The Massachusetts’ shoreline beckons families with low-key family resorts in many price ranges, plus old-fashioned fun.
Whether it’s relaxation at a pampering or rustic resort, strolling a white-sand or rocky beach, or adventure on the high seas you’re looking for, Massachusetts’ Cape Cod peninsula has numerous family-oriented options from which to choose that can keep both parents and children happy. While summer is the peak season here, families will find top value getaways and crisp but pleasant weather for weekends away during the spring and fall.
The Seacrest Beach Hotel
350 Quaker Road
North Falmouth, MA 02556
Situated right along the calm shoreline of Buzzard’s Bay, The Seacrest Beach Hotel offers spectacular sunset views and a casual atmosphere, suitable for families looking for a down-to-earth getaway. The hotel boasts 263 guestrooms, both indoor and outdoor saline pools, an oceanview dining room, and a tween room complete with arcade games and a “mocktail” station. Parents can lounge on the white sand beach and enjoy chair-side service with peace of mind as their little ones splash around in the tame and shallow waters of the crystal clear bay. If your family enjoys a more active vacation style, beach cruisers can be rented right next door. Biking (or walking) the scenic trailways a stone’s throw from the hotel are a perfect way to explore the region whether you’re visiting during the summer or in the equally lovely, and more affordable, fall season.
When it comes to dinner, the family-friendly Red’s is the casual dining option offering kid-approved favorites like pizza and burgers. For those wanting to sample some of the famed local cuisine, try the delectable clam chowder or the buttery lobster roll! If you’re looking for additional dining options during your stay, historic Falmouth, where families can find anything from Indian to Italian along the Main Street, is just a convenient 10-minute drive away. The Seacrest offers special discounted off-season packages; check out their website for some great values.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
2907 Main Street
Brewster, MA 02631
Ocean Edge hugs a bluff above the Cape’s north shore just east of Brewster, and with more than 400 manicured acres, is one of the largest and best beach and golf clubs in New England. With a self-proclaimed commitment to “creating nostalgic childhood memories” the Ocean Edge staff works with non-golfers to provide various free family activities in summer. Such activities include sand sculpting, guided beach walks, hair braiding with beads and face painting, as well as tennis, golf, biking and their traditional beach bonfire (complete with marshmallows for toasting.)
Their children’s program, named the Ocean EdgeVenture Program, is offered for a fee from late June to the end of August. Young adventurers ages 4-9 can participate in various activities like an insect safari, a woodland walk, various arts and crafts, as well as swimming and story telling. The groups are maintained at a 6 kids-to-1 counselor ratio. The program is held daily with either a full or half day option. Also available is their evening children’s program, known as “Kid’s Night Out,” which offers a pizza party, games, movies and other activities. The program operates three nights a week, for a fee that includes dinner. With a variety of 335 rooms, suites and multi-bedroom villas, many adjacent to the original 1890’s mansion on the property, this property is ideal for groups and families.
Cape Codder Resort & Spa
1225 Iyannough Road
Route 132 & Bearse’s Way
Hyannis, MA 02601
This small and popular resort is located mid-Cape on the south coast facing Nantucket, just outside the celebrated beach town of Hyannis. Guests at the Cape Codder will particularly enjoy the benefits of having an 8,200-square-foot indoor wave pool at their disposal. Equipped with two waterslides, two saunas and a whirlpool, you can hit the water regardless of weather or season. Families with preschoolers will also appreciate the well-maintained outdoor playground with climbing structures. Older kids can try tennis, the extensive fitness facilities, badminton and volleyball–that is, when they’re not in the Spa for youth-oriented manicures, pedicures, massages and makeup lessons. The resort also offers a Kids Activity Program, which offers field games, ballooning, face painting, pirate portraits and crafts just to name a few. Fun-filled evenings around the bonfire, and later watching kid-friendly movies, allow kids to recover from their busy day and prepare for the next. (See site for pricing and schedule.) Rooms range from two-bedded standards to spacious loft suites sleeping five.
Chatham Bars Inn
Chatham, Cape Cod, MA 02633
Chatham Bars Inn was voted “Reader’s Pick for Favorite Family Program” by Parenting. On a landmarked National Trust oceanfront estate in Chatham, New England’s “grand” resort has a historic main lodge and 25 charming Cape Cod-style cottages, many with fireplaces. Spacious spa suites have even more room for the family as well as jacuzzi tubs. Readers’ reactions have ranged from “posh” to “musty” with positive accord about the well trained and friendly staff. Chatham Bars Inn offers complimentary children’s programs daily from mid-June through early September. Kids age 4-years up to teens can join age-specific groups either in a morning, afternoon or evening session (details on their site.)
1 Lighthouse Inn Road
West Dennis, MA 02670
This pretty, very traditional Nantucket oceanfront inn is a home from home for many repeat guests each season (only open from mid May to mid October.) There’s a heated pool, tennis, full service restaurant and a variety of rooms in Cape-style guest houses and one-,two- and three- bedroom cottages, all with refrigerator and many with wood burning fireplaces. From late June through August, the family-owned Lighthouse Inn features the “InnKids” program, which offers daily supervised activities for kids age 3-years and up, daily. From their striking oceanfront location, they also provide a separate dining room where kids can dine and indulge in fun, supervised activities from 5:30-8:30pm nightly, before and after the adult evening meals. Accommodations range from rooms in a shingled lodge to oceanview cottages and small garden homes in the shadow of a historic lighthouse.
I know you’ll be coming back for more. For details on Cape Cod’s many other hotel, motel, B&B and rental accommodations or other activities, visit Cape Cod Connections.
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