An Ultimate Guide for a Cape Cod Vacation

cape cod vacation with a toddler

A Cape Cod vacation offers a variety of stimulating activities for your little one.

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacationOutdoor adventures for your toddler include enjoying the tidal pools at Paines Creek and Corporation Beach, play areas in the Heritage Museums, or biking, hiking, and camping at Nickerson State Park. Indoors, you can visit museums and waterparks from Yarmouth to Chatham to Hyannis and other locations all around the Cape.

Cape Cod also offers several family-friendly restaurants like Hearth ‘n Kettle, which has many food options kids will love. Read on to find out more about what Cape Cod has to offer for your toddlers!

What can toddlers do in Cape Cod?

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacationToddlers can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or biking along the Cape Cod trail, looking for seashells on Longnook beach, or taking an informative cruise in Hyannis Harbor. Indoor activities include visiting museums like the Whydah Pirate Museum with its interactive exhibits for all ages.

Here you have 15 ideas to enjoy a Cape Cod Vacation with your toddler.

1. Walk along the Cape Cod Rail Trail

Stretching through 6 different towns and ending at the Cape Cod National Seashore, this 22-mile trail offers picturesque views of the surrounding greenery, ponds, and beaches.

The trail is a breathtaking place to bike, hike, or rollerblade with your kids. You can also go horseback riding with the little ones!

2. Look for Seashells

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

Beaches like Longnook, Breakwater, and Cold Storage Beach have the best variety of seashells you can find. What toddler doesn’t love shiny, peculiarly shaped objects?

Scallops, clams, and oyster shells line this beach’s waters. The best time to visit is in the morning when it’s less crowded.

3. Enjoy the Tidal Pools

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

Paines Creek Beach has gorgeous tidal pools inhabited by crabs and other sea life. Your kiddies can splash around in these waters and have a great time.

4. Take the Hyannis Harbor Cruise

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

Hyannis Harbor has one of the most stunning shorelines on Cape Cod, offering views of boats entering and leaving the harbor.

The cruise is an hour long and provides an informative guide to Cape Cod’s maritime history. It passes through places like Squaw Island, the Kennedy Memorial, and the Great Island.

On Wednesday nights, they also serve ice cream floats, which your kids will love!

5. Jump Around at the Cape Cod Inflatable Park

Kids love bouncy houses.

This outdoor park is filled with inflatables, water rides, and obstacles that kids below 38 inches can enjoy!

6. Heritage Museums and Gardens

Heritage Museums and Gardens is perfect for people of all ages.

With its fascinating sculptures, historical exhibits, and play areas like the Hidden Hollow, this place offers family-friendly fun for everyone!

On Fridays, they also have live performances that the music-lovers in your family can delight in.

7. Corporation Beach

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

Worried that your toddler won’t be able to swim because of dangerous waves? Fear not.

Corporation Beach’s crescent-like shape leaves a kid-friendly tidal pool that they can safely explore.

When the tide withdraws, they can look at the sea life–like crabs and snails–left behind.

8. Outdoor Activities at Nickerson State Park

Parks are always exciting for children.

This scenic park engulfed by pine trees and crystalline ponds offers you a place where you can hike, bike, or pitch a tent and camp with your kiddies.

The Park also provides informative programs for kids, so they get to learn a lot on their trip!

9. Watch the sunset at Race Point Beach

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

A beautiful sunset makes watching the shoreline even more spectacular.

The reds melting into oranges in the sky and the oceans bright blue below leave nothing lacking for the viewer.

You can also hand your camera to your little photographer and teach them how to capture the beauty of the world.

10. Golf at Pirates Cove or Skull Island

Teach your kiddo to play mini golf at one of these locations. The courses are appealing for kids–with skulls, pirate ships, and waterfalls making it up.

Splash around on the beaches in the morning and spend the evenings here with your kids!

11. Spot Some Treasure at the Whydah Pirate Museum

Capture your child’s curiosity with the display of the world’s only pirate treasure from 300 years ago.

This museum offers an interactive experience where you get to board a replica of an 18th-century pirate ship and touch the treasure from all those years ago.

12. Enjoy a Flick at Wellfleet Drive-In Theater

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacationWith free entry for kids under the age of 3, this drive-in theater offers a wide selection of movies for every age.

With this last-of-its-kind location, relive the nostalgia and allow your kids to experience the way you used to watch movies when you were their age.

13. Cape Cod Children’s Museum

Located in Mashpee, this indoor museum is perfect for kids aged five months-8 years.

With bright, interactive exhibits that perfectly match your child’s intellectual abilities, your kid will learn a lot spending their time here.

It has a handful of programs that stimulate your child’s creativity and curiosity and fuel their mind.

14. Cape Cod National Seashore

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

The seashore offers your kids an opportunity to enjoy the waters or bike and hike along the beach.

It also has a Junior Program, which is a learning opportunity for your little ones.

After all, what’s better than learning while you’re having fun?

15. Cape Cod Water Park

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

This indoor water park is open all year round. It offers a Wave Pool, jacuzzi, and water slides that kids and teen alike can enjoy! It also has a cafe where you can relax while you drop off your kids in the children’s play area.

Best restaurants to go to with Toddlers

Cape Cod offers a selection of child-friendly places like Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar, which serves their food on frisbees, and the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis with a complete kid’s menu.

Top that off with ice cream from one of your favorite ice cream parlors like Sundae School or the Four Seas Homemade Ice Cream Parlor.

1. Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar (Eastham)

This place serves delicious fried seafood and lobster rolls on frisbees that the kids can take home afterward!

2. Cape Cod Brewery (Hyannis)

Not only does this family-friendly place offer brews and local favorites (Thursday-Sundays), but it also has tours and a gift shop.

3. Cape Cod Children’s Museum (Dennis)

This place has a complete kids’ menu with items that your kids will enjoy, like chicken tenders and hamburgers.
For adults, they have fantastic lobster rolls.

The cafe also provides spectacular views of the surrounding Sesuit Harbor.

4. Four Seas Home-Made Ice Cream

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

What child doesn’t love ice cream? This parlor offers homemade ice cream that your kids will love!

5. Sundae School

At Sundae School, all you need to study is ice cream flavors!

They also provide cute paper hats so you can take that perfect photograph.

6. Ben & Bills Chocolate Emporium

This place offers a unique flavored ice cream that you need to try lobster ice cream.

Don’t cringe–it’s actually pretty good!

On top of that, your kids can cram all the candy and fudge that they can eat (for as long as it lasts).,Additional Things to Keep in Mind

Make Sure your Child Doesn’t Get Seasick

If you take your child on a cruise, make sure they can sit through the entirety of the trip without feeling sick.

Bike Renting

If you’re going to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and don’t have a bike, you can rent one at the Rail Trail Bike & Kayak Shop.

The best part is you can leave your car in the parking lot at the starting of the trail.

Watch the Sharks

Ultimate Guide for a cape cod vacation

Sharks are a frequent occurrence in Cape Cod waters–especially on the Cape Cod Bay and Chatham.

For this reason, take safety precautions for your kids–like not letting them swim unsupervised and or go more than waist-deep in the water.

Also keep in mind the beach signage and flag warning system, which flashes purple when sharks are in the waters.


Cape Cod is known for its spotless beaches, clear waters, and historical attractions. It’s also an excellent spot to bring the little ones.

Whether you decide to spend the trip indoors scouring the museums or sliding through the water park rides or playing mini golf outside after a decadent meal of ice cream, this place is a retreat for your kiddos.

We hope you consider making Cape Cod the destination for your next family vacation. Safe Travels!



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