Nantucket Island is the epitome of an old school beach vacation. Its quaint lighthouses, miles of paved bike trails, endless sand dunes and historic town, make for a lovely family trip. While the drawback is the crowds in summer, there are many places to hide from the masses. Whenever I am in Nantucket with my girls, I feel like I’ve returned to another time. We love to bike, enjoy the beach, a picnic, or just follow the butterflies.
Here are my favorite kid-friendly activities on the island …
The Children’s Beach is a great place to take young children. It has calm water and a playground, picnic area, and food stands. We also like Great Point Beach, which is part of Coatue Wildlife Refuge with an incredible collection of birds for kids to admire. If you decide to rent a jeep on island, you can drive on the beach with a permit and park in your own private area. One tip is not to go off-roading with an infant after nursing (we fondly renamed ours exorcist baby after that trip).
A great way to see the island is on a bike — there are miles of paved bike trails to experience the island up close. The Nantucket Bike Shop is an option for rentals, including kids rentals.
For a break from the sun, a cone of homemade ice cream is a toddlers dream. Try the Juice Bar in town at 12 Broad Street with everything from peanut butter ice cream to homemade waffle cones.
Housed in a quaint Cape Cod style cottage, the MMA Aquarium is wonderful on a rainy day. It showcases local marine life indigenous to Nantucket.
Lobster Picnic on the Beach
We love to get take out from the Nantucket Lobster Trap Restaurant and head down to the beach with the kids for a lobster picnic. If your tots are not big fan of lobster, they have cheeseburgers and a kids menu too.
For the best blueberry pancakes in town, try the Downyflake restaurant at 18 Sparks Avenue. It’s a simple, locals spot with great people watching. The kids love their homemade doughnuts too.
If you happen to be on the island on August 15th, they are holding the annual sand castle and sculpture day on Jetties Beach. Over 50 sand sculptures will be on display — you can register the day before to get in on the fun.
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