1. Short Hikes & Walks
There is no shortage of trails and paths perfect for young hikers on Cape Cod and the Islands. Kids and adults will have a great time strolling wooded walks, traversing boardwalks, and meandering along sandy shoreline routes. Many paths are wide and have gentle slopes or little noticeable elevation gain.
A personal favorite is the Marconi Station Site and Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail in Wellfleet. The Marconi Station Site has great views of the Atlantic where kids will have a great time spotting ships on the horizon from the deck overlook site. From there a very short and mostly paved loop shows some of the sandy remains of the Marconi site. On the inland side of the parking lot, you’ll find the start to the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, a 1.5-mile loop that meanders through woods of pitch pine and bear oak leading to a unique boardwalk through the primordial feeling swamp. The boardwalk section is cool and damp, with plenty of benches to take a break along the way. Mossy trees filter the light in, and it’s a pleasant respite from the heat of the day.
With all hikes and woodland walks on the Cape & Islands, be sure to check for ticks!
2. Enjoy A Solid Beach Day!
The sandy beaches and ocean waves are what make Cape Cod and the Islands such iconic vacation destinations, and for good reason! From wading in the water and splashing around to building sandcastles and exploring tide pools, kids are sure to have a blast at the beach! Enjoy the crash of big waves and brisk water at an oceanside beach or relax on the calmer waters of beaches on the bay side. Bring plenty of food, drinks, and sunblock to make a whole day of it. Adults can enjoy relaxing and reading, while kids can run wild in the sand and surf.
3. Visiting the Museums
There are tons of great museums on Cape Cod and the Islands, with many geared towards younger visitors. Stop by the Children’s Museum in Mashpee or learn more about the Golden Age of Piracy at the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth or Provincetown. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Edgartown Fire Museum, and Nantucket Whaling Museum will both captivate and entertain kids and adults of all ages.
4. Walking, Scootering, or Biking
The miles of paved, off-road bike paths around Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Cuttyhunk are perfect for kids and families. Whether you’re biking, scootering, or just walking, kids will have a great time cruising on the Shining Sea Bikeway, Cape Cod Rail Trail, Cape Cod Canal Trail, or Provincelands Trail. Parents will have peace of mind knowing that the trails are removed from the busy vehicle traffic found on Cape roadways in the summers.
5. Whale Watch & Ecotours
What better way to enjoy your time on the Cape and Islands than getting out on the water and seeing some of the fantastic marine animals that call the region home? Kids and adults will delight in seeing seals sunning on sandbars, whale tails slipping beneath the waves, and maybe even the sharp fin of a white shark cutting through the waves. A number of whale watch tours get visitors up close and personal with the leviathans.
A number of ecotour adventures are perfect for families. Many guide curious kids in inter-tidal exploration, learning about all the unique creatures that can be found on the edge of the sea.
6. Adventure Parks & Mini Golf
There are plenty of spots on the Cape for kids to go wild and have a blast. A visit to an adventure park, mini-golf, bowling alley, or trampoline park is the perfect way to tire even the wildest kids out! From inflatables of all sizes to water parks, bumper cars, ropes courses, and more, there’s no shortage of fun adventures to be had.