Discover activities and sights the whole family will enjoy in Cape Cod on a family vacation

When you spend your family vacation in Cape Cod, you'll find that the Cape and its surrounding islands have much to offer to keep your days filled with fun. This area has been ranked in the top 10 in the country for its beaches and has been named one of the best places for whale watching and other outdoor activities. Once you get tired of the sun and surf, you’ll find several other great attractions indoors and on land. Make sure you keep your schedule open because you’ll be cramming all these great ideas into it.

Enjoy the sun and fresh air with some outdoor activities and attractions

A range of outdoor activities can be found here to suit everyone’s tastes at any time of the day. With 560 miles of beach to explore when the sun’s up and a great classic drive-in movie theater for after-dark entertainment, you and your family will be busy all day. Whether you’re outdoorsy or indoorsy, find out about the top-ranking activities and attractions you won't want to miss.

Whale watching

Cape Cod has been named one of the top 10 spots for whale watching, and there are many options available. You can catch a late-morning ride out to see some humpbacks in a marine sanctuary or take an educational whale-watching tour for a heightened family-fun experience. These tours are generally available spring through fall, so make sure you plan accordingly.

Beaches

Along Cape Cod's 560 miles of coastline, you can have your pick of where to lay out your towel and enjoy the sun. Cape Cod’s beaches regularly top the charts for the best beaches in the country, so you know you’ll be getting a quality day out in the sand. For the kids, there are plenty of fun options, such as the flats on Cape Cod Bay that feature warm tidal pools for wading. Some beaches have trails for hiking, and some even offer offroading trails with amazing views. The coastline at Cape Cod is ideal for a relaxing afternoon or an exciting adventure—it’s up to you to decide how your beach day will turn out.

Pirate-themed adventures

Nothing beats a good round of miniature golf, except when it’s elaborately pirate-themed and one of the best-ranked family attractions in Cape Cod. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is everything a kid would want on a vacation, as it's packed full of waterfalls, caves, capsized pirate ships, and much more. The beautifully landscaped 18 holes will put the whole family’s putting skills to the test. If golf isn’t your thing, try out joining a pirate crew for yourself. At Pirate Adventures, your kids will board the Sea Gypsy clad in the best pirate gear and embark on an adventure they’ll be raving about for years to come.

Baseball games

Is your family more akin to watching sports than playing them? Then you can have the perfect outing when you catch a Cape Cod Baseball League game on the south side of the Cape. There are 10 teams in the league, so make sure you check the game schedule to see who’s going head to head while you’re in town.

Drive-in movie theater

Take a trip back in time and top off the day with a movie the old-fashioned way. Wellfleet Drive-In Theater is locally owned and aims to keep prices at reasonable and affordable rates. This theater is open year-round, so you’ll never have to worry about whether you can catch a flick when you’re in Cape Cod. All of their screens are up to date with great quality and sound. You won’t want to miss a movie under the stars like this.

Explore Cape Cod’s culture and history

Cape Cod is rich with history and culture, so you'll find tons of great museums and monuments in the area that are fun for the family. Cape Cod has museums for many interests, including a maritime museum to match your seafaring interests, a children’s museum to keep the little ones occupied, and a museum surrounded by vast, beautiful gardens to admire. When you’ve had your fill of the sun and salt, these options will be a great continuation of your vacation.

Hidden Hollow at Heritage Museums and Gardens

Nestled on the grounds of the Heritage Museums and Gardens is the Hidden Hollow. Located in a natural depression in the land created by glacial erosion, Hidden Hollow is a family-friendly outdoor experience that will help you and your kids reconnect to nature and the great outdoors. Here, you can find plenty of fun activities for kids like building forts, experimenting with water in the splash area, creating nature art, and plenty more.

Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Once you’ve seen the beaches and seafaring life of today, take a trip back in time to discover the area's maritime history at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. This museum features reconstructions of boats from the past as well as the opportunity to construct your own boat. These boat-building classes are for adults and children, making it great for the whole family. Once you’ve seen it all inside, take a ride out on their replica of an 1886 catboat and see what maritime life was like over 100 years ago.

Plymouth County

Get the ultimate historic experience and visit the beginning of our country at the site where the pilgrims first landed. You can visit Plymouth Rock itself and get a taste of 1600s New England life in Plymouth County. Learn about the story of the Mayflower voyage and see the replica right where it happened 400 years in the past. If your family happens to be around in the fall, you’ll get to see the beautiful fall cranberry harvests.

Cape Cod Children’s Museum

If you’re visiting Cape Cod with little ones, you’re probably going to need something to keep them occupied for a while. A great place for that would be the Cape Cod Children’s Museum. This museum offers lots of hands-on activities, programs, and events that are constantly changing, so make sure you check out what they have to offer during your visit. The museum recommends that children from ages 1-10 will enjoy it the most, but they offer plenty of family-friendly activities for all ages.

Fuel up at local family-friendly restaurants

In a land where good food and even better seafood is a way of life, you're bound to find something you and the family will love. There are tons of great restaurants here that are family friendly and, of course, delicious too. Try some of these spots for any meal of the day. No matter what those in your family prefer, everyone can find their new favorite eatery in Cape Cod.

Tasty Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so give one of these a try to jumpstart the vacationing. The name alone is enough to entice those with a sweet tooth to try Eat Cake 4 Breakfast Bakery. Browse their breakfast menu or try one of their delicious pastries by the resident French pastry chef. Another local must-try is The Original Marshland. This restaurant has been serving up tasty food in historic Sandwich for over 50 years. There’s also Hearth ’n Kettle, a homey spot that promises quality ingredients and thoughtful menus.

Essential Lunch

Lunch may be what keeps you going through the day, or it may just be a short break from all the fun. Try out the local Box Lunch for the best sandwiches in the Cape. They offer fun rolled sandwiches that the kids will love. If it's local seafood you're after, try The Skipper Restaurant & Chowder House. Get some homemade chowder and finish it off with ice cream, all while gazing out at the beautiful Nantucket Sound. If you’re looking for fun and good food, try the Ten Pin Eatery. This spot offers an arcade and bowling along with good food and good drinks for the adults in the group.

Dinner to Top It Off

Choosing the best restaurant for dinner can be hard, especially with families. Try out an Irish experience at Liam Maguire's Irish Pub, where you can enjoy some crispy fish-and-chips and fun live entertainment. For amazing seafood, go to Spanky’s Clam Shack, an 8-time winner of the “Best Seafood Restaurant” award in the Cape Cod area. Spanky's offers everything from a light fish-and-chips to a full lobster dinner. For something a little different, you could take everyone out for a movie and dinner all in one at the Falmouth Cinema Pub. If you’re feeling really wild, get a shrimp pizza or other creation from Wicked. Wherever you decide to go, nobody will be going hungry on this vacation.

Find your next favorite adventure park in Cape Cod

When you’re ready to take your family vacation in Cape Cod to the next level, give one of these adventures a try. You’ll have your choices between a water park at the Cape Cod Resort, an inflatables park, zip-lining, arcades, and so much more to explore. The fun won’t end when you make one of these stops with the family.

Cape Codder Water Park

No matter the weather, you can have a great time at Cape Cod’s only indoor/outdoor water park located in the Cape Codder Resort. With an available day pass, you’ll get access to a few thousand square feet of fun. Cape Codder Water Park offers a wave pool to ride, a lazy river to relax on, a kiddie area for the little ones, high-speed waterslides, and plenty more. If the day is bright and sunny, the totally clear roof will retract to let in that fresh air.

Cape Cod Inflatable Park

If you’re looking for something unique that you won’t find anywhere else, this is it. The Cape Cod Inflatable Park offers both wet and dry inflatable rides and is generally open spring through fall. Parents who would rather relax than join in on the fun have the option to rent out a cabana and let the kids have at it. Take the experience even further in the park's challenge zone, where you can test your might on the obstacle course.

The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens

Visiting the Heritage Museums and Gardens doesn’t stop at the beautiful grounds and Hidden Hollow. Take the visit a step further and try your hand at one of The Adventure Park's courses. Try out the zip-line course or see if you can cross one of the rope courses. The courses feature various levels of difficulty, so everyone in the family can try what is right for them. See the park from the trees and have a great family bonding experience when you visit The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens.

Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade STEAMuseum

Finish off a day of exploring at this classic arcade that's usually open late for some post-dinner fun. Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade STEAMuseum collects antique, unique, and rare arcade games from all over the world and even includes a few invented by the owner himself. This arcade has games available for kids of all ages and even adults. You can find a carousel and some other kiddie rides here as well. Wackenhammer’s is a great choice for wrapping up a day of family fun in Cape Cod.

Discover Cape Cod family resorts

To get the most out of Cape Cod family vacations, you'll need to find accommodation that keeps you and your little ones happy in between your exciting excursions. While you'll find plenty of options available, resorts are among the most popular choices. Not only do they offer the extra space that whole families need to have everyone sleeping comfortably, but they tend to feature several amenities that hotels can't match in most cases. These rentals may feature hot tubs, pools, and even spa services.