It’s that time of year again! We’re breaking out the flip-flops, lathering on the sunblock, and gearing up for an unforgettable family vacation. And while there are many amazing getaways on the East Coast, not many places can top the beloved summertime memories created at Cape Cod, MA.
This hooked peninsula reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean is home to charming New England villages, picturesque lighthouses, delicious seafood shacks, and beautiful sandy beaches. It’s the perfect destination for adults to bring their kids to play in the sun and have a blast at the ocean. There’s no shortage of family-friendly activities at Cape Cod, so grab your itinerary because we’re diving into 15 fun things to do in Cape Cod with kids!
Go on a family bike ride along the coastline.
There is a surprising number of nice biking trails that snake across Cape Cod. Extending for miles, these trails are often paved, making them ideal to take your kids for a pleasant family bike ride.
Don’t miss out on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 25-mile paved trail that takes you through some of the most scenic landscapes on Cape Cod. From marshlands to ponds to coastline and lush forests, your kids will marvel at this magical bike ride.
Bring your kids to Cape Cod Children’s Museum.
Do you have younger children from the ages of 1 to 8? They’ll have a blast at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee.
This discovery museum is chock-full of interactive exhibits designed to spark children’s imaginations, teach them, and help them develop creativity and social skills. The museum also frequently hosts fun, engaging events and workshops for children. Tickets are $15 a person.
Wander through a hidden hollow and gardens.
Want to slow the pace down and allow your children to wander in a beautiful oasis? Head for Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. This destination offers 100 acres of beautifully curated grounds, gardens, and trails.
Wander along paths filled with colorful flowers or head into the wooded trails. Kids especially love Hidden Hollow, a special area dedicated to magical adventures for children.
Splash around at a waterpark.
Looking for a quirky, fun amusement park that keeps you and your kids cool? Visit Cape Cod Inflatable Park. This park is home to the US’s largest inflatable park, with unique inflatable slides, bouncy rafts, and other exciting water rides.
Or you can just relax pool-side or wade in the hot tub together, it’s up to you. A day pass is $30 a person but is discounted after 4 pm.
See how potato chips are made.
If you know anything about New England, you probably know how much we love our Cape Cod potato chips (and don’t tell us kettle-cooked aren’t the best!).
Now’s your chance to discover with your family how Cape Cod potato chips are actually made, right here at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory in Hyannis. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of the factory and see the process of creating this beloved snack.
Discover the world of pirates.
Are your kids fascinated by the world of pirates? They can dive into the captivating history of piracy at the Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth.
This museum houses one of the largest collections of pirate artifacts recovered from an 1800s shipwreck. Your children will love seeing real pirate coins and other treasures up close! General admission is $15 a person.
Take a hiking or camping trip.
If you and your kids love outdoor adventures, look no further than Nickerson State Park in Brewster. This 1,900-acre scenic park is brimming with secluded campsites, waterside parks, wooded hiking trails, and picturesque ponds.
It’s a great place for a waterfront picnic, a nice hike, fishing, or camping in the woods. The fun outdoor activities are limitless!
Go for a fun game of mini golf.
Cape Cod is well-equipped with charming mini golf courses for your family to play a friendly game. You can take your pick from a variety of cool themes.
Head to Wild Animal Lagoon in West Yarmouth, Cape Escape in Orleans, or Steve & Sue’s in Hyannis for golfing and ice cream. And many families rave about Pirate’s Cove in South Yarmouth, a fun, innovatively curated pirate-themed course.
Watch an all-American baseball game.
Sometimes catching a classic all-American game of baseball can be so satisfying. If your kids enjoy watching this sport, you’ve come to the right place.
The Cape Cod Baseball League, a premier amateur baseball league, plays in various locations around Cape Cod. Grab a seat – tickets are free! – and a hot dog, and cheer on your favorite Cape Cod team.
Feast on delicious fried seafood.
Now’s your chance to introduce your kids to some delicious seafood! Their young palates might especially enjoy fried seafood they can dip in ketchup. Luckily, there is a myriad of seafood joints with freshly caught seafood that your kids will love the taste of.
Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar serves mouthwatering popcorn shrimp and fish and chips, while Sesuit Harbor Cafe offers a scenic spot for enjoying some of the best lobster rolls and chicken fingers this side of Massachusetts.
Hunt for treats at a general store.
What’s more charming and quintessentially New England than a historic general store? Take your kids for a trip to the Brewster General Store, established in the 1800s and still operating as a general store today.
Wander through its halls to admire unique knick-knacks and antiques, or pick out a couple of little treasures and yummy candies to savor.
Go whale watching or dolphin watching.
Cape Cod is known for being a spectacular spot to go whale watching, as pods of whales migrate through each year. June through September is the best time to spot them, so head out on a whale-watching cruise for this unique experience.
Spend the day on a sandy beach.
A Cape Cod family vacation isn’t complete without a day or two at the beach! Cape Cod’s harbor towns offer so many enjoyable, scenic sandy beaches to choose from, most of which are very family-friendly.
Enjoy wading in the calm waters at Cockle Cove Beach in Chatham, or let your kids explore the tidal pools at Surf Drive Beach in Falmouth. Another great spot for kids is Smugglers Beach in Yarmouth, which features nice, powdery sand and a fishing pier.
Enjoy incredible lighthouse views.
Part of the magic of Cape Cod is the myriad of picturesque, historic lighthouses that dot its seashores. Many of these are open for visitors to explore and climb to the top, and some have museums that teach you about their history.
A few of the most spectacular examples are Chatham Lighthouse, Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham, and Nobska Point Lighthouse in Falmouth.
Enjoy homemade creamery ice cream.
The creameries of Cape Cod really know how to whip up darn-good homemade ice cream. Seeing as how a summer beach getaway with kids isn’t complete without some ice cream, why not go to one of the many locally owned creameries along the ocean?
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Amy has been a full time travel blogger since 2012, blogging about couples travel alongside her husband on Two Drifters. Once a baby came into the picture, the travels changed, but definitely did not stop!
Amy is based in Raleigh, North Carolina where she lives with her son Malcolm (the adventuring toddler), her husband Nathan, and two mischievous cats.