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Things to Do with Kids in Cape Cod

Table of Contents

1. Must-visit Family Attractions

2. Outdoor Adventures

3. Educational Experiences

4. Where to Eat

5.  Planning Your Family Vacation

6. Conclusion

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Cape Cod (Massachusetts) offers a spectacular educational and recreational environment that’s perfectly suited for family-friendly activities. Beyond its famously pristine beaches and charming villages, it also presents a wealth of activities designed to engage young minds and foster a love for discovery.

Today we'll delve into the attractions available to families vacationing on Cape Cod. We'll explore the classic beach experiences of course – sandcastles, splashing, and wildlife observation in tidal pools. We'll also highlight activities designed to ignite the curiosity of young minds, whether it’s delving into the region's fascinating maritime past, interactive museum exhibits, or captivating harbor tours. 

Cape Cod's natural beauty truly provides a classroom like no other, with opportunities for nature hikes, exploration of diverse ecosystems within nature preserves, and the chance to witness the wonders of the marine world through breathtaking whale-watching excursions.

From stimulating science centers to historical landmarks and engaging outdoor adventures, Cape Cod is where education and exploration meet excitement and entertainment – for all members of the family. 


Must-visit Family Attractions on Cape Cod

Cape Cod boasts a variety of attractions designed to entertain the entire family, particularly during the summer months!

For water park thrills – or just to beat the heat – make a splash at the Cape Codder Water Park in Hyannis or the Cape Cod Inflatable Park in West Yarmouth. These parks offer slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and age-appropriate attractions for all ages.

Or simply catch a game at the park. Cape Cod is famous for its baseball – the Cape Cod Baseball League features pro players from across the country, playing for any of the ten teams located on the Cape.

As far as rainy-day activities go, family fun meets piracy at the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, where kids can delve into the world of pirates through interactive exhibits and even interact with the world’s only authenticated pirate treasure. For a dose of marine biology, explore the Woods Hole Science Aquarium in Falmouth and learn about the fascinating creatures inhabiting the Cape's waters.

If charming villages and main streets are your speed, you're spoiled for choice in Cape Cod. The Hyannis area in particular is very popular, and presents museum and tour experiences paying tribute to the JFK legacy, as well as a vibrant downtown and Lewis Bay waterfront. 

Day trip options in Cape Cod include catching the ferry to the picturesque islands of Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Bring the day to a close with a stop back at the Wellfleet Drive-In, the only drive-in theater on the Cape.

And of course, mini golf abounds in Cape Cod, with many courses featuring whimsical themes and creative obstacles. Favorites include Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in South Yarmouth, Skull Island Adventure Golf in Yarmouth, and Harbor Lights Mini Golf & Ice Cream in Brewster.

Outdoor Adventures for the Whole Family

Cape Cod's natural beauty provides an unparalleled playground for adventurous families. 

No Cape Cod trip is complete without a day at the beach. Build sandcastles, collect seashells, or take a boogie board ride on the waves. Popular beaches include Paine’s Creek Beach (Brewster) for tidal pool explorations as well as skimboarding (and ice cream!), and Craigville Beach (Barnstable), for its Nantucket Sound views and its beachcomber treasures.

The calm waters of Cape Cod Bay as well as the protected coves of Nantucket Sound offer opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding adventures -- and the possibility of spotting marine life such as harbor seals as well as the osprey that return to Cape Cod every March. 

For more marine wildlife encounters, embark on a whale-watching adventure and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. You'll learn about different whale species and their behaviors from experienced naturalists onboard the tour. 

Hikers and wanderers should lace up their walking shoes to explore the scenic trails of the Cape Cod National Seashore, with its rolling sand dunes and breathtaking ocean views. For explorations of the two-wheeled variety, bike along the scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail, where miles of picturesque paths wind through lush forests and tranquil marshlands, as the trail takes you through the towns of Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet.


Educational Experiences for Kids

Cape Cod offers a wealth of opportunities to learn and explore beyond the classroom walls.  

To bring maritime history to life, climb to the top of the iconic Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham. Kids will also enjoy the panoramic views of Atlantic coastline from the lookout room. The Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis also provides a fascinating glimpse into the area's rich maritime heritage.

Other museum activities include the Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee, which offers 20 interactive play-&-learn exhibits designed for 6-month-olds to 8-year-olds. Older kids will appreciate the Heritage Museums and Gardens, featuring 18,000 items that celebrate the culture, work, and life of people in southeastern New England, including a gorgeous collection of vintage automobiles. It also features a ridable carousel from 1908, including horses that were carved in the 1880s.

For a banquet of natural history, the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers 1,183 acres of unmatched beauty on the hillsides and shoreline overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. Its programs include a summer camp for children, as well as kayak rentals, birding, and school vacation week programs.

The Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge also offers trails and habitats to explore, including cedar swamps and cranberry bogs. Kids can learn more about the fascinating process of cranberry cultivation by taking a tour of a working cranberry bog. Many bogs offer educational programs perfect for families, showcasing the unique history and ecological importance of these bogs. 

If you’ve brought any shark fans along for the ride, be sure to visit the Shark Center in Chatham, featuring interactive exhibits and learning activities designed for kids.

... or simply explore the historic streets of Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod – incorporated in 1639!


Where to Eat with Kids on Cape Cod

Feeding a crew can be a challenge, but Cape Cod offers a bounty of family-friendly restaurants that cater to both parents and picky eaters. Here are a few top picks:

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  • Chapoquoit Grill (Falmouth)

This casual spot offers a winning combination of pizzas, kid-friendly pasta dishes, and a spacious outdoor patio.

  • Four Seas Ice Cream (Centerville)

After a day of exploration, cool down with a trip to Four Seas.  They boast a vast selection of homemade ice cream flavors, sundaes, and sodas.

  • Sundae School Ice Cream (Harwich Port and Dennisport)

Go into treat overdrive mode at this classic soda fountain, where they serve up homemade ice cream, floats, giant banana splits, and ice cream pie!

  • Mac's Shack (Wellfleet)

This lively restaurant features fresh seafood for adults, as well as a kid-friendly selection of burgers, fries, and chicken tenders. 

  • Pain d'Avignon (Hyannis)

For quick and delicious meals, this French bakery/cafe is a standout.  Choose from a selection of fresh pastries, sandwiches, and pizzas, as well as kid-approved soups and salads. 

  • Hot Chocolate Sparrow (Orleans)

This local favorite is a chocolate lover's dream come true - and a must for any family with a sweet tooth. They offer a delightful selection of coffee, desserts, ice cream, and candy and feature a gift shop tailor-made for anyone whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs!

  • Kream N Kone

Looking for seafood on the go? This counter-serve institution is famed for its fried clams, sandwiches & other fish fare.

Planning Your Family Vacation to Cape Cod

Cape Cod offers four-season charm and delight! For peak beach weather, however, consider July and August. However, these months come with larger crowds. Shoulder seasons (May-June and September-October) offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds. Spring in particular offers beautiful blooms, while winter transforms the Cape Cod landscape with a serene beauty, although many restaurants and stores will be closed for the season.

If you're traveling with young children, consider packing a small bag with essentials like wipes, snacks, and a change of clothes for the numerous car rides (and ferry trips) you'll be taking during your Cape Cod stay. Pack clothing suitable for changeable weather, including swimsuits, sunscreen, and light rain gear. 

When choosing a place to stay, consider your family's needs. The Del Mar Vacation listings include a wealth of options that offer privacy, pools, and game rooms, as well as BBQ grills for relaxed meal preparation. 

Plan activities that allow for downtime and exploration, and pack plenty of beach toys, bubbles, and frisbees to keep little ones entertained!


When it comes to travel spots, Cape Cod is second to none as a versatile family destination: every day offers an unforgettable new adventure and the chance to create lasting memories.

Come explore Cape Cod’s unique blend of family-friendly activities, and treat yourself to a vacation that’s as enriching as it is relaxing!

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