The Beach Times

Should You Bring Your Ice Skates on Your Cape Cod Vacation?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Saturday, December 8, 2018


Well, you don’t have to bring your skates, even if you want to do some skating, because most ice rinks offer rentals. If you have room in your suitcase, however, pack your skates and save yourself some money, as you’ll have plenty of chances to visit the skating rinks on Cape Cod.

Public skating events provide affordable fun for the entire family, and some arenas even let you rent to whole building for a short period, should you have a large group or want the privacy of skating by yourself.

While ice skating isn't unique to Cape Cod, it is a quintessential winter activity on the east coast and is well worth trying if you're only here for a short time.

Gallo Ice Arena

Those staying in Bourne might want to go for a skate at the John Gallo Ice Arena. This rink hosts skating lessons, hockey classes, and sessions by the Bourne Skating Club starting in the fall, and also has public skating ice times available. Generally, skating is open from noon until 1:30 PM Monday to Friday, although there are exceptions if an event or lesson is occurring at that time. Sunday skates are also possible when the rink is free.

The cost for a skate is $4 for adults and $3 for students. You can rent skates for $3, as well. Keep in mind that there isn't an ATM on-site and it's a cash-only building, so make sure you hit a bank machine prior to arrival to avoid having to make another trip.

Tony Kent Arena

Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis is home to various Cape Cod hockey teams and hosts clinics, lessons, and programs throughout the year. It also has public skating on most Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays, along with pick-up ice hockey on Saturday nights.

Skating at the rink costs $6 for adults, $5 for children 11 and under, and $2 for seniors over the age of 55. If you don't end up bringing your skates on vacation, you can also rent them here for $4. If the ice isn't being used on a particular day, you can rent a private ice time for your group with rates starting at $180 for 50 minutes.

Charles Moore Arena

Charles Moore Ice Arena in Orleans, MA.The Charles Moore Arena in Orleans has figure skating lessons, hockey camps, learn-to-skate programs, and now, in 2018, a curling league. Of course, this arena also offers public skating throughout the winter, with ice times available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM and Sundays from 1:30 – 3:30 PM. The cost is $5 for adults and $4 for kids under 12, with skate rentals being $2.

Falmouth Ice Arena

The Falmouth Ice Arena is home to Falmouth High School's hockey teams, Falmouth Youth Hockey, and the Falmouth Figure Skating Club. There are two rinks here, an NHL rink and a mini rink, so there is plenty of ice to go around. The mini surface has multiple public skating times on Tuesdays and Thursdays and additional openings on some Wednesdays. The larger rink has ice times on most Friday nights, with some Wednesday sessions, as well.

Hyannis Youth & Community Center

The newest and most impressive facility on this list is the Hyannis Youth & Community Center, a multi-use complex owned and operated by the Town of Barnstable. The building features two skating rinks, a gymnasium, meeting rooms, a skate park, an indoor walking track, and a game room, so there's plenty to do there throughout the year.

Public skating is available pretty much every day at the facility, with weekday public skating taking place between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Sunday skates running from 2:10 – 4:00 PM, and Saturday skates going from 4:00 – 5:20 PM. There are also stroller skates, family skates, and stick practices on various days throughout the week.

The cost of a public skate at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center is $7 for adults, $5 for kids 17 and under, and $2 for seniors aged 62 and up. Skate rentals are available for $5, and skate sharpening costs $6 per pair.

Outdoor Skating Rinks

Although the ponds on Cape Cod occasionally freeze over during the winter, local officials do not recommend skating on them. The main reason is that most of these bodies are kettle ponds that have currents and are fed by streams, making it difficult for them to freeze evenly. If you find yourself on a thin section of ice, you could easily fall through and end up in serious trouble, so it's a good idea to stick to safer sheets of ice.

Some towns set up free public outdoor rinks in the winter, with Brewster and West Yarmouth being recent examples. It remains to be seen if we'll have any outdoor skating in 2018, as it's always weather-dependent. Check the website of the town you’re staying in closer to your arrival date for more information on outdoor skating availability.

Some Real Winter Fun

If you’re coming to the Cape in the winter, experiencing some winter activities is a must, and ice skating is a pleasant way to start. If you’ve never skated before, a public skating time at a local rink is a great way to ease yourself into it, but remember to bring a helmet with you for safety’s sake.

You should also be aware that public skating schedules are dynamic, as special events, private rentals, and hockey tournaments can disrupt their timing. As a result, always check the calendar on the rink’s website before heading there.

Cape Cod has so much going on in the winter that you’ll never be short on things to see and do. Book your vacation rental today and don’t miss out on experiencing winter like it’s meant to be.



Activities Cape Cod Ice Skating Things To Do On Cape Cod

There Are Festivals for Every Season on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, March 2, 2018


It doesn’t seem to matter when you visit the Cape, you’re sure to find a festival or event to attend. The locals on Cape Cod are festive people, and this beautiful part of the world provides plenty to celebrate, no matter if it's March, April, October, or November.

Take the time to research the various events around the Cape in every season before booking your vacation rentals because you’re sure to find something to help you make the most of your time here. In addition, we’ll spotlight some of the Cape’s best festivals in upcoming articles.

Things to Do in the Spring

All of May is dedicated to Cape Cod Maritime Days which, as you might have guessed, explores Cape Cod's rich maritime heritage. The festival has been named one of the top 100 events in all of North America because of how much there is to see and do throughout the month. Maps taking you to historic places on all four sections of The Cape are provided, so you can make your way around and experience the area's history on the water for yourself.

May is also home to Brewster in Bloom, a three-day festival that coincides with flowers in the region coming into bloom. The festival features a parade, a 5K run, a craft show, a concert, and an antique excursion, so there's plenty to see. There's a charity yard sale, as well, which gives you the opportunity to buy some items, with proceeds going to a good cause.  

Near the middle of June, and just before the start of summer, comes the Provincetown Film Festival. The event started in 1999 as a way to attract visitors to The Cape at the end of the shoulder season but has since grown into one of the country's top film festivals. Documentaries, short films, and narrative films from all over the world are on the docket at the festival and panel discussions are also held.

The Best Cape Cod Summer Festivals

Just as the film festival ends, Provincetown is also home to its Portuguese Festival, a weekend-long event highlighting the area's rich Portuguese heritage. The highlight of the festival is the parade, but there's also dining, dancing, and plenty of activities for the kids.

Not to focus on Provincetown too much, but the town hosts Carnival in August, as well. Carnival is a free festival in the high season that commonly attracts about 90,000 people to the area. The event is meant to be a celebration of diversity, with the parade being its greatest attraction.

Although it might not get the mainstream attention that many other festivals receive, the Cape Cod Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival is the highlight of the summer for many locals and visitors alike. This event, which takes place at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in East Falmouth, brings in many of the area's most popular food trucks and dozens of craft breweries from around the country to create a day-long event in the middle of August.

Fall Festivals on the Cape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it technically takes place at the end of the summer, just days before the official start of fall, for all intents and purposes the Harwich Arts and Music Cranberry Festival is a fall event. The Harwich Community Center Field hosts this annual music festival that kicks off the fall season on Cape Cod and features food, beer, and wine vendors, in addition to a craft fair.

The Yarmouth Seaside Festival is a highlight of the early autumn, mostly thanks to its parade and fireworks display. The festival also has concerts, a craft show, bonfires on the beach, and a variety of different races, so there is enough going on to keep you occupied all weekend. You’ll find midway rides, as well, should you be looking for a bit of adventure.

Beer isn’t just a summer drink on the Cape, as the Cape Cod Brew Fest comes to Falmouth every October. You can celebrate the arrival of autumn by sampling some of the over 75 breweries and 250 beer types on hand. Just do us a favor and don't attempt to try them all on one day because we want to see you enjoy the rest of your fall vacation on Cape Cod.

Festivals of the Winter

The Holidays by the Sea Weekend in Falmouth is usually held the second weekend in December and starts with Christmas caroling at the historic Nobska Lighthouse, followed by a winter run and the lighting of the local Christmas tree. One of the highlights of the festival is when Santa Claus arrives via boat in Falmouth Harbor, which then leads to the annual parade down Main Street. 

As we move past Christmas and into New Years, First Night Chatham approaches. This family-friendly event doesn't allow alcohol, but don't let that kill your buzz, as the festival has plenty to do and see. First Night takes place all over Chatham and features over 70 different performers each year. Oyster Pond is home to a fireworks display over the water at midnight, ending a full day of activities for all who attend.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down because Cape and Islands Orchid Show is here to provide you with a much-needed touch of summer in late January. This show and festival brings Orchid vendors from all over North America to the region, so if you are on The Cape for a week or two, pick up some flowers to add some beauty to your vacation home rental.

Visit Whenever You Wish

There is a misconception out there that Cape Cod is only a summer destination, but that unquestionably isn’t the case. While the beaches, views, and weather in the summer are exceptional, there is a ton going on in the area throughout the year.

If you’ve been planning to visit Cape Cod but don’t know when to take the leap, just have a look at the various events held in every season, and it will make your decision much clearer.



Cape Cod Cape Cod Festivals Fall Festivals Holiday Strolls Spring Festivals Summer Festivals Things To Do On Cape Cod Winter Festivals

3 Ways to Enjoy Oyster Season on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Cape Cod has always been oyster country, as even before the arrival of the pilgrims in 1620, French explorer Samuel de Champlain noted the abundance of the shellfish in areas like Wellfleet Harbor. And while the oysters of Cape Cod are known internationally, it is becoming more challenging to get your hands on them unless you come to The Cape.

The quality of Cape Cod oysters has spawned an entirely different type of visitor to the area, as people will rent a vacation home just for the opportunity to try some of the heavenly, fresh oysters found here.

Typically, Cape Cod oyster season runs from October until sometime in February or March, depending on when the supply starts to get low. Since oysters are one of the region's most valuable natural resources, officials regularly monitor the stock and adjust the season accordingly.

Keep in mind that oysters are commonly part of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals on Cape Cod, so if you want to do the holidays the Cape Cod way, make sure you track some down.

Once you arrive, you’ll find some different ways to get yourself some oysters, depending on how adventurous you are and how badly you want the freshest shellfish available on The Cape.

Do Some Oyster PickingFresh Oysters in a Basket

Feel like spending your vacation digging in the sand? For a small fee, non-residents can pick up a shellfishing permit to do their own oyster picking on many of Cape Cod’s beaches.

Before you head out on your recreational shellfishing excursion, make sure that you are aware of any town-specific rules that are present. These laws govern how many oysters you can harvest per day, the minimum size of the oysters you can pick, the times that you can be out in the water, and even the water temperature that you can be out in.

The rules are in place to prevent the supply of oysters from eroding too quickly and keep you safe, so either give the local town hall a call or ask about the rules when picking up your permit.

From there, you'll want to grab the right equipment. While you might luck out and find some oysters right along the beach, most are out in the water. You don't need anything fancy like a lobster trap, as just a few pieces of equipment will make you more comfortable as you venture into the ocean during Cape Cod oyster season.

Start by picking up a pair of chest waders, as you won't want to venture into the frigid Cape Cod waters without the necessary protection and these waders allow you to go into deeper water. A wetsuit jacket and a pair of waterproof gloves are advisable, especially when visiting in the winter. A floating bucket is also a good idea because it allows you store your catch without returning to shore.

There isn't a specific technique involved with harvesting oysters; all you have to do is search the shallow waters along the beach. Oysters don't bury themselves and are relatively easy to spot, so you shouldn't have much trouble as long as you end up in the right location.

Finding the perfect spot can be a challenge, as very few locals are willing to give theirs up. Look for other people searching for oysters because as long as they’re in a public area, you’re free to harvest there, too.

Find an Oyster Farm

The oysters of Wellfleet are known the world over, and there's no better place to get them than through the Puffer family at Wellfleet Oyster and Clam. Farmers catch wild oyster seed and then raise the oysters the same way that they would be in the wild. The result is some of the world's best oysters. You can order some by calling the company directly.

East Dennis Oyster Farm has a store in East Dennis where you can buy oysters by the box. You can also call ahead to place an order and schedule a pickup, which makes sense if you are staying in town or a neighboring community like Barnstable.

Chatham Shellfish Company has been in business since 1976 and sells its oysters throughout stores in the area. It is possible to order oysters directly through the company’s website, and they will be delivered right to the door of your vacation rental in a matter of days.

Visit an Oyster BarFresh Cape Cod Oysters

Of course, no visit to Cape Cod is complete without stopping by an oyster bar. In Wellfleet, Mac's Shack is the place to go. This restaurant doesn't allow reservations, so make sure that you get there early for access to incredibly fresh Wellfleet oysters, in addition to an extensive wine list. Keep in mind that this location doesn’t open until the very end of oyster season.

It doesn't get much better than Oyster Company Raw Bar & Grill in Dennis Port, which has been around for a long time and remains a favorite for locals. The restaurant harvests its own oysters, and clams and other shellfish are available there, too.

Sitting right on Main Street in Hyannis, The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar harvests oysters from its own farm, ensuring that you have access to the freshest shellfish available in any restaurant.

The World’s Best Oysters

As you can see, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to try some of the world’s best oysters on Cape Cod. What you might struggle with is figuring out which variety you like the best, as the oysters from each location differ slightly in their flavor.

Take some time exploring the local oyster scene to see if you can tell the difference between the varieties or, better yet, get out there and harvest your own this winter.



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