Ten Fun Winter Things to Do with Kids on Cape Cod

No matter the time of year, Nauset Lighthouse in North Eastham is a beauty. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

Going on vacation on Cape Cod during the winter with the whole family can be quite enjoyable, even if you can’t spend your days swimming and sunbathing. While it may seem a lot quieter during the winter months, there is still plenty for families to do on Cape Cod. Here are some fun ideas!

1. Go for a nature walk. Whether you want to explore the woods and kettle ponds or you want to stroll along the beach, the natural beauties of Cape Cod are accessible even during the months of January and February.

On windier days, it is advisable to avoid the beaches, but on still days, even if there is a chill in the air, the beach can be quite lovely. Look for shells and take in the miles of sand and water, unadulterated by beach towels and umbrellas.

The woods can be a great time on most days, even snowy ones! If there is snow on the ground, bundle up and try walking down the bike trails. You can even use cross country skis or snow shoes to make the hike easier.

2. Go bowling. Who doesn’t love a day out hitting up the lanes? Whether you like candlepin or regular bowling, there is a place for you to go on Cape Cod. From the Orleans Bowling Center to the Lanes Bowl and Bistro in Mashpee Commons to any of the Ryan Family Amusement locations (Hyannis, South Yarmouth, Buzzards Bay, Falmouth, and Oak Bluffs).

3. Ice skating. The ice rinks of Cape Cod are lots of fun and pretty inexpensive, a great way for families to spend a few hours. There are rinks in Orleans, Dennis, and Bourne, so whether you find yourself on the Lower Cape, Mid Cape, or Upper Cape, you can hit the ice.

4. Check out the shops. While some stores do close during the quiet season, most places are open for business even in the dead of winter, so don’t hesitate to stop by your favorite Main Streets. A plus to shopping in the winter? You’ll avoid long lines and won’t have to push and shove to see the various items available.

5. Take in a movie. All the movie theaters are still open (with the exception of the drive-in), so feel free to get something to eat and then go out and see a movie. Even better? Check out the Cinema Pub in Falmouth, for dinner AND a movie.

6. Go to the local library. The libraries on Cape Cod are open year-round and have many different programs throughout the year that are fun for the whole family. Check out the website of your favorite library to find out about activities for children, teens and adults.

7. Check out the museums. Given that the Cape is one of the oldest areas in America, it makes sense that there are plenty of fascinating historical societies here to visit. If historical societies aren’t up your alley, consider checking out family favorites such as the Children’s Museum in Mashpee (located at 577 Great Neck Road in Mashpee. Great for younger kids) or the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster (located at 869 Main Street in Brewster).

8. Go swimming. Not at the beach of course, but plenty of hotels have indoor pools. If the place you are staying does not have a pool, consider getting a day pass to the Cape Codder Resort.

9. Take a FREE tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory. Taste some delicious chips and see how they are made in this fun, free tour. The tour runs Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and they are self-guided. The Potato Chip Factory is located at 100 Breed’s Hill Road in Hyannis.

10. Play indoor laser tag. What kid doesn’t like laser tag? There is the Cape Cod Lazer Runner at 96 Airport Road in Hyannis which is part of Balls to the Wall. Balls to the Wall also offers indoor paintball and they have an indoor skate park, so your kids can run around and have fun, even during the most frigid winter days.

So if you decide to visit the Cape with your family during the off-season, you will definitely be able to find plenty to occupy the whole family. Another plus? Most things, including hotels, are a bit less pricy come winter time, so you can experience Cape Cod without breaking the bank.

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Mati Brown holds a Journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She has written for several publications, including the Berlin Reporter, EDGE publications, and the Falmouth and Mashpee Bulletins. A current resident of Brewster, she is glad to be writing about the area she grew up in.