Shannon Entin from TVTraveler.com is sharing her favorite spots in Cape Cod, Mass. to explore with her kids in tow.
While it may be too chilly for bathing suits and swimming, don’t discount a trip to Cape Cod, Mass., in the fall. With colorful foliage, fewer crowds, and plenty of things to do in Cape Cod for families, a road trip to the Cape is perfect for an autumn weekend. Here are six can’t-miss stops – each needing only one to two hours – to take you across Cape Cod.
Sandwich Glass Museum, Sandwich
Commemorating the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, responsible for the lasting fame of Sandwich glass, this museum showcases the work of local and national artisans. Watch a live glass blowing demonstration, then stroll through the beautiful exhibits. Be sure to ask for the scavenger hunt to keep the kids searching for special glass pieces.
Momo’s Food Emporium, East Sandwich
Award-winning sandwiches, salads, sides, soups, coffees, baked goods, and ice cream are not all you’ll find at Momo’s. It’s also a delightfully cozy shop stocked with specialty and imported foods. With couches and fluffy pillows, you can enjoy lunch there or pack a picnic to take to the Green Briar Nature Center.
Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen, East Sandwich
This unique, educational stop offers an eclectic mix of animals, rocks, wildflowers, galleries, hiking trails, and a jam kitchen. Go for a walk, have a picnic, then visit the jam kitchen to view the jam cooking process first-hand. As a family that makes jam at home, my kids loved seeing the process on a larger scale. Green Briar offers Family Jam Workshops (ages 6 and up) most Saturdays year-round.
Art’s Dune Tours, Provincetown
Hands-down the highlight of our trip to the Cape, Art’s Dune Tours takes you on a journey through the Provincetown Cape Cod National Seashore protected lands. Our guide Rob (Art’s son) drove us through the dunes, pointing out flowers and plants and educating us on the ecosystem. We also learned about the dune shacks where famous artists have come for isolation and inspiration, as well as the “life savers” that were stationed on the dunes to save thousands from shipwrecks off the coast of the Cape. We had the chance to get out, take photos and run up and down the dunes – lots of fun for the kids!
Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown
When you’re ready to tire the kids out, visit the Pilgrim Monument and make the 116-stair climb to the top for a phenomenal view of the area.
Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory, Hyannis
You can’t actually “tour” the potato chip factory, but you can walk down a windowed hallway and observe the factory at work. This is a quick stop, but it’s free and fun for the younger kids. Well, it’s free until you get to the gift shop where you won’t be able to resist buying some chips! They do give you a small sample bag, but that’s not nearly enough.
Where to stay?
I recommend the cottages at the Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis. We loved the charm of the working lighthouse, the spacious cottage, and the amazing breakfast served oceanfront! There are several lodging options that fit every size of family, and my daughter loved the grassy area in front of the cottages where she could play and stalk visitors’ dogs! Unfortunately the Lighthouse Inn closes after Columbus Day, but there are tons of lodging options across the Cape.
Cape Cod has even more to offer for fall visitors, such as an aquarium, lighthouses, hiking and biking trails, dinner cruises, and trendy villages. And of course, the beaches are still a fun place to collect shells or take a walk at sunset.
Shannon Entin is a family travel writer passionate about road trips and learning through travel. She shares her adventures at TVTraveler.com.