternatives to days spent on the beach.
Rainy day got you down? Grab the kids and mosey over to one of the Cape’s local bookstores. Not only do they have wonderful book selections, but you might find an author or illustrator hanging out and signing books! Our favorite spots are Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich, The
Brewster Book Store in Brewster, Where the Sidewalk Ends in Chatham, and Main Street Books in Orleans.
There are a number of museums perfect for little visitors to Cape Cod. In Mashpee, you will find the popular Cape Cod Children’s Museum. More of a fun activity destination than a museum (picture a pirate ship and train that the kids can climb on, puppets, and rooms full of props for make-believe), it also incorporates activities revolving around science and history. The Cape Cod Museum of Art located in Dennis is not only a visual feast for little eyes, but the museum also offers children’s programs and classes. Be sure to make time to visit the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. Enjoy the many exhibits, take part in lectures, programs, classes, and camps sponsored by the nature education center, and hike the trails that lead through marshes, woodlands, out to the bayside beach on Wing Island.
A number of small, local theaters are host to shows, musicals, camps, and programs aimed at the little ones. Be sure to check upcoming events at the Cape Rep Theater in Brewster, the Harwich Junior Theatre in Harwich, the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans, and the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis.
Visit one of the local general stores for some one-of-a-kind souvenirs! Our favorites are the 1856 Country Store in Centerville and the Brewster Store in Brewster. Find toys, housewares, jewelry, candy, and trinkets from days of yore at these stores selling a little something for everyone!
Need to get some energy out? There are a ton of great hiking spots in the area. Some of our favorites are found on the Outer Cape. Hikes full of ocean vistas, woodland creatures, and nature galore include Fort Hill and the Red Cedar Swamp trails in Eastham, the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp and Great Island Trail in Wellfleet, and the Pilgrim Spring Trail in Truro.
One-stop fun spots
We’ve heard that no vacation is complete without a visit to Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar in Eastham. After snacking on yummy fried seafood and ice cream, stick around for a round of 18-hole mini golf. Stop in at Skull Island Sports World in Yarmouth for more mini golf, go-karts, a driving range, an arcade, and batting cages. And don’t miss Cape Cod Inflatable Park, also in Yarmouth, claiming to be the “largest wet and dry inflatable park in the world!”
Cape Cod Rail Trail
Rent a bike at one of the many local bike rental shops on the Cape and take a ride on the 22-mile paved trail through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet. You can ride through Nickerson State Park in Brewster and even take short trips off the trail to local beaches. Head toward Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. It’s one of the Cape’s most famous and has often won a slot on Dr. Beaches’ Top 10 Beaches in the United States!
And then there are the numerous Whale & Seal Watches, the Wellfleet Drive-In, the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, and the Chatham Railroad Museum. One thing is for certain—there’s no shortage of fun things to do on Cape Cod with the kids!