A few years ago, my parents retired and moved from Central MA to outer Cape Cod. Lucky us! We've enjoyed spending time down there in the summers (as we did even before we had family on the Cape), but we've also enjoyed getting to know the secrets for fun with kids on the Cape even in the off season. Here are some of the kid-friendly places and activities we have discovered, particularly in the Brewster/ Orleans/ Eastham/ Wellfleet area:
Our Favorite Beaches
Our kids are still pretty little, so we prefer shallow water and small (or no) waves. Bonus for tidal pools and streams to explore. Based on these criteria, these two are our favorites:
- Skaket Beach, West Road, Orleans MA
There are tons of hermit crabs in snail shells to collect here! When the tide is low, you can walk out for what seems like a mile (no exaggeration) in shallow water that makes for some great pictures. There's a food stand, toilets and showers here.
- First Encounter Beach, Samoset Road, Eastham, MAWe also enjoy looking for hermit crabs at this beach, and this is where we go on the 4th of July to watch fireworks being launched from Rock Harbor in Orleans. Toilets here, no showers. No food stall, but there's always an ice cream truck and often a gourmet iced coffee truck that comes by!
Sometimes it's too cold for the beach. Sometimes everyone just needs something else to explore. We were really impressed by these two local elementary school playgrounds:
- Orleans Elementary Community Playground, 46 Eldridge Park Road, Orleans, MAOur six-year-old loved the rock climbing wall and rope climber, and our three-year-old enjoyed the fishing community theme: there's a play fishing boat docked at a play dock with a hut.
- Eastham Elementary School Playground, 200 School House Road, Eastham, MAIn addition to some standard playground equipment, we loved the two adorable play houses at this playground, plus a fun tree for climbing and a big field for kite flying.
Fair Weather Activities
Here are a few of our favorite things to do with the kids when the weather is nice and warm enough for outdoor fun:
- Cape Escape Adventure Golf, 14 Canal Road, Orleans, MAThis one has all the standard stuff you expect for mini golf, plus our son's favorite part is feeding the koi fish at the end of the course (fish food provided by the course).
- Harbor Lights Mini Golf, 81 Underpass Road, Brewster, MA This one is relatively small (great with small kids with short attention spans!) and has lovely landscaping and water features.