12 Fun Things to Do on Upper Cape Cod with Kids

The most westerly region of Cape Cod—Bourne, Sandwich, Mashpee, Falmouth, and Woods Hole—make up the Upper Cape. Life is a bit sleepier here than on the Outer Cape. The beaches are a bit calmer and prices a bit lower, too, which combine to make this an ideal getaway with kids. (See Cape Cod on a map.)

01 of 11

Visit an Iconic Lighthouse

Nobska Point Light, Cape Cod
Wikimedia Commons
233 Nobska Rd, Falmouth, MA 02543-1044, USA
Phone +1 774-763-6453

One of the area's most beloved and photographed sites, the Nobska Point Light has guarded the southernmost point on Cape Cod since 1828. The lighthouse tower is rarely open to the public, but you can visit the lovely grounds and enjoy the fabulous views. (Nobska Rd., Woods Hole)

02 of 11

Hit the Beach

Quissett Beaches, Upper Cape Cod
Quissett Harbor Preservation Trust

Among the many beautiful beaches on the Upper Cape, Quissett Harbor is a particularly scenic and wonderful place for families. You can stroll out to The Knob for stellar views of the sea and Martha's Vineyard, and walk along Crescent Beach. Little Sandy Beach is an ideal spot to play in the shallow water and look for shells, crabs, and periwinkles.

03 of 11

Touch a Tautog or a Quahog

Woods Hole Aquarium
Woods Hole Science Aquarium
166 Water St, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
Phone +1 508-495-2001

For kids who love getting hands-on with nature, the small but marvelous Woods Hole Science Aquarium has touch tanks with lobsters, tautogs (hoodfish), quahogs (hard clams), crabs and starfish. And don't miss the ever-popular seal feedings, which take place twice a day. (166 Water St., Woods Hole)

04 of 11

Explore on Two Wheels

Shining Sea Bikeway, Upper Cape Cod
Wikimedia Commons
Depot Rd, North Falmouth, MA 02556, USA

A rail trail from North Falmouth to Woods Hole, the 10-mile Shining Sea Bikeway is a flat, paved route through woodlands and along the seaside. The name is a nod to "America the Beautiful," penned by Falmouth native Katharine Lee Bates. You can rent bikes from various outfitters in Falmouth and Woods Hole. 

Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11

Take a Mini Cruise to a Storied Island

Ferry Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard
Island Queen
75 Falmouth Heights Rd, Falmouth, MA 02540-3543, USA
Phone +1 508-548-4800

From Memorial Day through mid-October, you can take a 35-minute ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard aboard the Island Queen. Plan to spend a few hours in Oak Bluffs, exploring the town's restaurants, shops, beaches and adorable 19th-century gingerbread cottages. (75 Falmouth Heights Rd., Falmouth)

06 of 11

Scream for Ice Cream

Best ice cream on Upper Cape Cod
Smitty's Homemade Ice Cream
326 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536, USA
Phone +1 508-457-1060

Of the many great ice cream shops on the Upper Cape, Smitty's Homemade Ice Cream is arguably the most famous. There are dozens of flavors, from the usual stalwarts to coconut almond, Oreo coffee, and more. (326 E. Falmouth Hwy., East Falmouth)

07 of 11

Get a Duck's Eye View

Cape Cod Kayak
Cape Cod Kayak
802 MacArthur Blvd, Pocasset, MA 02559-2270, USA
Phone +1 508-563-9377

Grab a paddle and explore local waterways with Cape Cod Kayak, which offers a variety of tours for all ages and abilities from spring through fall. Tours last anywhere from two hours to a full day. (802 MacArthur Blvd., Pocassett)

08 of 11

Find Little-Kid Fun

Experiments at Cape Cod Children's Museum
Cape Cod Children's Museum
577 Great Neck Rd S, Mashpee, MA 02649-3708, USA
Phone +1 508-539-8788

For kids 8 and under, a trip to the interactive Cape Cod Children's Museum is the chance to play dress up, do science experiments, make crafts, and explore with all five senses. Guaranteed hands-on fun for little ones on a rainy day. (577 Great Neck Rd., South Mashpee)

Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11

Have a Treetop Adventure

Adventure Park Zipline on Cape Cod
Heritage Museums & Gardens
67 Grove St, Sandwich, MA 02563, USA
Phone +1 508-866-0199

Need a break from the sand and surf? Head for the shade at The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens, a four-acre aerial park where you'll navigate through the trees through high ropes and zip lines. Minimum age is 7. (67 Grove St., Sandwich)

10 of 11

Eat Lobster and Fried Clams

Lobster at Quarterdeck Restaurant, Falmouth, MA
Quarterdeck Restaurant
164 Main St, Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
Phone +1 508-548-9900

Love lobster? Seafood restaurants abound on the Upper Cape, but Falmouth's nautical-themed Quarterdeck Restaurant is a particularly great choice for families, with its friendly atmosphere, moderate prices, extensive menu, and great kids' options. (164 Main St., Falmouth)

11 of 11

Learn All About the Ocean

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
93 Water St, Falmouth, MA 02543-1025, USA

At the esteemed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, you can check out the submarine that was used to discover the Titanic wreckage and learn a ton about ocean ecology. Ask about public lectures and sessions held in the summer. (93 Water St., Woods Hole)

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Enjoy These 12 Fun Activities in Upper Cape Cod with Kids