Cape Cod Family Attractions
Cape Cod is one of the most heavily visited tourist sites in America, boasting a rich maritime history, pristine beaches, lovely resorts and picturesque small towns. But, as we all know, family vacations can sometimes put a strain on the wallet. To help keep that from happening, here are five of the best family-friendly activities on the Cape costing $12 or less. Get ready to have some fun as you visit this popular Massachusetts destination! Just remember to bring sunscreen!
Forty miles of Cape Cod beaches, marshes and ponds support diverse wildlife. The National Seashore gives families a wide range of activities, including spending a day at the beach, or hiking or biking on its many trails. Families may also want to participate in one of the outdoor scavenger hunts offered at the Seashore’s visitor center. The hunt is free and a great way to explore the seashore’s beauty and diversity.
99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, Mass.; 508-771-2144; www.nps.gov/caco/index.htm.
This trampoline park in West Harwich will get the entire family moving. An outdoor fenced-in park with trampolines at ground level means even your littlest jumpers will be able to participate. The rule is “No shoes” (or flip-flops). You’ll be able to jump around at a budget-friendly rate of $3 for 10 minutes.
296 Route 28, West Harwich, Mass.; 508-432-8717.
Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory
Cape Cod Potato Chips are legendary. They’re produced in this equally legendary factory, one of the area’s top tourist destinations, drawing nearly 250,000 visitors annually. All factory tours are self-guided and free. Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
100 Breed’s Hill Road, Hyannis, Mass.;888-881-2447; www.capecodchips.com/about-us/factory-tour.html.
Wellfleet Drive-in Theatre
Your family will enjoy a sense of nostalgia watching films from your car in true drive-in fashion. The drive-in, which is the only one on Cape Cod, has other attractions, as well, including a snack bar, a miniature golf course and a playground. Adults ages 12-61, $9; children ages 4-11 and seniors ages 62 and up, $6; children under the age 3 get in free.
51 Route 6, Wellfleet, Mass.;508-349-7176; www.wellfleetcinemas.com.
Cape Cod Playhouse
The Cape Cod Playhouse, in operation since 1927, offers adult and kids’ shows and provides a great opportunity to escape the summer heat. Productions this summer include Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland and The Legend of King Arthur. Tickets for the children’s shows are $12. Shows run Thursdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
820 Route 6A, Dennis, Mass.; 877-385-3911; www.capeplayhouse.com.
Maria Mitchell Association
The Maria Mitchell Association was formed to honor the legacy of Nantucket local Maria Mitchell, an astronomer, naturalist and librarian. The association currently has two observatories, a natural science museum and an aquarium. All locations run educational programs, including family nature walks and a summer camp for kids and teens. The Loines Observatory also offers free star-gazing and meteor-shower viewing to the public.
4 Vestal St., Nantucket, Mass.; 508-228-9198; www.mariamitchell.org.
Flying Horses Carousel
The island of Martha’s Vineyard is home to scenic sunsets, quirky shopping spots and diverse wildlife. It’s also home to the nation’s oldest platform carousel. Constructed in Coney Island in 1876, the Flying Horses Carousel came to the Vineyard in 1986 to be fixed and preserved. Carousel rides are only $2.50 per ride. If you manage to grab the ring, you’re rewarded with a free ride.
15 Oak Bluffs Ave., Oak Bluffs, Mass.; 508-693-9481; www.mvpreservation.org/p.php/preservation/community/flying-horses.
Have you been to one of these Cape Cod family destinations? Share your comments below or tell us about the family-friendly places you visited in Cape Cod. We'd love to here from you!